Content & Images © 2008-2014 - Rachel Miller, Ink Road Originals LLC, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Is This the Death of Truth? Say it Ain't So!

I've heard, lately, that truth is dead in American culture. It's becoming very common to talk about "your truth" and "my truth." The name for this kind of talk is relativism. A relativist is an intellectual who, rather than reconcile two perspectives, has committed to uncertainty. That is, a relativist has embraced the notion that not settling the issue is a valid position to take. A moral relativist, to take that a step further, has decided not to "pick a side" in moral dilemmas. Moral relativists can come down on either side of an issue, depending on how the mood hits them at the time. They are proud of their undecided and undependable behavior, and treat it as an honorary badge of the educated elite.

In contrast, a moral dualist (like me) is someone who sees every moral issue as a black and white choice. I've been accused of being a universal dualist, that is, someone who sees everything in life as black and white, but that's not accurate. Some things are not black and white choices. For instance, my decision about what I should eat for dinner is not a moral or black and white choice; there is nothing sinful about choosing spaghetti instead of a smoked turkey sandwich.

It's when people try to lower moral and spiritual issues (such as murder) to the same importance and significance as turkey sandwiches that I break with them. Can the truth ever really be unimportant?

What's Important to You?

Using only human logic, not aided by Scripture, I'm going to try to show you that moral relativism doesn't check out with any method of analysis.

First, by claiming there is such a thing as "your truth" and "my truth" (multiple and contradictory "truths"), and by saying that moral choices are on equal footing with non-moral choices (like what to eat), relative moralists are not actually saying that truth is unimportant or that truth is dead. For them, truth still exists, but they either don't want to think about it, which indicates intellectual laziness, or, more likely, they don't like what the truth looks like.

Dismissing the claim that all truth is absolute leaves room for things they want to be true. Accepting absolute truth would imply that their brand of truth is false. They would look like fools for choosing lunacy and dismissing the only viable choice. Worse, if their "truths" were exposed as lies, they would be liars for trying to pass them off.

In short, relative moralists' dismissal only serves to emphasize that they know there is something to dismiss. They aren't denying the existence of absolute truth, but rather, they are refusing to acknowledge that it universally applies to them or that it has the power to deny them what they want.

Refusing to acknowledge absolute truth or submit to its guidelines has never made it go away. It only temporarily anesthetizes the moral relativist's conscience. It also works well in making moral dualists keep quiet.

Here comes the Bible Part

I found Jesus as a little child because I became convinced that there was more to life than the here and now. I had a series of nightmares about what the end of the world would be like, and what it would be like to lose everything I depended on for safety and stability. Yes, I was only 4, but the need for security is something a person is born with, and I've never seen anyone grow out of it. I couldn't base my life on believing in nothing, because I needed to be able to hold onto something. Jesus was my stability.

Jesus' absolute truth put limits on my life. It was then that I began to understand the rules that my parents imposed on me. Jesus' truth is hard to measure up to, but not hard to understand. That is the source of the educated elite's pride in moral relativism. Their system is difficult to unravel and impossible to pin down. It's designed to make you feel big and smart for "getting it" and "getting with the program." Jesus doesn't work that way. The fact is, truth is a very simple equation, but some people try to make it hard.

Here's some Bible to munch on until next time:
"You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44, 45 NIV, Jesus' words). Wow! Harsh words. Jesus is not even allowing for the existence of multiple truths. There is only one truth, "the truth," and you can either hold to it, or not hold to it.

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'" (John 14:6 NIV). Here, Jesus is not only claiming to know the truth, but also to be the truth. The only way to get into Heaven is to have a relationship with Him. In this case, indecision has eternal consequences.

Don't get caught believing the lie, folks. Satan=lies Jesus=truth!


Anonymous said...

To me, saying,"Well, that's your truth" after someone speaks, is just a way of saying, "I think your ideas are stupid and I am dismissing them for my own."

When we each stand before God to give an accounting of our life, will we really have the nerve to say, "Well, that's your truth" to the judgement that He pronounces?

Anonymous said...

One absolute truth God has told me is the truth about me. He let me know that I'm a sinner, that I need Him to cleanse me, and that in spite of it all I am now His child, pure and holy, destined to live with Him forever in heaven (Colossians 1:21-23). That's one truth I don't ever want to change. :)