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October 22, 2021 6:43 am
What is absolute truth? In this series, we are looking at some of the questions that are directed at the Christian faith.
We live in a culture which does not believe in actually the Christian faith tenaciously needs to hold to the absolute conviction there is absolute truth so that we can believe in faith than the one he called Jesus absolute truth is moments of hope with Dana, childlike, today we begin a brand-new series of messages we are calling with this series will answer critical questions about the Bible, the church and the Christian faith today.
David begins in the first chapter of the Gospel of John in a message simply called absolute truth through here are beginning a new series called slow looking at some of the questions that are often directed toward the Christian faith and we would be able to answer them intelligently if you are a follower of Jesus. Hopefully I can give you some things that can answer questions address them in the world for Colossians 129 says that the purpose of the minister is to equip the church as mature disciples on the Jesus not to grow large church, not the big girl, big church, but to make people mature under Christ were going to look today at the question of absolute truth.
We live in a culture which does not believe in absolute truth, it's taught by the intelligentsia and the academic community that there is no such thing as absolute truth.
The Christian faith tenaciously the past 2000 years but ever so more. Now it needs to hold to the absolute conviction there is absolute truth is not only revealed in God's word but also so that we can believe in faith not only in God. But in the one he called Jesus, who is the way the truth and the life.
So let's look at the Scripture as we begin to address this subject of is there such a thing as absolute truth. And then we'll get into our study today to be able to answer some of the questions that have been brought our way.
I want to look with you at several verses from the Gospel of John, specifically from the mouth of Jesus where he claimed ultimate truth. John 11 in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
That word for word is logos in the Greek it's the word from which we get logic which implies logical truths, logical progression of truth. So in the beginning was logic and the word was logic with God and the logic was God himself. John 831 and 32 so Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him. If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 14 six Jesus said to him, Philip would ask him some questions.
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. Not a way not a truth not a life the way the truth, the life exclusivity was claimed. John 1613, Jesus said when the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak and he will declare to you the things that are to come in John 1833 through 39 Jesus before Pilate before his crucifixion. So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, are you the king of the Jews, Jesus answered do you say this of your own accord or did others say it to you about me. Pilate answered him either to your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done Jesus answered my kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this world then Pilate said to him, so you are a king Jesus answered you say that I am a king. For this purpose.
I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world to bear witness to the truth.
Why did God become a human being. Jesus said at least one of the reasons was to bear witness to absolute truth. Everyone who is off.
The truth listens to my voice. Pilate said to him, what is truth. Pontius Pilate is the patron saint of American postmodernism. The lack of belief in ultimate truth. After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them I find no guilt in him, but you have a custom that I should release one man for you with the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews. Let me give you a a brief history of how we in our contemporary culture landed at this spot of not believing in absolute truth, you need to really go back to Greco-Roman days.
In the second century BC. There was a Roman philosopher by the name of Lucretius and and he had worn thin.
Of all of the different interpretations of the anger and wrath of the gods plural toward the Romans and he thought the Romans need to be free of this.
So he came up with an idea that everybody could believe whatever they wanted to they could worship whatever God they wanted to if they wanted a different God whom they could worship.
They just designed that God and make them a part of their pantheon of gods and that philosophy was slowly but surely developed and adopted by other Roman philosophers and became by the time of Jesus. The thought of the day. That's why Pilate shrugged his shoulders and said what's truth. He was merely echoing what had been brought up by Lucretius for a couple of centuries, then the Christian church was established, and from Jesus birth, death, resurrection and ascension. The churches formed for the next 400 years, especially when Constantine in 313 A.D. declared the church to be the official religion of the Roman Empire, everything changed.
If people started adopting natural obvious objective truth as a part of their lives especially revealed in Jesus Christ.
Then you move into the Middle Ages and the church's great thinkers, theologians, philosophers all adhere to natural truth. They all adhere to objective, rational truth and the way they said you can know it does exist is by looking at nature, but by looking at natural law by looking at design that held the day something for for many years but something happened around the 13th and 14th century that began to change people's hearts towards acceptance of natural law and object objective truth simply through the church.
It was the religious wars Christians killing Christians. The Crusades, when Christians started forcing Jews to convert to Christianity or either having to pay a huge tax or lose their lives. No kidding. That happened Christians did that didn't start with ISIS. Different thinkers began to say you know what, there must be a better way of understanding truth, not through natural law and religion but through science so the 15th, 16th, 17th century a new way of thinking arose.
