UI –Part 218 – Truth – Bible vs Quran
What is Truth?
What is Truth? A profound question. Is there an answer?
What of the Bible’s truth and the Quran’s truth?
You are human. You can read, to include this Blog. Truth is available to you. Without reading one word or hearing one other person you have a sense of the Truth. It is God given. Right and Wrong. You will need to engage in discovery, also, to learn the truth, such as realizing fire is hot and can burn, ice is cold and can cool, through the use of the senses. Knowledge gained through experience and education reveals truth. Much is inherent, as is the gift of intellect and independent choice. Just as sin is inherent by way of free will, so is Truth. We can tell the difference between right and wrong, if indeed what is ‘right’ is truth on a moral level. Some differences may be learned, as noted, such as hot and cold, with experience, but once known it is easy to distinguish what to avoid, and what purpose one may have. Is Truth what is Right?
Truth as factual truth may state the obvious. If a lie, however, in so stating, notes as a ‘true statement’ that which is not true.
Truth is known from Scripture – the Bible. Moral and ethical guidelines are well presented. There is no deception. Experience of man is not the determinate. If so, and where it so dominates as the basis for truth, there is chaos. Also the collective view of a majority does not as a result suggest Truth when clearly in deference to Biblical teaching.
Temptation is not sinful unless acted upon knowing it is not according to God’s dictates. This is true. And to not act upon such temptation is a right action. When faced with the dilemma of temptation your mind knows the direction that is most obedient to that Supernatural Power, the Incomprehensible Being, the Creator, and the First Cause. It becomes a choice, a free choice. The Truth as to how to live for God is shared by God thru Biblical Scripture. It is what is right. Be tempted to obey God; that is good; that is right.
What justifies the decision or the choice made? Is it survival? Does that make it right? Is it victory? Is it greed or personal satisfaction, pride, or machismo? Is it a desire for superiority? Is there an excuse, such as lack of control? An addiction? Whatever the justification may be, if it is the wrong choice, you know it. Upon reflection, you know it. As long as you are not caught, you still know it. Once ensnared, if that ever occurs, in the mire of your own wrong choosing, the mea-culpa comes out appealing to the higher power for forgiveness. Is that all there is? Is that all it takes?
Live by Truth which is Righteous
It takes a strong individual to live by the Truth he knows as to moral and ethical values. When in doubt refer to Scripture (the Bible).
It also takes strong leaders to lead by a positive example. But then the example may be questionable. If victory at all costs is the standard, the victor to be admired and supported for catering to an ideology that is morally abhorrent, then what kind of an example is being set? Is the mind being modified to consider wrong actions as favorable, and in turn more right than wrong? The Truth may be that the authoritarian counsel is telling lies, deceiving, coercing, bribing, and compelling compliance with wrongful standards when applied to the common good.
God admonishes leaders to be respectful of the community they serve and do so in a godly fashion. Authority carries with it great responsibility. Selfishness does not lend itself to successful outcomes demonstrative of moral obedience.
Moral or Physical Truth
Is truth a social matter or an intellectual matter, a question raised by Mortimer Adler in his book, The Great Ideas[i] – “…moral truth consists in the obligation to say what we mean. In contrast … physical truth depends not on the veracity of what we say but on the validity of what we mean.” The question is raised as a great issue, “can we know the truth,” and “how can we ever tell whether something is true (T) or false (F).” Is truth attainable? Can man perceive what is true?
From a faith based ideological position Truth herein focuses on right vs. wrong, more the moral concern than the intellectual. Right means right guided, to do that which is right in the eyes of God. Right guided is godly. Right is not to do what is right in the eyes of man UNLESS it equates to godliness. Included would be fairness, equality, respect for life, and selflessness.
Truth does not suggest socialism, the equaling or balancing of achievements through sharing. It suggests a peaceful co-existence and adjustment and recognition of the different contributions and purposes served by each individual. It is respect for achievements and differences. Jealous acts to personally adjust for perceived inadequacies or lesser accomplishments, even good or bad luck, is an abhorrent act, a remorseful acquiescence to the temptation of ‘covetness.’
Care is an issue, as the ‘haves’ (compared to the ‘have-nots’) need to, indeed, care for those less fortunate. Work, as an ethical endeavor, is encouraged, supported and required. Gainful employment and not dependency on government handouts is to be considered, and sought.
What is right is finding one’s purpose and employing skills and talents to please a power greater than any one of us.
