Maybe you’ve seen the meme about 6 or 9. In cartoon fashion, the sketch shows two people on either side looking down at the image on the ground. From the point of view of one, the shape on the ground is the number six. From the opposite side, the other viewer declares the shame shape a nine.
A caption below reads, “Just because you are right, does not mean, I am wrong. You just haven’t seen life from my side.”
Sounds good, doesn’t it? But the visual could not be more deceptive. Truth, according to the picture and the caption, is subjective based on point of view and interpretation of what passes before the senses. One set of eyes sees the number between five and seven. The other set of eyes sees the number between eight and ten.
In a post-modern world that champions all opinions and perspectives as equally valid, the greater issue is not whether the ground drawing ISeither a six or a nine, the greater issue is that we validate and celebrate both persons agreeing that the ground drawing can be EITHER a six or a nine.
We live in a world of lies, produced and promoted by the Father of Lies. From the beginning he has questioned truth. He continues to question the very idea of singular truth.
In modern social constructs offering “my truth” or “your truth” has become an effective defensive weapon when confronted over behavior or ideology.
The truth is one of the two people viewing the image is wrong. The artist outlined a six or a nine. The artist communicated a six or a nine. The artist either drew six or a nine. The artist did not draw a six and a nine. The sketch is one or the other and perspective, position, or understanding is irrelevant to determine meaning. In order to know if the number is six or a nine, you have to know the author and his intent.
This is why Christians run to the Bible to determine truth. This is why pastors encourage the church to resist and reject feelings and viewpoint, emotions and empathy as trusted interpreters of life circumstances.
We can have a difference of opinion on whether sunrises or sunsets are more beautiful, but we cannot have a difference of opinion on the origin of the sun. God created it or he did not. Only one can be true.
We can have a difference of opinion for finding a mate by arranged marriage, by swiping left, or by choosing the seat next to the cute girl in a freshmen lecture class, but we cannot have a difference of opinion on opposite gender attraction. God created humanity to be exclusively heterosexual or he did not. Only one can be true.
We can have a difference of opinion on whether Dave Ramsey’s financial baby steps are the gold standard for Christians and their money, but we cannot have a difference of opinion on the means our Lord intends for the financial support of local churches and global missions. Jesus intended churches to be supported by the sacrificial and generous grace giving of his disciples or he did not. Only one can be true.
We can have a difference of opinion on whether a local church should meet one time, two times, three times, four times of five times on a Sunday, but we cannot have a difference of opinion on the importance of the local church in the life of every Christian and in the significance of every Christian family. Jesus intended the priority of the church in the daily lives of his followers or he did not. Only one can be true.
God has revealed truth to us in his word, the Bible. Christians read the Bible, memorize the Bible, study the Bible, and listen to the teaching of the Bible to learn truth, God’s truth. We ask questions like, “What does God say about this” and “Is there anything in the Bible that I should consider?” and “Where does the Bible address how I am feeling at the moment?”
God is not looking to deceive you. The devil is looking to deceive you. The devil is telling you lies. The devil is your enemy. Your feelings, your perspective, your experiences while valuable are not trustworthy. They can be manipulated. The devil will do anything to manipulate your thinking to reject God's truth for the embrace of your own.
There is no such thing as “my truth” and “your truth.” There is only God’s truth.
To quote Jean-Luc Picard, "There are four lights!"
As always I welcome your feedback and any suggestions you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.