“’You are a king, then!’ said Pilate. Jesus answered, ‘You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.’ ‘What is truth?’ Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, ‘I find no basis for a charge against him. But…'” (John 18:37–39, NIV 1984).
My Musings – He looked truth in the “eyes” and rather than siding with the truth he proceeded to conform the “truth” to the desires of the crowd. Someone (E. Michael Jones) has said, “there are only two alternatives in the intellectual life: either one conforms desire to the truth or one conforms truth to desire.”
I would have to conclude that we have become a culture that conforms the truth to whatever it is we desire, without any intention of entertaining the thought that our “truth” may not be the truth at all. People seem more and more inclined to “get [their] facts first, then…distort them as they please” (Mark Twain). That is if there are any facts at all in their “truth.”
Conforms desire to the truth – “Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8:31–32, NIV 1984).
Conforms truth to desire – “The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3–4, NIV 1984).
In the United States this Tuesday (as is the case every four years) we face only two “viable” alternatives on who will lead our nation for the next four years. As I reflect on the political process that brings us to this election day (and a few that have preceded it), I am not certain that it could be characterized as “intellectual life.” Making the choice would be so much easier it it was.
Likewise, I am not convinced that either candidate has fared very well in conforming their desires to the truth. Rather, like Pilate, they have conformed the “truth” they proclaim to the desires of the constituency that they most closely represent. Maybe that’s just “politics,” but it’s not Kingdom principles (His teaching — the truth).
Which brings me to the statement by Jesus that led to Pilate’s decision. “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” (John 18:36, NIV 1984). If we can take any comfort this election cycle it is that our Kingdom is not of this world. Our King is neither Democrat or Republican. Our King is “the way, the TRUTH, and the life.”
The sad truth, however, is that many Christians live their lives as if this nation was their kingdom. Following Donald, or following Joe is no substitute for following Christ. Neither the Democratic platform or the Republican platform (“you have heard it said“) is a substitute for the Kingdom principles of the Sermon on the Mount (“but I tell you“). This is the teaching that we must “hold to.” Not what merely suits our “own desires.“
My Advice – I generally avoid getting caught up in political controversies in my blogs, and I may end up regretting this one. So, if you’re looking for advice on who to vote for, you’ll be disappointed. But if you’re looking for what to vote for, then vote for the truth. Even if it’s not want you desire it to be. Let Kingdom principles be your guide. You may end up being disappointed in the results, but just remember, your “Kingdom is not of this world.“
If your kingdom does happen to be of this world, you can “know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Today’s blog inspired by Pastor Kevin Rutledge’s sermon 11/01/20.