Finding Your Spiritual Destination

Having driven a long way, you’re near the place you needed to find, and that nice woman on Google Maps tells you to continue for half a mile: your destination will be on the right.

How can she be so sure?

What if it’s on the left, or behind you, or straight ahead? What if you don’t want your destination to be on the right? Isn’t Google making an absolutist statement, which you should reject outright? Should you perhaps take them to court for making positionist assertions, and for failing to consider your own choice?

This may not be the best example to argue the validity of absoluteness, since you could, in theory, turn left and still eventually find your way to your destination. But you see the principle: if you are determined not to look at the place where your destination in reality is, you will never, ever find it. You could wander the entire earth for the rest of your life and never arrive. You could go to another place and call it your destination-but it is not. You are ignoring the facts which will satisfy your needs, to your own loss.

A friend of mine insisted one day that there is no such thing as absolute truth: truth is what you decide for yourself. Here is a contradiction-a dualist assertion posing as fairness and the opposite of small-minded “binary” thought. My friend was telling me that the conviction that all truths are equally valid is good, but the conviction that only one truth is valid in any given situation-that there is such a thing as absolute truth-is not true. She was telling me hypocritically that one thing is true and the other is not. She was making a binary statement.

I posited to my friend a situation in which she comes home one day from work to find several large men lounging around in her living room. They have their feet on the coffee table, and they’re watching football on television while drinking numerous cans of beer. Pizza is on the floor and being trodden into the carpet by their two large dogs, which are rampaging around the house and knocking her furniture over. What would her reaction be? She would probably say something like this:

“What the @#%& do you think you’re doing in my house?”

Now imagine one of the large and greasy men standing up to his full height, and declaring that the house is in fact his, and that she should get out. Her next move may well be to threaten to call the cops. The reason? She knows for a fact that the house is hers, and not his. She has, without realising it, lived her life in the conviction that some things are true and some things are not. The house is absolutely hers, and it is not his. She has paid for it, and lived in it for the past thirty years. She has the title deed in her name, which gives evidence to the fact, and most courts of law would support her conviction.

In the realm of spiritual things, the same principle is so. We’ve been told for decades how you can’t insist that your truth is true and others are not. This has, in my view, been fundamentally a way of dispensing with the Judeo-Christian worldview which has governed the West for many centuries. Even some secular scholars will concede that the advancement of science occured in the West because of the Judeo-Christian belief that there is such a thing as absolute truth, which can be found when searched for. Absolute truth may not have produced an entirely “good” society: human nature is human nature. But it has at least provided a common way of thinking, and a measure of unity and shared destiny. It kept conscience alive and gave us a chance to stay on a single path.

As in science-I mean true, observational science and not the changing theories of evolution-we can search for truth and reality, so it is in the spiritual realm also. The reason for this is that the two are inseparable. God, who is Spirit, has created a physical universe and a physical reality, in which His creative nature and His character can be seen and observed, if we are willing and don’t choose to ignore it. His interventions in the physical realm can sometimes be detected. Sometimes they’re intentionally broadcast and recorded. Are they really Him? Test them and find out: don’t just ignore them. That’s the case with what we Christians call the Word of God-the Bible. Biblical Scripture declares over and over again to be a record of God’s interventions in our world, and these interventions are to a degree testable, with history, archaeology, reason and logic.

Just as we use technology, reason, sight, observation, experience and more, to find our destination on a map, and not wander the earth for a lifetime, so we can apply our observational powers to find at least some of the truths of God. Not all truths are equally valid, and those who refuse to put them to the test do so because they choose to, not because real truth does not exist.


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