We live in a culture which elevates self, don't we? We live in the "Have it your way" culture where the concept of universal Truth has been replaced with universal acceptance of all truths. Rather than seeing himself as dependant upon God for the very breath of life, man now sees himself as dependant upon no one, nothing, most often, not even his fellow man. This is a disconnected age where man, in exalting himself has cut himself off from his source; the only true and living God. I would submit to you that it should come as no surprise that as our culture increasingly abandons an understanding of Truth as objective reality, we will continue to watch as our culture also increasingly loses its children to the overabundance of vices available to them today. We will continue to watch families crumble and our culture fall into further decay. The "stimulus package" most truly needed by this culture is the pouring out of Truth.
As a deeply committed disciple of Jesus Christ and as a Bible teacher, what is the most disconcerting to me about the rise of the modern relativistic worldview, is that many Christians have been wrongly convinced that in order to be responsible citizens of the modern culture, they must cast off the antiquated moorings of so called outdated understandings of Truth. The Truth about Truth contrary to the myth of the modern worldview is that truth is knowable, available, and it has been revealed. For so many believers in our day, the Christian faith has become little more than an extension of flawed pop culture. The Christian message has been reduced to little more than motivational speech, meant merely to ease the burdens of this life by offering a little insight into having a better marriage, being a better parent, or being more successful in material wealth.
Is that kind of understanding of Christianity, that understanding of Christ, commensurate with what Jesus said about Himself? Is the biblical message merely a means of gaining insight into being a better person? Is Christianity merely a sip of water on a warm day or is it an uncontainable flood in an arid desert? In the Gospel of John 18:37, Jesus, confronted by the local Roman ruler, Pontius Pilate makes the most profound statement in all of the human history. "You are a king, then!' said Pilate. Jesus answered, 'You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth." (NIV)
Imagine if you would, that you were walking along a path in the woods and after a long time of walking you had become disoriented and lost. You made your way to a river which was far too wide to swim across, though you could see the lights of your ultimate destination just across the river. Dusk was upon you and soon it would be dark. Imagine further that you came across a man who informed you of the location of the only trustworthy bridge available to cross the river, which was just a short distance away. Would you curse the man for his narrow mindedness in assuming that this bridge alone represented your salvation from spending the night alone in the woods? Or would you thank God for sending a messenger of truth to you? So it is with us. God has provided a means of crossing from the darkness of separation from Him into the glorious light of Truth.
Unlike the myth of the modern worldview, which currently poisons the minds of so many in our culture, the desire which resonates deep in my soul is to see Christians freed from the darkness of pluralism and relativism; to see Christians freed from the shackles of modern pluralistic lies unto the freedom that is found in the simple biblical understanding that Jesus Christ alone is the Truth. Christians need not make unnecessary concessions to the modern worldview which unashamedly denies the uniqueness of the message of Jesus Christ. In Christ we do not see one of many possible truths expressed. Jesus made rather exclusive claims to authority and Truth. Listen to what Jesus says in regard to Himself in John 14:6, "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (NIV)
Fellow sojourner, today, I encourage you to embrace the uniqueness of Christ even as you embrace the truth that is revealed in Him alone!
Chris Surber is the Pastor of First Congregational Church of Peru, Illinois. A graduate of Liberty Theological Seminary, he is known for his compassion for people and his passion in the pulpit.
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