We live in an era where morality is under intense attack. Our culture increasingly doesn’t believe there’s a difference between right and wrong. We live in the day of moral relativism. Is there such a thing as absolute moral truth? The list of social issues with moral overtones that continues to be debated in our culture continues to grow. People are divided and debate over the following topics:
- Is Abortion right or wrong?
- Is an open Marriage right or wrong?
- Is Homosexuality right or wrong?
- Is Homosexual marriage okay in God’s eyes?
- Is Bisexuality right or wrong?
- Is it okay to live together without being married?
All are issues of morality. In a recent Barna research study conducted at a university campus, random students were asked, “Do you believe there is an absolute truth that is true of all people of all time?” The responses went something like this:
- “Truth is whatever you believe.”
- “There is no absolute truth.”
- “If there were such a thing as ‘absolute truth,’ how could we know what it is?”
This study reflects the beliefs of most Americans today. Other studies have shown that 91 percent of people in their teens don’t believe in absolute truth and 66 percent of adults don’t either. Instead, most people believe in an existential concept of truth. Right and wrong has become subjective – reduced to someone’s opinion or personal perception.
Let’s try to get a grip on this current cultural debate that is happening.
I. Is there such thing as absolute moralistic truth?
I believe that there is. I believe that truth begins and ends with God. Obviously, the beliefs that I am going to write about must line up with the Word of God as my primary calling is that of a Christian pastor. But before I give you some verses to understand. Let’s look at this through the eyes of logic. Did you know that even…
- Logic dictates that there is absolute moral truth
It is logical to believe that there is such a thing as moral truth. Obviously, there is such a thing as truth. Truth says that there is such a thing as gravity. Gravity exists. You can try to deny the existence of gravity and it doesn’t matter how convinced you are, how many mental arguments you make that there is no gravity. You are wrong, gravity exist. If you step off a 60-story building, no matter what your belief is, you will come crashing to the ground and to a conclusion, that the truth is that there such a thing as gravity.
But what about moral truth? Moral truth tells us what is right and wrong. If moral truth is to be absolutely true, it has to absolutely true at all times, in all cultures everywhere. Now I can prove to you that everyone believes in an absolute moral authority. J. Mike Minnix gives the following arguments in his message Right and Wrong on his website. http://pastorlife.com/members/sermon.asp?SERMON_ID=3123&fm=authorbio&authorid=1
Logic says that there are unquestionably things that are right and wrong in people’s minds. Even those who answer surveys stating that they do not believe in absolute moral authority – meaning a set of rights and wrongs which transcend society and culture, even they actually believe.
So just imagine with me that an atheist is burglarized. He doesn’t believe in God, or the Bible or absolute truth. But someone comes into his home and takes his stuff. This atheist arrives at home to find his belongings taken or scattered everywhere. He is outraged. He calls the police. He calls for a full investigation. He wants the crooks caught and prosecuted. Why? He believes that what they did is wrong. Who told him it was wrong? The police? No, he knew it before they got there. It was in his heart.
He knows that it is wrong for someone to take something that belongs to another. He believes in an absolute moral authority. Let’s go a step further, since someone might argue that this is a legal, criminal matter and there is an authority over the issue – namely the criminal law and law enforcement.
So, look at another example. Let’s say that the same man is trying to get a job. Someone else applies for the job and tells the employer all kinds of untrue bad things about the atheist. Somehow, he finds out about it. The man would immediately be angered and furious at the person who told evil things about him.
Let me go one step further. Let’s say that the same atheist is watching a ball game and sees the umpire make a bad call. He leaps to his feet and complains vehemently because the umpire did not call the play the way it should have been called. Why is he so angry? Because he says the call was unfair. He is acknowledging that there is right and wrong. In fact, this same man would acknowledge many rights and wrongs which are inside his heart and mind. Now, here is the question.
Where did these laws come from?
How does he know that it is wrong to lie?
