The Belt of Truth
A philosophy student wrote a very lengthy paper on the subjectiveness of truth. "Truth is an imaginary concept." said the student. "What is truth to one person is falsehood to another. He got an F. When he asked the professor about this, the professor told him "Another student turned in the exact same paper three years ago."
"That's impossible!" said the student. "That paper is my own original work!"
"Is it?" said the professor.
"Yes! I didn't copy from anyone!"
"And if I believe you did?"
"Then you're wrong!"
"So you're saying that truth is absolute, regardless of what the individual believes?"
The student was speechless.
The Professor took the paper, scratched out the F and wrote a D-. "Only because you learned something." he said.
What is Truth? Truth is that which is real whether we think it's real or not. Truth is not something most people like. People have an uncanny ability to lie to themselves. Some have even said that the fabric of society is woven out of lies. I recently read a story in which two otters and a human quest to retrieve a powerful charm from a far-away land. Their elders warn that this device has the power to destroy society. They were right. The charm, an object called the Grand Veritable, does nothing but tell the truth, whether it is wanted or not. The result is absolute chaos.
Heavenly society is not like that. If we are children of the light, then we must also be children of truth, for light exposes falsehood. We know that lies have no place in our speech, for they defeat the purpose of communication. They have no place in our minds, for that would defeat the purpose of thought. They have no place in our lives, for they render living useless.
How are wars won? Is it by the private on the front line shooting at the enemy? That's part of it, certainly, but what really determines the outcome of a war is intelligence. Information can save lives or cost them. If you can keep knowledge from your enemy, that's good. If you can get him to believe a lie, even better. Cause confusion and you can make an enemy do more damage to himself than to your army. Confusion has been one of God's greatest weapons in time past. It is vitally important, therefore, to avoid confusion, and to know what is real and true. To this end, we have an integral piece of armor: the Belt of Truth.
What is the function of a belt? In terms of armor, it holds everything together. It is also where the sword is hung. And, of course, it keeps your pants up.
How does this translate to the Belt of Truth? The belt of truth also holds our armor together. To understand how, I want to address one question. What does it mean to believe something? It means to have confidence that a thing is true. Now that doesn't always mean that it is. A budhist may believe that he's going to be reincarnated as a fish. That is not true, but he is confident that it is. If we do not have the truth, there is nothing to believe. Without belief, there is no faith. Without faith, so salvation. Without salvation, no righteousness. Without truth, the sword that is the Word of God is useless. Without that, the shoes of the preparation of the gospel have no function. Even those garments not normally referenced with the armor of God become pretty useless without truth. Take away that belt and the Christian is left naked. While nudity isn't embarassing to an otter or a dragon, it is devastating when in battle. The life expectancy of a naked soldier in the field can be measured in seconds.
The belt of truth is where the Sword of the Spirit is kept. This sword is the word of God: the Bible. It's actually a bit more than that, but we'll get into that later. As a sword is dependent on a swordbelt to keep it connected to its owner, so the Word of god is dependent on truth. It is reliable and unbreakable because it IS truth, but to be wielded properly, it requires truth within us. If we are wearing that belt of truth, the sword becomes far more effective than it ever could without it, which is not at all. You may lead someone to Christ if you don't believe God's word, but it's the same as a person with no training swinging wildly with a scimetar. He's likely to do damage simply because that sword is sharp, but credit goes to the sword, not to the wielder.
As I said before, otters and foxes and dragons do not require clothing. But for a human, improper attire can be humiliating. There is a fictional character called Pajama Llama. He has the power to change a villain's clothing into pajamas, thus humiliating him and taking the fight out of him. Imagine being a human soldier in the middle of an intense battle when suddenly your pants fall down around your ankles. It might not be lethal, but it would certainly hamper you. Satan wants to make you ineffective any way he can. If he can't get you with doubt and he can't get you with accusations, the next thing he's going to try is to confuse you. He'll present to you some very convincing lies, and even some nuggets of truth, twisted JUST a little bit in order to paint a bigger picture of something completely false. For instance, let's say someone came to you with this argument: God is everywhere. Therefore God is everything. That includes me. I am a part of the divine. Therefore, I am God. Some people actually believe this. Heck, a LOT of people believe this. Shirley McLoony shouted it to the world. Unless you are grounded in the truth, how would you counter this argument? Now this is actually one of the easiest arguments to counter, but there are many heresies out there which are more difficult to dispute. Unless you are wearing your belt properly, you are going to find yourself embarassingly unprepared when the time comes to refute them.
How, then, does one wear the belt of truth properly? Well, normal belts adjust. They may be the only thing on a suit of armor that adjuests. The belt of truth is not adjustable. truth is not relative, after all. If it was relative, it wouldn't be truth. The belt of truth requires that WE adjust to IT. The other pieces do not require adjusting. You either use them or you don't. To wear the Belt of Truth properly, one must examine himself, test his beliefs and reject those which do not stand the test of logic. Here are some tips on doing this. These are also this week's challenge.
-To be able to spot a lie, don't study lies, study the truth. Then errors will become immediately apparent.
--be sincere in seeking truth. Don't go in with preconceived notions to disprove something you don't like.
--accomodate whole body of Christ. Just because someone is catholic, or protestant, or orthodox, or baptistic, or whatever, doesn't mean they don't know the truth. It might be that you're the one who's wrong on a given point.
--Beware of false teachings. Test every doctrine thoroughly. Don't let any belief off easy because it looks good. That's how heresies take hold.
--Be a humble seeker. Know-it-alls have no room for the truth.
--Don't be offended by different opinions. They might be right. Even if they're not, a closed heart equals a closed mind. (You'll notice I've been working on this myself.)
--Know the value of truth. I should hope that I have just taken care of that for you.
Today's reading: Ephesians 6:10-17
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: