John 18:37-38: “Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I have some into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’ Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’ ”
The idea of “absolute truth” is under attack in Western culture. So-called “postmodernists”, who control the thoughts of our universities, public schools, media and entertainment, argue that truth is relative and open-minded. In other words, what is” true” for one person may not be “true” for another person. Homosexuality might be wrong for you, but it might be right for someone else. Your definition of sex (intimate sexual contact with another human being) might be different than Bill Clinton’s (” I did not have sexual relations with that woman..Miss Lewisnky.”) . Christianity might be the true religion for you, but not believing in God might be perfectly fine for an atheist. Any attempt to proclaim or live by “absolute truth” is met with scorn, ridicule and anger by a growing number of citizens in American society.
So, to answer the question raised by Pilate 2,000 years ago, “What is truth?”, Geisler and Turek, in the book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, make the following statements about truth:
Truth is discovered, not invented.
Truth is trans-cultural. If something is true, it is true for all people, in all places, at all times. 2+2=4 is true for everyone, everywhere, at every time.
Truth is unchanging, even though our beliefs about truth change.
Truth is not affected by the attitude of the one professing it.
All truths are absolute truths.
The problem with Jesus is that He declared Himself to BE absolute truth. (John 14:6) He never left open the possibility that Buddha taught absolute truth. He never left open the possibility that Muhammad taught absolute truth. He never said that a person could believe in Him but also believe in other “truths” as well. Following Jesus is not a “both/and” proposition. You can’t worship Him AND practice another religion. You cannot live by BOTH the Bible and the evolutionist’s description of Creation. Truth, according to Jesus, requires one to make a decision, take a stand and be one-sided. Being a follower of Christ is “either/or”. You either believe Him to be true or you do not. You either follow Him or follow the devil. You either take a stand against what the Bible teaches as sinful or you choose to be sinful.
The authors stated that ,” we humans have a fatal tendency to try to adjust the truth to fit our desires rather than adjusting our desires to fit the truth.” That is an apt description of what our culture is doing today. People are trying to change “truth” in order to fit their habits and decisions, instead of conforming their lives to the word of God. “If it feels good, do it. If it brings me happiness, I will do it.” As for truth itself, it only applies to me if I want it to. If not, I will either ignore it or “change” it.
In our world of “tolerance”,plurality and political correctness (to quote Jack Nicholson from the movie A Few Good Men), people ” can’t handle the truth.” The truth hurts.The truth is a threat to self-empowerment. The truth is a threat to mutli-culturalism. The truth is a threat to the pursuit of happiness. When sinful, selfish humans are confronted with the truth they get angry because they don’t get their way(see the Freedom From Religion Foundation).
On the other hand, when one embraces the Truth, and doesn’t fight against it, the result is total freedom and joy. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) The truth hurts at first because we don’t want to submit to it. St. Augustine said that we love the truth when when it enlightens us, but we hate it when it convicts us. Once we do submit, however, we never regret our decision. Freedom is better than bondage.
The world around us is in a prison cell. The key for release is within reach, but most would choose not to open the door. Those who hate the truth would rather remain in chains.