The last several “Minister’s Message” columns have been about truth. We’ve read comments from several writers, but I offer the one single statement which sums up the topic: “Truth can NEVER contradict itself.”
That means that anyone who says that there is no absolute truth is both incorrect and illogical.
I found Christian apologist Dr. Douglas Groothuis very helpful in understanding truth. He maintains there can be “only one truth.” In other words, two things cannot contradict each other and both be true.
Today, it is fashionable to embrace a cultural relativism that denies any type of absolute truth. Unfortunately, that fad has invaded many pulpits and congregations.
Besides the problem of self-contradiction, there are other problems of logic one must overcome to believe that there are no absolute or universal truths.
If there is no such thing as absolute truth, then there is nothing ultimately right or wrong about anything. What might be “right” for you does not mean it is “right” for me. While on the surface this type of relativism seems to be appealing, it really means that everyone sets his own rules to live by and does what he or she thinks is right.
If there is no absolute truth and no standard of right and wrong to which we are all accountable, then we can never be sure of anything. People would be free to do whatever they want — murder, steal, lie, cheat, etc. — and no one could say those things would be wrong.
From a spiritual standpoint, this type of relativism results in religious confusion. If no one religion is true and so many religions contradict each other, how could anyone ever know how to be in a right relationship with God?
In the realm of religious faith, we must assert that there is only one truth. Just think for a moment about the truth claims that various religions make about matters of faith.
Christians say God is triune and personal. Muslims say that God (Allah) is unitary and the non-dualistic. Hindus say God is impersonal.
Furthermore, Christianity teaches that humans are created in God’s image but are fallen and sinful. Islam says that humankind is flawed but not fallen. Some forms of Hinduism teach that mankind is divine but ignorant.
It is apparent given these clear contradictions between certain religions, they can’t all be true. Knowing and pursuing truth is of paramount importance to our lives.
I have discovered that absolute truth does indeed exist.
The most reliable source of absolute truth is the Bible: God’s word. This book tells of the ways in which God revealed himself. God does indeed speak truth to men — with divine authority through his word, the Bible.
The Bible points us to the truth that there is a sovereign God who created the heavens and the earth and who has revealed himself to us so that we might know him personally through his son Jesus Christ. That is the absolute truth.
Pilate asked Jesus to his face: “What is truth?” Pilate should have asked, “Who is truth?” To which the Bible gives a resounding answer: Jesus is the truth.
The reason you and I must know the truth is because Jesus said, “I am the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
Self-constructed morality holds no promise except that it will change with emotions and cultural trends. Self-constructed morality will eventually fail you.
It would be my honor to share with you more about how the truth of Jesus will set you free.
Dr. Tom Smiley is the senior pastor at Lakewood Baptist Church in Gainesville.