Everybody looks at the world through a certain set of presuppositions. These presuppositions make up one's world view. A world view, simply stated, is the way one views the whole world. It is a way of interpreting all of reality. It is an interpretive framework through which or by which one makes sense out of the data of life and the world. Metaphorically, it is the structure with which one molds the stuff of experience; it is the mold into which the clay of reality is cast; it is like a plot that holds the play of life together; it is a pattern superimposed on the cloth of the world by which one knows where to cut the fabric of experience. Let me discover your structure, mold, plot, or pattern, and I can tell you something about your lifestyle. Why is this? It's simple: What we think affects how we act (cf. Proverbs 23:7).
Today, we live in a society where the predominant world view is Evolutionism. Another name for Evolutionism is Naturalism. Evolutionism/Naturalism has five major tenets:These five tenets are built upon seven astounding presuppositions:
- Matter exists eternally and is all there is. There is no God.
- The universe exists as a uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system.
- Human beings are just complex "machines." Their personalities are an interrelation of chemical and physical properties we do not yet fully understand.
- History is a linear stream of events linked by cause and effect, but without any overarching purpose.
- Death is the extinction of personality and individuality.Of course, these seven premises are built upon blind faith. I say blind because nothing in our observation of the universe has ever indicated that any of these seven premises are true. In fact, all the observations of science tell us that these seven premises are false. Consequently, Evolutionism/Naturalism, much to the embarrassment of its disciples, is nothing more than a religious system built on blind faith
- everything ultimately came from nothing,
- order came from chaos,
- harmony came from discord,
- life came from nonlife,
- reason came from irrationality,
- personality came from nonpersonality, and
- morality came from amorality.
Nevertheless, while wishing to hide the religious nature of their world view, the devotees of Evolutionism have not been hesitant to proclaim their bleak "gospel." Bertrand Russell, a stalwart defender of Naturalism, wrote these less than cheery words about his belief system: "That man is the product of causes which have no prevision of the end they are achieving: that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling. can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the noonday brightness of human genius are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of man's achievement must inevitably be buried underneath the debris of a universe in ruins. Only on the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation be safely built."
Isaac Asimov, a champion of Naturalism in the latter half of the 20th century, had this to say about his religion in the April, 1971 issue of Science Digest: "Where did the substance of the universe come from? ...Perhaps in an infinite sea of nothingness, globs of positive and negative energy in equal-sized pairs are constantly forming, and after passing through evolutionary changes, combining once more and vanishing. We are in one of these globs in the period of time between nothing and nothing, and wondering about it."
But it was Robert Ingersoll, Naturalism's well-known 19th century proponent, who best summed up the total despair of the evolutionist world view, when he wrote: "Life is a narrow veil between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry aloud, and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry."
Within this devastatingly bleak world view, there thrives a moral philosophy that is wreaking havoc in our modern society. This philosophy is Relativism. Relativism says that in the evolutionary and naturalistic universe nothing is fixed and definite. Nothing "governs" the universe except chance. Therefore, why should one expect to find absolutes for moral issues? The relativist says that absolutes are impossible. He says what is arbitrarily considered to be wrong today can be right tomorrow. For example, prior to 1973, abortion was considered both immoral and illegal. But then, on January 22, 1973, in one of the worst examples of legislation by judicial fiat ever exhibited in the United States, the Supreme Court, in the case of Roe v. Wade, decided a woman has a constitutional "right" to abort her unborn child. In this connection, it is interesting to note that prior to Roe v. Wade, the Declaration of Geneva, modeled after the ancient Hippocratic Oath, was recited by medical school graduates, and read, in part, "I will maintain the utmost respect for human life from the time of conception." However, subsequent editions show a modification in this World Medical Organization oath, with the words "from the time of conception" removed. Yes, indeed, ideas do have consequences!
