The Search For Absolute Truth Series
Contributed by Jeff Strite on Jul 10, 2001 (message contributor)
Summary: You can’t worship God without accepting absolute truth. But what is that truth? And where do we find it?
THE MEN’S THESAURUS (men don’t always say what they mean) – excerpts:
When a man says: "IT’S A GUY THING"
He means: "There is no rational thought pattern connected with this, and you have no chance at all of making it logical"
When a man says "CAN I HELP WITH DINNER"
He means: "Why isn’t it already on the table?"
When a man says "UH HUH, SURE HONEY,” or “YES, DEAR"
He means: Absolutely nothing – It’s a conditioned response.
When a man says ’’IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN"
He means: "I have no idea how it works"
When a man says "TAKE A BREAK, HONEY. YOU ARE WORKING TOO HARD’’
He means: "I can’t hear the game over the vacuum cleaner"
When a man says ’THAT’S INTERESTING DEAR.’
He means: "Are you still talking?"
When a man says "YOU KNOW HOW BAD MY MEMORY IS."
He means: " I can remember the theme song to ’F Troop’, the address of the first girl I ever kissed & the vehicle identification numbers of every car I ever owned – but I forgot your birthday"
When a man says ’OH, DON’T FUSS, I JUST CUT MYSELF. IT’S NO BIG DEAL"
He means: "I have actually severed a limb, but I will bleed to death before I admit I’m hurt"
When a man says ’I CAN’T FIND IT.’’
He means: "It didn’t fall into my outstretched hand, so I’m completely clueless"
When a man says “I HEARD YOU.”
He means: "I haven’t the foggiest clue what you just said and I am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you’ll not spend the next 3 days yelling at me."
When a man says "YOU KNOW I COULD NEVER LOVE ANYONE ELSE"
He means: "I am used to the way you yell at me and realize it could be worse."
When a man says "YOU LOOK TERRIFIC!"
He means: "Oh please don’t try on one more outfit, I’m starving."
When a man says "I’M NOT LOST. I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE."
He means: "No one will ever see us alive again."
APPLY: What is truth? As our “Men’s Thesaurus” points out – truth is sometimes what we want it to be.
Last week we discussed the worldly belief – that is, that all truth is relative (relative to your situation or how you view life), & we found that a society whose morality based is on anyone’s point of view ends up being totally confused and unable to condemn even the most obvious of evils. Why? Because no one “has - right to condemn another person’s actions”
The Bible (by contrast) has always maintained that there is “Absolute truth.” That there is a standard by which all men will be judged. In Jeremiah 5:1 God ordered the prophet to "Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city.”
God believes in “absolute truth.” In fact you can’t worship God if you reject this idea that truth is absolute. In John 4:23 Jesus declared: “…a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”
I. SO, if it so important, what is basis of that “absolute truth? – where do I look for truth?
Recent studies have shown that the majority of Americans believe that “all religions” will lead ultimately to God. That they are all different ways of getting to God. The general concensus is that God reveals Himself in all religious traditions, no matter what they teach. Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Jew – they all have different truths to offer.
On the surface, that sounds tolerant… open minded. (personally, I don’t mind being open minded as long as my brains don’t fall out). But, unfortunately, this type of open mindedness, is the brains on the floor, type of thinking.
This type of theology (that all religions are equal) is merely “moral relativism” applied to God. (i.e. what is true is “relative” to what you want to believe).
As appealing as that type of thinking has seemed to some… it’s a lazy man’s theology and fails to hold up under close examination.
Eastern Religions (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism) - impersonal deity, pantheism, no concept of an afterlife
Hinduism - impersonal deity, polytheism theism, reincarnation
Islam - impersonal deity, monotheism, eternal life is earned
Judaism - personal deity, monotheism, eternal life is earned
Christianity - personal deity, monotheism, eternal life is a gift
If God reveals himself through all the world religions, then we’re left with two options concerning his character.
Joel Smith of the Wellspring Community Church has observed: "If pluralism is true, God is either a liar or a schizophrenic. The differences are too deep to conclude that all religions lead to the same destination. I suspect that people who support such a view have never really examined where the different faith groups diverge. A god who would devise such a system (where all religions are acceptable) is either: