‘What is truth?’ ‘Is truth truthful?’ ‘Is my truth the same as your truth?’ ‘Do we actually exist, or is this all a dream?’ ‘Are we in the Matrix?’ ‘Was Harrison Ford a Replicant?’
These are the questions that seem to continually pop up in our tutorials when you study Arts! Students don’t ask answerable questions anymore, like ‘what’s two plus two?’. Instead they ask ‘what is two?’ and ‘how is my two different to your two?’.
It’s easy to see how our post-Christian society got here. With belief in an all-powerful God taken out of the equation, the very notion of truth or even right and wrong is put into question. Without God, all we have is ourselves to interpret what truth is and the results aren’t satisfying, because no one can give a conclusive answer! Once truth is no longer trusted, everything becomes acceptable. Since everyone has a different idea of ‘truth’, who are you to judge my lifestyle?
This poses a problem for Christians trying to witness to fellow students. Not only is the idea of Jesus’ Lordship hard for them to fathom, but now the very notion of objective truth is unbelievable. We recently had a conversation with a Christian friend, who claimed he was often finding himself arguing for the existence of universal truth, before even the mention of the gospel.
But to convince someone that truth is real and universal is not our end goal. Our end goal is to lead people to the Truth, to the audacious claims of Jesus. Read the words of Paul:
‘For there is one God and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time’ (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
In a postmodern society, the only radar of what is right and wrong is now based on only our own feelings and opinions: our ’testimonies’. But we, as Christians, have the testimony God has given us. It tells us that there is only one God whose judgement matters, and only one man who can mediate between us and him.
Without God’s help, we will always go back to being autonomous, mini gods: I can decide what gender I am, who I love, or what I spend my money on. We are blinded to the fact that we are ruled, not rulers.
The notion of multiple truths does still allow opportunities to share the gospel. When people believe all 'truths are true', they feel compelled to listen to them, particularly when these are ‘truths’ held by their friends. Witnessing to The Truth to a culture where truth itself is questioned may be difficult, but there are still many opportunities to share the good news we have. The loving Father of all has rescued us out of our darkened, confused minds and revealed himself to us, giving up his Son to win us back and revealing to us a reality so beautiful and true that it makes all others look false. And this is worth persevering with telling others about.