Movies are often a reflection of where our culture is philosophically at any given time. This should be of a concern to Christians because God created His creatures to be creative – not for their glory, but for His. Unfortunately, Hollywood offers frequent examples of how sin has stained the human ability to create art that glorifies God. Such is the case in one brief scene in the ultra-violent movie, “The Departed” a film about corruption in the Massachusetts State Police. Mind you, this was not just any film, but one that garnered four Academy Awards, including best picture of the year for 2006.
In this one scene between a rotten Boston cop and his psychologist girlfriend who is suspicious about his coziness with the murdering crooks controlling a local neighborhood, she offers this revealing line: “Honesty is not synonymous with truth.” Now for those of us who watch the nightly newscasts or read the daily newspapers, we understand that such a view is held by many politicians, journalists, educators and Hollywood types. Despite the enormous influence they exert, they should not impact the way Christians view reality. “Honesty is not synonymous with truth” reflects a radical, relativistic view of the world that is nonsensical and evil. The very definition of honesty means to “be truthful.”
What we have here is another attempt by Hollywood to mainstream its bogus proposition that truth can be deconstructed to the point that it does not matter. Pontius Pilate held that view. In John 18:37-38, while standing before Pilate and the mob who wanted him crucified, Jesus says, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Then in a made-for-Hollywood moment, Pilate responds: “What is truth?” Yet the Truth stood right before him. Jesus made that clear in John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” While it is true that as finite creatures sin has stained our ability to know truth on the same level as a holy, infinite God, those of us who are redeemed by the shed blood of Christ are indwelt with the “Spirit of Truth” and have the ability to discern truth from error (1 John 4:6) and the Truth abides with us forever (2 John 2).
Modern day “Pilates” fill the world today, denying the existence of truth. The line, “Honesty is not synonymous with truth” is just another example of that fact. After seeing “The Departed,” which is as evil a movie as one could ever imagine seeing, my heart was guided to the Apostle Paul’s warning to the Church in Rome concerning the sinful behavior of the Corinthians in Romans 1:25: “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” The truth is the Truth will never depart – to the glory of God.