A Biblical Perspective on How to Live In a Culture That Rejects Truth
Because of these false teachers, many will follow their destructive ways, and the way of truth will be evil spoken of (2 Peter 2:2). Who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18)
In order for the Bible to make such statements as above, it must assert that there is such a thing as original, absolute truth. Is there such a thing? If so, what truth? Whose truth?
Humanity has mulled this question over for the last couple hundred years in our “higher criticism” schools. When we approach this question of absolute truth logically and philosophically according to real life and Scripture, it all comes back to a resounding YES! Yes, there is such a thing as original, absolute truth! If the Bible is true (and I believe it is), it all starts with our Creator God and His Word. The Word of God is filled with “truth statements” from cover to cover! For instance;
- The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever (Psalm 119:160). *Every word of God is pure; … (Prov. 30:5) and the proceeding verse 6 states that it is tried(YLT), tested(NASB), pure(KJV), true(NLT) and flawless (NIV).
- Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth (Jh. 17:17).
- Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth (Ps. 119:142).
- Acknowledging the truth which is keeping after godliness, (Tit. 1:1).
- …purified your souls in obeying the truth… (1Pet. 1:22).
- … that your words may be tested to see whether there is any truth in you; … (Gen. 42:16).
- if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus (Eph. 4:21).
Truth is not only in Jesus Christ, He is the personification of truth; I am The way, The truth, and The life … (Jh. 14:6).
Logic only demands that if God really created us, and we became separated from Him as the Bible describes, He knew we would have questions about how we got here, what our purpose and value is, and what happens to us after we die, etc. This is the reason God gave His written revelation called Scripture. The purpose God gave His Word in short is to provide “a revelation of Himself to mankind and His will for mankind.
God provided His Word to be a landmark of absolute truth to guide and govern all humanity; THE major landmark that is not to be touched (Rev. 22:18-19). However, it was the first thing the devil attacked, “hath God said?” (Gen. 3:1). In the modern era (approximately the mid to late 1700’s thru the 1900’s) the Word of God has gradually been thrown aside and disregarded. Today’s generation have been born and raised in a post-Christian or a postmodern culture. What does that mean?
Postmodernism is a philosophy that believes all truth claims are valid because there is no such thing as absolute truth. Two people can disagree, but neither person is wrong. In fact, they are both right. Now, if the Bible is true, postmodernism cannot be; and that would mean someone is right and someone is wrong, resulting in conflict and division –Jesus said in Luke 12:51, “Do you think I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!” In brief context, Jesus is referring to a separation between what is of God and what is not.
In 2009 on the award winning Answers In Genesis web site, Todd Friel wrote an excellent brief summary of history to show how we came to postmodernism.
For the first 1,400 years or so after Jesus Christ’s ministry on earth, people lived in the premodern era. The church became the supreme authority, and people generally believed what they were told.
Then philosophers introduced humanism – the belief that man determines truth. In the French Revolution of 1789 the peasants killed the king so they could rule themselves. In fact, Christian symbols were removed all across France, and a statue of Reason was erected at Notre Dame Cathedral in 1793. [Note that the Bible taught loyalty to the king, thus, it had to be discarded]. Thus began the era of modernism. The modernist era symbolically came tumbling down with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Humanism proved to be a failure. Unfortunately, modernism gave birth to an even uglier child: postmodernism. This philosophy says all truth claims are valid (no man has the answers because absolute truth cannot be known).
Within the modern and postmodern era, pluralism spread rapidly. Pluralism is a view that there are many viable options within a society on all levels, especially those of worldviews, faiths and ideologies. Many took pluralism one step further by affirming relativistic pluralism, known as relativism. Relativism affirms the value of many options, but does not distinguish any difference in the validity or truthfulness of those options. It treats all human ideologies and moral systems as equal [taken from Mark Ashton’s booklet entitled, “Absolute Truth,” by IVP Books].
Pluralism and relativism are seen in Romans 1:32b, “but also approve of those who practice them.” Relativism makes-up self-centered ethics and judgments as it goes. It is lust that gets rather than love that gives. These philosophies provide an easy way out of confrontation between right and wrong. We can see from this regression how righteous masculinity has been virtually lost in today’s culture.
