“‘For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’ Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?'”-John 18:37-38
“What is truth?” This is the question of the ages and, specifically, the question that Pilate posed to the Lord Jesus. Ironically, Pilate was standing in the presence of the One who is truth; nevertheless, this question is one that we all must contemplate. In our day, we face a culture that rejects absolutes and embraces moral relativism. This is a difficult situation for the Christian as he or she attempts to share the Gospel. It is in the Gospel that we learn about the redemption that is found in Christ and the requirement of those who come to the Lord to repent of their sins. How can one emphasize the need to repent when the culture deems acceptable what God calls sin? For example, the culture today says that homosexuality is acceptable, while the Scriptures are adamant that homosexuality is sin. It is not only this issue that poses a problem for Christians, but also with other issues such as abortion, promiscuity, profane language, and pornography to name a few. If you, a believer in the truth of the Scriptures, speak out against any of the above, the unbelieving adherent will be quick to criticize you for being a bigot, narrow-minded, or antiquated. They will be quick to say that you are wrong for judging others, as well as pointing out the fact that not everyone believes what you do.
How are we then to combat this criticism? How can we establish the truth of God’s word to a people who do not believe in Him, and thus reject His law? As those who believe that God is the Moral Law Giver, we must turn the question of morality around to the unbeliever. If someone states, “This is right,” or “This is wrong,” he or she is making a moral judgment, but the question to pose to them is, “What is the foundation for your morality?” How do those who have rejected the truth of God determine what is right and what is not? There is no way to accomplish this if God does not exist. The philosopher Dostoevsky stated, “If God does not exist, then everything is permitted.” Though everything is not permitted because we understand that there are objective morals, the implications of this statement are true. If someone rejects God’s existence, then there is no sound basis for morality. This is not to say that unbelievers cannot be moral, in fact, they can and are, but they have no foundation for what they believe to be moral.
Ravi Zacharias points out that if someone says there is such a thing as evil, then must believe that there is such a thing as good. If they believe in such a thing as evil and such a thing as good, then they must believe that there is a moral standard or a moral law that we use to differentiate between good and evil. He points out that the only way that one can have a moral standard or moral law is if one posits a Moral Law Giver, but if there is no Moral Law Giver, then there is no moral law, and if there is no moral law, there is no good and no evil. Only if God exists can there be a foundation for morality, and thus a sound basis of what is true. God sets the standard for what is right and wrong, and makes known His standard through His word. There are objective morals, Beloved, and even the unbeliever invokes them. Let us not be intimidated by our critics who question our faith, but be confident in God’s truth and challenge the unbeliever’s worldview. It is not just Christians who must give reasonable answers for what we believe.
Joshua Banks is senior pastor and founder of Shepherd’s Rock Bible
Church in Kingsport, TN. He holds a Bachelors degree in Ministry from
Luther Rice University, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, and a
Master of Divinity both from Liberty University. Joshua and his wife
Amanda, along with their 5 children, reside in Gate City, VA.