Some things require no verification other than themselves.

The Declaration of Independence begins with the assertions that there are self-evident truths and that these verities are universally accepted. The assumption is that certain beliefs are not connected to a particular human system because they need not be taught. They are self-evident.

To the writers, apparent truths were not presumptive- they were certainties which brooked no denials. Values did not need clarification to their minds, at least not in wearying degree. Virtues required acceptance, and civil societies gave nodding consent.

To be honest, “civil society” is loaded terminology and a matter of definition. However, certain issues are and have been considered matters of goodness for millennia though applications vary. It is painfully obvious that life is meant to be lived on certain terms regardless of particular ideology. That’s the idea behind “these” truths.

In a former day (more so than today), a thing was not meritorious because it was effective; it was meritorious because it was right.

The objection may be made that the generation of over two hundred years past accepted glaring deficits in morality. This is undoubtedly and always true of every age. It may be the reason that few inalienable rights were originally listed, and the error by which many are being so deemed at current. The idea that certain principles are the core of existence, behavior and goodness holds.

It is possible to be blind to things apparent, miss available information or misinterpret understood facts. Ethical blindness is more common than the physical, and personal opinions do not change the nature of universal truth.

While it may be difficult to assign true faith to all our nation’s founders and writers of our governing documents, it is not in question that they were guided by a general belief in the providence of God. The truths they referenced as obvious were based on their understandings of His governance above their own. These were general points of agreement though the particulars were not matters of consensus.

The Bible gives insights on the nature of truth leading to basic concepts of divinity.

Paul tells us in Romans 1:20 that the invisible qualities of God are clearly seen through creation. In other words, they are self-evident. This does not mean that a person can understand every aspect of faith or salvation through nature, but they can grasp certain concepts of God through observation of the created order. These things of God are “clearly seen,” in other words, they require no validation other than themselves. Failures in comprehension are due to the fallen nature and not excuses in the sight of God. Truth is not subject to opinion.

A pluralistic society such as our own is tolerant of differing viewpoints. This matter of functionality has nothing to do with truth. Paul stated that personal acceptance of the revealed truths of God did not determine their legitimacy. In other words, truth need not be ratified to be right and real. God is true though every person be a liar. Take that popular vote.

The age of reason is not the enemy of faith nor is the scientific study of our world. Both are signposts directing us to the constant Creator.

Sterl

I am a Christ-follower, husband, father, grandfather, pastor and therapist. Join me on a journey of faith for our times.