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Dear Rihanna: 'Your Truth' Won't Set You Free

Dear Rihanna: 'Your Truth' Won't Set You Free


Feb 11 2013
Our individual exceptionalism has theological consequences.

No matter the form, whether it is "my truth" or "God wants this for me," both phrases contribute to a dangerous self-deception that is rooted in two mistaken views of humanity.

They represent a flawed understanding of human uniqueness.

On the subject of human uniqueness, Scripture presents us with an interesting tension. On the one hand, we are diverse. Each person is created to serve the larger whole in a unique way (1 Cor. 12). This diversity not only ensures our interdependence upon one another, but also reflects the infinite God we serve.

On the other hand, we humans have a lot in common: we all bear the image of God, we all have the same fallen nature, and we all need reconciliation with God through Christ. Our commonalities are further evidenced by the universal authority of Scripture. The Bible, in its entirety, applies to each person's life, in his or her entirety.

Proverbs 7 reminds us of the limitations of claiming our individual exceptionalism. In this passage, a young man visits a prostitute, believing his special circumstances will spare him the consequences of his sin, but Solomon sees things differently. In verses 26-27 he warns the young man that his unique path is instead a highway of the many: "Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng."

Similarly, the unique path of the individual who follows "her truth" is not unique at all. Like the many fools who went before her, her path is a highway to folly.

They underestimate the depravity of the human soul.

Jeremiah 17:9 warns, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" These are strong words, and they are affirmed elsewhere in Scripture. Although the Holy Spirit restores our mental and spiritual capacities, thereby allowing us to discern truth, we only see "through a glass darkly" (1 Cor. 13:12).

Our depravity is real, it is dark, and it is deadly. For this reason, we desperately need God's Word and God's Church. Both forms of accountability prevent us from following our hearts in error. Without them, we are vulnerable to all sorts of self-deception and false truths.

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