Truth or Relativism?
Perhaps you have seen the cartoon picture on Facebook. Where two men stand on opposite sides of a picture drawn in the sand. From one man’s perspective, the drawing appears to be a “6”. But the man on the opposite side of the drawing sees a “9”. And then the caption reads something like, “Truth is determined by your perspective.”
The problem is, the cartoon doesn’t actually address “truth” it addresses relativism. Here is the truth that is not discussed in the cartoon. Someone, at some point, drew that picture in the sand. And if it is the case that he drew that picture with intent, then whatever he intended the picture to be, is what the picture is. If when he drew that figure into the ground, he intended for it to be a “6” then the figure is a “6”. And the man believing the picture is a “9” is simply wrong.
“Well from his perspective it is a ‘9’” someone says. Too bad, the original author intended it to be a “6” so the man who perceives it to be a “9” must change his perspective, so that his perspective lines up with the truth. The truth is the figure is a “6” regardless of how it is perceived.
We live in a society of cultural relativism. Where people have ‘perceived’ truths, rather than actual truth. So when a person says, “XYZ is what God says” another person says “Well, from my perspective, God says ZYX.” When it comes to THE TRUTH we must recognize that our perspective concerning truth is irrelevant. We must determine what the Author meant when He said what He said.
God’s truth is not relative. God’s truth is objective and it is determined, not on how a person perceives it, but on what He intended when He spoke/wrote it.
For instance, when God inspired Moses to write:
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: … (Exo. 20:11)
That is what he meant. He did not mean, that He made the heaven, the earth, the sea and all that in them is… in multiplied millions of years. I know that is not what he meant, because that is not what he said.
A person’s ‘perception’ of those words is irrelevant as far as establishing THE TRUTH is concerned. The only thing that matters pertaining to establishing the Truth is what He meant when he said those words.
When Jesus said: “…for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” He meant exactly that. A person who does not first believe that Jesus is God, he will die in his sins.
Whether a person believes that as truth does not matter as pertaining to whether or not it is true.
When Jesus said: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned. That is what he meant. Whether a person believes that as truth, only affects his salvation, it does not in any way change The Truth.
It is a shame that in our society people are starting to believe that there are ‘alternative facts.’ CNN tells ‘their truth’ FOX NEWS tells ‘their truth’ and people today have to figure out which ‘facts’ they believe.
When it comes to God’s word there is truth and there is error. Any ‘alternative facts’ are simply wrong. When God says something, the only thing that matters is what did God say. Not, “from my perspective what does God mean.”
Making decisions based on my perspective of God, really only makes me my own God. If God says homosexuality is wrong, as He does, then homosexuality is wrong, regardless of anyone’s perspective about it. A homosexual might say “well from my perspective, God is not condemning homosexuality, he is condemning being inhospitable.” And he lives by his own perception of who God is and what God has said. And in doing so, he only chooses to believe what he wants to believe, and his truth is only his truth, and his god, is himself.
When we allow ideas such as ‘relativism’ to make its way into our thought processes, we do away with the idea of absolute truth. And when we do away with absolute truth, we do away with God. And when we do away with God, we all become our own gods doing whatever we think is right from our perspective.
But Jesus said this:
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (Jn 8:32) He didn’t say “know your truth” or “know a truth,” he said knowing THE truth will make one free. He further tells us what the truth is.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (Jn 17:17)
If we want to be set free, we must know THE TRUTH. And if we wish to be sanctified, it only happens by obedience to “Thy Word.” Not my perception of his word, but what he said in his word.
Just as the man who perceives the “6” to be a “9 if the author’s intent was a “6” then the man who perceives a “9” is wrong. So it is today, that any person who perceives that God means one thing when God has said something else, is clearly wrong.