“I want the truth!”
“You can’t handle the truth!” (in that Jack Nicholson voice)
Tom Cruise wanted it. Greek philosophers searched for it. Pilate asked Jesus what it was. It’s truth.
So what is truth anyway?
This is actually a tougher question than it looks like and one that is the most often attacked through public schools and universities. We live in a postmodern era where truth is relative and not absolute. We live in a world where tolerance for another’s beliefs has morphed into acceptance and approval. We live in a world where one says, “If it is true for me, then it’s true…whatever is true for you is true for you. It’s not hurting anyone and you are just intolerant and wrong for believing in an absolute right or wrong.”
Allan Bloom wrote a book titled The Closing of the American Mind in which he stated that close to 95% of high school graduates have been made convinced of moral relativism. That percentage rises to 98% of college graduates have that relativism solidified in their mindset. He stated that this primarily comes from the indoctrination of there being no absolute truth but varying shades of gray to every issue.
The problem with the relativist and their statement is that their statement in itself is an absolute statement. They said that one is intolerant and wrong to believe in absolute truth – that in and of itself is an absolute statement. You can not be a relativist in this world for 24 hours without being locked up in a padded cell (and most of us do not get a chance to have that opportunity).
The university professor that believes that Christianity is wrong because it proposes absolute truth then goes and puts together an answer key to a test that is a document that proves absolute truth. The agnostic that believes in relativism jumps in his car and drives according to rules in which he knows he can not drive on the left side of the road without driving directly into oncoming traffic just because he believes it to be right for him. And the atheist who adheres to relativism believes that there is no such thing as God, then fights with an absolute truth against something he doesn’t believe exists.
In math, there is absolute truth: +2 + +2 = +4. In science, there is absolute truth: the laws of motion. In history, there is absolute truth: George Washington was the first president of the United States of America. In logic, if someone puts an ultra-sharp sword to your throat and says “I am going to cut your head off!” If you say to him, “I don’t believe in swords!” Does that make the sword any less real or make the absolute statement made by the man with the sword not true.
If a Christian who believes that there is only one true God the Father, a Hindu who believes everything is god, and an atheist who believes that there is no god all walk into the same restaurant…isn’t there a problem here. All these views conflict each other and must collide eventually. There must be an absolute truth. And something about truth that we know is there is only ever one truth, which means there are a multitude of falsities.
Ultimately, it does not matter what you believe. It matters what is true. I could believe in my heart of hearts that Abraham Lincoln was the first president of the United States, but that does not make it true.
Adolph Hitler killed six million people on the belief that what he was doing was right. Does that make it right? Certainly not. A man rapes a woman because on the belief that what he is doing is right. Does that make it right? No, not again. There is such as thing as moral absolutes – moral right and moral wrong. Steal the relativist’s wallet and you’ll see that he does not believe in relativism any more – he will know that stealing is wrong. Not one person believes in relative truth, they only adhere to relative truth in situations that suit them and when they do not want to be under the authority of absolute truth.
However, God has written his moral absolutes on our heart. The problem with the atheist or agnostic or relativist is not that they believe there is more than one truth, it is that they want there to be more than one truth. This makes them unaccountable to it, it makes the truth suit their own sin. But Jesus tells us that “Thy Word is truth,” that the Bible and God’s law, which is written in our hearts is absolutely true. We are all guilty of ignoring the truth and trading that truth for a lie.
And only Jesus who is “the way, the truth, and the life” is the one who reconciles us when we are absolutely guilty of God’s absolute truth and law. And that my friends, is the greatest truth ever revealed by God.