On the religion page in the Times Picayune recently there was an article entitled “The Church of ‘None’ – Cultural Christians have morals without a belief in God.” The article is too long for me to go into in any detail but I would like to highlight one paragraph. It said: “These are the people who identify with ambivalent, ambiguous statements like ‘I am spiritual but not religious’; ‘I am kind of agnostic’; ‘Now I am an atheist, but I grew up Catholic’; or ‘I believe in something but I don’t know if it’s God’.”
What these so-called Nones are saying is that truth does not exist in any objective sense. They are the new spirituality of our post-modern age. They are of the mindset that each person must decide for himself a standard of truth. Your morals belong to you and someone else’s morals belong to them.
I am sure that most of you have seen on a car around town the bumper sticker that says Coexist spelled out in symbols. This was designed by a Polish graphic designer named Piotr Mlodozeniec. Here’s what the symbols stand for.
For the letter “C” a crescent moon representing Islam is substituted
For the letter “X” the star of David representing Judaism is substituted
For the letter “T” a cross representing Christianity is substituted
For the letter “O” the peace symbol or pagan/Wiccan pentacle is substituted
For the letter “E” a male/female symbol or a scientific equation is substituted
For the letter “I” a pagan/Wiccan symbol is substituted
For the letter “S” a Chinese yin-yang symbol is substituted
Newer Coexist designs expand the tolerance message to also include earth-centered and Eastern religions as well as issues surround religion and science and gender, including homosexuality.
This kind of tolerance is not only unworkable but totally unbiblical. Fernando Sabater, a Spanish philosopher states: “Tolerance…the doctrine in vogue, is that all opinions are equal. Each one has its point, and all should be respected or praised. That is to say, there is no rational way to discern between them.”
This new tolerance says that everyone has the right to believe or say what they think is right, because all beliefs are equal. Therefore, all lifestyles are equal and all truth claims are equal.
I can’t help but think of the dialogue between Jesus Christ and Pontius Pilate. In John 18:37, 38: “Pilate therefore said to Him ‘Are you a king then’? Jesus answered ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice’. Pilate said to Him ‘What is truth’?…”
First of all, there is such a thing as truth. It is singular. It is not in fragments that require us to speak of “truths” in the sense of unrelated facts or items. Truth holds together. The Lord Jesus indicates in His statement to Pilate that truth is not only an entity, it is objective. James Boice said: “It is there to be observed and discussed, and we can observe it and discuss it without prejudice. This is involved in Christ’s statement that He has come to bear witness to the truth, as one might to any fact submitted in a court of law.”
In the Bible we see our true condition. We also find that God has done what needed to be done in sending His Son as our savior. Jesus died for us, He rose for us, He reigns for us. This is objective truth. When Jesus said to Pilate “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice”, He was saying that truth must come from above and He came to bear witness to the truth.
Pilate is the picture of the post-modern man who has nothing substantial in which to believe. He had no idea that truth was standing right in front of him and that his actions should have been guided by God and not the demands of the crowd. The same is true today. Truth is not based upon opinion polls or popularity but is embodied in a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one who has come to reveal Himself to us through His Spirit and make everything plain to all of those who will come to Him.
See you Sunday.