Both liberals and conservatives can get it wrong sometimes. We live in depravity and our minds are not perfect. Those who are knowledgeable of their own mental shortcomings and humble enough to admit them may offset some of their weaknesses by turning to the Source of all truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) Men cannot arrive at wisdom by wandering about in the mud of his own mind, wisdom can only be found by looking to a transcendent Source that reveals his wisdom in a love letter written to those he created. We acquire wisdom when we reverence God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Psalm 111:10)
Many of the liberal persuasion are quick to turn away from the Source of wisdom. This brings great mental confusion as was predicted by the prophet Isaiah, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”(5:20) Truth provided by God’s word is like an ancient GPS. It directs us. It speaks to us and shows us the way. If we fail to heed its warnings we will surely lose our way. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
The truths found in scripture are absolute. They are not malleable nor can they be textured to suit our own persuasions. They are the everlasting words of the Almighty God. We are warned not to add to his words or “he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” (Proverbs 30:6) We are cautioned not to subtract from his eternal truth because “if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” (Revelation 22:19) For some, this makes no sense because they don’t believe in the Bible. God has so mysteriously and miraculously designed us with a consciousness centered in the heart. This consciousness makes us aware of ourselves and aware of a Holy God. Disbelief is not a problem of the intellect. It’s not a problem of logic. It is a problem of the heart. Belief starts in the heart, not the mind. “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified…” (Romans 10:10)
The unbelieving mind questions and even tries to eliminate the absolute truths of God’s word. It embraces a relative truth rather than an absolute truth. Some would simply declare that real truth cannot be discovered. Others will declare that it doesn’t matter if they ever grasp truth, what is really important to them is that they are sincere in what they believe and do. Pre-marital sex, homosexuality and adultery are all justified by asking the question, “Are they really in love?” Somehow, being ‘really in love’ justifies violating laws written for men by an eternal God.
If you were slated to have open heart surgery, would you want your doctor to be sincere or competent? Sincerity is a warm, fuzzy that makes everyone feel good. But when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, absolute truth trumps sincerity any day.
Some will justify their choice of relative truth over absolute truth by promoting the myth that a situation can make it right. They believe that truth depends on circumstances. An adulterous affair is acceptable as long as neither family finds out. Killing an unborn child is ethically acceptable if the mother is poor or simply too immature to rear a child. Those who make moral choices based on whether those choices bring comfort or make other people feel happy have created their own moral compass.
The moral relativist tends to develop their own ethical constructs when it suits their own purposes. The conservative, right leaning mind does the same thing. That is why it is important for a liberal or a conservative to base their beliefs on “God's solid foundation (which) stands firm” (2 Tim. 2:19) The Word of God is the moral compass that will lead both mindsets to the truth. The moral relativist tries to choose his own direction. Imagine being lost in a deep, dark forest and pulling out a compass only to make your own choice about which way is north? Many are roaming endlessly in a black forest of confusion and despair because they have not yet discovered that “the truth will set (them) free.” (John 8:32)
There is no human logic that can dismantle the absolute truth of the Creator. It may have been Woody Allen who said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” God must laugh even louder when we tell him how much we know. Job was humbled when he contemplated the answer to God’s question, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.” (Job 38:4) Isaiah was echoing this thought when he said, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (55:9)
The wisdom of the secular humanist, the relativist, pales in comparison to the wisdom of God. The liberal mind that seeks truth in his own understanding and ignores God violates the warning of God to such men, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) This truth cannot be opposed. This truth awakens fear in the hearts of men, a fear they cannot explain. They cannot refute it. They cannot disprove this truth so, as a last resort, they desperately try to silence it. The most popular way to do this is to proclaim to their opponents, “You’re being judgmental!”
The inconsistencies are glaring. They blow their bugle for tolerance but it is a selective tolerance. They are tolerant for homosexuals, but not heterosexuals. They are tolerant for Muslims and atheists, but not Christians. They are tolerant for socialism, but not capitalism. They have ignored scriptural truth and built their own Babel of truth. They have decided to be their own gods and determine their own direction.
The ultimate danger for a conservative or a liberal who turns their back on God’s truth is the possibility that he will give “them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.” God has demonstrated over and over again how patient and longsuffering he is. But here is one absolute truth we dare not ignore, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal.” (Gen. 6:3) We only have so much time to find the truth that will set us free.
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.