Truth Has Stumbled
I read Isaiah 59 this morning and the whole chapter just jumped right off the page, especially verse 14. It says, “…truth has stumbled in the public square…” I thought to myself, “Man, this verse has never been more true than it is today.” It speaks profoundly to our culture. All you have to do is walk out the door and you see it everywhere – a culture where truth is relative. A culture of no absolutes. A culture that invites us all to do whatever we want and feel no remorse.
It’s true in the political square. Lying and cheating are inconsequential because after all, “It’s just politics.”
It’s true in the pop-cultural square. Fourth marriage not working out for ya? No big deal. Try another. Or just steal someone else’s spouse.
It’s true among Christians as well. My pastor posted a blog yesterday with a very similar tone. In a recent survey, 85% of Americans claim to be Christians. If that’s true, then we have a serious problem of truth stumbling in the Christian square as well. Because it’s obvious when you turn on the news or venture out onto the typical college campus in America, those 85% are nowhere to be found.
Last night Tasha and I heard the perfect commentary on this. Flipping through the television channels we came across a behind the scenes look at Fox’s top-rated “Prison Break.” We used to be big fans until this season. Now, the creators have stretched the plot so thin that it’s just dumb. But anyway, Wentworth Miller who plays Michael Scofield, one of the main actors, was being interviewed and was asked the question, “What do you like most about acting?” In a nutshell his response was something to the effect that since he grew up in a home that was pretty “straight-laced” he enjoyed the opportunity that acting brings along to “act inappropriately.” In other words, he thought it was cool that he could do whatever he wanted in front of a camera, in a manner of speaking, and not be held accountable for it. Bingo. There’s no question in my mind that that’s the cultural condition that we find ourselves in today. It’s the “in front of a camera” mentality that I can do whatever I want and feel no remorse or sense of accountability for my actions. And that goes for the Christian community as well, all 85% (yea right)!
No wonder most of us, as Geoffrey talked about last night at Southbrook, hate to pray. Because we don’t feel God’s presence. Verse 2 of Isaiah 59 says something about this too. “But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.” I actually think God cringes when we teach our children that God always hears our prayers. Because that’s really not what the Bible teaches. Not when we’ve built up barriers of sin. Not when we’ve constructed our giant wall ‘o crap between us and the Living God of the universe. And I’m as guilty as anybody.
The cultural milieu in which we find ourselves (as truth stumbles all over the place) has yet to see a generation of God-fearing individuals rise up and take their place – rise up to steady wobbling truth in the marketplace – rise up with true grit and purposeful solidarity declaring that Jesus is the only Way, the only Truth and the only Life.
God, give us a generation like that.
“Heavenly glory has found it’s place on earth and in our hearts
To conceive this holy passion
That we could start to love the world as You do.
Spirit move and let us journey with You
To return this generation to God it’s Maker and King
River flow to replenish dusty ground
To return this generation to God it’s Maker and King . . .” – lyrics from “Return” by Andy Cherry