A good Christian friend of mine posted on Facebook some thoughts about the nature of truth, and immediately received a negative response. “Your truth is your truth, and mine is mine”, was the thrust of the response, a very common view. I’ve written a lot about the nature of truth, and it almost seems like a tired old topic now. But there’s an incurable conflict here, ever-present in our culture and our daily lives.
The conflict, if we’re all honest with ourselves and each other, really boils down to the fact that some people want to follow the ways of God and some don’t. The ones who are keen to dismiss the whole concept that there is any absolute truth do so because they want truth to be fluid, bendable and changeable, in order to feel free to do what they think they should be able to do without feeling guilty, and in order to purge the Christian God from our world. They don’t want to think that there might be any supreme authority which might cramp their style or that of their favorite people. It’s like the man or the woman (sorry those in the middle) who tells his or her mate or lover that he thinks they should have an “open relationship”. This little warm-sounding euphemism is really an excuse not to be faithful and not to be committed. It’s not love, it’s selfishness.
Granted, we can argue or discuss what any absolute truth might entail, and where it might emanate from. But I can tell you one thing: without God at the center of our culture, government will inevitably become God. It will be the ultimate authority. It will dictate what is right and what is wrong; what you can and cannot do; where you can and cannot go; how long you should live; what your value is; what you can have and what you must part with, and so on. And anyone living with the thought that we can hold government accountable and shape it to our own will is living in a dream world-a false utopia which history proves over and over again cannot ever be.
Who would decide what this God has said in regard to truth? That’s a good rhetorical question. I don’t want any of the known religious organizations of the world telling me what God has said: I don’t trust any of them. The beauty of the Establishment clause in the US constitution is that it hands freedom of religious thought, and even freedom from it, to the people. Yes, the clause says that government must not establish a religion, but it also states that government cannot prevent the free exercise of religion-the part of the clause which is always ignored by secularists. Therein is balance and freedom.
God, from the start, from the beginning, has given us the dignity of free will, and the dignity to seek him by our own choice and not coercion, in contrast to the dictates of one or two world religions we could name. However, there are certain principle and laws at work in our universe which are undeniably fixed and unchangeable. If our planet did not follow the laws of space-time and gravity in its fixed orbit around the sun, there would be no life. And it seems obvious to me that the God who has established fixed laws to govern the universe and all of nature, would also have fixed ideas of truth, and of what’s right or wrong. I’m convinced that the Bible is our guide book for life. It contains our Creator’s expression of Truth for us to live by.
Most of the peoples of the world have a commonly-held set of ethics and beliefs to live by. It’s only in the West that absolute and universal truths are being rejected, a phenomenon which the Bible calls “lawlessness” and “sin”. The West cannot survive without those fixed principles, a fact known by some who are at work internally to bring the West down. To them, the West and its Judaeo-Christian roots and values must be destroyed. The West of D-Day was for the most part united with shared truths and beliefs and principles. By demolishing Truth, and inviting a flood of “truths”, we are not fostering unity, but division and decay.