Vol.III No.I Pg.1
February 1966

The Authority Of Truth

Robert F. Turner

Truth is, abstractly, "a conformity to fact or reality" and its authority is the authority of reality. What is, must remain in constant conflict with that which only seems or claims to be.

Other types or sources of authority, such as that of parent over the child, state over citizen, must conform to truth or "right," or face an inevitable rebellion. (Might can not make right -- a lesson all advocates of "majority rule" should remember.) (Rebellion, of itself, does not prove a thing right; but does confirm the force of conflict between truth and error. Both represent power.)

Truth does not, as error, seek to force itself upon us. It must be sought after -- freely grasped. Many never find truth for the simple reason that they are too lazy or unconcerned to seek it. But let none think respect for free-will lessens the authority of truth. Disregard it, and the consequences of error are imposed. The world is filled with confused and unhappy people who, knowingly or in ignorance, have tried to live in conflict with truth. Truth is a benevolent ruler. It frees its subjects from entangling traditions and prejudices. It opens to us the wondrous harmony of the universe; with Creator and creature, spiritual and material, each in its place. It breeds the peace of unity.

But truth exacts her price. An honest man may walk in error while he searches for truth; but once he finds it, he must change his ways or become dishonest. Truth is the boundary of research in any given field; for when truth is known, one has no further freedom there. He must be subject to that truth, or wear the cloak of hypocrisy. Truth beckons the seeker, but binds those who enter her realm.

Such sovereign authority is, in its ultimate sense, suited to God alone. Jehovah is God of truth, His word is truth (Deu. 32:4; Jno. 17:17). Respect and desire for truth leads man to God, and any other attitude is contrary to God-like-ness. The way to heaven is the Way of truth (Jno. 14:6) and woe to him who spurns Him.