With the opening of the modern era in the 17 and 1800’s, came also an explosion of knowledge, called by some as the age of enlightenment. Keep in mind 1 Corinthians 8:1 “… knowledge puffs up…” The “enlightenment” was really just mankind building upon yesterday’s wisdom with great momentum, which was a positive thing for humanity. However, without retaining God in our knowledge, like Romans 1:28 says, Satan was able to slip in and mix lies with all truth in virtually every aspect of society. In tracing back belief systems, you will notice it was during this era when all kinds of different doctrines started coming on the scene, science was hijacked with evolution, philosophy was hijacked with Sigmund Freud and education also gradually hijacked as well. Never before in history have more belief systems, theories and false doctrines come on the scene then this era. The list goes on and on, and these things are still dominating today; and Satan loves it.
Postmodern philosophy is forced to reject the belief that the ancient Hebrew Scriptures contain absolute truth to govern all faith, creeds and practices. Postmodernism has slipped into many Christian circles as well, who affirm that the Bible contains sometruth but not entirely truth (and we’re not referring to human translational errors). This is postmodernism at its best, because “man” gets to dictate what the Bible says instead of the Word of God dictating to us, the creation of God. The clay pot cannot dictate to the Potter how to make it. The result of the philosophy of postmodernism has led to, and continues to lead to a generation that throws off restraints; Proverbs 29:18 – where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed (happy) is he who keeps the law (ESV). Another translation I like says, “When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful” (NLT). The law of God or the ways of God act as a safe boundary to protect us. Picture a heard of sheep on a grassy slope, but at the edge of the slope is a thousand foot cliff. The good Shepherd puts up a fence to protect the sheep from falling off and from predators such as wolves. If the sheep obey the boundaries they are safe, but if they do not obey the boundaries they are in imminent danger. That’s real love not bondage.
Because of the deception of postmodernism, we are now living in a day when people purposely suppress the truth by their own unrighteous, selfish lust and rebellion against God the Creator (Romans 1:18-19). Romans chapter one gives examples of the existence of absolute truth in the human body and human nature in verse 19 and creation itself in verse 20. Yet even when the Word of God fits like a glove with real scientific findings, the “suppressors of truth” refuse to accept it and choose to reject it. God, who honors His creation of free-willed beings, has therefore let them run their own course by giving them up to their own lusts, Romans 1:24. God gave them up to their own vile affections, 1:26; and finally God gives them totally over to a debased or reprobate mind, 1:28. When looking at definitions of Reprobate, you will find words like “laxity of the age,” “foreordain to damnation,” “to refuse to accept [truth],” “morally abandoned; depraved, etc. In other words, these people reject God’s original design and purposes and they actually believe themselves to be totally right and God-fearing people to be old-fashioned, fundamentalist nut-cases. Severe contrast develops between true Believers and non-believers that are irreconcilable. Only on Judgment Day will this be remedied.
Romans chapter one has mixed within it the core subject of original, absolute truth. In verses 29-31, the Apostle Paul lists 23 behaviors resulting from the rejection of God and His truths. Notice just prior to this, in verses 26-28, Paul emphasizes homosexuality as one of the main behaviors or signs characterizing a people suppressing and rejecting original, absolute truth.
How do we deal with people who have no standard of absolute truth (postmodernism)?
Follow Jesus’ Lead
We learn from Scripture that every time Jesus was confronted with controversial questions, He would respond by going back to the Creator’s original design and purpose. He didn’t allow Himself to get sucked into unfruitful controversial debate as 1Timothy 1:4; 1:20 and 2 Timothy 2:23 exhorts. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus always responded with the originality of God’s Word and higher purposes: “it is written!” “It is written” equates to original truth, and it has not changed (Lk. 4:4, 7, 12)! When the religious leaders questioned Jesus about the divorce and remarriage subject, Christ just referred them back to God’s original design and plan from the beginning, which God never changed in any of His commands or covenants (Matt.19:3-8 / Mark 10:6). God allowed Moses to issue a divorce as an act of provision for hard hearts, “but from the beginning (original design), it was not so” (Matt. 19:8). God’s Word does not and cannot change: (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8 and Revelation 22:18-19).
