Jason Wallace--(a local pastor whose weekly cable tv program I very much enjoy and appreciate watching)--made a great point last night. . . .
He was expressing his exasperation over how many people these days simply do not care what the TRUTH of a thing is. He used the Mormon Church and Shawn McCraney as key examples but the proclivity is everywhere.
In the LDS case, he pointed out the main feature in all this. What they (and others) have done, is REDEFINE what "truth" is in the first place. It is not something objective that can be found, discovered . . . and is what it is despite different people having different opinions or interpretations of it (note: "no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation" --2 Pet. 1:20). . . .
Jason referred to a show of his where he had a couple on--two top members of the Genesis Group (a black LDS support type group)--and he pointed out the failed prophecies of Joseph Smith and they shrugged it off and reiterated that they "knew" Joseph Smith was a "true prophet". . . . Likewise, you can point out the multitude of lies and changes to doctrine throughout LDS history and most "true blue Mormons" will shrug it off and give their testimony that "I know the church is true; that Joseph Smith was a true prophet" etc. REAL truth doesn't matter. What Jason put his finger on is that they have a different definition of "truth". In their case (as in so many these days) "truth" is simply a feeling and specifically a feeling that you get when you are able to fit whatever . . . into the idol you've made for yourself (your opinion/private interpretation) as to what, how, who you feel God is or should be. . . .
McCraney the other night made the statement that the 2nd Coming already happened in 70 AD . . . and that since then Christianity is a totally "100% subjective" thing now--an "experience" . . . in other words a "feeling" you get which supports your individually concocted notions. Thus, he went on, there is no longer a need for a church or for any "authorities/elders" of "the church" to guide you. It's all subjective.
However, the Bible--the Word of God is clear. In fact, the fallen man/woman HATES Truth and tends to follow instead their own "deceitfully wicked" hearts. In fact, the "heart" (subjective experience) is NOT to be trusted. There is Truth with a capital "T". JESUS is the TRUTH, the way and the life. And there is NO OTHER way to God but through Him! And the scriptures are given so that we can check our individual, personal, notions, feelings, speculations (like "good Bereans") against an OBJECTIVE AUTHORITATIVE STANDARD!
Pilate cynically asked Jesus, "what is truth"? . . . in the way that all unbelievers ask it, as if really . . . there is no way to know "truth" . . . everybody "has their own truth" . . . and so, why bother trying to define or proclaim It. . . .
But it is the TRUTH which sets you free! Not feelings, not subjective leanings and concoctions. . . .
Indeed, these enslave one to fantasies built on the evil wanderings of the fallen heart. "And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." --2 Tim. 4:4
I remember in my earlier days of searching and seeking. . . . I knew there was a God from my own reasoning and from experience. I kept looking to find Him because it made no sense to me that since He DID exist, He certainly would have provided a way, a text--SOMETHING--in this world through and by which we could better come to know and learn of Him. And I would not settle for something that just made me "feel" better or comported with the way I thought He ought to be. No, I wanted THE TRUTH! Whatever it was, whether it fit with my personal notions, talents, proclivities, personality etc. or not. THE TRUTH is what I wanted above all else.
Which is why I find it so wonderful, so fulfilling, so comforting, so encouraging, so illuminating . . . to discover that He HAS provided us with the Truth--indeed HE IS . . . THE TRUTH!
Who is it that can settle for less? Who is content to park it in the ever shifting, wandering, dark corners of "subjective experience" divorced from a sure standard?
Those who are "lovers of themselves" . . . "proud" . . . "always learning but never able to ACKNOWLEDGE the truth" . . . .
These verses lay it out quite plainly . . . and woe to those who deny THE TRUTH! Repent!
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. --2 Tim. 3:1-7