I have decided that I will no longer preach truth. But it isn’t what you think. Our society no longer willingly embraces a universal, objective truth, with perhaps the exception that there is no universal truth. The guiding principle – or, dare I say, truth – of this generation is perhaps best described in the words of Charles A. Dana: “Fight for your opinions, but do not believe they contain the whole truth, or the only truth.”
“Fight for your opinions, but do not believe they contain the whole truth, or the only truth.”
This understanding has led me to abandon a common fallacy held by many evangelicals today, the fallacy of dogmatism. Dogmatism is “the unwillingness to even consider an opponent’s argument, the assumption that even when many, perhaps millions, of other people believe otherwise, only you can be correct.” A blind embrace of dogmatism will extinguish our testimony for Christ in a culture that no longer believes in truth, resulting in Christians being segregated to the fringes of societal influence. The truth claims of Christians will increasingly be dismissed as fanaticism if we are unwilling to adjust our approach in dealing with the cultural and philosophical landscape we are called to navigate.
“The truth claims of Christians will increasingly be dismissed as fanaticism if we are unwilling to adjust our approach in dealing with the cultural and philosophical landscape we are called to navigate.”
Consider the stance many evangelical Christians take toward politics. It is difficult for many Christians to imagine that their brothers and sisters in Christ have the liberty to vote differently than they do, and at the same time still be a Christian. This is one of the dangers of dogmatism. For too many, being a Christian has become defined only by their private ideas of morality and politics. But Biblical Christianity isn’t about morality, worldviews, or politics. It is chiefly about Christ. When we make it about these other things, we perform a disservice to the name and mission of Jesus. Certainly all of our lives should be informed by our allegiance to Christ, but all too often we compromise that allegiance by elevating our own perspectives ahead of the principles of the gospel. If political and philosophical movements were the answer to change lives, it would not have been necessary for Jesus to die and rise again.
“Instead of advocating for truth, perhaps we would be better served to advocate for Jesus, who is not just another truth, but is the Truth.”
Instead of advocating for truth, perhaps we would be better served to advocate for Jesus, who is not just another truth, but is the Truth. The Bible constantly reminds us that we should not avoid reading and meditating on Scripture. There is a reason for this: all of Scripture is ultimately about Christ. And only when our mind is bathed in the Word of God can we have clarity of perspective that keeps us from the fallacies of our own thinking.
Behind the Hebrew word for “meditate” is the idea of “rumination,” the same word that is used for a cow chewing its cud. The process of a cow chewing its cud involves the cow chewing, swallowing, regurgitating, and then chewing some more before swallowing again. In fact, cows can spend up to eight hours a day chewing their cud. Each time the cow regurgitates its food, the cud is softer, smaller, and closer to being digested.
When we choose to meditate on God’s Word we are choosing “re-ingest” Christ again and again into our hearts and minds. When we choose to ingest Christ into our thinking, the result will be a life that overflows with the power and influence of His Spirit, rather than the multiple versions of our own private truth. For this reason, I will no longer proclaim (that I alone have access to the) truth, but I will continue to preach Christ, who is the “express image of the invisible God.” (Hebrews 1:3) Jesus Christ alone is the Truth.