Talking Points with Pastor Lucas | Truth or Truthiness?

Rev. Dr. Lucas V. Woodford, District President

Rev. Dr. Lucas V. Woodford, District President

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. (John 16:13)

Truth is being eroded in our culture.

Without question, the devil is behind it. The Bible tells us that the devil is the “father of all lies” (John 8:44). He stands for everything opposite of the truth. His aim is to undermine the truth of Jesus Christ in every possible way.

One of the ways he does this today is to make us question the content of truth itself. What it is, how it’s determined, and who gets to define it. We live in a time of relative truths. People think (and say):

“That may be true for you, but it’s not true for me.”

Rules are no longer universal. Logic is out of date. Feelings reign supreme.

As a result, our government doesn’t take accountability for its spending. (Have you seen the national debt?) Likewise, things like marriage and traditional parenting have been redefined. Even more, your feelings have become more important than God’s Word of truth.

Even the word “truth” itself has come under the devil’s attack and been subverted to the chaos of our times. In practice, it’s often replaced by the newly invented word “truthiness.” The meaning of the word is utterly telling. Truthiness is defined as “the quality of sounding true, without being true.”

Truthiness: “the quality of sounding true, without being true.”

Truthiness was only recently added to our American dictionary and, interestingly enough, it was coined by comedian Stephen Colbert for his “Colbert Report” show on Comedy Central. It was introduced in 2005 to make fun of our spin-zoned, half-truth, lie-based political culture. But it has caught on and taken root all across our culture.

Truthiness is rampant.

Think about it. If we can make things sound true without them actually having to be true, imagine all the things we can accomplish. Imagine all the money we can make, all the power we can get, and all the fame we can secure. Imagine all the sins that no longer actually have to be sins!

The devil is ruthless and sinister with his lies.

Truthiness is new to our dictionary, but you and I have been telling this tale since we first learned how to lie. The devile delights in it. The devil’s desire is to destroy the truth.

The Holy Spirit fights for you.

But this is why the Holy Spirit comes with laser focus on Him who is the way, the truth, and the life: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13).

In a world full of chaos and confusion, the Holy Spirit comes declaring a Word of hope and speaking a Word of healing through the powerful Word of God. You can be assured He tells the truth!

In fact, He came to you personally when you were baptized, blaring into your infant or adult ears that you are a child of God! Even more, He comes to you again right now. For where God’s Word is spoken, there the Holy Spirit is at work—boldly and mightily filling you with the power of God.

As Jesus said:

He [the Holy Spirit] will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. (John 16:14)

And what has He declared to you? He declares that if you want to know the truth, you must know the Word of Christ. Everything else is fleeting. Everything else is failing.

Our culture does not get to define what is real and true. Rather, God’s Word speaks the truth. And that truth is that sin does not control us, but the Holy Spirit of Jesus upholds us. It tells the truth that Satan is a down and dirty liar, and Jesus’ love is real and here for us now.

This is the truth: The Holy Spirit has taken the life of Jesus and given it to you and me. Where truthiness deceives us, the Word of Jesus relieves us. Where our sins assail us, the forgiveness of Jesus frees us. Where doubt distresses us, the certainty of Jesus surrounds us.

Turn to His Word. Hear His truth. The Holy Spirit has taken the life of Jesus and given it to you and me. Hear it. Believe it. Confess it. This is the truth!

This is the truth: the Holy Spirit has taken the life of Jesus and given it to you and me.

This article also appears in the May 2019 Lutheran Witness insert for the Minnesota South District. View the full insert with this article and additional news and encouragement here.