The Central Truth | Part IV

If you think we’re getting ready to talk about religion, you’re not wrong, but there’s a purely pragmatic element here that often gets overlooked because of the way it tends to reveal the unsustainable and nonsensical paradigm represented by those who want to perceive themselves as their own absolute.


If you’re right to be happy includes your having the authority to define the difference between right and wrong, in order for that to work, you have to extend that same privilege to everybody else. This is part of the reason why Moral Relativism is regarded as a self-defeating axiom because if everyone is entitled to their opinion, that means that everyone is right all the time, including the one who is being critical of you.

I’m Not Hurting Anybody…

The Gay Activist says that they’re not hurting anybody when, in fact, they’re hurting everybody by virtue of the way their lifestyle constitutes an assault on the institution of the family as God created it.

Those who subscribe to the Pro Choice school of thought have a hard time maintaining their position when confronted by an adult who could’ve been aborted but wasn’t and, as a result, was able to live a healthy and happy life and even have children of their own.

Of course that wouldn’t have happened had they been killed in their mother’s womb.

Do you smell what we’re cooking, here?

If someone says that truth is relative, than that very statement is relative and therefore cancels itself out. That’s why if you insist on believing that everyone is entitled to their opinion – that there no definitive “right” or “wrong” – then it becomes logically impossible to protest the way in which another person condemns your rationale.

This is what happens when you reduce principles to preferences in that you you cannot logically dispute the actions or attitudes of another person as long as the only thing that governs their behavior is their personal opinion which cannot be questioned.

And attempting to circumvent the obvious problems represented by the possibility of something heinous being labeled as acceptable by establishing certain situations as “obvious” moral boundaries doesn’t work either.

For example, insisting that, “As long as you’re not hurting anybody,” provides the necessary community framework that allows for all of its members to peacefully coexist fails the moment a person feels like they can justify whatever pain is being experienced by another provided the outcome is perceived as a positive.

“Pain” becomes a very subjective thing when weighed against what can be gained in the mind of someone who’s main priority is themselves. But even if you bristle at the thought of being referred to as “selfish,” as someone who either maintains themselves as their own bottom line or denies the existence of any kind of moral absolute, you can’t object to however you might be labeled without invoking a standard of behavior that, according to you, cannot exist because, again, if everyone is entitled to their opinion, then there is no universal rule, there is no standard, only the mindset of the individual which is, by default, neither noble nor sinister.

Dr Maarten Boudry is a Dutch-speaking Belgian philosopher and skeptic. He has been a researcher and teaching member of the Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences at Ghent University since 2006. To date, he has published over 30 articles in various philosophy of science journals. He had this to say about Moral Relativism in his article, “Why Relativism is the Worst Idea Ever…

As anyone with two neurons to rub together can see, the thesis is self-defeating. If it’s ‘true’ that truth is relative, then the assertion itself is also relative and cancels itself out. Relativism about what is morally right and wrong less obviously defeats itself, since it is not entirely clear if the claim that “moral standards are relative” is itself a moral claim. But in practice, moral relativism is an equally self-defeating position. For instance, moral relativists will typically condemn the belief in universal moral standards as a form of ‘cultural imperialism’, the implicit assumption being that cultural imperialism is bad. But if moral standards are relative, then so is the claim that cultural imperialism is reprehensible. In any rational discussion, relativism is the intellectual equivalent of ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’, the deterrent used by nuclear superpowers during the Cold War. Pressing the red button will destroy your enemy, but ensure your own destruction as well.

You can’t be criticized but neither can you be critical of others. In other words, your dominion over all things moral works as long as you’re surrounded by people who agree with you and are willing to concede that you’re the only one allowed to be right all the time. However ludicrous that sounds, it is nevertheless what ultimately results when there is no absolute and every viewpoint therefore has to be accepted as a valid perspective.


Another reason why any attempt to justify one’s behavior by suggesting that there is no “right” or “wrong” is because if you extend that line of reasoning to its inevitable conclusion, then even the most heinous crime and the most horrific miscarriage of justice both have to be condoned as agreeable.

