Creating Your Own Truth
By: Guest Authors
By Joseph Harris
The Roman Procurator, Pilate asked the question, “What is truth?” The average, sane, level headed common sense person of today should be able to answer this question, as well as give some qualities of truth. One of my college professors, Dr. Elmer Towns, used to say, “Truth is that which is consistent with itself and corresponds to reality.” Webster gives these thoughts for a definition of truth: “The real state of things; the body of real events or facts; CORRECTNESS.”
Since God is the first cause of all things, He sets the standard for truth. All truth ultimately comes from Him. If God says something is right, it is. If He says it is wrong, it is. But man does not always agree with God. Truth stands on its own, but never apart from God. Notice also truth is absolute, not relative. The presence of truth demands the existence of that which is false. If one thing is true, then the opposite of that truth is a lie. One of the first truths uttered by God to man was absolute, concerning death by disobedience in eating of the forbidden fruit. Satan tried to counter the truth of God with his “yea hath God said…?” statement, which has been repackaged and used on man millions of times since Eden.
Truth is absolute, else it cannot be truth. Truth cannot be conditional. When truth becomes relevant because of time, culture or situation, it loses authority and becomes a servant, not a master. When any act can be wrong for me, but right for you, there can be no order or structure in society. Murder, theft, adultery, etc. can be justified. How can we know the truth of what is right or wrong for a society? What sets the standard for that which is considered legal or illegal, and what is the standard for punishment? If emotion or outcome determines right or wrong, then nothing can be ultimately right or wrong, anarchy is the result and no one has to adhere to any laws or principles, since no act can be said to be wrong, malicious, immoral, degrading, sinful or illegal.
Every time a law is broken or enforced, it is a statement of absolute truth. The existence of moral law demands the existence of a lawgiver. Either man has given the law or it came from another source. If man gave it, then it is not absolute, for it can be changed by man. If the consciousness of right and wrong came from another source, then what, who or where is that source? If it came from a source higher than man, then the law transcends man, and man cannot alter it.
In almost all societies world wide, it is usually wrong to steal, kill, defraud, etc. In other words, every culture has standards of conduct considered to be good or bad. Where did these standards originate? Even atheistic humanists will usually admit it is wrong to steal, kill, etc. Where did they get this awareness of right and wrong? What is their standard of measurement? This universal awareness came from God, who put his law in the heart of all men to give them a general revelation of the creator who is also the divine law giver.
If there is a law and it is broken, then what? Is there accountability and punishment? The accountability is to God first, then man. Notice what Joseph said in the book of Genesis when he refused to commit adultery with the wife of Potipher: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” If there is an absolute law higher than man, there must be a lawgiver higher than man and if man breaks His law, man is accountable to Him. And now we have the rest of the story. Man denies a higher law, thereby denying a higher power, resulting in denial of accountability to the divine judge of the universe. Conclusion? Man can now sin freely.
With the denial of a higher moral law, given by the divine law giver, the stage is set to create your own truth. Abortion is no longer seen as murder, but birth control or a woman’s choice. Being male or female is no longer an absolute, determined by God at conception and validated at birth, but gender can now be chosen by the person. And since no one is necessarily male or female, they can now choose which gender they want to marry, that is, if the other person has determined their gender. If neither has determined their own gender, then whoever can marry whatever, and become who knows what. (“You may now kiss whatever you determine your groom-bride-thing to be”). Stealing is no longer wrong. Redistribution of goods is acceptable if one has more than another, especially if the one lacking was born into poverty, the wrong ethnic background, etc..
People in the media tell us what is truth what we should believe. Pseudo-Science creates truth and tells us the earth is billions of years old, that it came from nothing with no design, and is slowly getting better and better. And you should believe it, because it’s in a textbook.
Before taking the stand of testimony in court, a witness has to swear to, “Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God” which is revealing. Notice, this oath is a confession of man’s depravity and his dependence upon God for help in telling the truth. And man certainly needs help in being truthful.
A good perspective on truth is found in this old Hebrew prayer: “From the cowardice that shrinks from new truths; from the laziness that is content with half truths; and from the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth; Oh God of truth, deliver us.”
Joseph Harris is the Vice President of Southeastern Baptist College in Laurel, MS.