Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Why search for something that doesn't exist?

Why search for something that does not exist?

Nothing in life has any value nor does life itself have value. If you know someone who believes this they are nihilists. A nihilist turns the idea of morality on its head. If there is no moral truth then there is no God because God is the author of all truth. People need care. Christians depend on God for care. He feeds the birds and clothes the lilies of the field, he will surely care for us. But a nihilist must substitute some other caring source for a God they refuse to believe in, so they often turn to the government to care for them. 'Forty acres and a mule' takes on real meaning. The government owes them something: healthcare, a job, a home and perhaps a cash-for-clunker car. What does God feel when he is substituted by a mostly incompetent government? Does he feel anger? Pity? Frustration? I can't imagine how I'd feel if an irresponsible hobo living on the tracks were to declare himself caretaker for my son.

While a nihilist may question the existence of truth, the relativist might admit truth exists but not absolute truth. Relativism is the great societal cancer of our age. It's alarming how many are infected by this devastating disease. 72% of Americans believe there is no such thing as absolute truth. Even more troubling, 64% of born-again Christians resist the idea of absolute truth. This is certainly an oxymoron. A Christian is defined by what he believes. If he/she believes that truth is relative or something that mirrors the opinions of the present age, then one's profession of Christianity must certainly be in question. How can one claim to be a follower (believer) in Christ if they don't believe in absolute truth?

If I hear one more 'New Ager' declare there are many ways to Christ and many ways to heaven my head is going to explode. Jesus didn't say, "I am a way, a truth and a life", he said, "I am THE way, THE truth and THE life." If truth is not absolute and eternal then there is no such thing as sin. Sin can only exist if there is a divine Being and a divine standard. Christ didn't die so we could have our own opinions, Christ died so we might be saved from sin. If there is no sin there is no reason for Christ to die.

When I was a child I contemplated the myth that there was gold at the end of the rainbow and if one could ever find the rainbow's end he would find his life's fortune. Any one who believes this fable spends much time searching for something that does not exist. A philosopher, by definition, is one who searches for truth. Little wonder I was very confused in my college philosophy class when my professor declared there was no truth. What then were we searching for?

If truth exists but it is relative to a social construct then how would one explain slavery? It was accepted in our country's birth years, but we fought a devastating war because we were finally convinced that it was wrong. What happens if 200 years from now it becomes acceptable again? Absolute truth doesn't evolve. The validity of truth is not dependent on the popular opinion of a majority. The Author of all truth declares that He is the same yesterday, today and forever!"

I teach apologetics to high school students. I'm optimistic about the younger generation. The students I teach are too bright to be fooled into wasting their time or their lives seeking to find something that does not exist. Our quest to find truth is what gives meaning to our lives.

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