It’s an ever-increasing era of metaphysic, existential, new-age, post-modernism, where aside from well-studied philosophers who know the names of Kant, Hume, Foucault, Derrida, and Lyotard, the common layperson stays caught in an elusive and eclectic mindset against any assertion of absolute truth. It has become the focal point of Culture War, of critical theory and CRT, and has damaged Judeo-Christian moorings within academia and, by extension, social responsibility and morality.
With enough counter-culture arguments to appease anyone looking to be excused from objective moral standards, its followers, again, unless trained in specifics, leave philosophical instruction with just enough bumper-sticker theology and general malaise to float somewhere between openness or total abandonment of truth.
Post-Modernism, coupled with the inexorable conclusions of being an evolved accident in the universe with no purpose or meaning, has taken its toll on an already fragmented and indifferent society. By most metrics, whether reading, community, fatherlessness in homes, crime, or church attendance, not only is the truth missing but the very desire to seek it.
And yet, upon study of the Word, the truth plays a monumental role in how we perceive the world. Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
1 John 1:8 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us,” pointing to a moral truth that definitively exists. In 1 John 3:18, children are encouraged to act in truth: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” Even one of the very 10 commandments demands truth for a stable and moral society set apart by God: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).
And many times throughout our studies, we find the term “Amen.” According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, the basic meaning of “Amen” or its Semitic root, is “firm,” “fixed,” or “sure.” The Greek Old Testament usually translates amen as “so be it”; in the English Bible, it has frequently been written as “verily” or “truly.” So every time Jesus says, “truly I say to you…,” these moments of surety and promise and their truth will outlast the earth itself.
So, what then do we do to bypass these high-minded concepts that alleviate whole societies from the responsibility of standing firm on anything? In the cacophony of social media, it becomes passé to boldly proclaim truth. Any time in a comment section will assure you that there is a much larger crowd that is more comfortable lobbing grenades at any and all truth claims than there are people making them. As one apologist says, it is always much easier to throw rotten eggs than it is to lay a good one.
But what if that person denying absolute truth was building a new home? Or a person found out they had treatable cancer? Think of when you or someone you know was walking through the stressful decisions aligned with each life event.
Suddenly when faced with the very real consequence of having a poorly built or poorly designed home, and wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on it, finding a reputable builder doesn’t seem relative, does it? It seems imperative!
When faced with death, unless you attack the cancer in your body in the most effective way, finding an experienced expert in the truth of your diagnosis, your treatment, and the chances of that treatment working become essential to your life!
Suddenly, when the rubber meets the road, whether you teach there is no truth or not, the real, actual, unvarnished truth becomes vital to your well-being. And it isn’t some version of it, one man’s opinion of what it might be. It is the pure, unvarnished truth that you are after. Only with a clear scope of reality in these situations do you have enough trusted information to move forward. If you spoke with 17 doctors, friends, shamans, witches, and holistic consultants and trusted each opinion as equally relevant because it was “true for them,” I dare say your path would be unclear, and your disassociation from reality would affect you not only physically but mentally as well. How can you plan for something so serious without an objective truth to go by?
It is with this same energy and gravity that one should determine their salvation. Like Philippians says, “with fear and trembling.” When Matthew 10:28 says, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell,” this implies the obvious to us all, that the decisions that affect your eternal life are of far greater consequence than cancer or home-building. It’s not even close.
And yet, it is in this area, where theology meets philosophy, and where we have gotten so comfortable watering down every truth, from who Christ is, what the gospel is, to even what a woman is, that committing to anything at all seems an offense and a violation of some victim’s civil rights.
Standing for truth, and especially for truth in the Word, will have increasingly difficult consequences in the Western world. Society does not want to hear it, will reject it, will reject you and cancel you for speaking it, and wants to be protected from it. But the truth — the unvarnished, important, vital, absolute truth — is, was, and will be, and that will never change.