I am often fascinated with how differently people think.
We have always had “in the box” thinkers. And “out of the box” thinkers. For the most part, each of these types has their place. We actually need both (much to the dismay of the other side).
What is most interesting is when we consider cultural trends in thinking. What becomes the “popular” thing to think – and how people come to think that way.
One of those current trends of thinking concerns the area of “truth.” What is true? Whose truth is best? Is there any truth that is true?
You see it in so many posts on the internet. It has become increasingly popular to say things like: “We are all just reflecting a certain view of the truth. Everyone’s view of truth is no more, or less, true than anyone else’s. So we should just be accepting of everyone’s view of truth – and try to learn something from their perspective.”
This view has become so popular that no one ever bothers to really think it through. Do people who say such things really believe that… or are they just trying to sound accepting, tolerant, or open-minded.
If we really must accept and validate everyone’s view of truth, what about the child molester whose version of truth believes his deviant actions are being true to his nature? Or those who might view women only as sexual objects? Or those who feel completely justified in maiming and murdering those who disagree with their view of truth?
If we are going to be consistent with our acceptance of people’s views of “truth” we MUST be accepting of all views. Even those that we find personally offensive – or reprehensible. That is the whole point of an open-minded, tolerant society… everyone is free to believe what they want – and NO view is better than any other.
But we don’t really believe that. We still pick and choose what “truth” we find more acceptable than others. There really are certain standards we use to make judgments about other people’s views of truth.
What people are really saying, these days, is that we want to be able to change those standards whenever we want – or when something becomes more acceptable to society. So we find that things that were totally unacceptable fifty years ago, are now embraced as “right” or “just the way things are.”
The problem is that we still want to believe there is such a thing as truth – we just don’t want anyone to be able to tell us what that truth is (other than society at large). What we end up with is a society built upon ever-shifting standards… that slips ever-further into moral decay (and calls it progressive thinking!). Ever-shifting standards cannot define truth – only truth can define those standards.
Truth is the plumbline for all thought and behavior – even if we don’t find the truth convenient or agreeable with our choices in lifestyle.
The most fascinating thing of all is that the One Who declared He WAS The Truth (John 14:6), and Who came to lead us into all truth (John 16:13), is the One most often rejected as the Reliable Source for all truth. Our culture, as a whole, is quickly abandoning the notion of any truth absolutes – so that we can live in ways that appeal to our appetites and desires (without any moral obligations to Someone beyond ourselves).
It is this view of “truth” that is shaping our culture today.
It cannot end well.
Historically, every culture that has rejected the standards of the Creator has ended in destruction (from without or from within). God alone can define truth. He is the only One Who IS true. Our best course is to allow His standards to shape our lives, our thinking, and our choices.
There is just too much at stake, otherwise.
Prayer Focus: God, fix Your truth in my heart, and help me not to be angry at our cultural views but to demonstrate Your truth by loving people as Jesus did.