Jesus was seriously focused on the bigger picture in everything. Even in political issues, Jesus stayed focused on original plan and purpose! Today the pressing political diversity cannot be ignored, yet it was no different in the time of Christ. His own disciples were caught in the political debates of their day. Matthew was a tax collector, and believed in strengthening and funding the current foreign government; we could say he was far left. In contrast, Simon the Zealot believed they should overthrow Rome and re-establish their own; so we could say he was far right. Notice Jesus did not take sides in this. His purpose was much higher than to preserve any one government. When there is a split somewhere down the middle of a group of people (be it small or a whole Nation), reduces the ability for either side to reach the other with the salvation message, resulting in a reduction of Salvations by approximately 50%. The devil’s methodology has always been to bring confusion and division. I believe we as Christians need to be active in establishing righteous government; however, our main focus has to be the Kingdom of Heaven! Especially these days! Bible prophecy is clear that towards the end of this age lawlessness and corruption will increase and the love of many will grow colder and colder (Matt. 24). So let’s stop the sugar-coating and the presumptuous confessions; this great country along with the rest of the world is falling into wicked hands. I’m not saying we should withdraw at all, however it is all the more reason to be extremely focused on preserving souls for the Kingdom over preserving a particular form of government.
The further we travel down the timeline, the further humanity is drifting from God and His original truth. It is also happening at an accelerated rate. We have heard that Jesus is the Truth and the Truth is in Jesus, etc. But how do we apply this or how can we grasp walking victoriously in truth and keep sight of God’s original purpose and plan?
The gospel of John tells us, “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ,” (Jh. 1:17). The law was given to reveal right and wrong, for protection, and to preserve fallen people. The scope of vision most people have, including Christians, is in the time frame after the fall of Adam. Because this is the only thing they can physically see and witness. However, the sinful state of humanity is not God’s original purpose and desire for mankind. We have to include in our scope of vision God’s original design and purpose for creating man before the fall; i.e. created for pure face-to-face fellowship and worship. This equates to absolute perfection! We are far from being perfect but this is the reason Jesus Christ came – to redeem for the purpose of restoring us to original design and purpose! Read how the good book ends – everything is ultimately restored back to God’s original purpose and design (with some enhancements).
Within the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5, Jesus compares law and grace by saying 6 times “You have heard that it was said …, but I say to you …” (vs 21, 27-28, 31, 33, 38 & 43). Before the time of Christ people only had a written revelation of God; they didn’t have the nature of God living in them. It was prophesied many times that the law and nature of God would someday live in the hearts of mankind (Jer. 31:33). When Jesus Christ finished His work on the cross, this was fulfilled. John 1:17, “… grace and truth came …” Original truth starts with God and His Word, but we can’t walk in that truth without God’s grace to do so. So in simplest form, Grace is the power to live truth! That’s why truth is associated with grace, because Grace has been given when Christ finished His work on the cross. We can now receive the very nature of God within us and therefore have the power to live according to God’s original purpose and truth. Grace and truth is obtained by submitting and trusting your life to Jesus Christ – The Creator and Redeemer. Just as John 1:17 says above, truth is obtained “through Jesus Christ.” If He really created us as the Bible says, there is no other way but through the One who created us. Please remember, grace is NOT a license to sin, it is a power to obtain! Grace is NOT God looking the other way giving you pardon, it is a power or ability to overcome sin and to be what you are called to be and to do what you are called to do!
Remember original design was absolute perfection. Christ ends Matt. 5 with a statement – “therefore,” meaning, if you do what He just said prior; “you shall be perfect/complete.” With God’s grace empowering us to live out the Sermon on the Mount, i.e. the ways of God, Jesus says we will reach perfection/completeness. In other words, come into God’s original purpose and plan from the beginning! HALLELUJAH! Grace be with you!
The mission of the “Creation Under Fire project” is to educate people with the truth of our origin as revealed in the first book of the Holy Bible – Genesis. To establish a clear understanding of the original thought and intent of the author as it was originally recorded; therewith, dispelling untrue theories of creation within the church. In turn, strengthening people’s faith and equipping them with real answers for the faith they possess and to defend it well. Also to expose the most subtle scheme Satan has ever unleashed on humanity, which has sent more people to hell than any other attack mankind has ever known