Magazine Article

The Love Of The Truth

Truth, and the love of it--This is something we receive, something we are given, if we accept it.

Clifford Goldstein

In my early 20s (21, to be exact) it hit me that truth, absolute truth, had to exist. I mean—I existed, the sky existed, the universe existed, the ground existed. Whatever it all was—it all was, which meant that something had to explain why it all was, and that explanation, whatever it was, would be the Truth.

Now, I don’t want to use the word “sacred,” because it would imply some kind of religious component that, at least in my mind then, wasn’t there. But once I realized that truth, as in the Truth, had to exist, I felt this moral (as opposed to sacred) obligation to try to find it. I have no idea why I felt this way (so strongly, too), other than something like Truth for truth’s sake.

I wasn’t seeking hope, love, eternal life, God, divine peace, or celestial harmony, whatever. Rather, I was in a cold, rational pursuit of cold, rational truth—good, bad, hopeful, hopeless, whatever it was.

Maybe the Truth is that we were computer algorithms created by a race of aliens with powerful Macs? Maybe we’re the chance products of a cold and mindless creation that never saw us coming and cares nothing about us? Maybe a god or gods created the universe for the fun of watching humanity suffer and die? Maybe reality is someone’s or something’s dream that will vanish once whoever or whatever wakes up?

Truth, and the love of it—this is something we receive, something we are given, if we accept it.

I didn’t care. All I knew was that I wanted the Truth—even if it meant hating it.

Well, lo and behold, not only did I find the Truth (or rather, He, Jesus, “the truth” [John 14:6], found me), but Man! did it turned out to be wonderful beyond my wildest imagination. The Creator of the universe (John 1:1-3), the explanation of why it all was, loved this world so much that in the person of His Son, Jesus, He took upon Himself our humanity and at the cross bore in Himself the just punishment for the evil, sin, and outright raunchiness that each one of us has committed. And He did it so that each one of us can claim the promise of eternal life in a whole new heavens and earth.

How much better could the Truth be?

Scripture doesn’t talk much about seeking truth, an idea that seems more from Athens than Jerusalem. Instead, Paul wrote about those who will perish because they “refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thess. 2:10).

The love of the truth. Truth, and the love of it—this is something we receive, something we are given, if we accept it.

Look at the Truth, Truth we can know only because it has been revealed to us. Christ crucified, our Creator becoming our Redeemer, the one who upholds “all things by his powerful word” (Heb. 1:3), allowing Himself to be nailed to a cross in order to give us a new existence in a new creation.

Having received the Truth, how then could we not love it?

Clifford Goldstein is editor of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide. His latest book, available from Pacific Press, is Baptizing the Devil: Evolution and the Seduction of Christianity.

Clifford Goldstein