No longer was it natural law giving us an understanding of objective truth. It now is science and you have the greatest thinkers of the world saying if it can be proven under a microscope. We can believe it, thus distancing themselves from the religious wars and all the religious conflict of the past years. Probably the most prominent thinker of the Enlightenment irrational. As Charles Darwin as he try to define life in a series of evolutions which is greatly impacted how we view life today. Ultimately, that fought in Europe of enlightenment thinking crossed the ocean became a part of our way of life. So as we moved into the 20th century many people had high hopes that science could solve all of our problems. They believe that humanity in their natural desire to be good with science backing them up could allow all of the evils of the world to be destroyed and there were several things that completely destroyed that way of thinking. First of all World War I, the mother of all wars in the Great Depression, the cause and employment of 30 to 40% worldwide. You think we got a better day then World War II and the atomic bomb, and then the Korean conflict, and then you move into the 60s and the racial conflicts that existed more and more you start hearing people say humanity needs to be autonomous and free from anything that oppresses it, and that began in the 60s and 70s, a new understanding not of modernism.
Truth being based on science. But postmodernism, which believes there is no absolute truth.
That's what's been taught in our universities in America today. It's what you and I've been taught is what our children are being taught.
It's what our grandchildren are being taught. There is no absolute truth at all.
In fact, here are some of the phrases that exist in academia and among the intelligentsia regarding absolute truth there is no such thing as absolute truth.
Truth is whatever you sincerely believe what's true for you may not be true for me. But if it's true for me. It's true for me.
We have this kind of dangerous dogmatic drivel in this kind of fallacious futility being taught to our children and amazingly were paying tens of thousands of dollars for them to hear it postmodernism or the fact that truth is relative has become the quote of the day pushing those of us who call ourselves. Christ followers and committed to this book as being anachronistic dinosaurs obscurantist from a bygone day. So is right is truth relative was truth objective. How do we begin to approach 2015 in the years beyond all by the way, in case you don't know. There's a museum in England that has a display of postmodernism and at the bottom of it is written these words. Postmodernism is dead.
Which begs the question, where are we headed, and you know what no one knows.
I'll give you my best guess if postmodernism is dying and I think it is on life support.
Gasping, the only place to work and go is nihilism. Nothingness and that will lead to read the book of Ecclesiastes, which is probably the most profound work that describes contemporary American thought where basically the purpose of life is to eat drink and be merry for tomorrow I may die, self-fulfillment, and personal comfort will become the deities of the day and that's what people most seek after and my great fear and angst regarding that particular way of thought.
It can only lead to the last verse in the book of Judges describing Israel's darkest days. It says and everyone did what was right in their own eyes. That's where our culture is headed. Unless we can reclaim the belief in absolute truth, that's my purpose with you today.here are the objections of those who were postmodern who talked to me and you about absolute truth. First of all, they say, you people are arrogant your arrogant your self-righteous you think you've got all the truth. Secondly, your arrogance leads to division you divide. You cause people to choose whatever they want to believe in and then they arrogantly are separated from other people whom they should love and finally third. Not only are you arrogant and divisive your abusive because here's what's happened historically you see it in the religious wars centuries ago. You Christians who have absolute truth you get together and you demand that everybody else believe like you do and if they don't do oppressed example of that slavery you oppressed people because you think you got the truth that your Bible has revealed and is not just you Christians as other religious people who come together in their understanding of the truth in their religion. Look at ISIS. Look what they're doing their butchering people by heading people, maybe even children in the name of their God. In fact, let's not even make it just religious. It's also social. That's what communism is done behind a belief in absolute truth that the masses are being persecuted they should rebel against the totalitarian government.
They should take over and that belief system. In the 20th century caused over 100 million deaths through Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot and other dictators you people think you got absolute truth. You come together in community and communism and you think you got the answer and you oppressed people more over the objection lies this whole idea of a metanarrative is silly.
It's oppressive and abusive within itself only pause a second. Some of you are asked the question, one of the world.
A metanarrative is key to an understanding of postmodern objections to absolute truth metanarrative means there's a huge story going on in the universe. At the heart of the Christian faith is the metanarrative that the Bible is teaching us history. His story, God's story as he's dealing with humanity.
Here's how the metanarrative goes in Genesis 1 and two, God created the heavens and the earth. He created this world good in every possible way.
It was operating the way God wanted it to to operate Genesis 1 to then there was a fall, a rebellion against God inviting evil into all of the screen order in the world does not operate the way God wants it operate so God begins the story of redeeming humanity back to Genesis 1 and two, how he does that story is by calling a man named Abraham in Genesis 12 in forming a nation called Israel and that nation of Israel is story is told in Genesis 12 through Malachi and in that story got his costly working with his people redeeming as people trying to move them back toward himself. They sometimes object they sometimes move toward him. They sometimes rebel against him.
