We live in a society which is dominated by relativistic beliefs. The ruling philosophy in modern culture assumes that there is no such thing as objective truth in an absolute sense. Most people believe that right and wrong are determined by life circumstances, not by a revealed pronouncement from God. And even many of those who say they believe in the Bible as objective truth tend to still live much of their lives as if it were not true. They have convinced themselves that God really doesn’t care so much about how much they read their Bibles, how much they give to his church, what aspects of church ministry they participate in, what habits they develop, how they treat people and the like.
When we acknowledge objective truth, we are recognizing an understanding of morality that must basically be seen as black and white. Certainly there are those things that are difficult to discern. But even that does not mean that a “right way” does not exist. There is a way God created things to be and it is our task in life to discern what that is and align our lives with it.
In many ways, this may seem like some kind of philosophical issue that doesn’t hold significant meaning in real life. However, you do live your life “as if” there is some form of objective truth, even if you deny it in principle. As strange as it may seem, the assertion of relativity is, itself, an objective truth claim. Those who assert this belief are claiming absolutely that we cannot know anything absolutely. It is possible that what some people consider to be the truth really is not. And if they are wrong, they still get to live their lives from start to finish. It is just that much of the results of living in that manner will lead them down a path that skews life in ways which take away from a relationship with God.
No matter how people try to spin the life decisions they make, the law of non-contradiction is still in effect. Two contradictory things simply cannot both be true at the same time. God can exist or not exist, but he cannot both exist and not exist at the same time. As a being, God may be personal or impersonal, but he cannot be both personal and impersonal at the same time.
As we live our lives, we live as if God does or does not exist. Even if individuals are wrong about this, they still exist as mortal human beings on earth and live their lives. It is possible for a person to be wrong, and their wrong understanding will be reflected in the way they live their lives. But the way they choose to live does not affect the actual fact of whether or not God exists.
If a person does believe God exists, he lives as if God is either personal or impersonal. Again, this does not affect God’s actual existence. But getting it wrong, does affect that person’s relationship with him and the choices he makes as he lives life.
So, what happens when people live life based on falsity? Much depends, of course, on the specifics of the life choices. But let’s consider a couple of areas. What if they live as if God does not exist, or even as if he is not personal? On a temporal level, they get a certain kind of personal freedom. They don’t have to worry about sexual morality or moral choices related to addictive substances, lying, stealing, or personal relationships. After all, to them God does not exist – or at least not in a way in which he can personally interact with their lives. They become free, in their own minds, to make these choices based on their own personal desires.
But there is a down side. They also don’t get to know God in a personal relationship. Additionally, they will create habits and addictions in their lives which will ultimately make life miserable, and their eternity will be one in which they are separated from God.
On the other hand, what happens with those who live life based on the objective truth revealed in the Bible – the way things really are? This kind of life does require a measure of self discipline. For those not accustomed to living this way, it can be quite a struggle. But learning how to live a disciplined life based on the objective truth about reality puts one in a position to move forward in ways that are not possible otherwise. Having a vision and achieving goals to accomplish that vision requires the kind of discipline which only comes by having one’s life correspond with the truth. With this kind of knowledge and discipline, we are able to engage God in a personal relationship which ensures abundant life in this world, and eternity in God’s presence.
When we understand and acknowledge the fact of objective reality, we must still be very careful or we can easily get off track in our relationship with God. That is because, it is very easy to become legalistic with this mindset. But the fact is, a relationship with God is not a legalistic experience – it is personal. The objective aspect of reality exists in a personal framework, not an impersonal one. When we truly grasp this concept and learn to live based on the objective truth revealed in the Bible, life begins to make sense in ways that is otherwise impossible.
© 2009 Freddy Davis