Absolutes in a Relativistic Age

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

— 3 John 4

Today many people try to live as if no absolute truths govern their existence. They say, “Truth is relative.” But imagine if these people declared that the law of gravity was not “their truth.” If they jumped from the top of a skyscraper, they’d soon discover the error of their philosophy. Gravity, like all other absolutes, exists whether or not we choose to believe in it.

Relativism may seem like a wonderful philosophy, but life without absolutes is meaningless. The philosopher Nietzsche promoted moral relativism, and he exerted a strong influence in the lives of Hitler and others, but we can sum up Nietzsche’s life in two graffiti messages once found on a building. The first message: “God is dead.—Nietzsche.” The second message: “Nietzsche is dead.—God.” Whatever “truth” humans profess, God’s truth always prevails in the end. (By the way, Nietzsche was insane during the last several years of his life.)

Jesus proclaimed the existence of absolute truth, and we learn of it through God’s Word, our source for defining absolute rights and wrongs. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Jesus didn’t say, “You will know a truth.” He didn’t say, “You will know your truth.” He said, “You shall know the truth.” God’s truth stands for everyone. We cannot reject God’s truth as just “somebody else’s truth, but not mine.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Jesus is not a truth, part of the truth, or somebody else’s truth. He is the truth. How ironic that Jesus, the incarnation of absolute truth, had to stand trial before Pilate, a coward whose truth changed to please the crowd, and to hear Pilate sneer, “What is truth?”

God’s absolute truths give us joyful purpose in this relativistic age. How wonderful to know that our faith is built on truth. I’m a Christian not because I need to be or because it feels right (although both are true). I’m a Christian because Christ is the truth.

“In regard to this great book [the Bible], I have but to say,
it is the best gift God has given to men. All the good the
Savior gave to the world was communicated through this
book. But for it we could not know right from wrong.”
Abraham Lincoln