Vision & Values
by James Thrasher for The Center for Vision and Values
“Want to buy a new car with bad credit? No problem. Come into our dealership and we will get you approved – guaranteed! You will be pre-approved in two minutes – 100% are accepted. You will not be denied, no matter your circumstances. Don’t get unnecessarily hassled by other dealers, you deserve a new ride.”
Really? Have you pondered what these commercials are communicating? Stand back and consider for a moment this scenario. A car sales manager I recently spoke to described the “normal” customer as a person who is in debt up to their eyeballs with an abysmal credit history, and they present themselves as a significant risk for any major purchase or loan. With full knowledge of these facts, this sales manager will always say, “You will be approved no matter what.”
Do the basic math and consider historical loan approval criteria. This universal financial decision to approve these loans is sheer lunacy and fantasyland. Truth and reality, have they gone away?
People seeking elective office over the years have evaded and redirected questions from the press when pressured on controversial issues. But today many politicians knowingly, unabashedly, and blatantly lie. They do not care about the legitimacy of what they are saying. Relativism and pragmatism reign. They state whatever they believe is necessary to expediently achieve their carnally minded and self-aggrandizing goals. Truth and reality, have they gone away?
Most journalists in the media seem to ignore the facts and create and advance myths and fables. They have become propaganda machines, paying little attention to what is actually the case. Objectivity, in the sense of reporting at least the actual particulars of an event or words of an individual, has gone out the window. Advancing agendas through promoting concocted rumors and unsubstantiated allegations is the rule of the day. Trying to discern the validity of what seem to be fabricated and manipulated news stories is becoming more and more difficult. Truth and reality, have they gone away?
The Scriptures tell us that man has a primary calling, which has two parts: to know and love God and His truth and to love our neighbor. When one substitutes man for God, confusion and a re-defining of truth pervades life.
I often say to my students that all of life comes down to your view of God and man. This is not some high-brow theological statement; it is an extremely practical reality for each of us. When man storms God’s proper place in our lives and culture, our lives are upended, and God’s design is vexed.
Many Americans have claimed their own self-determined truth. When God is replaced in our own minds and hearts with bogus imposters, there is a disintegration and distortion of all that is true. As a nation, we have turned our backs on God by believing that we know better than Him and are the master of our own destiny, and we claim to be our own lord and savior. What we see all around us is the consequence of this infidelity, blindness, defiance, and unfaithfulness.
The good news is that the truth, given to us by God, has stood as a beacon of light throughout history, and it will never change. This God-given truth has not gone away. God is on His throne directing the future of the nations and the world. God’s truth continues to be absolutely and independently true despite the nation’s chaos regarding its current concept of reality.
God has created and designed us and has entrusted the Scriptures to us, the owner’s manual for life, for our benefit. With the rejection of His truth, we receive the just result of our pride – a false, empty, and dangerous perspective, and disorder and lawlessness.
What is needed is a spiritual revival, to restore the Lord to His proper place in every aspect of life. Only then will we have a correct interpretive lens, the truth, through which to look, to stand for and to do what is right, to embrace selfless priorities, and to pursue a right-minded and purposeful life.
Jim Thrasher is Senior Fellow of Grove City College’s career services office and coordinator of Institute for Faith & Freedom’s working group on calling.