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Saturday, 23 July 2016

What is Truth?



I am increasingly amazed by the number of people, even intelligent people, who say that truth is relative or subjective. Basically that the truth about something can be determined by what a person believes or thinks and that there are no absolutes. I spent a few hours the other day chatting with someone who was espousing this view as a reply to virtually everything I said about the Christian faith. We were going round in circles something like this; 

Me: I believe Jesus died on the cross to save people from sin.
Him: That’s your truth, not mine.
Me: If it’s true for me it’s true for you as well. There can only be one truth.
Him: I have my own beliefs that are true for me.
Me: Jesus either died on the cross for sinners or He didn’t. The truth about that statement is real for everyone.
Him: It doesn’t have to be true for me. I have my own truth.
Me: The Bible is the Word of God
Him: I don’t believe that…
Me: What you believe about it doesn’t change the truth. Either it is God’s Word or it isn’t.
Him: There doesn’t have to be one truth and all religions lead to God anyway.
Me: All religions don’t lead to God. They all say different things and are fundamentally opposed to each other.
Him: They can still all be true and right.
Me: No they can’t. Christianity teaches that Jesus is the only way to God and that all other religions are false. That is either true or it isn’t. Other religions teach the same; that their beliefs are correct and that other religions are false. There is only one truth. Black is black, it isn’t white….
Him: I see in shades of grey.
Me: Grey isn’t black or white, it’s grey. 

I don’t know how reading this makes you feel but for me it was pretty frustrating, but I’m becoming used to it and learning not to get riled but just to stick to the TRUTH, which can be known absolutely! (By the way I didn’t talk to that person in such a militant and unloving manner, that was just the gist of the conversation so you can see the point I’m making.)

Consider this in John 18 vs 37-38

“Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

Jesus is confirming that His purpose for coming into the world was to be a witness for the truth. Can you guess how Pilate responded to Him? 

“Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

This is sounding tragically familiar in our post-modern society. The tricks of the enemy are not new we just fail to recognise them in our apathy.

It is one of the enemy’s best deceptions to convince people that truth doesn’t exist. If there is no truth, then there is no right and wrong. Right and wrong become subject to what a person believes. There is then no sin and therefore no eternal punishment for sinners. Jesus didn’t then die for our sin as there is no sin because we can choose our own morality. Sounds great doesn’t it; But is it true? 

The problem; we have a God given conscience so deep down we know what is right and wrong. People who allow themselves to believe that truth is relative to justify their sin will one day have to stand before God and explain why they believed this lie. We can comfort ourselves by looking around and thinking that we must be okay because everyone else believes the same as us. But when we stand before God we will do so as individuals not as a group. We will be asked why we believed lies and it won’t be acceptable to say that this is what we were taught by our parents, friends, neighbours or even through our culture. I am writing today to tell you that not everyone believes that truth is relative. There are still those of us who believe that there is a knowable truth. 

You might be wondering how this lie crept in in the first place. Political correctness played a big part. It is seen an unloving to tell people that what they believe isn’t true. It is seen as judgemental to tell people that they will go to hell if they don’t trust in Jesus. It is seen as intolerant and arrogant to state that Christianity is the only way to God. So people begin to soften their stance. They say that as long as a person is sincere God will accept them, that maybe a God of love won’t send people to hell and that all religions lead to God. But these people are missing the point. God has not changed and nor has the Bible. Believing something different or adjusting your views to accommodate diversity and to try and be more loving doesn’t change the truth. Is it really more loving to water down or withhold the truth to avoid offending someone? If a person is about to get run over by a bus you drag them out of the way, right? Let’s call the bus “Truth is relative” and let’s call the driver Satan.

My purpose in writing today is not to criticise the person I chatted to or to hold myself as somehow superior. It is to ask you all to reflect on this simple question; Is there such a thing as absolute truth? The Bible says that there is and that it can be known and that it holds the key to life, death and everything in-between. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. His death on the cross after living a perfect life here on earth allows us free forgiveness of our sins and to be reconciled to God for a life in heaven one day. 

Don’t allow yourself to believe that truth is relative. It is a dangerous and illogical path leading to confusion and ultimately to the loss of your soul for eternity.  I challenge those that are not yet trusting in Jesus to ask God to reveal the truth to you. Seek the truth sincerely with all your heart and an open mind and be willing to follow where-ever your search leads. God will not ignore a sincere seeker. Decide for yourself whether Jesus' claims to be the Son of God are true or false. The decision you make about God is the most important one you will ever make. Don’t leave it for another day as it may be too late.

Romans 10 vs 9

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. YOU WILL BE SAVED.”

1 Timothy 2 vs 5

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”