Thursday, February 11, 2010
"A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure." [Lee Sagel]
Suppose a man had a job interview scheduled for 2:00 on a Tuesday afternoon. When he arrived at 4:00 on Tuesday afternoon, the interviewer would have a natural cause for the question, "Why are you late?" Suppose the man replied nonchalantly, "Well, I have four different watches that I keep with me, and they all read different times, so I really wasn't sure." In other words, I just guessed. Do you think the man interviewing him would take him seriously? Um. I think not. He would probably look at him like he had gone bonkers. And for good reason. Sounds like a silly illustration, right?
The modern man is exactly like that man with the four watches. He, however, is praised for being "tolerant", for being "open-minded." In our culture, we are all slammed relentlessly with the idea that "there are no facts; only interpretation" (as James Emery White says in his book, Serious Times). It could be 4:52, 11:37, or 8:18...it just depends on how you want to interpret the hands on your watch. We are labeled as "intolerant" for claiming that there is one absolute truth. It doesn't really matter too much to anyone what that absolute truth that we're claiming is; just the fact that we're claiming anything to be absolute truth is a threat to the postmodern way of thinking. The irony of their thinking is that they are claiming that the one absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth. Funny.
This would account for the reason why people these days, in most cases, are fine with discussing religion. They don't mind that we go to church. They don't mind that we believe there is a God. They don't even mind that we believe that Jesus is God's son. But when we tell them that Jesus said (John 14:6), "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me," we will no doubt be quickly shut down by a statement that falls somewhere along the lines of, "Well, that's great that you think that, but I will determine whether or not that is really relevant to my life."
Personally, when I'm met with a response like this, it unnerves me. I don't know exactly what to say to refute such a thought process. The thing to remember is that our belief in God is not merely an opinion. I feel harsh even typing it out, but there it is, and it's the truth. In reality, God is the only one who can, in fact, determine what absolute truth is, because He is completely outside of us. Not only has He determined and defined absolute truth, He has actually revealed it to us. He could have left us here to figure it out for ourselves (which apart from Him, we could not do). We would be fools not to take Him at His word. We do not affirm that Jesus rose from the death because we "think" that's what happened. We believe that Jesus rose because God told us that He did. Our confidence comes not from ourselves, but from Someone a lot bigger than us.
All of the opposing worldviews have something in common: they have set themselves up to be the ultimate authority. The way they "feel" determines right and wrong. The way they "think" determines what reality is and what it is not. Their entire world view is determined by how they view the world. Who are we, as humans, to make a call on what the world is or what it isn't? If a world-renowned scientist were to tell us that a certain animal had become extinct, we would not question his judgment. After all, he is a scientist and would know what he's talking about. Yet, people feel that they can challenge the authority of Almighty God who was and is and will be forever. The idea is unfathomable.