A Barna survey asked, “Is there absolute truth?” (Absolute Truth: “Something true for all people, at all times and in all places.”) Amazingly, 66 percent of American adults responded that they believe that “there is no such thing as absolute truth; different people can define truth in conflicting ways and still be correct.” The figure rises to 72 percent when it comes to those between the ages of 18 and 25. (Christianity Today, October 26, 1992, p. 30.) Note the date of the survey.
Imagine a culture with no moral reference point, no concrete definition of justice or law, right or wrong. Consider what life would look like if each individual cut themselves free from the concept of objective truth. Men and women doing whatever seems right in their own view and perspective. A society where facts cease to hold merit or value. Where words and definitions are subjective; while, feelings and opinions are valid measurements of reality. The most obvious of realities brushed aside as personal opinion in the name of tolerance and acceptance.
Now imagine this system of thought being forced upon every individual, through social systems, entertainment, institutes of indoctrination and the pressure of shame and rejection. The full weight of the “law” leveled against any who dare hold to “draconian” ideas like morality and truth. Christian thoughts and expressions criminalized as hateful and intolerant. The Gospel viewed as inflammatory hate speech.
Unfortunately, many aspects of this scenario are all too real in America today. When a culture walks willfully away from God, they walk away from reality. God is the only accurate reference point for humanity. Why? Because God is the creator of humanity, the “source” of humanity. When a culture rejects these absolute truths and replaces them with speculation, the result is confusion and destruction. Man was never created to be God, and is completely incapable of designing a functional reality. This fact is completely observable in family, history and culture. Man, minus God is a shipwreck.
How did we get here?
I believe it is important to look at that very question. I am not looking to place blame. I do; however, understand that pinpointing failure is key to not repeating it.
The human condition, unrestrained by the power of the Holy Spirit, is hardwired for self-destruction. Man only need be void of God to seal his destructive fate. Simply look at the proud heritage of human civilization and observe how, throughout all of recorded history, man’s decline has been linked to man’s immorality. How does this apply to us? The restraining/saving power of God is infused into a person when they hear and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. Romans 1:16 (NASB) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Without God there is no lasting, effective, standard of morality, and no prevailing power against our destructive human nature. We are connected to God by only one means-The Gospel. Our culture has become more hostile to the Gospel and its concrete ideas of good and evil, right and wrong. According to the Bible, Jesus is “the truth;” therefore, it stands to reason that as people reject the notion of truth, they would reject God as well. I believe the response of many Christians, to this rising tide of hostility, has been to pull back from sharing their faith. Although; the majority of Christians believe they should share the Gospel, most do not. Many assume others have already heard the Gospel, or that they will not be interested. Many are scared of the repercussions they may suffer if they do share; possibly losing their jobs or relationships or even their lives. These are very real concerns, but none should be the determining factor of our witnessing for Christ. The Apostle Paul shared the same struggles concerning sharing the Gospel; in fact, he asked for help from his fellow believers. Ephesians 6:19-20 (NIV) Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Paul understood the need to face down the fear and shame that would seek to silence him, and so should we. Our love for people, our strong conviction of the reality of eternity, and our love for God must compel us to speak the truth to a hostile or indifferent culture.
What’s the answer?
I believe Christians boldly proclaiming the Gospel is the answer to many of the cultural woes we face in this nation. I know this may sound simplistic, and it is. Christ holds the answers for humanity, He is made available only by the Gospel; therefore; we share the Gospel clearly, fearlessly, and unashamed. If there has ever been a time when America needed the absolute truth of the Gospel it is today.
Questions to consider.
- When was the last time I shared the Gospel?
- What fears do I have about sharing the Gospel?
- What obstacles do I face in sharing my faith?
- How can I be more intentional about sharing my faith?
- What is my plan to share my faith more effectively?