Roadblock #4 = The Confusion Factor
TYPICAL WORDING: “That’s your truth, not mine.”
PROBLEM: People in our Postmodern society advance the idea that truth can be whatever people want it to be. Whichever faith someone chooses, is true, not necessarily for everyone, but for them. Truth, they believe, is relative to their choices. Truth is subjective to the person, not objective to everyone. So choosing a faith or discussing which is the right faith makes no sense to their worldview. Trying to develop discernment to know which is true and which is false is a waste of time. Everything is true for the person to whom he chooses it to be true.
SOLUTION: This view is very confusing because truth is not relative but definitive. Truth by definition is not subjective but objective. There is no sense in calling something true if it is not true. Everyone knows this to be the case. People intuitively know that if something is true, then it is true. If something is not true, then it is not true. That logic is shared by all human cultures and every generation of man. Truth by definition is not interchangeable with falsehood. To assert otherwise is to dive into the deepest darkness out of which there is no return. This view throws everything into confusion and ruins everything that is helpful and noble. We all assume truth to be definitive in every conversation we have on every topic throughout the day. So someone who asserts otherwise is being disingenuous. Put flatly, this view promotes falsehood.
EXPLANATION: I have to admit that the idea that truth is relative is very difficult to take seriously. Every fact of life proves it wrong daily. To be blunt, it is ludicrous to believe that truth changes for different people just because they want it to change. Reality cannot, and does not, so bend. Believing that truth bends to my wishes is the definition of fantasy or lunacy or insanity. In a fantasy people dream and wish their dreams to come true. Reality is the opposite of fantasy. Reality is what actually happens. It is what exists. It is real; that’s why it is called reality. Reality remains reality despite all the wishing in the world. If everyone in the world simultaneously wished the Atlantic Ocean would be completely free of pollution, it would still contain just as many pollutants! If everyone wished winter to go away, the cold wind and ice would still blow back unimpeded. So people must bend their beliefs to fit reality – otherwise they will go literally insane.
Of course, no who claims that reality is subjective can live in accordance with his/her beliefs. Have you ever seen someone try? It would be impossible. In real life anyone speaking or acting with this belief would be mocked and dismissed outright – if not told to get serious counseling. Imagine two people arguing about the price of a car at the dealer. The buyer claims, “The selling price is only $2000;” the seller disagrees, “It is $20,000 – look at the sticker in the window!” “That’s your truth,” says the buyer. “Mine is $2000. One of those zeroes does not count!” That kind of thinking won’t work anywhere. It might make a fun April Fool’s Day joke, but that’s about as far as it would go.
When you enter Disney World in Florida it has written above “Where Dreams Come True” That’s a cute slogan and sometimes dreams do come true and sometimes we learn more about the universe we thought was a fantasy. But reality remains reality, and fantasy remains fantasy. Never the twain shall meet.
Here is an important thing to understand: Beliefs may change; truth does not. You can believe something that is false, but you can’t make something that is false, true by believing in it.
This is an unbendable rule in the realm of faith as well. For example, it cannot be simultaneously true that an eternal, unchanging, personal God exists and that same God does not exist. If God is a figment of the imagination, then He does not exist. It cannot be true simultaneously that the universe is eternal, and that it is not eternal but made. It cannot be true that there is a real place of eternal punishment and there is no such thing as a place called “Hell.”
At bottom this view seems more of a tactic to avoid argument or disagreement about religion than something to take seriously. We all know that people can get very emotional when talking about religion. If everyone’s beliefs are considered true, even if they actually aren’t, then everyone can save face and live in harmony. Ah! But they will also remain in the dark. It is not loving to go along with deception just to make people feel good. For eventually they will come to ruin. Imagine someone telling another he did not have cancer when the CT scan and every other test indicated he did! Telling the truth to people in need is an act of love. They can get help and attention. Deception is unloving! Love depends on truth. If there is no truth there can be no love. So those who go along with deception in the name of love have not even learned yet what love is. If you want to be loving, tell people the truth.
We live in an age of political correctness gone amuck. People are intimidated from saying things they know to be true if the truth offends someone else. But political correctness has no place in the halls of learning, otherwise learning will be severely handicapped. PC puts a straightjacket on the minds of all students. That is not good for anybody. The human mind must be given room to follow the evidence where it leads and conclude things which are unpopular. Truth is too precious and valuable to throw away just to make everyone feel good. If we did that, it would be the death of reason, and soon love would be gone also. If everything were true, nothing would be true. Throwing out truth does not lead to peace and harmony but deception and destruction and hate.
This view really should not be a deterrent to faith, but some have tried to use it to quash the faith debate. It actually is an emotional reaction which cannot be defended. Who really tries to defend it anyway? Most just say it and dare others to make an objection. We need to object strenuously, and demolish this roadblock. It stands in the way of all progress, love, and truth.