How does he know that it is wrong to take things which belong to other people?
It’s inside of him. So even logic tells us that people have a sense of right and wrong. There is a sense of morality in every human. Where does that come from? It comes from the fact that we were created in the image of God.
Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Every single culture that has ever existed on the planet has always had some degree of the moral laws of God had written in the very hearts of those in that culture. Why? Because they were created in his image. Even though they are a part of a fallen race. there is a bit of the moral God of heaven in them. That is where moral authority begins. It begins with God.
Is there such a thing as absolute moral authority? Not only does logic say so,
2. All three persons of the Trinity have revealed themselves as truth.
Truth comes from God and originates with God. He is the creator of the universe. The designer of mankind. God the Father has revealed himself as the truth in Isaiah 65:16 as “…the God of truth.” What did Jesus say? He said in John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Another verse said that Jesus is “full of grace and truth.” John 16:13 reveals that that the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Truth. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth;”
If all of the Trinity have revealed themselves as being Truth, and if you are a believer, you need to believe that God is truth. In fact, the word says that it impossible that God should lie.
3. God revealed word states that there is absolute moral truth
Psalm 119:160 says, “The entirety of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.”
I want you to think of the ramifications of this simple verse. It is saying that the Word of God is true. The entirety of it. The whole of scripture is truth. Not only is the entirety of the Word true, but all of God’s judgments endure forever. God is true and His judgment is true. Jesus gave this astounding statement in his prayer in John 17:17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”
2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” The entirety of this book, all of it, is good for instruction in righteousness. To be instructed in righteousness is to be taught or to be trained or to make one to understand what is right and what is wrong.
Here is the point:
- God is so good.
- God is so kind.
- God is so wonderful.
- God is so loving.
And God has our best interest at heart, That he wrote a book to instruct us on how to live life. God is so self-revealing that he inspired about 40 authors to write his Word down over a period of some 1500 years. Why? So that you and I in a modern world would be able to understand what is right and wrong.
And here is the bottom line. Morality doesn’t change with the times. Matthew 24:35 says “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Well, some would argue who is God that he is able to declare what is right and wrong? Absolute authority rests in the one who has it. Whether humankind likes it or not there is authority on the planet. You bump up against it the first time your mama tells you no! If you are playing on a sports team, and the coach decides, it is time for you to be pulled out, and another player come in and play in your spot.
You don’t get to argue. You can, but it probably won’t get you far. Why? Because he is the coach. He has authority.
If a police officer pulls you over and tells you to please step out of the vehicle. My suggestion is that you do it. Why? Because he has authority.
If the principle of your son’s school states something. You may not like his or her decision. But guess what, they have authority in that area.
Authority rests with the one who has it. Well, who is the ultimate authority? The ultimate authority is the Lord Jesus Christ. How do we know? Matthew 28:28 says this, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Jesus is the ultimate authority. That is why this book tells us that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord. Why? He is the one with all authority. So guess what? Since all authority ultimately lies with God. God has given that authority to his Son. He is the only one who gets to say, what is right and what is wrong!
Here is my next question
II. How did Satan deceive our generation into believing in no absolute moral truth?
Our world is in a moral mess. It hurts families. It hurts children. It destroys relationships. How did we get here? This generation as have been all the generations since the garden have been caught up in a spiritual battle against the forces of darkness. And I have to tell you that many today are actually deceived, they have bought into a pack of lies. They think that they understand the spiritual world around them, but many are simply following the wicked pied piper as he plays a tune to lead them away from truth.
Let’s understand who Satan is. The Word tells us that Satan is a liar. John 8:44 “He (Satan)… 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.”
Let me give you a few of the strategies that he has employed against humanity. One of the first things that he did goes all the way back to the garden of Eden.
