Nowadays, when one begins to use such dirty words such as “truth,” the crowds begin to cry from the streets:
- “There is no absolute truth!” Well, is that statement absolutely true?
- “All truth is relative!” Apparently, all truths are relative except when it comes to that specific phrase.
- “That might be true for you but not for me.” Can I say that about your statement?
- “You ought not to challenge someone else’s beliefs” is, in reality, a challenge of someone’s belief.
Postmodernism, also referred to as relativism, is the notion that there is no absolute truth. What’s true for one does not mean it has to be necessarily true for another. Developed by the desire to see unity among mankind’s search for truth, it has attempted to silence exclusivist religions from maintaining certain doctrinal stances. Those who hold this worldview believe that the only absolute truth allowed is when it pertains to their inclusive beliefs. Not only is this type of thinking religiously offensive but it is rationally absurd.
No matter how hard we try to put the theological backspace within everyone’s reach, we must quickly acknowledge the frivolous nature of such an attempt. Allowing everyone to come up with their own version of God does not come closer to understanding God. What appears as valiant efforts to know God are actually devious attempts to dethrone God.
Unadulterated truth must be pursued and never be neglected for something lesser.
Oftentimes, in the quest for such a noble goal, we substitute God’s eternal truth for our temporal opinion. We can see the goal up ahead in the distance but it honestly isn’t what we thought we would find. Jaded by scratching the surface of such a startling discovery, we would rather elect a new leader and draft a new constitution. In our pride, we believe that if we can just recast the lead part, then we can rewrite the script and create a better final presentation.
To Know What God Knows
In the Bible, the Devil is depicted as a fallen angel (2 Pet. 2:4) who tried that exact thing. Consumed by pride (Ezek. 28:17), he wanted to take God’s throne for himself (Isa. 14:13). He is known for having the audacity of questioning and even challenging God’s methods (Job 1:9-11; 2:4-5). When he tempted the first couple of the Bible, he deceived them by playing to a common desire – to know what God knows (Gen. 3:5). If they know what God knows, they don’t have to rely on him anymore for his knowledge. They can take his place. They can redraft the textbook and obtain fluid theology.
Adam and Eve chose to believe a lie over the truth. It was more palatable. It was certainly more convenient.
They preferred a deity of their own making versus the Maker himself.
They tried to rewrite what he said and essentially remake who he is. They wanted to replace God.
This line of thinking did not dissipate with Eden’s eviction. The desire to make God play by our ever-changing rules still lures us today. We throw out truth and replace it with our opinions. Our culture is currently experiencing theological anarchy because we have attempted to remove the possibility of a divine authority.
We are experiencing theological anarchy because we have attempted to remove the possibility of a divine authority.
Truth Is Absolute
Our subconscious reveals our double-standards concerning doctrine. We don’t want to be told what to believe, by God or anyone else, but we think that our beliefs should be eagerly accepted and celebrated by all. How can we coexist in a world when our beliefs concerning God are so vast in scope?
The campaign to coexist religiously urges people to avoid any sense of staunch doctrinal loyalty. The problem is that many religions actually do call for unwavering allegiance. While I am the first to admit that many of history’s darkest moments came under the influence of those thinking they were doing God’s work, we cannot throw out religious devotion due to some people’s religious distortion.
Truth cannot be determined by a vote or a committee. Truth is absolute.
Truth is also timeless and universal. Any doctrine worth believing must be able to be regarded as true by any person in any location at any time or else it is simply not the truth. If one belief is true for you but not for me, it simply is not truth. One or both of us is obviously incorrect.
- If I think God is pleased with our society and you think he is disgusted, can we both be correct?
- If I am a staunch believer that God intervenes throughout history and you believe that he is the ancient watchmaker who set the cogs and wheels in motion but then turned it loose to let it be, can we be talking about the same God?
- If I think God empathizes with my greatest sorrow and you think he is too lofty to depress himself with whiners like me, don’t you see that at least one of us is terribly, terribly wrong?
We must stop this nonsensical talk about absolutely no truth. Our culture uses this lingo as a free pass to believe in absurdity. There is such a thing as truth and that is not a bad thing. Are you willing to seek it? To work hard for it? To stand for it?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.