24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 7:24 (NASB)
What is the definition of the English word “fact?” The following is from the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary.
Main Entry: fact
Etymology: Latin factum, from neuter of factus, past participle of facere
Date: 15th century
1 : a thing done: as a obsolete : feat b : crime <accessory after the fact> c archaic : action 2 archaic : performance, doing 3 : the quality of being actual : actuality <a question of fact hinges on evidence> 4 a : something that has actual existence <space exploration is now a fact> b : an actual occurrence <prove the fact of damage> 5 : a piece of information presented as having objective reality
— in fact : in truth
The part that says, “a piece of information presented as having objective reality” is where I would like to concentrate in this post. I am a firm believer that there is something called absolute truth. Also, there exist truths that are objective. These are facts. On the other hand, there is information that is subjective in nature that is presented as if it has objective reality when actually this is not so because there is nothing objective behind the “proof.” For instance, there are times when I use a form of the word “purpose” in what I write to convey a truth of God “purposing” to do something or that as Christians we should purpose in our hearts to obey the Lord, et cetera. There are some who would attempt to make the case that this is “Purpose Driven” language and this “proves” that I have become compromised and am now a disciple of Rick Warren. I contend that this type of thinking is what our Lord was referring to in John 7:24 about judging by appearances.