There is a way to make a more scholarly statement on this topic, but the title is pretty much the bottom line. I’ve realized this for a while, but never really mulled it over seriously…modern peoples are freaked out by truth claims, especially religious truth claims. Now, I’m not limiting this to non-believers, but yes, I’ve picked up on this vibe from the non-believing individuals I’ve talked to often.
If you make a claim of truth or knowledge, often your discussion partner acts as though you’ve slapped them in the face. I have to admit that it amuses me, even though it shouldn’t. I recently had a back and forth with an atheist on a forum; our back and forth regarded the phrase, “I know.”
I was informed quite seriously that I cannot use that phrase, that it is inaccurate. I got quite a chuckle out of that. I informed them that English is my first (and only) language, and that it can indeed be used accurately, “I know I’m not feeling hungry right now,” “I know one of my nicknames is Kliska,” “I know that I had a turkey sandwich for lunch,” “I know that Jesus is Lord,” “I know that I have a pond in my yard,” “I know that my house is white,” and on, and on…
I feel our society is partially to blame for this shock and amazement…everything is so “wishy-washy” anymore. A majority of the people don’t even bother to try to get the know the truth about themselves, esp. when the truth hurts, let alone the truth about anything or anyone else. Parents are beginning to lose their knack at parenting (have you noticed that?), part of which stems from a lack of consistency, which could be connected to a denial of the existence of truth; plain good ol’ black and white truth that back up the idea of true right and true wrong. The truth in our society has become negotiable. Morality has become negotiable. Tell someone that it isn’t and you get stared at like you have two heads, esp. in the realm of Religion.
If a Muslim tells me he knows that Muhammad is a prophet, I don’t get upset. I don’t agree with the Muslim, but I don’t get upset that the Muslim is making a truth claim. I can’t say the same for the majority of humanity, however…or I guess I should say, the majority of “Westerners.” Make a claim, “I know for a fact that Jesus is Lord, and He’s the only way to the Father” and you are likely to cause mass panic, unfortunately this can also be seen amongst my fellow “Christians” as well (I put “Christians” in quotes for dramatic effect, I cannot judge their salvational standing, it’s not my job). It is getting far less popular a thing to make any sort of truth claim in religion.
What has struck me, is how they must have looked at Jesus when He made the very bold, but very true claim, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) Not only did He claim to know the truth, He claimed to be the walking, talking, eating, drinking embodiment of Truth itself. I’ve said it before, “how I love the Lord!” There is no wishy-washy here, no beating around the bush. You know precisely who and what you are dealing with.
I’m comforted by the fact that God has a preference for this style of truth and communication of truth, and that He expects us, and likes us to use “I know.” Revelation 3: 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Anywho, just a few musings on a very windy day, “I know it is windy at my house today…”