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OPINION

What Is Truth?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Matias Delacroix

Two thousand years ago, a group of men flogged Truth to within an inch of its life, then nailed Truth to a cross, hoisted the cross in the air, and killed Truth. Three days later, Truth came out of the grave. Even secular historians consider Good Friday one of the, if not the, most important events in human history.

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The truth came in the form of Jesus. We have written more about him, documenting his life, nearer in time to his life than we do for many other ancient figures, including Roman emperors. Both the Roman historians and the New Testament authors wrote about him. His divinity claim is a separate claim from whether a man named Jesus lived, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, and died. Historically, it happened.

It is also true that others met the same fate. What sets Jesus apart from the others is that his believers, now numbering over 2 billion on the planet 2,000 years removed from the events of his life, truly believe he literally, physically rose again from the dead. That belief has changed history. It caused men to take up arms. It caused men to go to their deaths. It caused a vast array of people to travel the world sharing a simple message: "For God so loved the world, that he gave him only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 (KJV)

Most people at the time rejected the message. Many today still do. When the Romans dragged the second person of the trinity who spoke the world into being before Pontius Pilate, "Pilate said to him, 'So you are a king?' Jesus answered, 'You say that I am a king. For this purpose, I was born and for this purpose, I have come into the world -- to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.'" John 18:37 (ESV). Pilate famously replied with a question: "What is truth?" Today, those who reject Christ cannot even tell us what a woman is. Truth is an absolute that is embodied in He who called Himself "the way, the truth, and the life," is now relative, fungible and negotiable.

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On Palm Sunday, a crowd welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem, placing palm branches down in front of him. Five days later, on Good Friday, the crowd demanded Pontius Pilate execute Truth and free Barrabas, a prisoner at war with the government. The people who wanted King Jesus decided His way was not what they wanted. They wanted war against the government.

Conservatives and progressives can draw their own conclusions from the story. I draw these. Progressives in America worship the idol of self, and it is manifested as a war against the truth of God reflected in the truths of nature. Biologically, men cannot become women, but people at war with truth and in the worship of themselves will redefine truth and reinvent themselves in every hedonistic and narcissistic way possible. Conservatives in America worship the idol of self, and it is manifested as a war against the truth that God commands them to love their neighbor and trust Him for their salvation, not a political savior. They would cast off Christ for a Barrabas who would own the Left.

Christ should call all of us to repentance of our idols. Christ's resurrection should give all of us hope, that hope being the profound certainty of a risen Lord. Americans on the Right are desperately worried about the future of their country and want a political savior to save it. But so many of them are working so hard to save their country that they risk their souls. Americans on the Left are so desperate to be their own gods that they've turned secularism into its own religion with its own priests, prophets, kings, liturgies and sacraments. This religion will allow no competing religions in the public square.

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But Christ is Truth. The truth came out of the grave. Truth cannot be killed. It will pierce the hearts of those grown cold and make them warm, and it will crush lies. Truth wins in the end, and all our idols will turn to dust.

To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.


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