Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32 NIV
If you’ve followed my Twitter account or watched my posts on Facebook lately, you’ve probably noticed the theme of “truth” popping up. I’ve found myself reading a little more about this subject and it has come up in some conversations with friends. Just recently I was asked by somebody, “Do you really believe there is absolute truth?” I’ll come back to my answer in a little bit. But I want to start with some foundation thoughts.
Let’s start by defining truth. Webster’s defines it this way: “The state of being the case: a fact.”
Truth is what it is…kind of. You see, I think there are different kinds of truth. There is temporary truth. For instance, you might say, “There is a glass of chocolate milk on the counter” and that might be true in the short term. However, if I’m standing nearby, that milk will not be there for long. The truth was only temporary. For that moment in time, however, it was as true as any other statement of fact.
There is also conditional truth. You might compare this to the if/then statements you had to work on in math class. If A is true, then B will follow. For instance, if it rains, the grass will get wet. That’s true, but only if A comes to fruition. If not, then the grass isn’t wet and your statement is no longer true.
What about absolute truth? The belief that there are certain truths that are irreversible, that no matter the condition or the time, they remain a fact. My answer to my friend was, “There better be absolute truth. I’m counting on it.” I absolutely believe there are some truths that are timeless and changeless. The most important of these truths (perhaps all of them) have their foundation in God.
Example: God is love. Is God anything else? You bet. He is patient. He is kind. He is just. (all true statements) But that never changes the fact that God is love.
Another example: the earth is round. The reason I specifically mention this example is to offer another point. Absolute truths–like the earth is round–do not depend on popular opinion or current culture to remain true. If that were the case, the earth would have originally been flat (and the universe would have circled around it, according to popular opinion at the time). I could share countless times when popular opinion was eventually disproved by the discovery of absolute truths.
Why is all this important? Because the Bible is clear. Literally since the very beginning of time, we’ve been ignoring truth and choosing our own way. Adam and Eve chose not to believe God in the garden and it cost them paradise. Thousands of years later, the apostle Paul would sum up the condition of mankind with this statement, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie.” As we read these stories and dozens others, we shake our head in disbelief that anyone would choose to ignore truth, especially when life hangs in the balance.
But we’re still doing that very thing today. We deny truth. We believe that everything depends on the latest opinion poll or the theory of some celebrity. We look for easier ways (truth is hard sometimes), quicker ways (truth isn’t always on our schedule) or more comfortable ways (truth can downright brutal sometimes). Regardless of our desires, absolute truth is just that…absolute. It…He…God is timeless and changeless. And the truths associated with Him do not change. He has shared those with us in His Word, the Bible, and He has promised that those who seek that truth will find it and be blessed. In other words…the answer to the problems of mankind are found in the absolute truths that God has offered to us.