OceanSide church of Christ
|Previous||Return to Articles||Next|
IS TRUTH RELATIVE?
Victor M. Eskew
We live in a postmodern society. This society has been impacted by several ideologies that have radically impacted and drastically our society. One concept that has brought harm to our culture is relativism. Relativism does not contend for one standard of truth by which all other things are to be measured. Relativism says that truth is determined by each individual or group. A simple way of defining relativism is found in this statement: “I have my truth and you have your truth.”
One of the problems with relativism is that two statements can contradict each other and individuals will say that both of the statements are true. One of the supposed benefits of this type of thinking is that no one can ever be said to be wrong. Since no one is ever wrong, there are no debates, no hurt feelings, and no reasons to apologize. Two individuals just agree that both are right and they depart in peace with their conflicting truths.
Relativism has created a very difficult world in which truth must dwell. Truth enters the room and all who embrace relativism despise it. Truth seems to be very stubborn. Truth seems to be unyielding. Truth is said to unloving. Many criticize truth for being mean and exclusive. Truth, they say, thinks that he is always right. Real truth is rejected by relativism. Those who are usually tolerant of all ideas are not tolerant of truth. Truth is told that either he must compromise or leave the room.
There are many areas wherein relativism is practiced instead of seeking for absolute truth. Relativism is what drives our political system. Relativism is what many people use in their discussion of moral issues like abortion and homosexuality. Relativism is what allows the concept of denominationalism to thrive in the religious world. Topics such as respect for God and modesty are now viewed through the lens of relativism. Thousands of differing and conflicting views exist. All of them are said to be truth. They all just go along to get along.
True Christianity is not founded upon relativism. It is founded upon truth. Jesus Christ said: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). This truth is absolute. This truth is settled in heaven. This truth is unchangeable. This truth is no friend to relativism. It will stand in bold opposition to every thought, ideology, and doctrine that opposes it. It will not apologize to anyone for what is has to say. It is truth. Nothing man might say or do will change it.
Far too many people who call themselves Christians have embraced relativism. They do not want to see the real truth in any area of life. They enjoy living in their world of perceived truth. In their world, they are always right. This makes them feel good and that is all that matters.
Dear readers, let us as God’s children never embrace the concept of relativism in any area of life, especially in our spiritual lives. Let us hold to and proclaim the truth on all things. The world will call us mad (Acts 26:24). We, however, will respond just as Paul did in the long ago. “But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness” (Acts 26:25).