Is Truth Absolute or Relative?

One of the things God instilled in me over the last year is that you need to know the truth in order to recognise when it is not being taught.

With a lesson like that it creates a firm foundation that when truth is questioned, immediately you recognise that doubt is being placed on truth and the alarm bells start ringing. If someone places doubt on truth, what happens to truth? You already know something isn't quite right since truth is absolute by definition. Either something is, or it isn't.

The Lord of course wasn't just refering to everyday truths, but biblical truths.

If you compare people from all over the world, there would probably be a lesser percentage of atheists in comparison to those who believe that there is something more than us. They may not be sure what it is, but there are a vast majority of people around the world seeking for the truth of what it is that is greater than we are.

This reminds me of Paul when he was in Athens Acts 17. He went to the synagogues and was saddened by the amount of idols that were around. There was obviously some acknowledgement that there was something greater, but since there were so many idols around and different gods, it would seem the same was happening in those days as today.

There are thousands of different beliefs and religions around the world today, so it is obvious people recognize there is something more than just us; but how many truths can there be? How many times have you heard the saying 'there are many roads that lead to God'? Which God are they talking about since Jesus said HE is the ONLY WAY? John 14:6 Jesus never preached many ways, but one way... through Him.

This is probably why so many will question the authenticity of the Bible, because if the authority of the bible is called into question, how do we know which God is the right one or how can we know that truth can be known?

If we place doubt on the authority of scripture, then it is likely we may end up with a distorted view of who God is. It is through these distortions that many cults and different religions are birthed.

Tolerance seems to be an additional sheep in wolves clothing when it comes to the idea of an each to their own theory vs absolute truth. Tolerance may seem appealing, but it doesn't lead anyone to the truth. The danger in tolerance is that you have no problem with someone believing that pigs can fly even though you know pigs cannot fly, but you never going to lead anyone into that knowledge if you just accept every man has a right to believe what he chooses.

The problem with tolerance however is not about someone believing that pigs can fly, but being tolerant of other cults and religions which do not lead to salvation or the truth of what God teaches. By accepting an each to their own philosophy, you are in effect standing back and doing nothing when you recognise people are on the wide road which leads to destruction rather than the narrow road which leads to salvation; all in the name of tolerance so as not upset people who believe differently from you. It's a cowards way out basically.

When God called to Moses from the burning bush, He told Moses he was the God of his father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Exodus 3:6 I've always found this interesting but makes perfect sense since there were many different gods that were known in the day of Moses. Because God introduced himself in this way, Moses knew which God it was and hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.

The concept of there being many gods around in the days of Moses is further clarified when Moses asks God what is name is Ex 3:13-14 God told Moses to say his name is I AM. We can see how God established himself as the one true God through scripture through his words and actions.

When Paul was in Athens and was disturbed by the many different gods and idols, he began preaching about Jesus and the resurrection. This teaching was new to the philosophers, so they asked him to come and explain these strange teachings they had never heard before. Paul did not condemn them for serving other gods, instead he told them he recognized they were a religious people since he saw the objects of their worship. But he also noted an alter addressed to 'the unknown god' and he went on to tell them who this unknown God was. He is the God who made the world and everything in it and went on to tell them about Jesus who was sent by God for the salvation of everyone who would accept him. Acts 17:16-34

Can you imagine if Paul saw the amount of gods these people served but just had an each to their own attitude? Can you imagine if Paul just accepted that what might be true for one is not true for all? Can you imagine if he just took on the attitude to be tolerant of other religions and gods even though he believed he had the truth, yet did not tell people the truth because he wanted to be on the right side of them? It doesn't bear thinking about does it? Is there really such a thing as relative truth when it comes to the truth about God? Did Jesus teach us relative truth or absolute truth? Did Jesus teach us to be tolerant of all different cults and religions?

What is the cost of tolerance and relative truth?

Some would say truth needs no defense; I say it does in the sense that if someone places a question on what is truth, the danger is not in defending the truth, but saying nothing.

1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
Is Truth Absolute or Relative? Reviewed by Nicky on February 28, 2011 Rating: 5

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