Is There Absolute Truth?

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A lawyer, a doctor, and a preacher went deer hunting together when along came a big buck. The three of them all shot at the same time, and immediately the buck dropped to the ground. They all rushed up to examine the deer, but couldn't determine whose shot had actually killed it.
They were in the middle of a heated argument when a game warden came by and asked what the problem was. The doctor told him that they were debating who shot the buck. The warden took one look at the buck and immediately pronounced, "The preacher shot the buck!" They all wondered how he knew that so quickly. To which the warden said, "Easy. The bullet went in one ear and out the other." (As retold by P. J. Alindogan, The Potter's Jar blog, "Hearing", 3-4-12)
We spent the last few weeks talking about some important questions. This is the basis of the entire sermon series, “Search Engine.” The purposes of this series is to direct you to the source of truth in God’s Word and the answers God provides. So as we go deeper into this series, we must stop to ask the question, “Is it possible to know truth?” Is truth absolute or is it relative to the one asking?” Even more, “Does it really matter?”
In 2012 American bicyclist Lance Armstrong was ousted from the sport for cheating in the Tour de France seven times. He was publicly disgraced in his championship titles from him as he was banned from the sport for the rest of his life. Think about how things would be different if truth were in the hands of relativists. “So he broke a few rules of the competition. But who is to say he did anything wrong?” If truth is this important for a sport riding bicycles, how much more important is it in life’s meaning and our morality?
We live in a time when truth has been made relative and claimed to be unobtainable. Leading into the 70’s we lived in the Modern Era when it was believed the only way to know truth was if something could be scientifically proven. Culturally speaking, this objective proof of truth placed the highest measure of truth through scientific reason. They thought they were elevating the standard, when actually it was being lowered.
In postmodernism challenges all views of any objective or absolutes in truth. The highest standard of truth is the held by the one evaluating the truth or giving the reason. So we’ve devalued the truth even further to “political correctness.” As a bumper sticker said, “I’ve given up on reason. Now I’m just looking for a good fantasy.” Maybe this is why our marriages are in such a state.
Modernism is based on naturalism, which paved the way for postmodernism. God and all other conceps having to to do with values, morality, spirituality became mere concepts. Modern theology set the ball rolling to devalue the Bible as a mere collection of myths. In the postmodern era, we unplug all morals, norms, and values from God and thus our values are relative. The public space of settled communities have been moved to the moral strip-mall .
This conclusion by postmodernists is catastrophic. On July 4 1776, the authors of the Declaration of Independence voiced the independence from tyranny proclaiming, “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain on alienable rights that among these are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” What happens when we make this truths relatives and disconnect them from their source. Our very liberty is at stake. If there is no truth then there are no answers.

For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

(John 18:37-38)
In reality, we need Biblical truth more today than ever. We worship the God of truth, whose word is truth, and whose promises are truth. This is important to us because if objective truth and morality do exist, then what we do, say, believe, and how we live have implications, meaning we must know how to live in accordance to these truths rather than pretending the ones we don’t like exist.
Let me offer up several reasons why truth matters to us supremely

A High Value of Truth Honors the God of Truth

A 1994 poll by the Barna Group revealed that 72 percent of American adults-that's almost three out of four-agreed with the statement that there is "no such thing as absolute truth; two people could define truth in totally conflicting ways, but both still be correct."
Truth is not a philosophical game for intellectuals to play. It is not based on who can outwit, outlast, or outplay. It is not however a game. For the Christian it is the highest of pursuits because faith is rooted in knowing the truth. At first sight the Christian view of truth to the postmodernist is obscene and offensive. It is seen as arrogant and intollerant, divisive, and judgemental.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson was a leading abortion doctor in the United States in the 1970’s. He had actually performed an abortion on a woman he had gotten pregnant during this time. This physician had campaigned vigorously for the legalization of abortion and he states that he had performed over 75,000 abortions himself.
But something changed Dr. Nathanson’s point of view, the introduction of the ultrasound in 1976. This device literally opened a window on fetal development. The first time Dr. Nathanson saw an ultrasound in action, he was convicted. He could see a throbbing heart and all four chambers of the heart pumping blood. He said that his mind had dropped the word fetus in favor of the word baby. Suddenly, everything he had been learning about the child in the womb since his entry into medicine snapped into focus. He had known what took place in the womb, but seeing it for the first time changed everything. Dr. Nathanson, the leading abortion doctor in America, became convinced that human life existed within the womb from the onset of pregnancy.
Do you see what happens. In the modernist and postmodernist mind the claim of truth about human life was left to the imagination and conclusions of the abortion doctor. But when when faced with the truth, Nathanson had to do something with it or his heart and soul would be calloused. Such it is with God. Just because we deny or think we can explain away a certain truth of God we disagree with, doesn’t negate God’s law or even His existence.
Jesus is the only way to God. There are as many ways to Jesus, but the record of Scripture and experience there are three main ways. We come to faith in Christ because we are driven by our human needs. We come to faith in Him because He seeks for us and finds us. And we come to faith in Christ because we believe his claims and the claims of the gospel are true. It is because of truth that our faith in God is not irrational. It is not an emotional, it is not psychological. It is not an opiate for the masses. Our faith goes beyond reason because we as humans are much more than reason. But our faith is a warranted faith because we have a firm, clear conviction it is true. We are those who think in believing and we believe in thinking.
Truth comes from God and given to us. We do not conjure what truth should be. That is why Paul wrote in Romans :

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

What Paul is saying is that God, nor His truths are hidden, but out for us to easily discover and hold. Truth therefore is revealed by God to us, not constructed or invented by people or communities. The truth of the Gospel is universal, no matter what country, community, or culture someone lives.