Sometimes they submit them but is there story through the whole Old Testament until the end of Malachi, and here's what you're supposed to do is to find your story in his story because all of us have that same story going days we move toward God in redemption and moved away from God's to forming him, and he always pursues as we get back and forth in that relationship with him. That's the story.
The metanarrative of the Old Testament within God sent his son Jesus and of the world a perfect God mentally lived the perfect life. We could not live. He died on the cross, taking the wrath of God that we deserve upon himself because of our rebellion and then he gives us by grace through faith, the forgiveness of our sins something we don't deserve an index metanarrative. The Gospels Matthew Mark and Luke and John. We see the story of Jesus. Then in the book of acts we see the formation of the church and the rest of the Bible is all about the church of Jesus being formed and Paul and John and Peter writing to the church telling them how they needed to repent or how they needed to grow in the love of Jesus and finally the book of Revelation says that one day call just one day in the metanarrative the grand story of God. God is going to look at history and come back in Jesus again and when he comes back again. He will restore this world to Genesis 1 and 22 created order as God intended. Don't misunderstand for a moment about the second coming of Jesus is essential to the mayor and metanarrative of the Bible and he will come back again.
He will restore creation to its original intent means in moments of conflict, listening, and joins me in the studio. In a conversation about becoming Christ living in our community.
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Joining me in this DM is our Pastor David Slotnick, David, thanks so much for being with us today. It's great being with you, Jen will in this morning's moment of hope you read about being sand for Christ what you mean by that.
Well, okay. It's the height of football season right now. Okay. Whether it's college or professional or let's go, even down to the high school or middle school level, especially if you have one of your kids playing in that game up there so much calm and ceremony and the people in the stands. Some have painted their faces and are wearing their team's jersey and there cheering wildly and screaming loudly for their team to win and we call those people fans will interestingly the word fan is a shortened version of the word fanatic and when you think about someone being a fanatic. Sometimes that's not altogether good, but when you take it into the terms of sports arena you think fan/fanatic. That's proper and okay in my point today is simply this would not be okay to be a fan for Jesus and to be a fanatic even for Jesus. Now I know that can crossover boundaries were people become reprehensible. He arrogant and awfully difficult to be around. But on the other hand, we really do want people excited for Jesus.
We will people passionate for Jesus. We want people like on Sunday. People desiring to go to the Carolina Panthers football game just can't wait to get their tailgate have fun, be with other people. We'd love for that same kind of excitement in the church I pastor moments of hope church to be there every Sunday for the believers who love Jesus. They just can't wait to get there be together have fellowship together, but we somehow think that the word fanatic can't be translated into the Christian arena and I'd like to challenge that today, and Satan, you really can be. You can be excited and passionate for Jesus because here's the truth of the moment of hope. I try to get across. Today it's easier to calm down a fanatic than to raise somebody from the dead, let me say that again it's easier to calm down a fanatic and a raise somebody from the dead.
If somebody's dead there not to be excited about anything in there too many dead Christians in the world they're not excited about anything of the Lord, but people who really love Jesus are excited passionate about coming together worshiping, but mostly going and giving their lives away. My point today is it's okay to be a fanatic for Jesus. A fan for Jesus, even more so then you'd be a fanatic for your favorite sports team. I love this so much and it reminds me of that.
In my life where I was really kind of what you would call on fire and it's really kind of radical in my my faith and I remember watching needing the passion for Christ, and it just, everything became real.
My love for Jesus my recognition of what he paid and I just remember feeling like every cell in my body was just alive and my father-in-law ended up coming over to our house and wanted to talk shop with my husband and I wanted to talk about was cheese and and I felt like a thing now, and I excuse myself and went to the other really just prayed and I didn't know what to do it that I know that that's what happens when you have this wonderful experience with Jesus and is rooted in knowing what he did for us. As you look at the movie the passion of the Christ. You see, that's the pain through which he went to redeem us and bring us home to him and give us the gift of eternal life. Well you never the same when that happens, you can't help but be a fan for Jesus.
It's so true it's a trailer. Thank you so much for these encouraging words today. Dana, you and everyone. Please give your life to Jesus and passionately pursue him and be a fan for him if you'd like to receive these daily written moments of hope from me go to moments of hope church.org you can subscribe there every morning.
There will be one arriving in your inbox at 7 AM from my heart to yours free of charge to help your day begin with a moment of hope and moments that make senior pastor moments of hope church we would love to have you join us for worship this Sunday morning.
We need to stay school located at 5800 Sardis Rd. in South Charlotte 10 AM. You can find more information on our website.
Moments of hope church.org again enjoying a Sunday morning and probably stay school located at 5800 Sardis Rd. in South Charlotte J moments of hope church.org and the entire moments of hope church James Easton great weekend