What is truth? In a relativistic era, the question of truth ought to be one of the hottest topics. One reason that lies, half-truths, paltering, misdirection, and deception have occurred so often on the full spectrum of human existence – including, but not limited to housing and the American Dream – is because many have incorrectly been taught to think that we can each make up ‘our own truth.’ While taste is a subjective (personal) decision, truth is objective. Oxford Languages defines truth as: “that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.” For example. The truth is that in math, 2 + 2 is always equal to 4. In science, the truth about the laws of physics – such as gravity – are studied. Due to the common belief in relativism, one can imagine someone saying, ‘Baloney! Gravity is a myth! I don’t believe in gravity!’ Believe in gravity or not, the truth about gravity doesn’t change due to someone’s mistaken opinion. Step off a high cliff or a tall building without safety gear, like a parachute, someone who claims there is no gravity will learn the truth the hard way.
Similar to possible examples from math or science, there are religious, spiritual, and philosophical truths. As this is being written, we could imagine someone in Los Angeles (or anywhere else) who may be in a drug and/or alcohol induced stupor. They may suddenly imagine some ‘new religion,’ thinking some ‘new truth,’ and they may ‘believe’ in that imagined faith system. Reason, evidence, and experience are guides. There are thousands of years of human knowledge and human experiences that if they are objectively considered could in short order disprove several aspects of this new imaginary ‘religion.’ As an old song goes, “give me that old time religion,” because centuries of human existence have been shaped by them.
In thousands of churches, and untold numbers of homes where people open their Bible and begin to read the gospel accounts for this commemoration of time in human history, one might read or hear the following.
37“Then You are a king!” Pilate said. “You say that I am a king,” Jesus answered. “For this reason I was born and have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My voice.”38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. And having said this, he went out again to the Jews and told them, “I find no basis for a charge against Him. 39But it is your custom that I release to you one prisoner at the Passover. So then, do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”… (John 18:37-39 per Bible Hub). For nearly 2000 years, Christians have celebrated the commemoration of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. As this passage from the Gospel of John reminds us, these events occurred at the time of the Jewish feast of the Passover. According to Wikipedia: “Passover, also called Pesach (/?p?s??x, ?pe?-/; Biblical Hebrew: ??? ???????? ?ag hapPesa?), is a major Jewish holiday that celebrates the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt,”
Note that Jesus equated himself and his teaching with “the truth.” Not some vague emotion, but with reality. Note too that Pilate played the role of skeptic when he mockingly asked, “What is truth?” Romans believed in many gods and ruled over lands that had often conflicting beliefs. In a sense, the ancient Mediterranean world of Pilate’s and Jesus’ time have some similarities with our own relativistic era where people think that they can ‘pick’ their own truth. Sorry, reality is whatever it is. Truth is objective, and beyond subjective taste, truth is reality.
The Battle Between Good And Evil
As someone who has studied history most of my life, and who has earned several awards in history, much of human history could be described as a struggle of one group trying to control, manipulate, enslave, or oppress another.
The passage from the Gospel of John, chapter 18 verses 37-39, mentions Passover. The Jews voluntarily went to Egypt, due to a famine. While there, they became enslaved. It took some 450 years before God intervened, inspiring Moses and Aaron to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, “that land of slavery.”
In Joshua 24:17 [NIV]: “It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.”
Slavery, indentured servitude, and serfdom are a demonstrably global phenomenon, not just something that occurred in the USA before it was ended by abolitionists who worked and fought for years to see it ended. The Civil War ended legal and institutional slavery in America. Much is misunderstood about this topic. The map below indicates what year slavery ended in various parts of the world. But sadly, slavery still exists in places like Communist China, where Uyghur Muslims are working to make products for others in slave-like conditions.
But let’s get back to the battle over truth and reality. After the declaration of COVID19 being a ‘pandemic’ churches, synagogues, and houses of worship were often closed. Attendance at religious events has obviously declined as a result. The ‘habit’ of religious practices has been disrupted. Does that mean that the lessons or truths of faith aren’t true? Hardly.
In 2017 the documentary drama called “The Case for Christ” recounted the path of a former atheist who denied the realities and evidence for the Christian faith. As the Conversation said in a review at the time, “In 1998, Lee Strobel, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and a graduate of Yale Law School, published “The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus.” Strobel had formerly been an atheist and was compelled by his wife’s conversion to evangelical Christianity to refute the key Christian claims about Jesus.