Dr Boudry uses an illustration referenced by Andy Norman in his book, “Mental Immunity” that describes bad ideas as “mind parasites.” He says…

Just like biological parasites can invade our bodies and make us sick, mind parasites can infect our minds and make us stupid. From that immunological perspective, relativism is a major disruptor of our mental immune system. Objective standards of right and wrong are our main defenses against bad ideas. If we lose those standards, then anything goes. By disabling our natural immunity, relativism makes us vulnerable to a whole host of bad ideas (because who’s to say that an idea is really bad?) and prevents us from picking up good ones (because why learn anything new if it’s all relative anyway?). It is also corrosive to our social norms, because it undermines the very notion that we are accountable for our beliefs and behaviors, and that we need to be able to justify them if it’s  challenged.

 In that sense, relativism is not just some bad idea, but the mother lode of bad ideas. It’s about time we stamp it out.
Why Relativism is the Worst Idea Ever)

If there is no standard, then there is no law. Every moral issue is now reduced to a purely mechanical response that can neither be questioned let alone criticized because there is no objective guideline to gauge its merit, only the subjective filter of the individual at that moment.

As Dr Boudry pointed out, we are accountable for our beliefs and we need to be able to justify them. We also need to be able to recognize bad ideas before they’re allowed to metastasize into something that damages both ourselves and our community.

But none of that is possible apart from a standard that transcends personal preferences and can be used to measure the moral substance of any given behavior. Without that barometer, evil can be packaged in any one of a number of plausible sounding containers and made to sound sensible, fair, scientific and even enlightened.

But where does that standard come from?

Who makes the rules?

There Are Only Two Options

While up to this point the tenor of the conversation has been tuned to the pitch of a pragmatic philosophy, it’s here where we’re logically obligated to acknowledge the fact that there’s only so many ways in which you can build the scales you use to test and define the moral content of a particular behavior or thought process.

In fact, there’s only two.

Either God is God, or you are.

However you want to regulate “religion” to something that has no place or application to the way in which you process morals or politics, you cannot discuss anything that can be perceived as either “right” or “wrong” without implying a certain standard.

That standard is based on the way in which you answer four questions:

  • How did I get here?
  • What happens when I die?
  • How am I supposed to behave?
  • What’s the point of my existence?

The way in which you answer these four questions constitute the basis for your spiritual framework. From that perspective, atheism is just as much of a “religion” as Christianity or Islam in that from a purely practical standpoint, regardless of how you answer these questions, the way in which you respond to these questions indicates who you regard as your Absolute: Either God or yourself.

Every religion on the planet empowers the individual with the ability to facilitate his own salvation. As a Muslim, you have the option of Jihad, as a Buddhist you have the pursuit of Nirvana or as a Hindu, you have Moksha.  And while an atheist may not subscribe to the idea of needing to be redeemed per se, the reason they don’t is because they cast the final vote as to what they will admit to being good and acceptable and therefore do not need to be forgiven let alone evaluated. Every other doctrine, save what’s represented by the gospel, positions the individual as the one who can either achieve their own redemption or define the terms that makes the need to be redeemed a moot point.

You are your own deity.

Christianity, on the other hand, posits the idea that you are a spiritual corpse and the salvation that God offers is made available in the only way that it could be offered given your being utterly incapable, undeserving and destitute:

As a gift (Eph 2:8-9).

It’s by God’s grace alone that a person can attain the standard required in order to rise above his humanity and enjoy a relationship with His Judge, His Lawgiver and His King (Is 33:22).

The Declaration of Independence

This was the prevailing school of thought that characterized our Founding Fathers approach to government and the philosophical essence of a human being. This was our corporate, metaphysical ground-zero and in that regard, our nation was never an advocate of the contemporary usage of the term “separation of church and state.” Rather, it was the foundation of the “church” and the Christian creed that gave form and substance to the state that would go on to be a beacon of freedom and opportunity for the entire planet.

It’s also why a citizen of this country can confidently assert their “rights” as a collection of entitlements that cannot be altered or denied by any human agency because of they way they are rooted in the Wisdom and Character of the Supreme Judge of the world.

You see that reflected in the verbiage used in the Declaration of Independence:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

When we made our case to King George, we began by establishing our resolve to be independent had as its basis a Divine Truth and not just a reasonable perspective. It was our appeal to Scripture that gave our platform the substance it required in order to qualify as a legitimate cause rather than just a noble complaint. And while some want to dismiss the influence of Scripture on the Second Continental Congress and claim that any reference to Providence was nothing more than a token courtesy, they ignore the spiritual composition of those delegates who fixed their signature to a document that represented certain death as they were committing high treason by signing it.

