Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 28, 1971
NUMBER 36, PAGE 1-2a

The Superiority Of Truth

Vaughn D. Shofner

In our day of permissive crime, when physical danger lurks in every shadow of the city, when soul-damning influences and temptations beset us as an accepted way of life, and when the false theories of ungodly philosophies are propagated by radio, television, and even in our colleges at the expense of tax-paying Christians, it is heartening to meditate upon the truth of the Lord regarding "wars and commotion, famines and pestilences, fearful sights and great signs," and every conceivable persecution against the Christian and the establishment of order of a distant yesterday.

The comforting words of our Master promised then, and may we make application agreeable with the rights of the Christian age: "I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. . . In your patience possess ye your souls" (Luke 21:15-19).

To further encourage us to obtain and use the irresistible truth of heaven, please be reminded of its superiority when great giants of the synagogue of the Libertines arose to ridicule and pompously put to nought the preaching of Stephen, but "they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake" (Ac. 6:10). And bear in mind, Christian friend, "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Cor. 10:13).

Be persuaded, gentle friend, that truth has a light far superior to the glimmerings of error. The force of a known truth is irresistible. All the obstacles which might prevent my knowledge of a truth, that is within my capacity, cannot prevent my receiving the evidence of it, in spite of myself, at the time I give attention to it. It does not depend on me to believe, that two plus two results in the number four. Therefore, in the strictest sense, the knowledge of a truth and the belief of a truth is one and the same operation of the mind. The idea of mental liberty does not consist in believing or not believing a known truth, but it consists in giving or not giving the attention to a truth that is necessary to obtain the knowledge of that truth. Successes and failures consist in resisting or not resisting the obstacles which prevent the knowledge of truth. So, it seems that I must conclude that the force of a known truth is irresistible, and yea, verily, "If ye continue in my word... ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Jn. 8:31, 32).

It is not this way with error. Regardless of how strong may be the prejudices that plead for it, it is always possible to resist error. No person has ever been deceived in an invincible manner. There is no error in regard to which a person cannot suspend his judgment. To be sure, not all persons are able to uncover a sophism, but no person will be invincibly carried away with the evidence of it.

Attending to the truths of Christianity, the Christian therefore has superiority over the skeptic in every department of thought and action. The motives to virtue are far superior to motives of vice. Every motive to vice supposes that it is more beneficial to a person to abandon himself to vice than to cleave to virtue. But it is senseless to be led by satan into thinking that a creature can find greater happiness in rebelling against his Creator, than in submitting to his authority. Departure from the way of truth results in dissipation. Satan, in his plan of human destruction, deceives humanity into believing error, and thus dissipates and stuns mankind, dividing the capacity of mind and body, and preventing God's highest creation from gaining the knowledge of heaven's truth.

Truth opens unto seeking believers an infinite source of pleasure. As we meditate we learn, and as we learn the desire for learning increases. We behold the God of nature in harmony with the God of religion. We are delighted to always find, that, notwithstanding diversities of times, places, conditions, and characters, the inspired authors harmonize completely. But a person who has no desire to remove the obstacles in a quest for truth is a slave, and he must bow to every false notion in his refusal to make a way for truth.

The absence of truth is a way of disagreeable uncertainties. Reflections are carried about by every wind of information, and the result is a mixture of light and darkness, a contrast of certainty and doubt, infidelity and faith, skepticism and assurance, which makes one of the most dreadful conditions in which a soul can be.

Truth triumphs over error at the tribunal of skepticism itself. One single degree of probability in the system of Christianity confounds the false system of infidelity. There can be no complete satisfaction found by a man of sense, if the boasted independence of infidelity can be shown to have the least shadow of a probability of endless misery. But the person who finds the evidence of Christianity too weak to induce an intelligent person to control his passions during the momentary duration of life, this very person finds the system of infidelity so evident that it causes him to dare that eternity of misery which the truth of heaven denounces against the impenitent. What a contrast! The stubborn skeptic falls into a credulity that that would be unpardonable in a child.

These fiery globes that revolve over our heads with exact order and with great pomp and glory; that firmament which shows His handiwork; these successions of seasons; that symmetry of body; these faculties of mind; the martyrs who attested the truth; the miracles that confirmed the truth; that harmony between the prophecies and their accomplishment; all these, the skeptic pretends, cannot prove enough to engage him to pay homage to a Supreme Being. 0 Lord, pity the wretch so resolute as to reason in this manner!

Gentle reader, we must conclude that truth in general, and the truths of Holy Writ in particular, are superior to error, and the knowledge of which can render us invulnerable to all the attacks of satan. The truth will steady our frail barks while sailing over the tempestuous sea of time, and enable us to outride all the storms of life. Truth suspends a cable of hope from earth to heaven, and can keep us in constant preparation to enter willingly, peacefully into "that country from whose borne no traveler returns." 0 mortal man, to live without it is blind infatuation, and to die without it is eternal ruin!

— 5701 Avenue C, Little Rock, Arkansas