The Conversation goes on to note that “As one character says to Strobel early in the movie, “If the resurrection of Jesus didn’t happen, it’s [i.e., the Christian faith] a house of cards.”” The author of that column, Beth Daley attempts to debunk Strobel in part by citing his reply to her email. “In an email reply to my question about whether most professional biblical scholars would find his arguments for the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection to be persuasive, Strobel said, “As you know, there are plenty of credentialed scholars who would agree that the evidence for the resurrection is sufficient to establish its historicity. Moreover, Dr. Gary Habermas has built a persuasive “minimal facts” case for the resurrection that only uses evidence that virtually all scholars would concede. In the end, though, each person must reach his or her own verdict in the case for Christ. Many things influence how someone views the evidence – including, for instance, whether he or she has an anti-supernatural bias.””
In a similar sounding, but distinctive and earlier documentary video (2007), is available on IMDb. Here was a posted description: “The Case for Christ’s Resurrection” investigates the historical record, draws upon medical knowledge, searches for evidence in the lives of the Apostles, explores ancient Jewish burial customs, and, with new scientific technologies, examines the 2000 year old burial cloth of Christ. For the first time through physics and space-age imaging, scientist are able to view the crucified body of Christ in a three-dimensional, holographic image. Learn what scientists have discovered. Your faith will be strengthened.” Experts, including scientists, a medical doctor, historians, and others answer the tough questions that Daley apparently ignored in her critique.
Obviously, this matters at this time of year when Passover, Holy Week, and Easter are celebrated by a couple of billion people worldwide. For those who watch the just under an hour documentary above, they may wonder: why haven’t I seen such information before? A fair question.
The answer sheds light on the battle over the American Dream. George Washington and numbers of the founders were believers. They believed that faith was an essential element for American society. While they didn’t impose a particular religious belief on the U.S.A., they did protect religious liberty. Why? Because Washington and others thought that the morality that comes from authentic faith (vs. ersatz or artificial faith) are key elements for a successful society. Here is how Washington framed it in his farewell address.
On the Tampa Free Press (TampaFP), a periodic series of fact- and evidence-packed op-eds have been, and are being, published. They were contributed by this author. They are deeper dives into the battle over the American Dream, including affordable home ownership.
As one of the pull quotes reveals, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has two of their own researchers who published a stunning and underreported factoid. On 9.7.2021, Pamela Blumenthal and Regina Gray, HUD Policy and Development Research (HUD PD&R) associates, wrote the following. “Without significant new supply, cost burdens are likely to increase as current home prices reach all-time highs, with the median home sales price reaching nearly $375,000 by July 2021.” Based on the law of supply and demand, that is quite so.
Blumenthal and Gray continued: “The regulatory environment — federal, state, and local — that contributes to the extensive mismatch between supply and need has worsened over time. Federally sponsored commissions, task forces, and councils under both Democratic and Republican administrations have examined the effects of land use regulations on affordable housing for more than 50 years. Numerous studies find land use regulations that limit the number of new units that can be built or impose significant costs on development through fees and long approval processes drive up housing costs. Research indicates higher housing costs also drive up program costs for federal assistance, reducing the funds available to serve additional households.”
Some months before they published that, MHLivingNews published similar information, which also used HUD research, but other sources too. It came to a similar conclusion. Namely, that despite the political party, the affordable housing crisis has overall worsened, even though knowledge of the solution was apparent.
It almost sounds too outrageous for many to believe. But the federal government’s own researchers have said that the government has failed to solve a problem that government at federal, state, and local levels themselves created by problematic policies. Meanwhile, some get wealthier based on policies that are barring millions from their part of the American Dream.
What is the common thread? Truth and the need to seek and find it. Truth about religious and philosophical topics. Truth about housing. Truth about politics. Then, once the truth is understood, the proper action in keeping with what is true should follow the evidence of truth.
A person doesn’t have to be a perfect Christian in order to be inspired to respond to the grace that God gives to those who seek the truth. Learn more at the articles linked above and below.
Until next time, happy Passover, Triduum, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday to all! Because only the truth understood and lived will set us free. ##
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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
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