Absolute Truth…or Not?

Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

If you answered yes, you share a traditional world view that is quickly falling out of favor in our culture.

If you said no, you’ve just contradicted yourself. Saying there’s no such thing as absolute truth is actually making an absolute truth statement!

Absolute truths are accepted in almost every meaningful discipline of life: mathematics, chemistry, biology. Two plus two equals four. Not three or five. It’s an accepted absolute.

So why, in a world where absolute truth exists in most disciplines of life, does it not apply to morality and spirituality? Who decided these two areas are an exception?

We’re living in a time when things are true until we don’t want them to be. Think about it.

  • By the world’s standards, a baby in the womb is a baby only if the mother wants the baby. Otherwise, it’s a “clump of cells.”
  • Our culture has decided binary gender—male and female—are now two of many options that are no longer exclusively male or female, despite physical biological evidence to the contrary. Gender is now “fluid” depending on the individual’s changing feelings.
  • Right and wrong are no longer absolutes, either. Now, what’s wrong for you may be right for me. And who are you to judge?
  • A recent Netflix documentary, Liberated, was created to “present the sexual landscape of our culture as it is rather than preach about it.” But critics were furious to learn it “showed the emptiness in hook-up culture and one-night-stands.” Apparently, it’s no longer acceptable to speak the truth.
  • Our culture decries control of the nation’s borders to stem illegal immigration in the name of children’s best interests, yet celebrates the legality of killing babies minutes before their birth.

It’s difficult to justify such contradictions in the name of logic and rationality.

We can call evil good and good evil, and claim truth is relative, but that doesn’t make it so.

We live in a world that demands hard evidence, yet refuses to believe in a Creator because they won’t recognize the evidence that’s there. This delicately balanced universe could not have accidentally evolved any more than a Rolex watch just happened to evolve into a sophisticated time piece.

People who deny the evidence of their own bodies in favor of gender-bending claims are basing those claims on feelings and faulty thinking, rather than biological evidence.

We follow scientists who teach the universe began with a “big bang,” but they can’t produce evidence or explain the source of the gasses that supposedly exploded.

So what’s a Christian to do? How can we respond in a way that engages the culture? How can we present evidence based on a biblical world view instead of simply arguing with those who disagree with us?

Follow the ABCs!

Ask questions:

  • Before sharing what you believe, ask what the other person believes and why.
  • Have they researched the topic for themselves?
  • What are their personal experiences related to the subject?

Be respectful:

  • Don’t demonize those who disagree with you.
  • Really listen to what they say…and what they don’t say.
  • Try to understand why they believe what they do. Are their beliefs influenced by past emotional wounds?
  • Be willing to “plant seeds” rather than “go in for the kill.”

Communicate compassion:

  • Care about the person more than you care about winning an argument. Be willing to build a relationship with them.
  • Leave the door open for further discussion. Most serious disagreements are not resolved in one conversation.

As Christians, we find ourselves living right-side-up in an upside-down world. But nobody promised it would be easy. Ask the Holy Spirit for the perseverance to stay true to the Person of Truth, Jesus Christ. Then speak the truth in love and live it out, regardless of others’ responses.

I suspect some of those who disagree with us may be secretly cheering us on. Because if we can live for the One who said, “I am the Truth,” it gives others hope. Hope that their shallow world, built on shifting contradictions, is not all there is to life.

And that can be the best truth of all.

No Wrong Choices?

A friend likes to post inspirational quotes on her Facebook page. I usually enjoy reading them (and love staying connected with her and so many others), but I couldn’t get past one particular quote. It was from self-help guru Susan Jeffers, who said, “There are no wrong choices; there are only different choices.”

No wrong choices? Really?

I don’t know about Ms. Jeffers, but I can personally attest to making hundreds (thousands?) of wrong choices in my life. Trust me, they weren’t just different, they were wrong.

To say there are no wrong choices is to say that there is no such thing as right and wrong. No absolutes, only personal preferences.

But the Bible says otherwise. There is a standard of right and wrong, and God has communicated this standard in His Word. We all have the free will to choose for ourselves. Joshua 24:15 lays out our options: “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (NIV).

Our society is filled with self-styled experts. Technology provides access to built-in audiences. Social media creates platforms as people tweet on Twitter, post on blogs, and update their Facebook pages. The ease by which we exchange information leads to a great deal of unverified data – unverified and sometimes untrue. Innuendo substitutes for fact, opinion replaces research, and emotion circumvents objectivity. People often become comfortable communicating what they want to be true, rather than what is true.

Consider something as simple as the emails you’ve received about Christians being forced off radio airwaves, or Pepsi issuing cans with “under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, or Facebook postings about free Olive Garden gift cards. All hoaxes, and yet the emails and postings keep coming.

No matter how large or small our sphere of influence may be, we all have a responsibility to communicate truth. This responsibility isn’t limited to those in official teaching positions. Whether you’re a parent influencing your children or a writer teaching through your books – non-fiction and fiction – everyone influences someone, for right or wrong.

Values are communicated by how we live. By the words we speak. By the emails we forward. By the choices we make. Are we intentional about what we communicate?

What are you and I communicating with our words and our lives?