On the front page of one of the morning newspapers every day is a quote by Daniel Webster, “There is nothing so powerful as truth.”
In a world that is often struggling with truth and “fake news,” it reminds me of one of the first sermons that I preached at St. Matthews twenty years ago which was entitled Does Anyone Tell the Truth Anymore? According to a national survey at the time, which unfortunately has not changed significantly in the last two decades, it confirmed that just about everyone lies at some point in their lives, some more regularly than others.
According to the survey, regrettably when we refrain from lying it is less often that we think it is wrong but for a variety of others reasons such as we fear getting caught. The survey goes on to contend that most folks lie to just about everyone and the better we know someone, the likelier we are to have told them a serious lie.
The good news from the survey is that 90% of the people said they truly believe in God. However, the sad news is that in every single region of the country people said that they do not turn to God or religion to help them decide about moral issues of the day. Unfortunately, for many people, religion plays virtually no role outside of Sunday morning in shaping their opinions of a long list of contemporary issues.
Even more tragic is that all too many churches have gotten away from the Gospel message because they believe it is offensive to some, makes other people feel uncomfortable, hinders giving and has a detrimental effect on membership growth. And then we wonder why no one tells the truth any more.
There are some today that would like us to believe that truth is relative, that your truth may not be the same as mine, that it is up to the individual to decide for themselves what is true. How sad.
In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, Paul reminds us that, “the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
People often ask me why St. Matthews and Rock Church Ministries continues to grow while so many other churches are struggling. I believe it is what attracted Sherry and me to St. Matthews in the first place -- it is because our church has always preached the truth of the Gospel as it applies to our lives today with love and respect for everyone, never forgetting as we say every Sunday, everyone needs Jesus.
If we’re struggling with an issue in our lives, the first place we should always go is to the Bible because, as the psalmist wrote, “it is a lamp under our feet and a light unto our paths.”
I agree with Daniel Webster – there is nothing more powerful than the truth. That truth is found in Jesus Christ who said, “I am the truth …” It is a truth that never changes.
See you Sunday as we continue our sermon series “For our Community.” It is a message that is changing and shaping our church and our future together. Join us.
In Christ’s love,