Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Education and Truth

Down through history, truthful education of the masses has been the bane of some ruling powers. Although you might think of even an earlier example, one of the earliest I can remember is the Catholic Church and its oppression, suppression of truth and knowledge from the public. Martin Luther (founder of the Lutheran church) is prominent in my mind because I just finished watching a BBC YouTube video about him. But there were others. It is interesting that for the most part it was the educated clergy themselves that recognized and exposed the Catholic Church for its evils. It wasn’t long before the suppression of how the Bible condemns the practices of the complicit clergy came bursting onto the scene. Even though the Catholic Church attempted to prevent the Bible being printed in the common, native tongues of the peoples, thankfully they failed.

Even today there are tyrannical governments that want to control the flow of information. Sadly, it appears that truth is being suppressed even in what was once thought of as the custodian of truth, justice, and freedom. This however has not stopped those who readily recognize falsehood, no matter how many try to becloud it with “alternate facts” and “personal realities.” But why keep the general populous ignorant? The reason is simple, control. When people are allowed to learn and begin to think, they can see things more clearly – which may not align with what the ruling power wants them to believe.

But some may charge even the God of the Bible with suppressing knowledge. They cite the phrase “you must not learn,” but they fail to read the context. Deuteronomy 18:9-12 gives the noble reason for the injunction. Jehovah was aiming to keep his people and his worship elevated above the debased practices of the people around them. Like a father that would want to raise his children to live honorable and responsible lives, Jehovah was aiming to accomplish the same. Cautioning against morally bankrupt ways of life is something we would expect from a loving parent. So far from this false charge against the Bible, education in every aspect of life was encouraged.

But getting back to the discussion of oppressive rulerships (be they secular or religious), one result was an extreme swing of the pendulum to the opposite side. Now, some take whatever measure of freedom of speech they have and decide to attack the Bible, even in the most flippant, disrespectful ways possible, covering it up as mere humor. One such article I read (and no, I won’t give the link) characterized God as a “jerk” and gave as one of several examples the direction God gave Ezekiel to cook his food on dung. As expected, the writer made no attempt to explain the real situation –showing how biased the writer was. He didn’t mention that as a prophet to the people, Ezekiel was to demonstrate through a very strong object lesson, that their continued disobedience to God would result in being taken captive. Milder notices had dropped on deaf ears. This was one final push. As cruel as it sounds, it may be likened to the parent that repeatedly warns that touching the stove is dangerous. Finally, in desperation, the parent allows the child to learn through the stark object lesson of getting burned. Ezekiel was illustrating that the disobedient Israelites would experience a prolonged siege that would cause such dire situations that people would indeed resort to using their dung as fuel and other things most people would consider too graphic to want to hear. In fact, the nation didn’t heed the warning and did suffer a humiliating defeat. This was not God’s fault. It was the people’s fault for not listening. Even with graphic illustrations, the people refused to change their ways. (They were even more stupid than the kid that insisted on touching the stove. Usually after one time, the child learns their lesson.)

Truth in information requires an objective, careful consideration of all sides of a matter. Sadly, we seem to be going through another period in human history where truth is skewed, twisted, convoluted and perverted. It shouldn’t surprise those who do believe in the Bible. Satan the devil is spoken of as the father of the lie and the ruler of this world. True to his character, he has told half-truths throughout mankind’s history. In stark contrast, God has always been truthful with mankind. Indeed, he cannot lie.

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