Embracing Absolute Truth in a Post-modern World
Students are not the only ones who struggle with post-modernism, tolerance and the rejection of absolute truth. Adults live in the same world and are often no more prepared for the challenges of pluralism than their children. As fathers, we must embrace the truth as well as live the truth before we can passionately teach the truth to our families.
That is why I am so excited to be speaking this weekend (April 14) at the Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference in Albany, New York, where they are expecting over 1,200 men in attendance. Iron Sharpens Iron is an incredible men’s ministry and this is just one of over fifty conferences being held nationwide in 2012.
My seminar is Embracing Absolute Truth in a Post-modern World and I will be sharing with the men how to take the Word of God from principle to practice. In order to accept truth, we must first know it and its source. We will be looking at the Bible as the “true north” for our lives. Our beliefs determine our behavior and so we must define the core of our belief system.
Once confronted with truth, we can choose to do many things with it but usually we will respond to it with one of the following three mindsets:
- License – we simply disregard it and determine to live a life based on another philosophical system such as Naturalism, Existentialism, Humanism or perhaps the prevalent one of our day – Relativism.Relativism basically holds to the belief that there is no absolute truth and all truth claims are equal. Where relativism reigns, absolute tolerance is the only rational response. I have found that even the definition of tolerance has evolved from acknowledgement to acceptance to endorsement of differences.
- Legalism – we are fearful of losing control so we attempt to legislate righteousness, living legalistic lives governed by rules and regulations. Embracing this approach gives a false sense of security that a checklist of do’s and don’ts makes us holy.Jesus sternly addressed the religious leaders of His day for falling into this practice. This becomes more about a religion or ritual than a relationship. I am not saying that rules, regulations or disciplines are wrong, but they must be cultivated within a growing relationship with Christ.
- Liberty – James 1:25 talks about “the perfect law of liberty.” This is truly where the Word of God is received for what it is – the truth – and is engrafted (James 1:21) into our lives. This is the perfect balance between license and legalism.You are no longer satisfied to perform out of duty because your motivation is devotion. You abandon uniformity for unity as taught in Ephesians 4 and you live your life based on Biblical values not personal desires.
Oswald Chambers said in commenting on Galatians 5:1, “Always keep your life measured by the standards of Jesus.” This is still great advice for us in our post-modern world.