Sexual Freedom is a Human Right…?
From – “Sexual freedom is a human right. It means having the freedom to define, explore and experience your own sexuality as you want, without fear of repression or violence.”

Bottom Line

Bottom line: When defining the Central Truth, any aspect that qualifies as a moral element has to be based on a Biblical Standard if it is to stand up beneath the weight of objective scrutiny.

Moral Relativism fails to provide a coherent and consistent basis for any kind of a logical definition of morals because of the way it contradicts itself. Given the way all religious, including atheism, promote the individual as both the cause and the remedy for his human shortcomings, the Christian faith is not only a standout, it’s the only creed that qualifies as a rational reply to the questions pertaining to our behavior and destiny in that it doesn’t attempt to assert the weakness of our humanity as the foundation for our existence.

And while Christianity does provide the necessary philosophical stability required for a successful system of government and a fulfilling life, it’s also why a Homosexual or a Pro Choice advocate cannot validate their platform as being a morally acceptable choice by attempting to frame it as a “right.” If the Foundation upon which they base their legal argument condemns the very behavior they’re seeking to justify, while they may have the right to rebel, they cannot use an indictment as an endorsement.

Separation of Church and State

The thing that drove the First Amendment was not the elimination of God from the marketplace, but to prevent the government from creating laws that favored certain denominations.

The Mayflower Compact gave local officials the legal ability to promote church attendance. The Massachusetts Bay Colony used government taxes to support local congregations and in some colonies, you couldn’t hold public office without being able to demonstrate that you were a member of a particular denomination.

It wasn’t the acknowledgement of God that was sanctioned, it was the manner in which you were obligated to support a specific denomination that inspired the first article in the Bill of Rights.

Our government is not based on a Christian “tradition.” The very word, “tradition” implies the non-existence of a Divine Absolute, only the nostalgic preferences of the individual. It’s based on the Truth of God’s Word. And when someone wants to try and undermine the spiritual foundation upon which our country is built by invoking the idea of the “separation of church and state,” they’re overlooking the way the First Amendment was designed to prevent the government from dictating a particular denomination and not the elimination of God from the marketplace in general.

And when you hear, “Well, that’s your opinion,” or “You can’t judge me” or “Not everyone believes the way you do,” they’re asserting the idea that because everyone can be their own moral authority, they are therefore ranked as a respectable character and cannot be criticized.

And yet…

If those who differ are also entitled to their opinion and they cannot be judged for whatever point of view they maintain because there is no “right” or “wrong” – only the perpetual myth that there are no incorrect answers, only multiple perspectives – then they can’t dispute whatever criticism might be leveled at them without violating their own personal paradigm.

And that doesn’t work.

In Conclusion

  • You have to ask the right questions in order to make the right decisions…
  • …and you have to make the right decisions in order to do the right thing…
  • …and the the right thing is going to be defined by the Central Truth – the goal that when realized results in you doing the right thing at the right time in the right way for all the right reasons.

By rightly identifying the Central Truth, you’re able to prevent seemingly crucial elements from compromising that which is most important.

To do that, especially when there’s a moral aspect involved, you need more than a spreadsheet and a subject matter expert. You need a Standard and a Wisdom that goes beyond what the human dynamic is capable of manufacturing. Otherwise, you wind up catering more to goalposts that fail (Prov 14:12; Matt 7:13-14 [Jn 10:7-9]) as opposed to guidelines that succeed (Josh 1:8; Ps 1; Matt 6:33).

And it’s here where you have to ask, “Who makes the Rules?”

And that really is the starting point for this whole process. The way you view yourself and the world around you has as it’s starting point who you regard as the Ultimate Authority in your life, be it the God of the Bible or the one who stares back at you every time you look in the mirror.

If you want to succeed and prosper, if you want to be able to approach life with a clear conscience and an enthusiastic disposition, if you want to enjoy the kind of energy provided by a Divine Perspective, then your Central Truth is not just a concept or a personal mantra, it’s the Person of Jesus Christ (Jn 14:6).

And it’s that Truth that fuels the success of individuals as well as nations. When you ask the right questions, you make the right decisions, you do the right thing and you honor your King.

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. (Ecc 12:13)

That is our goal, that is our starting point and that is the greatest Central Truth.


  1. “Declaration of Independence: A Transcription”, “National Archives”,, accessed August 30, 2022



The Central Truth | Part III

At the core of every issue is a Central Truth – the bottom line, the “thing” you’re trying to get done.