A High View of Truth Empowers our Best Human Enterprises

God’s truth is invariable - it does not change with culture or preference, and it is absolute. Christian truth is also universal. It is true without exception or exemption. The weather may change, the times will change, cultures will change, but God does not change. Heaven and Earth will pass away but the Word of the Lord endures forever.
Have you ever considered how significant this statement is to us and the implications of truth? This is not merely a projection of knowledge and writing. This is the immutable and eternal existence of God’s truth.
Skeptics and relativists who undermine the notion of truth are like the fool who is cutting off the branch on which he is sitting. Without truth, science and all human knowledge collapse into conjecture. Without truth, the vital profession of journalism and how we follow the events of our day and understand the signs of our times dissolve into rumor. Without truth, the worlds of politics and business melt down into rules and power games. Without truth, the precious gift of human reason and freedom becomes license and all human relationships lose the bonding element of trust that is binding at their heart. We then as followers of Christ are unashamed to stand before the world as servants and guardians of a high view of truth, both for our Lord’s sake but also for the highest endeavors of humanity.

A High View of Truth Undergirds Our Proclamation of the Gospel

All humans, are not only truth seekers but truth twisters. We must never forget today that our stand for truth must start in the church itself. We must resist the powerful seductions of those who downplay truth for methodology, or truth in the name of activism, or truth for entertainment, or truth for seeker sensitivity, and above all those who put modern and revisionist view of truth in the place of the biblical view.
If we do not place the highest value of truth, then we undermine the very Gospel we preach. I once had someone accuse me of lying in the pulpit. I had to come against that spirit quite strongly because it had the potential to undermine the work of the Gospel both here in the United States and the missions work being done.
Likewise our value of truth needs to be in the little things as much as the big things. R. C. Sproul: "Truth is that which accurately describes reality." Hold with reality; hold with the truth.
Let me give you a couple of examples. Jesus often took something that was material to explain something spiritual. He took the ordinary to explain the extraordinary. Sodium is an essential element for all animal life (including human) and for some plant species. It is also used in industrial processes.
Sodium reacts violently with water. Small pea-sized pieces will bounce across the surface of the water until they are consumed by it, whereas large pieces will explode. Chlorine is a gas. The German Army first used chlorine gas cylinders in April 1915 against the French Army at Ypres, Belgium. Chlorine gas destroyed the respiratory organs of its victims and this led to a slow death by asphyxiation – the lack of oxygen.
Yet when chlorine picks up one other molecule, it becomes chloride, which is a chemical the human body needs for metabolism (the process of turning food into energy). The amount of chloride in the blood is carefully controlled by the kidneys
So how do we take those two essential elements – sodium and chloride - into our bodies? We do it every day, because sodium and chloride combined become table salt. Isn’t that strange? When you get to spiritual things, hold with the truth, even though it seems strange to others.
We come to faith in Christ because we are driven by our human needs. He seeks us out and finds us. It is not a matter of psychology, emotionalism, wealth, or reason. It is a very essential need that we lack. “Lord to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life.” Jesus said, “I am the bread of life… I am the water of life… I am the light of the world....”
Do you realize that without truth we could never know God’s forgiveness? How would we know what we are being forgiven of if we have no absolute to tie back to in life?

A High Value of Truth is Needed to Combat Evil.

Postmodern thinking makes us all aware of hypocrisy but gives us no standard of truth to expose and correct it. And now with the global expansion of markets through capitalism, the global expansion of freedom through technology and travel, and the global expansion of human dysfunctions through the breakdown of the family, we are facing the greatest human rights crisis of all time and a perfect storm of evil. Both hypocrisy and evil depend on lies. Hypocrisy is a lie in deeds rather than in words. And evil always uses lies to cover its oppressions. Only with truth can we stand up to deception and manipulation. For all who hate hypocrisy, care for justice and human dignity, and are prepared to fight evil, truth is the absolute requirement.
“One word of truth outweighs the entire world.” If faith is not true, it would be false even if the whole world believed it. If our faith is true, it would be true even if the whole world were against it. So let the conviction ring out from this conference. We worship and serve the God of truth and humbly and resolutely, we seek to live as people of truth. Here we still stand, so help us God.
Isn’t funny how we are living in a time when so much is going on and evil seems to prosper, yet we have at our fingertips more knowledge and information than we could ever hope to imagine. Man’s problem is not intellectual; it is spiritual. The Cross is hated by so many because it reveals to us who we are - it shows us the truth emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. And yet at the Cross Justice, Love, Forgiveness converge. When we come to this truth, everything changes.
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