Country singer Leann Rimes has a new tattoo. This one, in small letters on the underside of her forearm, says (in cursive) “god’s work.”
Tattoos aren’t exactly newsworthy. The folderol is about the design: “God” is supposed to begin with a capital letter. That’s what some of her fans are upset about, and their angst is the news.
What caught my attention was the reply of one of her defenders. It went like this: “Some are pointing out to LeAnn that God is spelled with a capital G, not a small g. Although there is one Truth, remember everyone’s interpretation of the truth is different. In everyone’s mind theirs is the real truth. That’s how the brain works. We connect to information that makes us feel good, and it is assimilated into our belief system.”
I’m not concerned about Leann’s tattoo, its existence, size or case (do keep in mind that such conventions as “case” did not exist in Jesus’ day). I am concerned that while some folks are willing to acknowledge “one Truth,” they believe that whatever one thinks about that truth is equally “truth” simply because they “think it” — and it makes them “feel good.”
If you acknowledge a truth, but believe it to be false because your interpretation contradicts it, or because it makes you feel bad, it’s still truth! And what you believe is false.
First John was written to Christians whose long held beliefs were being challenged by a new teaching, supposedly led by the Holy Spirit. John counters it, denies it is of the Spirit and writes, in essence, ‘if you believe this new stuff, and follow it, you are believing a lie, walking in the dark, and you’ve left the fellowship of God and his people.” John didn’t mince words.
Truth exists, and we need to be on the right side of it. Anything to the contrary, John writes, is really idolatry.