During the recent Golden Globe Awards, the New York Times spotlighted sexual harassment with their “truth” ad. They acknowledge “The truth is hard.” The ads opens with the back and forth exchange of “He said” and “She said” that climaxes when “she said” rapidly fills the screen. Then the campaign’s staple “truth” lines appears, asserting, “The truth has power,” “The truth will not be threatened,” and “The truth has a voice.”
A spokesperson for the newspaper noted, “We thought that using language that has been used to silence women in the past and turning it on its head as a simple way to show the clear distinction between the way the world was a year ago and the way it is now.” When “she said” begins to fill the screen, it felt like men were in a corner needing to face the truth. Jesus said he had come to testify to the truth. Pilate asked Jesus “What is truth?”
The truth in this controversy is found in relationship with God in whose image we are created as male and female. Truth regarding sexual harassment has been apparent long before the Times began the search. Truth is what accurately conforms to reality. God the creator is the source of all truth. Exodus 34:6 tells us God is, “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.” Jesus who came from Father is, “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Jesus said of himself, “I am the way and the truth and the life” ( John 14:6). The Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth” ( John 14:17). Truth may be hard to know in ourselves, but God has revealed the truth as the triune God.
The truth about human nature is found in Scripture. Romans 1:21-22 tells us what happens to us when we leave God out of our search for what is true. “They knew all the time that there is a God, yet they refused to acknowledge him as such, or to thank him for what he is or does. Thus they became fatuous in their argumentations, and plunged their silly minds still further into the dark.” When we leave God out of our lives He gives up on us. “So God said, in effect, ‘If that’s what you want, that’s what you get” (Romans 1:24 – Message). The result, “God therefore handed them over to disgraceful passions” (Rom1:26).
So truth is hard when God hand us over to disgraceful passions. We naturally prefer illusion, a counterfeit truth. In II Thess 2:12 we read, “Since they refuse to trust truth, they’re were banished to their chosen world of lies and illusions.”
Yes, truth has power. But only God’s truth has the power to set us free. “If you hold to my teaching,” Jesus said, “you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31).
The truth can also be very threatening because it exposes our hearts. “For the Word that God speaks is alive and active; it cuts more keenly than any two-edged sword: it strike through to the place where the soul and spirit meet, to the innermost intimacies of a man’s being; it examines the very thoughts and motives of a man’s heart” ( Heb 4:12 – Phillips).
Truth has a voice, it is the voice of God, who spoke everything into being. “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth……. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded and it stood firm” (Ps 33:6&9). God says, “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word” ( Isaiah 66:3). We need to tremble at God’s word for our day.