It’s that Central Truth that has to be prioritized in order to ensure you’re making the right decisions. And in order to make the right decisions, you’ve got to ask the right questions and you’re asking the right questions only when you’re engaged in a comprehensive evaluation of all the facts and not just a subjective manipulation of some of the facts.

You ask the right questions in order to…

…make the right decisions in order to…

…do the right thing, which is the Central Truth.

What is it that’s most important? What are you trying to accomplish? What is the Bottom Line?

What is the Central Truth?

By establishing what it is that you’re trying to get done, you’re able to better frame the questions which lead to the decisions that best facilitate what needs to be achieved.

It’s a simple way of organizing your thoughts and efforts that prevent the kind of scenario you see in Genesis 3 where Satan was able to get Adam and Eve to make a lethal compromise simply by asking a question that effectively diverted their attention away from what was most important.


Not everyone agrees on what the “bottom line” is, and some will even insist that absolutes in general are a ridiculous fiction.

It’s here where you encounter the true source of all the tension that permeates the headlines and the debates in our world today. Reason being is that the Central Truth doesn’t merely define what it is you’re trying to do, it’s a manifestation of the Reality you use to validate your approach to yourself and the world around you.

You can compile enough in the way of subject matter experts and polling data to legitimize almost anything. And while it’s tempting to believe that your rebuttal to some of the more outrageous assertions made by scientific sounding parties is sufficiently fortified with the appropriate amount of intellectual density, that faith is oftentimes revealed as a foolish confidence because of the way Truth is marginalized by so many as something that is defined more by one’s perspective than it is by a transcendent Absolute.

In other words, your platform is only as credible as the extent to which the Truth you’re defending is regarded as an appropriate premise.

This is why the way in which Truth is defined is so important. It’s here where discussions that should be civil become volatile because it’s not the strength of the logic that’s being questioned as much as it’s the authority of the individual that’s being challenged.

“You can’t tell me what to do.”

“You can’t judge me.”

“That’s your opinion.”

“Not everyone feels that way.”

“Not everyone believes the way you do.”

The Homosexual lifestyle, for example, is promoted as a behavior protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.1 As long as the conversation is contained within a sphere that defines the behavior of the individual according to the legal consensus of a human collective, their logic is beyond reproach. This is part of the reason why those who staff the Supreme Court come under such scrutiny because of the way some have discarded the notion of what is “moral” so they can instead validate their conduct according to what is “legal.” Church steeples are replaced with pounding gavels and just like that, what was morally reprehensible is now a “right.”

Are you ready? We’re on the threshold of what represents the exciting conclusion to this series and I guarantee you, it’s the kind of bottom line you want to keep in your psychological back pocket as you attempt to push back on those cultural trends and legal initiatives that are promoted in the name of Constitutional Rights or Social Justice.

We’ve established that every issue has at its core a Central Truth that needs to be prioritized in order to make the right decisions. By being able to maintain what’s most important, you can deploy a wise disregard for those things that are either intentionally or unwittingly introduced into the conversation that makes the Central Truth appear less important and even irrelevant.

But what is the Central Truth?

For the Gay Activist, it’s Freedom of Speech. For those who subscribe to the philosophical foundation our Founding Fathers built upon, it’s the Word of God which means that Homosexuality is not a “right,” rather it’s a perversion.

You see where this is going?

Before you can hope to accurately establish the Central Truth, you first have to ask…

“Who makes the rules?”

What is your starting point? Who is your absolute? Where do your rights come from? How do you certify your perspective as being completely correct?

Granted, not every issue you encounter pertaining to Politics or society constitutes a moral dilemma. Where you position a traffic light or deciding what day your taxes need to be filed doesn’t require any real introspection as far as what course of action resonates as a better moral option.

But there are very few issues that dominate our national headlines that don’t include a moral component. Gun Control, Climate Change, Black Lives Matter, Illegal Immigration, COVID-19 – every one of these topics is debated in a manner that associates a specific morality with a particular viewpoint.

As has been mentioned before, you can find a poll or a subject matter expert to say pretty much anything you want to hear. But we all have in place a metaphysical ground zero that endorses the conclusions we subscribe to as being true. It’s that filter that defines your existence, shapes your convictions and dictates your choices as far as who you will listen to and who you will ignore.

So, for some, it’s not so much about what makes the most sense as much as it’s what makes the most difference in the way it reinforces your personal philosophy as the best way to process the human experience.

