“For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.” (2 Corinthians 13:8 NIV84)
Take this sentence, “For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth,” to people at a university campus, a high school anywhere in the country, even the White House, and you would be surprised by the response you might get. The sentence would confuse them. It would confuse them because they wouldn’t know what to do with the word “truth.” We have created a society devoid of any concrete understanding of what truth is. You see, if all truth is relative, there cannot be absolute truth. No one can be certain whether anything is right or wrong. In today’s society we try to determine truth and rightness by the vote of the majority.
I think if Paul had to evangelize to Americans today, he would begin with the concept of truth. Why? Because it really does matter, and people today don’t really believe what they so vehemently espouse. Just ask anyone who thinks that truth is relative, “Do you believe that absolutely?” You see, the statement itself is an absolute statement. Second, ask whether they live their life as though truth were relative. In marriage, can each party choose to decide what truth is when communicating with the other? Do parents never tell their children that a certain behavior is right or wrong? Do they just let their children discover that for themselves? As they raise their children, do they not impress upon their children to speak the truth? Do they allow the child to relatively define the truth for any given moment? You see, relativism doesn’t work. It might be interesting to discuss in philosophy courses, but is impossible to live out in daily life. Hence, the idea is useless!
Truth does matter! There are things that are absolutely true. There are scientific truths used by researchers to study and theorize new ideas. Absolute truths like gravity, light and time are consistently relied upon. There are historical truths that are absolute. Hitler did kill millions of Jews. Jesus did live, die and rise again. The government of the United States was founded by the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which all declare truths that are absolute and therefore should be absolutely protected. There are also moral laws that we know to be absolute. We know that one human being should not kill another for no apparent reason. Yet people go into movie theaters and schools and massacre innocent people. We all know such actions are absolutely evil and that these slayings are absolutely wrong.
Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus is the truth. This is the truth that Paul says he must work for. This truth must be absolute. If the truth about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection were relative, then we would have no certainty of our salvation. We would have no reason for peace or hope. But the fact is, we do! We do have joy and peace in knowing that our redemption, and our redeemer, are certain and true.
Be certain today, and always, that truth is absolute and it truly does matter!