Servitude is right, as the leader serves his constituency in the same fashion the constituency serves the leader. It is a mutual achievement society where each participant has a role to play, and the success of the endeavor is exhibited by the coordinated effort of the collective members. There will be imbalances.
What then constitutes the reward? It is in serving the higher Being, the Incomprehensible, that which is the focus of everyone’s self, the one who implanted the human ability to discern.
The outcome is not to be jealous of wealth or those earning more than another, but to be thankful for the opportunity to serve a power greater than self and contribute to society, not take from society. Many who gain wealth are jealous of those who live happy lives, comfortable lives, serving a purpose for God, filled with the love of God, not the emptiness of want. Suffering is not absent, but understood.
Christian Guide to Truth
The Christian has as a guide to Truth – the Bible. It is not, however, just for the Christian. It is for everyone. If you ignore the pathway to salvation through Christ you can still discover a book, an inspired account of how to live, how to live with others, how to live for the Most Powerful, and how to achieve peace. It is a text without deception. Its Truth cannot be refuted. It is consistent, steady, unwavering in the direction it puts forward for all to follow. It is a compass that points to the moral and ethical North. If not followed the result would cause chaos. In the chaotic state man becomes the substitute for the Most Powerful, The Absolute, The Incomprehensible Being that imparted in the human an intellect that can distinguish, knowing it can choose – one choice right, the other wrong. The man selected may be self-proclaimed as the arbiter of truth, the direction to follow. The path man establishes as the moral and ethical choice to follow will lead nowhere, at least nowhere good.
“I the Lord do not change.” – this from the Bible (Malachi 3:6). God is consistent, and speaks only the Truth. The Word spoken, the Word of God being the Bible, the Inspired Word, is True. You can count on it. That Truth provides the foundation for a moral and ethical society, from followers to leaders.
The Bible is the infallable inspired Word of God.
Islamic Guide to Truth
The Islamic pathway is distorted. It declares its Most Powerful as the Best of Deceivers. Allah can fool those He chooses to fool. If you are a Muslim, it can be you. Sura 8:30 makes clear that Allah is the best at planning in opposition to non-believers, even at deception. But that is not limited to non-believers, as Allah chooses that which he chooses, by his own standards. And Allah, and also Muhammad, are free from liability. (Sura 9:3) That goes to deception as well. Why would God deceive anyone? That can only suggest there are missteps possible when following the Scripture of Islam, the Quran. If by example one is encouraged to follow Muhammad, knowing lying (takiyya) is acceptable, what can be the possible outcome. It cannot all be Truth as then why would Allah be most capable at deceiving its followers or seek freedom from liable. Islamic Truth, which may be implied, is not God’s Truth. If the sacred book of Islam cannot be 100% Truth, as noted by its author as one most capable at fooling, then what purpose is suggested? Believers, Muslims, may be fooled, if not by Allah directly but by the authorities, the scholars, peers, family, and culture into accepting to live a life counter to what is right.
Muhammad found it difficult to convince his fellow man of his one god, Allah, proclamations when first sharing his claims in Mecca. He moved to Medina feeling persecuted. There he found violent acts helpful in convincing others of his suggested rigjhteous path. He commanded obedience and loyalty to those who joined him in raiding caravans, sharing the spoils, and doing so to build a force in the name of Muhammad’s Allah. That became the example of Truth, but man’s truth, not God’s.
“The divine intellect which is the creative cause of natural things measures the truth, as the human intellect measures the truth of artificial things,”[ii] as stated by Mortimer Adler.
The Path or Way of Truth
Whether atheist, Christian, Islamist (Muslim), or a member of other religious or ideological groups Truth is an inherent quality which can distinguish between what is right, as a moral action, and wrong. God is the primal truth. Whether one chooses to do the right thing, or finds a collective body of people in agreement suggesting then that their truth is truth, by majority, even if it is wrong-headed, then where is the world headed? The Bible is most often viewed as a religious document, designed to lead people to Christ and to become Christians. But take a step back, as did the Founders and writers of the Constitution of the United States. View the Bible as a historical document which reflects on thousands of years of history and speaks volumes on how to live, how to honor the Incomprehensible, the Absolute Power which we cannot conceive but know exists. It is without doubt a guide to a path of moral and ethical justice for all. There is no deception, no alternations for the path to be taken, and no deviation from a consistent theme that reflects the inherent mind of man as to knowledge of right and wrong. The Bible, this Word of God, is Truth. God is the Judge.
Grace and Peace.