Who makes the rules? Who’s in charge?

We’ll talk more about that in Part IV!


1. “LGBT Rights and the Free Speech Clause”, “American Bar Association”,, accessed August 10, 2022>


The Central Truth | Part II

It Can be Overwhelming

Being able to sort through all of the headlines and subject matter experts can be overwhelming when you’re trying to figure out who’s who and what’s what, especially when everyone insists that they’re right and everyone else is just trying to catch up.

But there’s a tool that you can use that brings a substantial amount of clarity to whatever it is you’re trying to process called, “The Central Truth.”

The idea is that every issue has at its core a Central Truth – the bottom line that needs to be prioritized in order for the right decision to be made.  In Part I of this series we looked at how by identifying what it is that’s most important, you’re able to prevent noble sounding tangents from distracting you from that one thing that’s more important than anything else.

The Central Truth.

But in order for this to work, you first have to identify what Truth actually is.

Welcome to Part II…!

Perfect Accuracy

Regardless of how obvious it may appear, not everybody defines Truth in the same way. Bear in mind, we’re not talking about the way in which philosophers have pondered and debated the meaning of Truth. Rather, we’re looking at Truth as being the conclusion you arrive at after a comprehensive evaluation of all the facts. For the sake of our conversation here, we’ll call it “Perfect Accuracy.”

You can answer a question correctly without being completely honest and you can be honest without telling the whole truth. This is part of the reason why people differ when it comes to the way in which Truth is defined because of the way the facts being considered can be limited to a collection of carefully selected soundbites – bits and pieces of credible sounding data that are presented in a way that’s designed to make a flawed perspective appear both complete and irrefutable.

In order to arrive at “perfect accuracy” you have to engage in a comprehensive evaluation of all the facts, as opposed to a manipulation of just some of the facts. And you can’t dismiss any one piece of data as irrelevant just because it doesn’t line up with your philosophical preferences.

Again, it has to be a complete assessment of all the information and it’s going to be in the context of the questions that are being asked that will reveal whether or not the person posing the questions is focused on the Central Truth or is resolved to promote a different reality and the subsequent lie that serves as its theme.

The Right Questions

If you go back to the example we looked at before in Genesis 3, the “Central Truth” was that God had said not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That’s what needed to remain front and center in order to ensure the right choices were being made. And in order to make the right choices, you have to ask the right questions because otherwise you get drawn into a line of thought that sounds reasonable, but nevertheless runs contrary to the bottom line.

When Satan approached Eve, he began by asking what it was that God had commanded pertaining to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He didn’t reference that tree specifically. Rather, he begins by implying that God had told her not to eat from any tree…

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Gen 3:1)

Right out of the chute you have an unspoken element of “unfairness” being introduced into the equation – the idea that God has prohibited both Adam and Eve from eating any of the fruit from any of the trees in the garden. Satan has set the table, now he serves the main course:

4“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3:4-5)

He began by implying that God was unreasonable, now he builds on that by stating that God is fearful of Adam and Eve’s potential, which translates to God being insecure and even antagonistic.

It’s a bogus assertion, but do you see how it grew out of the initial question that was asked?

You have to ask the right questions in order to make the right decision. And the right decision is validated as such by the Central Truth that represents not only what it is that you’re needing to do, but also the reason why you need to get it done.

Moral Absolutes

Up to this point, the illustration of the Garden of Eden and the way in which Satan used an obviously calculated question in order to compromise the absolute nature of the Central Truth works well because of the way the Central Truth is so clearly defined and very few would dispute God’s instructions as being fair and even generous.

But when you get into Moral Issues, the Central Truth becomes a source of contention in some instances because of the way some want to position themselves as their own moral authority.

For example, in the minds of some the issue of Homosexuality has as its Central Truth the idea that, “I have the right to be happy.” Abortion is another case where, for many, the Central Truth is, “I have the right to be happy” or “I have the right to make decisions pertaining to my body.”

If one’s happiness and health is established as the Central Truth, both the decisions and the questions that support those choices are easily established and answered in a way that provides the individual the ethical endorsement they need to engage those behaviors and shrug off any criticism as being inappropriate and even cruel.

But if Truth is going to be defined as “perfect accuracy” that’s determined by a comprehensive evaluation of all the facts and not just those that cater to one’s personal preferences, even if you don’t believe or agree with the Substance of Scripture, you have to at least acknowledge the way in which the Bible utterly condemns both practices.

