Truth: Under Lock & Key?

According to the National Retail Federation, retail theft has grown to a staggering 100-billion-dollar annual problem! I know that my printer cartridges have been under lock and key for some time now. And that’s not the only store item being secured. Facial wipes, shampoo, baby formula, and razors are locked up too. Our oldest grandsons work in retail stores, and they can tell stories about how brazen thieves have become! Items behind locked display cases are certainly an inconvenience for shoppers who must wait for a sales associate to come and give anxious customers access to their shopping items!

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All of this has me thinking that with the rising prices of beef, butter, and eggs, I’m afraid that soon we may also see these basic food items secured from thieves the next time we round the aisles to the refrigerated dairy and meat cases! Can you believe that some brands of butter sell for five dollars per pound or that a 16-ounce prime strip steak is going for thirty to forty dollars?! With my limited budget, I’m going to have to continue purchasing the “almost butter” brands and grill “shoe leather” sirloins this summer! And there isn’t likely to be any free-range select eggs on my breakfast plate either!😊

Grocery food items are not the only things in lock-down today as some are living by the notion that “what’s yours is mine and I will take it!”  It seems to me that according to the cultural norms of our day, we are still tempted by a relativism that shuns absolute ideas of right, wrong, and truth. Instead, we want to design our own god who will be at our beck and call. The idea of a deity who will approve our opinions and validate our desires is misguided.

And so is a longing to be at the center of our own universe where everything we believe in goes! In my lifetime, I have seen a continual shift in things that most Christians should immediately reject, based on the Bible, as unethical, immoral, harmful, violent, or discriminatory to others. This trend seems to suggest biblical illiteracy and/ or willful disobedience to the truth of God’s Word. In short, are we guilty of compromising our convictions and accommodating to cultural trends?

I fear that we have pushed the absolute truths of the Word of God to the back burner of our decision-making. As a local church pastor, during years of Vacation Bible Schools, I used to stand alongside children as they pledged allegiance to the Bible with these words of promise, “I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God’s Holy Word. I will make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path and will hide its words in my heart that I may not sin against God.”

The inspiration for that simple pledge comes from the Bible itself. The Psalmist affirmed, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105). We must not lock away the truth of that verse under the pretense that we know better than God the path we should take in this life. As we witness the depreciation of biblical morals today, it is obvious that we need God’s guidance and direction!

God’s truth doesn’t need to be tucked away behind a locked plexiglass case for our protection as much as it needs our heartfelt expression. We need to be speaking up about what we know as truth. And of course, we should do this with grace. Our world needs to be confronted with both grace and truth if we are to avert a certain judgment for denying the very ways God has clearly outlined in His Word that should direct our lives.

Let’s unlock the truth of the Bible and share it with the grace and love of Christ!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.


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