It was a summer afternoon after a long work day when I heard the most shocking statement.
I had been working detailing a yacht (that was my job) with a guy that had come in for the summer. For this article we will call this guy Luke.
On the drive back to the shop I wanted to get a gospel conversation going so I asked, “Luke, do you think there is absolute truth?”
This is a common icebreaker I use for starting conversations about God, the Scriptures, and Jesus Christ and it works very well. Absolute truth means that there are things that are absolutely true no matter the situation, culture, or time period. It really strikes at the heart of a person.
The reason it works is because if someone says that they do not believe in absolute truth, then they are really saying that they believe in lawlessness, which means that any law can be broken based on someone’s preference or situation. Ultimately, this would mean that someone could walk into your house, murder your family and you would just have to be ok with it because that person really didn’t do anything wrong. Conversely, if someone breaks down and admits that they do believe in absolute truth, then there is only one conclusion to draw.
If there is absolute truth there must be an absolute truth GIVER!
Truth must come from somewhere and there must be an Authority that gives that truth. This leads straight into the conversation about God and His creation of the universe. Talking to someone about absolute truth is a simple and very effective way of having a gospel conversation and introducing a person to God.
So, there we were, just Luke and I sitting in the van, driving back to the shop having a deep conversation on the truth about truth. I had asked him what he thought and the statement he made shocked me.
What follows are the highlights of our conversation:
Jake: So Luke do you believe in absolute truth. Like some things are true no matter the situation.
Luke: No, I don’t think so. I think things all depend on what situation you are in.
Jake: Ok, so like murder. Is murder, not self-defense, always wrong or only wrong sometimes?
Luke: Hum, well I guess it depends. I guess it would be wrong here in the U.S. because it is against the laws we have.
Jake: Ok…so take Hitler. Hitler led his nation into the murder of millions of Jews. His nation let him do it. Was that wrong, or because it was accepted by his nation was it ok for him to murder the Jewish people.
(It was here that he took a long pause. Realizing the intellectual predicament he was in, this is his answer)
Luke: Well, I guess not.
Jake: Wait, so you are saying that it was not wrong for Hitler to murder millions of Jews because his nation allowed it?
Luke: Yeah. I guess… cause in his situation it was ok.
This was crazy to me. Luke had been so conditioned in his 19 years of life that there is no absolute truth, that the only logical conclusion to his world view is that murder is not absolutely wrong.
Everything becomes permissible.
The saying goes, “this is a hard pill to swallow.” People in the world are so in love with their sin that they are more ready to admit that everything is morally ok than to have to concede that they are not living the right way.
Right now, you may be tempted to be upset, mad, or disappointed in these people. However, as followers of Jesus this cannot be our response. Our response must be one of pity, not anger; love, not hate. The people of this world have been blinded by the god of this world. We can no sooner blame them for their worldview as we could blame a blind man for not being able to see.
What then can be done about this darkness in which our fellow human beings are steeped? Well, if someone cannot see because of the dark, the only hope is to shine the light.
I find it sincerely interesting that Jesus calls both Himself and His followers the light of the world.
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
In both of these passages the result is the same. Those that are in darkness can now see.
This should be our motivation. There they are, all around us, people lost in the darkness and here we are holding on to this light. Jesus made it clear that no one lights a candle just to hide it, but gives light to all around.
Ephesians 4:21 “…the truth is in Jesus…” And we have it, so let’s share it.