This is where the “Central Truth” often becomes a volatile topic of discussion because you’re not just questioning a person’s logic as much as you’re challenging their authority to define for themselves the difference between right and wrong.

And while this tension surfaces primarily in the context of moral issues, it’s often at the root of the disagreements that happen in Politics, Medicine and even in the Economy.

Like what’s already been mentioned, you have to ask the right questions in order to make the right decisions. But even before you ask, “What’s the problem?” You first have to ask, “Who’s in charge?”

We’ll look at that in Part III…


The Central Truth | Part I

I’m Done…

Have you ever found yourself feeling a little exhausted, as far as trying to understand a particular issue that has no apparent bottom line?

Every viewpoint is championed by a passionate collection of advocates all of whom insist that their subject matter experts possess the real knowledge and the true reality. As you try to sort through the headlines and the soundbites, there’s also the occasional distraction of the popular personality that uses their cultural capital to make one specific perspective appear to be the only real, rational approach.

It’s chaotic.

Even with their flawless delivery coupled with the somber ultimatums articulated by the academics, the other side seems to have a credible platform and it becomes this incessant tension that has no satisfactory resolution.

And it becomes even more difficult when you encounter that person who labels any dissenting opinion as immoral and cruel. At that point, there’s not even a conversation and it becomes more about an individual’s supposed lack of character than the substance of their argument.

However convoluted the situation may appear to be, there is, however, a tool that you can use that brings a refreshing breeze of clarity to an arid desert of confusion.

It’s called, “The Central Truth.”

The Garden of Eden

Every issue has at its core a Central Truth which has to be prioritized in order for the right decisions to be made.

Anytime someone comes along and says, “I have a question,” or “There’s some other things that need to be considered,” – whatever questions or information they’re getting ready to throw into the mix will fall under one of two headings.

  • They’re either reinforcing the Central Truth or…
  • They’re intentionally engineered to distract from the Central Truth and make it look less significant and even irrelevant.

You can see this played out in the Garden of Eden.

The Central Truth in this instance is that Adam and Eve were not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Gen 2:15-17)

Here comes Satan and the first question he asks Eve was whether or not they were prohibited to eat from any tree in the garden.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Gen 3:1)

Satan knows what the Central Truth is. The correct question would’ve been “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’?” But he’s looking for a way to set things up where he can compel Adam and Eve to see God as Someone Who’s wanting to restrict them unnecessarily. So he poses a question that’s designed to cast doubt on, not only what was said, but also the Character of the One Who said it.

When Eve responds by clarifying what God actually commanded, Satan then makes an assertion saying that God’s motives should be more carefully evaluated because of the way He’s obviously denying her an opportunity to become more like Him.

Now God is no longer a Loving Authority as much as He’s an insecure tyrant that’s not only intimidated by what Adam and Eve could potentially become, but also antagonistic towards them because why else would He deny them the chance to be more than who they are?

Fear and Hate.

Sound familiar? We’ll get back to that later…

Principle and Not Just Passion

And so, having been convinced that Satan had a point, they ignored the Central Truth and made a decision based on a collection of information and assumptions that were all intended to divert the attention away from what was most important and instead focus on what amounted to be a toxic premise.

The Central Truth was to obey God.

Had that been maintained as the primary theme in the conversation, Eve would’ve been able to tell Satan that, regardless of his perspective on God’s motives, disobeying God was non-negotiable and being able to successfully navigate the exchange would’ve been much easier.

Regardless of what the issue is or how complicated the dilemma may appear to be, by identifying the Central Truth, you’re able to deploy a wise disregard for those things that constitute an attempt to minimize the importance and the priority of that which is absolutely crucial.

People will differ on what the Central Truth is. Some will even dispute whether or not there is such a thing as an Absolute.

But by steering the debate in the direction of what it is that needs to be accomplished, you’ve severely crippled the utility of whatever tactics might be used by those who have something to hide more than they have something to say. Even the way in which you can compromise yourself by allowing destructive distractions to cloud your thinking can be halted by recalling what it is that’s most important.

Now you’re conversing and concentrating in a way that’s characterized by principle and not just passion. The result is a streamlined yet substantial approach to being able to do the right thing in the right way at the right time for all the right reasons.

For this to work, however, you have to be able to define what “Truth” is.

We’re going to cover that in Part II…