The Truth

Regarding the contemporary rejection of absolute truth, John Piper comments on Jesus’ words, “For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37), in a sermon “Jesus Came into the World to Bear Witness to the Truth” preached Dec. 25, 1988:

“THE TRUTH!  There is truth—truth that everyone should believe…, truth that comes from outside the world and gives meaning to the world.  The world doesn’t make this truth.  It doesn’t shape or change this truth.  It is THE TRUTH, not a truth for me and a different truth for you.  But THE TRUTH for all of us.  Unchanging, absolute.

“There may have been a generation or a century when this simple implication of the text would not need to be stressed: that there is truth—truth outside of my own mind, truth that I don’t create but discover, that I don’t control but submit to.  There may have been a time when we didn’t have to proclaim this as part of the Christian message.  But not today.

“Today this simple affirmation is a stunning and controversial revelation.  It meets with widespread disbelief.  If you try to claim today that there is absolute truth—truth that everyone should believe and follow—you will very likely be considered misguided and immoral.

“People will say you are misguided because there’s no God to give absoluteness to truth, or, if there is a God, there is no way of knowing Him and what He thinks.  One person’s idea of what He is like is as good as any other person’s.

“But not only would you be considered misguided, you would also be considered by many to be immoral if you insist on absolute truth.  Why?  Because to claim that there is absolute truth leads to intolerance and prejudice against what others think.

“Morality today has been virtually defined in terms of relativism.  If you don’t believe that the truth you see is binding on me, then you are humble and good and moral.  But if you do believe that the truth you see is binding on me, then you are arrogant and intolerant and immoral.  Virtue or morality today demands relativism.

“It’s a world in which His message has been nullified even before it is spoken, because TRUTH is seen as the rotten root of bigotry and intolerance and prejudice.  But relativism on the other hand is seen as the wholesome mother of cultural respect and tolerance and peace.”

May God give us grace to understand, receive and obey in our daily lives the truth as it is in Jesus Christ, who not only gives us the truth, He is the way, the truth and the life!