In his much acclaimed book The Closing Of The American Mind, which is an insider's criticism of the failures of higher education, professor Allan Bloom wrote, "There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative." And why not? By the time he reaches the college level, the typical student has been thoroughly indoctrinated with presuppositions and tenets of Evolutionism/Naturalism. When he believes truth is relative, he is only following the logical conclusions of his erroneous world view. In fact, it is not all that unusual today to hear someone express the idea that a thing is true for them if they think it's true, or if it is somehow meaningful to them. In other words, they can have their truth, you can have your truth, and I can have my truth, and all these truths can be true, even though they are completely contradictory to each other. This point is illustrated by the fact that American students recently came in last on a math aptitude test taken by the students in several different countries around the world; nevertheless, when asked how they felt about their math ability, American students actually came in first.
Today, as in the past,"Truth is fallen in the streets" (Isaiah 59:14). Therefore, as strange as it may sound to our ears, there's a real need today to talk about true truth. True truth is not relative but absolute. True truth is true even if we don't think it's true. In other words, true truth is always true. God is true truth (Jeremiah 10:10). True truth is one of the many wonderful characteristics of God (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 31:5). In fact, the sum total of everything God says is always true truth (Psalm 119:160). On the other hand, the devil, "who is a liar and the father of it" is absolutely devoid of true truth (John 8:44). He is the father of all those who "suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18). Consequently, we can be assured the devil is the instigator of the idea that truth is always relative and that there is absolutely no such thing as true truth.
Jesus is the Word of God who came into this world and lived among us as a man (John 1:1,14). As such, He is the personification of truth. In John 14:6, the Lord identified Himself as being "the truth." In Revelation 13:4, He calls Himself the "Amen, the Faithful and True Witness." The word "amen" is of Hebrew origin and was used to indicate that something done, said, or written was trustworthy or true. Immanuel or "God With Us" proved Himself to be trustworthy and true in all things. He came to do His Father's will, and He did that; He came to convict the world of sin, and He did that; He came to condemn sin in the flesh, and He did that; He came to establish a New Covenant, and He did that; and He came to shed His blood for the remission of sins, and He did that. It was His mission to seek and save the lost, and He, thank God, did that. What He did and said while He was here on this earth was in perfect harmony with His Father's will. He was, therefore, "the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness." Therefore, it is not without significance that when Jesus spoke, He started with "Amen, amen" "Verily, verily," or "Truly, truly" (cf. John 3:3; 5:24,25). His words were absolutely trustworthy and true because He was who He claimed to be. No other man in the New Testament ever prefaced his sayings with such words. In fact, in lieu of Paul's statement in Romans 3:4, which says, "Let God be true, and every man a liar." Would it not have been presumptuous for any mere man to so preface his words? Of course, Jesus was no mere man. In using the interjection "amen," Jesus was claiming, at least indirectly, to be God in the flesh.
The Spirit Of Truth
Prior to His arrest, trial, and crucifixion Jesus told His apostles, "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak of His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak and He will tell you things to come" (John 16:13). He went on to say: "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you" (verse 14,15). Therefore, it should not be surprising that the "sword" of the Spirit, who is Himself described as "truth," is the "word of God" (Ephesians 6:17), the sum total of which the Bible says "is truth" (cf. Psalm 119:160). In other words, the Holy Spirit, who was Himself Truth, would use the word of God, the sum total of which is truth, to testify of Jesus, who was the Truth incarnate. Now if this isn't true truth, then I don't know what would be.
"What Is Truth?"
When He stood before Pilate, Jesus said He came into the world to "bear witness of the truth" and "Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice" (John 18:37). Evidently, in a very cynical way, Pilate asks, "What is truth?" Maybe he, too, thought that truth was relative. What he did not understand was that Truth personified stood before him that day, and although he found "no fault in Him at all" (verse 38), He, nevertheless, sentenced Him, scourged Him, mocked Him, and finally crucified Him. In doing so, Pilate is not by himself.
The Truth That Makes Men Free
Unfortunately, we live in a world of Pilates who, exhibiting the characteristics of their father, the devil, "suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18). When presented with the truth, there are many today who are willing to crucify it, although they can find no fault with it. These, unfortunately, will never know the freedom that only the truth can give (John 8:32); that is, they will never be free from the bondage of sin. It is only in Christ, "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6), that one is freed from sin. "Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:36). Do you know the truth?