Ring of Truth
By Jim Huskins
My home county produces world-class drinking water. McDowell County water has been shipped around the globe. Excellent springs and pristine wells abound. Yet, for reasons that I cannot grasp, most of the people I know purchase bottled drinking water. It makes no sense. Local municipal water tastes like chlorine, but everyone who lives in this county could find someone who would be happy to share from a good well or spring.
Each week, my wife and I provide water for our Sabbath fellowship meals. Everyone loves our excellent well. Good water contributes to a good life. Long before bottled water and effective filters, I learned about good water through its absence. The fetid slime from the drinking fountains in my dorm at St. Louis Christian College caused me to realize that McDowell County water has the “ring of truth.”
Those three words dog my consciousness and challenge every new insight. Emotional connection to any proposition is no guarantor of validity, but one who is devoted to seeking truth arguably becomes sensitized to its presence. Unfortunately, many Christians are unable to distinguish between the “ring of truth” and the “ring of familiarity.”
Our culture teaches that truth is relative. Politicians and celebrities say that everyone should proclaim “their” truth. This perspective values feelings and opinions over facts. In contrast, the Bible insists—and some of us still believe—that the Word of God is absolute truth. Truth stands undiminished by opinion, unfazed by rejection.
Because of the influence of our satan-driven culture, many who claim to follow Jesus assert that Scripture must be interpreted in light of what is popular. 2 Corinthians 5:10 is one of many verses that state that everyone will be judged according to God’s standards of righteousness. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” Our choice is to either devote our best efforts to live in ways that honor God, or we must twist His Word to accommodate cultural fashion. Which approach has the ring of truth?
The Bible still claims that Holy God cannot abide by the presence of sin. Sin destroyed the face-to-face relationship that the first humans enjoyed with their Creator. Sin caused Adam and Eve to be banished from paradise, barred from the tree of life, and engulfed by the entropy that led to their death and decay. Every evil action is the result of sin. Sin nailed the Holy Son of God to a Roman cross. Unforgiven sin will cause the majority of humanity to die and be separated from God for eternity. Sin is the curse that confronts us.
Why is it that so few churches seem to be interested in sin? Many congregations offer programs to help mitigate the practice and consequences of certain sins such as chemical addiction and spouse abuse. Only a few churches appear to be calling their membership to strive to lead sinless lives. On the contrary, many Christian groups teach that once a person is “saved,” they can live in any manner they choose, and God is somehow obligated to overlook habitual sin. That is not what the Bible teaches.
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2) “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Many churches appear to believe that their primary job is providing outstanding entertainment. The Bible teaches that “church work” is defined by the Great Commission. Which of those perspectives has the ring of truth?
One of the most misunderstood concepts in Scripture involves the Fourth Commandment. “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8) Protestant churches almost universally teach that Sabbath was replaced with something they call the Lord’s Day. Few Christians know or care that Sunday worship was forced on the Church in the Fourth Century by Constantine 1 of Rome. His singular goal was to make Christianity more palatable to a culture steeped in sun god worship. This practice was carried on and enforced at the pain of death by the Roman Papacy. Unfortunately, the eventual Protestant rejection of the Roman system was only partial.
Jesus and His Apostles kept the Sabbath. So did the early Church. Not a single scripture claims that Sabbath was altered, revoked, or moved. Instead, the Bible says that Sabbath is dear to God’s heart. Sabbath is the Seventh day and God expects us to observe it regardless of what is happening in our lives. Exodus 31:13 is properly translated by the ESV, “Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths.” The Church teaches that Sabbath does not matter. The Bible says we must keep Sabbath before we do anything else. Where does the ring of truth lie in this debate?
Another unfortunate legacy of the Roman church is Christianity’s obsession with pagan worship rituals. The Bible teaches from beginning to end that God hates paganism. Nonetheless, Christians cling to events at the winter solstice and spring equinox which venerate the sun deity and the fertility goddess of ancient Babylon. Every good encyclopedia tells the origins of the “holiday traditions.” The Church loves the pagan holidays because they are “traditional.” God refuses to be worshipped in the same way pagans worship their gods. Where lies the truth in this debate?
I learned about good water by being deprived of it. Amos 8:11-12 teaches that a time is coming when the Word of God will not be available. Perhaps the best way to prepare for that “drought” is to forget everything we’ve been taught, open the Bible to page one, and drink deeply.
Jim & Beverly Huskins are members of Obedient Heart Fellowship in McDowell County. Beginning July 2, 2022 Obedient Heart Fellowship will meet at 10:00 Each Sabbath (Seventh Day) in space graciously shared by New Covenant Church in Christ. 2460 US 221 Business N. In Marion, NC. Call for info. 828-460-7913. You can read more good Christian news from Jim HERE.