Posts Tagged ‘secularism’

I went to the bank to withdraw $1000 from my account yesterday. I filled out the withdrawal slip and handed it to the cashier. She pecked on the computer a while and then told me that I only had $852.47 in the account. Now, we are living in a culture that says truth is relative. So she cannot really know what is really in the account. My truth is just as valid as hers. So I said, “Well that may be true for you, but not for me. Give me my $1000.”  

 

So now I have to find another bank. Apparently bankers do not like dealing with people who are out of touch with reality.

 

Is truth relative? Many people insist there are no absolutes. What do you think?

 

To explore this question of truth, perhaps I should discuss three possible sides of the issue:
1) Is truth absolute?
2) Is truth knowable?
3) Is truth exclusive?

 

Truth is absolute. Truth has been described as “telling it like it is.” If something is true, it is true for all people everywhere at all times because truth corresponds to its object. To deny absolute truth is self-defeating.

 

Truth is knowable. Truth about reality is knowable. To deny truth is knowable implies knowledge of the truth which is, once again, self-defeating.

 

Truth is exclusive. If “A” is true, then “not A” is false. Truth is not dependent on our feelings or preferences. If something is true, it is true whether we like it or not.

 


It follows then that all religions cannot be true because they teach opposites. While many religions have true beliefs, the religions themselves cannot all be true because they are mutually exclusive teaching opposites.

 

 

 

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We know there is a moral law because:

1.                          absolutes are undeniable. Absolute moral truth is best known by our reactions not our actions.

2.                          we cant know injustice unless we know justice. You can’t know what is wrong unless you know what is right. The reason we know whether a map of Australia is accurate or true is because we have an absolute standard (the country of Australia) by which to measure.

3.                          real moral disagreements imply an objective moral standard. We can debate map A verses map B of Australia, because we have a real unchanging standard to compare them. Without a real unchanging standard of good the difference between Mother Theresa and Hitler is nothing more than a matter of opinion.

4.                          we would not make excuses for doing wrong if there was no moral law. What is the point?

5.                          we wouldn’t know the world was getting worse or better if there was no moral law. Secular humanist love to tell us that the world is so much worse because of religion. How do they know what worse is if they deny a standard of good?

6.                          there would be no human rights without the moral law. There would be no way to judge the Nazis, Saddam Hussein, or other war criminals without a standard beyond government or international law.

 

What would you say to a friend who claimed that the Christian God doesn’t exist because there’s too much evil in the world?

One approach is to respond with a question, “How do you know what evil is?” Some say we learn right and wrong from our parents. Really? So when your son took a toy from your toddler, you had a lesson on property rights before she screamed in protest? And you taught your son how to lie before he came up with an excuse as to why he wasn’t violating these moral laws. We have a conscience so we instinctively know the moral law, we do not need to be taught these things.

We know there is a moral law because moral absolutes exist. Morality is not relative, if it were your morality would be right, mine would be right, there would be no standard by which to judge one behavior to be objectionable and another to be valued. The difference between Hitler and Mother Theresa would only be a matter of opinion. In order for you to judge one behavior right and another wrong a moral absolute standard must exist. If a conscience or moral law exists, then a moral law provider, someone outside of the prescribed standard must exist. Christians call this moral law provider God.

While God did not make evil He did allow evil to exist. When He created the heavens and the earth He declared it all to be good. Part of the goodness was giving some of His creatures free will. Because forced love is not love anymore than forced obedience is willful obedience. We are not robots, we have a choice to love or hate, to obey or rebel.

The evil you see in the world is the result of people living in opposition to the moral standard they know they ought to obey. We all violate the moral law to some degree bringing judgment upon ourselves. Because God is good and just, He must judge law breakers. But Christ paid our fine and took our punishment providing forgiveness and a way to become righteous, free from our transgression. Christianity is the only world religion that provides a Savior, that is Jesus.

Ravi Zacharias advises the Christian on how to share their faith in a secular society with grace.

“If our method is in violation of the message people will see it quite quickly.” 

I have had many conversations with secularists, humanists, atheists, etc. Sometimes arrogance rears its ugly head and there is no hope of an honest exploration of one another’s view. I cannot fault them for behaving within their nature. But I have a new nature and the ability to love unconditionally, I have no excuse. If I want to be heard, I must die to myself and approach others in humility. It’s not about me, it is all about them and their salvation. If I truly have the heart to see them grasp the truth, then my method must match the message.

As a Christian, we have an unfair advantage because we have the Truth. Recognize the need in the other person and view him or her as one in bondage to the lies that once entangled you. Grace can break those bonds when paired with reason. We can boldly proclaim the truth, with respect and humility leading others to Living Water. We cannot make them drink, but the next time they thirst, perhaps they will trace their steps back to that conversation. And when his head hits the pillow, his thoughts will drift back to the discussion he had last week. And he will think to himself, “Maybe I need to re-examine the evidence, maybe there is more to life, maybe this is not all there is . . . ”

I recognize that it is unfathomable to people to think that a stranger would genuinely care deeply about their eternity. But it is this reckless abandon of self that moves Christ followers to place themselves in harm’s way just to love a lost soul. I do this by entering into discussions with atheist and secularist enduring attacks on my faith and on my intellect. Others may sell everything and move to Africa to minister to the hungry and the sick, some day I hope to as well. To me when a person recognizes her need for a Savior, it is well worth enduring a few verbal assaults.

I pray earnestly that my actions imitate the object of my faith.

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. “

The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Ac 20:24