- He made mankind (including this generation) doubt the goodness of God
If you back to the very beginning. There was only one rule. Don’t eat the fruit of one tree. Eve in her conversation with the serpent in the garden mentioned that one rule. Genesis 3:2:5 “And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
What the serpent was saying was that God was withholding something good from Eve. The knowledge of good and evil. He cast doubt on what God said. God said, “if you eat you die.” The serpent said, “You will not surely die.” And so, the woman being deceived partook of the fruit. Why? It was pleasant to the eyes. It was desired in order to become wise. Satan casts doubt on what God has said. And he is still doing that today.
Here is how his argument sounds:
- Who says its wrong?
- Why believe what God says?
- The bible is old fashioned.
- God doesn’t want you to have any fun.
- God isn’t really on your side…he just wants to rain on your parade.
- Do what you want!
- God is just trying to limit you.
Actually, that is what Satanist say. They phrase it in KJV “Do what thou wilt.” Don’t fall for his deception.
Can I tell you something…nobody loves you like God loves you! God is good. My friend Ken Shuman told me the following. People are convinced that Jesus is the way to get to heaven. A lot of people are convinced of that. They want that. They want to go to heaven. But they are not convinced that living the way Jesus said to live is the best way to live. Why? They doubt the goodness of God. He has your best in mind. He wants you not only to enjoy life and happiness and joy in Christ. He wants you to have a great future. Don’t doubt the goodness of God! To abide by and follow his true word will make your life better. And then…
2. He made us laugh at sinful situations
This is one of his favorite tactics that he uses to causes us to gradually not accept the truth. Even in some great shows, you see this happening. He does it all the time. Getting someone to laugh at something makes it just a little bit more tolerable.
Now I like the Andy Griffith show. If you ever watched the show, there is a guy named Otis who is drunk all the time. He comes staggering in, locks himself in jail to sleep it off. The sound track is filled with laughter. But is it funny? Not really. It’s horrible and pathetic and sad and ought to make us cry for this poor man. But we laugh at the funny things he does. When we do that we are normalizing his negative behavior.
3. He changes the meaning of words over time.
I have a book in my library. I only keep it to remind me of the danger of changing the meaning of words. It has a list in the back of about ten biblical words and the brand new meaning according to the author. I read that and I thought really. You can twist anything to mean anything, if you simply change the meaning of the words. Words have meaning. But our language is constantly evolving into other definitions and meanings. Love used to be a word that meant a lifelong commitment to someone. Love was standing by your spouse, in sickness and in health, In poverty or wealth, for better or worse. But today it just means a Hollywood romantic feeling that you have at that moment, or a sexual desire.
Marriage used to mean a covenant relationship ordained by God in which a man and woman enter into a sexual union and family until death. Today marriage means a contract between two consenting adults who live together as long they want to and practice whatever form of commitment they desire.
He has changed the word normal from meaning that which is right, healthy and desirable to that which is common, statistically average and in vogue. There is a website called the urban dictionary which gives definitions in laymen’s terms. And people vote for the most popular. The number one urban definition for normal is a “a word made up by this corrupt society so they could single out and attack those who are different. Normal is nothing but a word made up by society.”
And that is what the enemy wants you to think.
4. He normalizes sinful behavior
What used to be sinful today isn’t. Well culture change! Yes, culture changes but God doesn’t. Some might say that something cannot be wrong if everyone does it. How foolish. That is a childish argument. My mother used to say, if everyone was jumping off a cliff would you do it?
A child tells his mom that he only did a wrong deed because other boys did it. That does not make it less offensive or wrong. Actually, people reject the idea of authority and absolutes because they want to be free of restraint. They don’t understand that everything God ever commanded to us was actually done for us not to us! In fact, people do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, they reject the Bible because it contradicts them. Yes, there is an absolute right and an absolute wrong. And let me tell you something, right is right if everyone on earth is against it; and wrong is wrong if everyone on earth is for it! Saying something is normal doesn’t make it right!
Don’t be deceived there is an absolute moral truth. Let’s listen to it and abide by it.
“See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you. … Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life.” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16,19-20)