What is Truth?
by Rev. G. A. Kratzer
To answer Pilate’s famous question, “What is truth?” we need to recognize the difference between what appears to be true and what really is true. Jesus showed this necessity when he said, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” The material senses judge appearances, but spiritual discernment alone judges what is true.
Appearances change, but God and His works never change. “I am the Lord, I change not.” “The works were finished from the foundation of the world.” What appears to the physical senses is not the truth. The truth is a statement of the eternal realities of being; it is not one thing today and another thing tomorrow.
If a schoolboy believes that three times four equals fifteen, this error in his thinking can be overcome and destroyed by the truth that three time four equals twelve. The truth may have to be asserted and illustrated many times, but finally the boy drops the error and forgets it. “Three times four equals fifteen” never had even the appearance of reality, except in the boy’s false sense; and when the truth destroys it there, it has not even the appearance of reality anywhere.
In the same way, the truth is used to correct and destroy error, sin, or sickness in the thought of mankind. Sometimes the truth has to be illustrated, realized, and affirmed many times to destroy the error; but sooner or later, it does so. Then the error of sin or sickness passes out of thought, and gradually passes out of memory, and no longer has even the appearance of reality. Christian Science agrees with Paul: “The things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
In common thought, the way things appear is considered to be truth. But Christian Science teaches that if appearances are unlike the divine nature, God didn’t make them, and they are neither true nor real. The eternal truth of God, held clearly and strongly in consciousness, is the one thing that can cure sickness and sin.
Jesus said to the woman at the well that “God is a Spirit,” and John declares that “God is Love.” A God who is Spirit would necessarily create a universe like unto himself; that is to say, spiritual and not material. Spirit could not create its opposite, matter, any more than light could create darkness. A God who is Love would necessarily create a universe good and harmonious in all its parts. Love, good, could not create its opposite, evil. A God who is Love could not create sin, disease, death, hatred, envy, revenge, or any kind of discord. So we can always take our stand on the basis of divine Truth and deny any form of sin, disease, or mental disharmony. This knowledge of Truth and denial of error will, according to the clearness and intensity of our realization, destroy every discordant condition.
It’s also important to remember that there is not one kind of existence which is true or real, and another which is false or unreal. There is only one kind of existence; that is, God, Spirit, and His spiritual creation. People talk about the spiritual universe and the material universe as though there were two, different and separate. However, there is but one universe, which is spiritual.
Paul says, “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” He sums up the whole matter when he urges us to be not conformed to this world (the evidence of the physical senses), but to be transformed by the renewing of the mind (accepting and assimilating metaphysical or spiritual truth instead of the testimony of the senses), that we may prove (by destroying sin and healing sickness) what is that perfect and acceptable will of God.
The fact is that sense testimony as to disease and sin can be denied, and its seeming power canceled by the acceptance of the truth as taught in Christian Science. Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Jesus himself used his knowledge of Truth to correct the sense testimony of thousands, healing them of all manner of disease and sin. He left a command for his disciples in all ages to preach the gospel and heal the sick, saying, “The works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.”