Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator…” Romans 1: 25

“What is truth?” Pontius Pilate asked Jesus. And Jesus had answered him the night before during the Last Supper when He told the Apostles, “I am the way, the truth and the life…”. In our culture today the very idea that there can be Truth, not truths, but capitol” T” universal Truth that applies to everyone in every situation across history is becoming obsolete. The savvy people, the people in the ivory towers, those who are enlightened will say that there are absolutely no absolutes. Are you sure?  But this represents yet another hallmark or defining philosophy of our current culture—the idea of relativism. And it is so pervasive at this point that Pope Benedict XVI has even referred to it as “the dictatorship of relativism”. It holds that there is no right or wrong for everyone (except saying that there is actually right or wrong—which is wrong).

Relativism tries to convince us (often by bullying us) that not only is there no such thing as right or wrong when it comes to moral behaviors, but that there is no Truth when it comes to belief as well. In other words, there isn’t any Truth that will lead us to God, there are many “truths” or paths that each person can choose and each of these paths is equally valid in helping us to find God or get to heaven. The problem is that this is not the way the world operates in any other area. There is natural law, which is true at all times. And there is certainly universal Truth to be found in science and math. For instance, no matter how much you might personally believe otherwise, 2 + 2 will ALWAYS equal 4 and nothing else. So if there can be found universal Truth in these areas, then it holds to reason that there must be Truth in other areas like faith and morals.

The real reason that relativism has spread so far and wide in our culture today is simply because people want to do whatever they want or believe whatever they want or say whatever they want and they don’t want to be held responsible for any of that nor do they want to feel guilty in any way. Relativism is a license to ignore your conscience and to form it in another fashion—a fashion that ultimately does not destroy universal Truth, but simply makes the individual the decider of what this truth shall be for them. This way there is really no need for God, for Church, for authority, the Bible, parents, government, etc. We can all just do what we want whenever we want and everyone will be happy. But will we?

Are we happier without a moral compass? Are we happier when we have no foundation of Truth to stand on, when our lives have been built on the shifting sands of opinion? Absolutely not! We become more paranoid, we get more easily depressed, we become more anxious and we end up spending a lot of time trying to figure out the difference between what is real and what is fantasy. Certainly this is exactly where Satan wants us. The reality is that it is so much more peaceful living in the freedom of Truth, of knowing what is right from wrong, of being confident that there is a God who loves us and who wants us to be with Him. Without boundaries, children become insecure and without the boundaries of Truth in our world, the dictatorship of relativism has created a society of insecure, often depressed people, running around all the time trying to find reality in a world of illusion. We need the light of Truth to cut through this relativistic fog. We need to be salt and light in our world, to show those around us that there really is a reason to live, that there is hope, that there is a path that really does lead to fulfillment.

Dear Jesus, enlighten my conscious with the knowledge of right and wrong. Open my heart to the Truth You give us through the Church. Allow me to live in this Truth and to be a witness to Truth through the way I live and love. Amen.

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