Recently, as i browse on my Facebook, i come across the controversial vote of the leaders of the United Methodist Church for Biblical Marriage and Gender Issues. As i look upon comments, interestingly there is a rift issue that boils down to a question: Is Truth Relative or Absolute?
It is not new. Jesus, after feeding the five thousand, he told his disciples, who do you say that i am, which speaks of revealing himself as the Christ, and interestingly, when Jesus asked the disciples who He is, they came with different answers.
The point here is: As a totally depraved sinner, when we are confronted with the Truth, we have different understanding on what the Truth is.
Now, let us answer the Question. When someone says that truth is relative, what he normally means is that there is no absolute truth. Some things may appear true to you but not true to me. If you believe it, it is true for you. If I don’t believe it, it is not true for me. When people say things like “that’s fine if God exists for you, but He doesn’t exist for me,” they are expressing the popular belief that truth is relative.
The whole concept of “relative truth” sounds tolerant and open-minded. However, upon closer analysis, it is not open-minded at all. In essence, to say that “God exists for you but not for me” is to say that the other person’s concept of God is wrong. It passes judgment. But no one really believes that all truth is relative. No sane person says, “Gravity works for you, but not for me,” and proceeds to jump off tall buildings believing no harm will follow.
The statement “truth is relative” is, in fact, a self-refuting statement. In saying, “Truth is relative,” one states a purported truth. But, if all truth is relative, then that statement itself is relative as well—which means we can’t trust it to be true all the time.*
Same thing with the outrageous claim of Jesus that He is the Bread of Life and Eat His Body and Drink the Flesh. Look at how the people understand this eternal truth and that is exactly how Relativism works. They think that when he said is Cannibalism, but the Truth is: He is talking about Trusting Him as the Messiah, the True God, True Messenger of God, Son of God. See the difference?
Now, In order to understand absolute or universal truth, we must begin by defining truth. Truth, according to the dictionary, is “conformity to fact or actuality; a statement proven to be or accepted as true.” Some people would say that there is no true reality, only perceptions and opinions. Others would argue that there must be some absolute reality or truth.
One view says that there are no absolutes that define reality. Those who hold this view believe everything is relative to something else, and thus there can be no actual reality. Because of that, there are ultimately no moral absolutes, no authority for deciding if an action is positive or negative, right or wrong. This view leads to “situational ethics,” the belief that what is right or wrong is relative to the situation. There is no right or wrong; therefore, whatever feels or seems right at the time and in that situation is right. Of course, situational ethics leads to a subjective, “whatever feels good” mentality and lifestyle, which has a devastating effect on society and individuals. This is postmodernism, creating a society that regards all values, beliefs, lifestyles, and truth claims as equally valid.
The other view holds that there are indeed absolute realities and standards that define what is true and what is not. Therefore, actions can be determined to be either right or wrong by how they measure up to those absolute standards. If there are no absolutes, no reality, chaos ensues. Take the law of gravity, for instance. If it were not an absolute, we could not be certain we could stand or sit in one place until we decided to move. Or if two plus two did not always equal four, the effects on civilization would be disastrous. Laws of science and physics would be irrelevant, and commerce would be impossible. What a mess that would be! Thankfully, two plus two does equal four. There is absolute truth, and it can be found and understood.
To make the statement that there is no absolute truth is illogical. Yet, today, many people are embracing a cultural relativism that denies any type of absolute truth. A good question to ask people who say, “There is no absolute truth” is this: “Are you absolutely sure of that?” If they say “yes,” they have made an absolute statement”which itself implies the existence of absolutes. They are saying that the very fact there is no absolute truth is the one and only absolute truth.*
In other words, it’s not new.
But let me tell you: TRUTH IS ABSOLUTE.
Who is this Absolute Truth?
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. Oneness with the Father If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.” (John 14:6-11, NASB)
The Absolute Truth is Jesus Christ!
Knowing absolute truth/universal truth is only possible through a personal relationship with the One who claims to be the Truth”Jesus Christ. Jesus claimed to be the only way, the only truth, the only life and the only path to God (John 14:6). The fact that absolute truth does exist points us to the truth that there is a sovereign God who created the heavens and the earth and who has revealed Himself to us in order that we might know Him personally through His Son Jesus Christ. That is the absolute truth.