Summary: We are engaged today in a battle between world views. Ultimately our battle is not against flesh and blood. At stake are the hearts and souls of America’s youth, who are leaving the faith at an unprecedented rate.
Illustr. - In a wealthy suburb of Indianapolis, a group of high school students were asked, "Was Adolf Hitler wrong in murdering millions of Jews?" They said yes. The interviewer then asked them why. They did not realize that their response was chilling. "Well, you see," they said, "Hitler was defeated by the Allies. And in war, like everything else, the victor gets to define reality. The Allies determined that what Hitler had done was wrong. Therefore, he was wrong."
These students all came from fine Christian homes, so there was no excuse for them to be ignorant of the moral implications of that reply. Only one student differed. "I think Hitler would have been wrong, even if he had won the war and brainwashed everyone into believing he was right." This lone student could articulate moral absolute.
We are engaged today in a battle between worldviews. Ultimately our battle is not against flesh and blood. At stake are the hearts and souls of America’s youth, who are leaving the faith at an unprecedented rate. (Statistics tell us that we retain only around 3-7% of young people in our churches after they graduate high school.) Our involvement as Christians must go beyond political action. We (Christians) must understand and defend a Biblical worldview in all of life. Furthermore, we must impart this Biblical worldview to the youth who will lead the next generation.
Paul says, "See to it that no one takes you captive, through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world, rather than on Christ." - Colossians 2:8
3 PHILOSOPHIES ARE DECEIVING YOUNG PEOPLE (SUCH AS THOSE I DESCRIBED EARLIER IN INDIANAPOLIS), AS WELL AS MANY ADULTS IN AMERICA TODAY.
ONE - NO ONE CAN SAY WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG.
Students today say, "Maybe you think adultery, abortion or homosexuality is wrong, but who are you to decide for everyone else?" As you saw on the screen moments ago, according to a Gallup Poll, 82% of college students today say they believe in no absolute truths. It really is "anything goes" out there. Morality has been reduced to "every man for himself." Right and wrong is no longer based on absolutes but on individual opinion.
To illustrate, Dr. Jeff Myers relates the following example. "When one of my (college) professors proclaimed, ’There are no absolute truths,’ I asked him, ’Professor, are you sure?’
He said, ’Yes, I’m sure.’
’Are you absolutely sure?’
He stared at me. ’You’re very clever,’ he said, ’If I say there are no absolutes, then that is an absolute statement. Let me revise my remarks. There is on absolute, which is this: There are no absolutes.’"
"The careless logic of his reply stunned me. He refused to see the truth. This should not surprise Christians, however. Proverbs 4:19 says, ’The way of the wicked is like deep darkness. They do not even know what makes them stumble.’"
Without a moral compass, people cannot make rational decisions about what is right and wrong for themselves or for society. We can’t decide if an unborn baby is a human being or a blob of tissue because we have listened to the rhetoric of the "politically correct" instead of checking out the medical facts that life begins at conception - an absolute supported completely by the Bible. As so, on subjects ranging from abortion to homosexuality to euthanasia to human cloning to sex before marriage we have become a nation led by what is popular. We have let the evening news or the Hollywood elite or what is being taught in the halls of academia form our value system rather than moral absolutes that have stood the test of time.
When he stood before Pilate for questioning (John 18:37), Jesus said, "For this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."
And Pilate answered, "What is truth?" Good question. It’s still being asked by millions of people today. Where do you go for the right answer? Where can you get to the bottom line? Is everything really so vague? Isn’t there someplace you can go for solid answers to the big questions of life? I say there is.
Psalm 119:160 - "All your words are true (O Lord); all your righteous laws are eternal."
TWO - NO ONE CAN KNOW ANYTHING FOR SURE.
A philosophy teacher taught this on the first day of class every year. He asked, "How do you know the sky is blue? Maybe it’s green, but society has conditioned you to call it blue." After several such examples, he crowed, "My point is that you can’t know anything for sure."
The postmodern mindset has embraced this philosophy with a vengeance. German philosopher Martin Heidegger said, "In the naming, the things named come into their ’thinging.’ Thinging, they unfold the world, in which ’things’ abide, and so are abiding ones." (Do smart people confuse you sometimes?!?) In other words, there is no such thing as objective reality; reality is what each person creates for himself through communication with others.