Is Truth Relative?
What is Truth?
This age-old question has echoed down the years, whether from the arrogant, yet fearful lips of Pontius Pilate as he posed it to Jesus, or from the latest student seeking to make his own decisions and find "what is true for me."
Truth; does it change with the times or situations, or does it remain constant and absolute.
In order to determine which is right we need to understand how we got into this debate in the first place. We have to begin at the beginning. The confusion over what system to use to measure truth originates at the genesis of time, in the Garden of Eden. When life was truly simple and the issue wasn't which "truth" was correct, but just being who God created us to be: fulfilled in our dependence on Him, yet fully creative and free to express our purpose and meaning of life in harmony with creation and each other.
Why all of the confusion today? Why is it so hard to determine what is true, or right? Why are there so many decisions to make anyway?
The answer to that question originates with the first overt decision made by man in the garden when Adam and Eve chose to take the independent route, and rebel against God"s one negative directive, "From any tree in the garden you may eat freely, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die." [Genesis 2:16&17]
The man and woman had only one thing to decide, one choice to ponder, "Do I obey God and not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or do I eat of it?"
Everything God had said and did was very good, and happened as He said, and He provided everything they needed. So what was the need or the reason to look for another source of life or truth?
There was no desire to control or make decisions separate from God…He was truth, and that was enough. Until one day another creature entered the picture, the serpent, and he presented an alternate word, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?'" [Genesis 3:1]
With that initial alternative word, or truth, the woman entered the dialogue with the creature that led to The Lie.
"You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." [Genesis 3:4&5]
"Aaahhh! Something new, something that will make me an equal to God, or better yet, I will be God…with special knowledge…I will know what is right and wrong and I won't have to go to Him with my needs or inquiries," or maybe she thought, "Another way to know God, to be like Him, what better way to know Him…"
With this possible reasoning and the temptation, she fell for the lie. Immediately, she presented the temptation to the man ( her husband), "…and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings." [Genesis 3:6]
What happened! This glorious new revelation that the serpent promised is now here and it isn't what they thought it would be. How can I say that?
Look at the first special knowledge they had: "they knew they were naked…" Not Einstein's Theory of Relativity, or the secrets of the atom, or the intricacies of DNA, they knew shame! They also knew the responsibility of being God, "they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings," covering their shame! Have you read God's job description lately:
Omnipotent - all powerful
Omnipresent - everywhere at once
Omniscient - knows everything
Perfect Love - agape, self-sacrificing, just, all sufficient, covenant Keeping.
Only God can be God, but from the moment of The Lie, mankind took on the role. Feeling the separation and the work of death piercing spirit, soul and body, motivated by fear, they pressed on into their now decaying world, trying to hide from and protect themselves from the One that promised death with disobedience, or so they reasoned from their Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil mentality.
So many decisions to be made, now. What is the right thing to do? What will be the outcome of this decision? Will I be safe? What will be the results 2 or 20 days from now? How will this decision affect tomorrow?
From the simple decision of obeying Father, and freely eating of all of the other trees in the garden, to
this chaos, how great a fall! Father pointed out another tree in the garden, the Tree of Life. This tree
would have insured eternal God Life, with continued total dependence on Him, without the burden of
godhood or the responsibilities. The rebellion resulted in a whole new quest for knowledge…to the point
of being driven to find and figure, but never truly knowing.
With this quest for knowledge, a whole system was developed to measure data in order to determine
whether it was good or evil (right or wrong), so man could do the good and avoid the evil, in order to be
successful (like god). As long as a person, a mere human is inheriting and learning and developing this
system, it will have one basic common problem in it …inconsistency, instability, shifting change with a predetermined outcome...
FAILURE - DESTRUCTION - DEATH!
Enough external or internal pressure and the entire system will collapse. We see this in our own lives and in the corporate lives of whole nations. If there is no sure foundation, the structure falls.
"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it" [Psalm 127:1]
Is Truth Relative?
Is it relative to time, situation, persons, places things, does truth fluctuate? With our original parents' choice
of independence and new knowledge, their mind was set with this Lie. We continue to eat around this tree
and have developed a grid in which we view the world and attempt to measure this relative truth. This is the
state we find mankind in, all believing they know what is best for them. God warns us in His word: "There is a
way that seems right unto a man, but it's end is the way of death." [Proverbs 14:12]
Truth is not relative to time, situation, persons, places or things! Truth is Absolute! Truth is unchanging, constant and without a mixture of error. In fact, truth is not a thing or a philosophy to be discovered…Truth is a Person to be known. Truth is God Himself, the Blessed Trinity: God the Father, God the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit.
"…If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." [John 8:31&32]
"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of God shall stand forever." [Isaiah 40:8]
"…I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." [John 14:6]
Truth can be known by knowing God through Jesus Christ as presented by the Holy Spirit to each searching heart who is willing to give up the false identity of "being god", and submit to the only True God.
"Father, … glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee, even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life. And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent." [John 17:1b-3]
"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me (Jesus); for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you." [John 16:13&14]
Knowing God is simply believing from you heart (whole being) He is who He says He is; the Way, the Truth, and The Life! And then putting that belief into action:
first, by believing in your heart,
then by confessing it out loud to Him and others,
and then allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you into change from being "god" of your own life, to submitting to the only True God as He leads you out of the lie of relative truth to the Absolute Truth of God Himself.
"…The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart - that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation." [Romans:10:8-10]