Military Vet and Former Deputy Sheriff Authors Defining Truth: A Must-Read Primer for Understanding America’s World View Today
Military vet, former high-threat diplomatic security staff for the U.S. State Dept., and former deputy sheriff (among many other hats) Josiah O’Neil has released his first book, Defining Truth: Articulating America’s World View. Published earlier this month, the book is essentially a primer, and an excellent one at that, on the conflict between U.S.’s secular woke and Christian-Judaic world views in today’s society.
Josiah’s extensive experience in government service, including a stint running for political office in California, opened his eyes to the cultural war currently plaguing America. He saw that even Republicans who did not have a good Christian-Judaic world view could not provide an apologetic for all of the culture war issues like marriage, abortion, or self-defense — all of which have biblical foundations.
Out of that experience, he started Defining Truth — a nonprofit solely dedicated to equipping people with the Christian-Judaic world view behind the cultural war issues. “I wrote the book, essentially, to give a defense for every cultural war issue that I personally encountered when running [for office]. I felt like conservatives didn’t have a good answer for [them]. It’s a reminder for some, and for some, it’s new information, but we’re trying to equip people and say, ‘Look, you don’t have to surrender these issues.’”
Where We are Now
Josiah covers cultural war issues like truth, self-defense, gender, marriage, sacrifice, and more. Within the chapters, he presents the world’s perspective (think woke world view), and the Christian-Judaic world view, along with why the Christian-Judaic way works and the world’s way leads to destruction.
“There is an explanation, and there are very strong, good reasons behind the values that we stand for, because yes, it begins with faith, but everything that God tells us has a practical application. We want people to understand, ‘Look, it’s not just because God says so, but God says so because he loves you, and here’s why.’ ‘Here’s how it’s benefited America throughout history.’ In the book, we like to compare what the alternative is. As secular governments around the world have tried the opposite of God’s recommended governmental path, it’s ended in just total human suffering and failure. That’s kind of where we are now.”
Living in Reality
Truth is the most important piece to get right, because it means living in reality. Josiah saw that the church as a whole wasn’t defending truth. “I was frustrated because I thought we have allowed the world to define who we are. And that’s where the term “Defining Truth” originally came from, because I wanted to speak truth into these cultural situations that were not being defended. I was upset about that. I was upset that churches were not defending cultural perspectives. They had essentially surrendered that role to the world.”
Josiah saw that, as a whole, conservatives were allowing their political opponents to define who they were. He thought that was crazy. “I thought that was akin to being in World War II and allowing Nazi propaganda to define what American soldiers were doing in Europe and having no response whatsoever from the Americans or the Allies. Culturally, we’ve done that as well. We’ve surrendered the argument. Part of it is because a lot of conservatives don’t know how to give a defense for what they believe. And so, that’s our aim with Defining Truth. We really wanted to bring some truth historically, culturally and philosophically back to defend Western civilization and American values.”
Truth is Worth Dying for
Can telling the truth cost everything? Maybe. Maybe it should. “Truth is worth dying for,” Josiah writes in Defining Truth. “I have a healthy fear given the direction of our culture, that America will no longer be able to handle the types of sacrifices that we have [had] in the past. Look at global conflicts like the First World War or World War II specifically, things like D-Day and these great feats that our young servicemen did. People will sacrifice for something that they think is worth it. If that’s gone, people are not willing to do that anymore. If you don’t think it’s worth fighting to defend your family or your country, why in the world would you hit the beaches of Normandy or invade a foreign country to defend? It’s just not going to happen.
“Truth from the Christian-Judaic perspective, we see biblically has always been worth dying for.”
What Will We Tell the Children?
This is a less on children must learn. “I think first and foremost, I want my children to be able to see, and those around me, that we did something — that we stood for truth. Because absolute truth is not dependent upon the mob’s opinion. So even if you’re the last person in the world, staying true to reality and your values is very, very important.
“I also want them to see that throughout history, when people do stand for truth, it does make a difference. And I think that’s the note of hope that I like to end with in the book, is that we don’t know the day or the hour. Christians get caught up in wondering if this is it — the end. And we certainly see the signs in the world all around us. But the truth is, you’ve been called for such a time as this. You were born for such a time as this, and it’s very important to be faithful in the little things so that God can entrust you with more.
“So my encouragement to especially young men with families is, do something, be serious about your calling, whether that’s being a mother, a father, maybe it’s at your job, but take your calling seriously.”