By Sandy Shaw
Error will take the finest words with which to camouflage its poison - for example take the name "Jehovah Witnesses" - who take the sacred unpronounceable Name of God for those who are Hebrews and Jews - and the word used by Jesus to describe His true disciples. Now that is what error will do. That is what religion can do!
On the other hand truth is the actual state of affairs - as contrasted with rumour, myth, or false report. Truth fits every situation - it is always right to speak the truth - to tell the actual state of affairs.
We are inclined to favour our opinions at times - or deviate from the actual truth - sometimes because of pride.
In the light of the Word of God we have to ask at times - Is that the actual state of affairs? Or is it a rumour? Or is it a false report? We cannot afford to base our lives upon a rumour - a myth - or something that is false.
It may not always be easy to get at the truth - to arrive at the facts - but get at them nevertheless. Then we will be free from the corrosion of rumour and false report.
How many friendships are ruined by rumour - or false reports? We really need to call them what they are - lies.
That is why when you hear something that you wonder about or question - investigate it - truth is a fact - truth is the actual state of affairs - and can stand any questioning or investigation.
The Word of God lays down commandments and laws and standards and rules and principles, which are facts.
Fable is a Bible word - a fable is a fictitious narrative. A fable is a story not founded on facts. It is something invented or developed by the imagination - a myth or a legend. Fable or myth - MUTHOS - is used five times in the New Testament - four times in the pastoral epistles - Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus.
I Timothy Chapter 1 verse 4 - myth - legend - tale. Do read the text and check it out.
When your heart is not committed to the truth, you are open to MUTHOS to myths. You are curious. Have a right holy heart. These people we read had swerved away from the truth - verse 6.
We are always being faced with this. "Do something to receive attention." Jesus was once tempted by the enemy to go to the highest pinnacle of the Temple in jerusalem and jump off, only to be rescued by angels and kept safe from harm. But Jesus Christ would not become some kind of circus act. Nor would He allow Himself to be dictated to by the devil.
Truth brings ordered living - and does not make you a spectacular exhibitionist. Truth makes one more like Jesus. Truth brings orderliness and helps us to fit into the body of Christ.
Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.
His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.