In light of the general insanity surrounding the question of who qualifies as a man or woman, this question about truth is important. Is truth absolute, or does it vary according to circumstances and opinions? Is it merely a philosophical argument?
Winston Churchill once stated, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”
Can anyone really know “the truth”? Or is truth subject to human interpretation? Many today think truth is relative to the circumstances—that what is true for one situation is not necessarily true for others. This means that truth for one person is not necessarily the same for everyone! If this is correct, how can we know with certainty what to believe and how we should live?
The answer is that we can’t. Did you watch the video above? The interviewer walked onto a college campus and asked young adults about truth. At the conclusion of the video what was apparent was that these young adults were completely blind to even the most obvious truth. The interviewer asked if he could be a 6’5” Chinese woman (for those of you who didn’t watch the video he is in actuality a 5’9” Caucasian male). He summed up his interviews this way, “It shouldn’t be hard to tell a 5’9″ white guy that he isn’t a 6’5″ Chinese woman…what does that say about our society that it is?”
What does it say about our society that we can no longer recognize even the most obvious truths?
Does absolute truth exist?
There are those who do not believe in absolute truth. Dictionary.com defines the word absolute as “free from imperfection; complete; perfect.” The word truth is defined as “the true or actual state of a matter; conformity with fact or reality; a verified or indisputable fact.”
Philosophers and scientists have debated the issue of absolute truth for centuries. Moreover, many others have chosen to accept another philosophy, called situational ethics. Situational ethics is defined as “a theory of ethics according to which moral rules are not absolutely binding but may be modified in the light of specific situations” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary).
Said another way, situational ethics is “a system of ethics that evaluates acts in light of their situational context rather than by the application of moral absolutes” (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).
Ironically, if one were to say, “There is no such thing as absolute truth,” he or she might be asked, “Are you absolutely sure that no absolute truth exists?” To make such a statement is itself the claim of an absolute truth and, therefore, self-contradictory!
For example, just because one may choose not to believe in the law of gravity does not mean that gravity does not exist. Just because a man identifies as a woman does not make him anymore a woman than identifying himself as a cat would make him a cat. He could have all the surgeries currently available to him to change his outward appearance and he would still in truth be a man. His genetics can’t be changed. He was born a man, he will live as a man and he will die as a man. Even if he spends his life pretending to be a woman. Truth doesn’t change to suit our desires.
Jesus said He was the truth
In an interesting encounter, Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Paul said to the Ephesians, “If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus” (Ephesians 4:21). Christ, as God, is the personification of truth. He embodies truth.
Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
Rebuking the Pharisees who did not believe in Him, Jesus told them they were of their father the devil. He went on to say, “He [the devil] was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).
Reflecting the confusion that Satan has created, Otto von Bismarck humorously stated,
“When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.”
As followers of Jesus we believe that truth is not situational. Truth is not relative. Truth is truth. And telling the truth matters. We are called to “speak the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15) And it’s the “in love” part that matters. It’s not enough to speak the truth out of spite, or hate, or fear. We are called to speak the truth in love. A man is a man and always will be. A rabbit, being chased by a dog and fearing for its life, cannot turn around and become a lion simply by wishing it to happen. The rabbit if it stops and turns will be torn apart. If you jump from a high building you will fall, even if you tell yourself on the way down you don’t believe in gravity.
The truth matters because God exists. He did break into our world in the person of Jesus over two thousand years ago. He lived. He performed miracles. He was crucified and died on a cross. He was laid in a tomb and three days later he was raised to life again. He was seen by thousands over a period of 40 days before ascending into heaven. And He will come again. We are called to speak the truth so that those caught in the lies of this world may hear the truth in Jesus and be set free by Him.
Winston Churchill once said, “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”