In Age of Relativism, Christians Should Remind Ourselves: ‘This is the Truth. Deal With It.’

By Jim Tonkowich Published on March 8, 2017

The satirical Babylon Bee website hit it out of the park with this headline: “Culture In Which All Truth Is Relative Suddenly Concerned About Fake News.” The Bee “quotes” one man expressing his concern and goes on, “‘It just doesn’t seem right that they can publish stuff that’s just blatantly not true,’ added the man, who also noted his firm belief that everyone has the right to define their own version of truth.”

If all of the furor about “fake news” resulted in showing people the blatant contradiction in their thinking and forcing them to affirm objective truth and morality, it would all be worthwhile. But, alas, I suspect that critical thinking is too far-gone these days for most people to realize — and then admit — that they’ve been living an incredibly convenient lie: truth is relative whenever it suits me.

I was thinking about all this during church on Sunday. Last weekend our family slipped away to Salt Lake City to ski and attended St. Jude’s Maronite Catholic Church.

This is the Truth

The Maronites are from Lebanon and Syria, centered in Antioch where, the priest reminded us, “the disciples were first called Christians” (Acts 11:46). While the service was in English (Syriac and Arabic being the other two options), the words of consecration (“This is my body. … This is my blood. …”) were said in Aramaic, the language Jesus used at the Last Supper.

Now that is amazing, but what struck me most about the service were the words spoken by the priest after he read the Gospel of the day: “This is the Truth. Peace be with you.”

“This is the truth.” What a wonderful way to end any Bible reading in any church. Part of me, however, wants to change the “Peace be with you,” to “Deal with it.”

“This is the truth.” What a wonderful way to end any Bible reading in any church. Part of me, however, wants to change the “Peace be with you,” to “Deal with it.”

I say that because we are so accustomed to lies and spin that even the Gospel can seem a bit negotiable. As Anthony Esolen writes in his new book Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, “It isn’t just the sheer multitude of lies, or their weight, like a mudslide rumbling down the side of a two-mile-high volcano. It is that we really do not expect people to do anything but lie.” And that can’t help but influence how we read the Bible.

In the past, people may have wanted to broadcast lies as true, but, Esolen comments, “The spirit might have been willing enough, but the technology was weak.” Town criers, he points out, have a small audience. Mass education, newspapers, television, and the Internet, on the other hand, make spreading lies to huge swaths of the population a matter of child’s play.

And so even in the Church we could use the remider: “This is the truth. Deal with it.”

Deal With It

All sex outside of marriage — which is the union of one man and one woman for life — is sin. If left unconfessed and unrepented, it will incur God’s wrath (Matthew 5:27-30). This is the truth. Deal with it.

God created humans as male and female and that exhausts the options (Genesis 1:27; 5:2; Mark 10:6-9). This is the truth. Deal with it.

Working and living with the primary goal of what Francis Schaeffer called “personal peace and prosperity” places us in the company of those to whom Jesus will say, “Depart from me, you who are cursed” (Matthew 25:41). This is the truth. Deal with it.

No matter how many times you’ve prayed to receive Christ, no one enters Heaven without actually following and obeying Christ (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46; John 14:15, 21, 23). This is the truth. Deal with it.

To tell lies — any lies including lies in the interest of some presumed political, social, religious or personal good — is to side with Satan, the father of lies, whose condemnation is sure, certain and eternal (John 8:44). This is the truth. Deal with it.

No one loves Jesus, the Bridegroom, without also loving the Bride for whom He died, the Church. Solo Christians are living a lie (John 13:34-35). See above. This is the truth. Deal with it.

Peace Be With You

Now having said all that (and the list goes on), “Peace be with you,” is the inevitable result of hearing the truth and dealing with it, that is, changing our lives to accord with the truth. “Peace I leave with you,” said Jesus, “my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). Jesus offers us peace, but it’s peace based on truth, not lies.

As Anthony Esolen writes, “We must become tellers of truth again — and people who are willing to hear truths, too, especially when it hurts to hear them.” This must begin in the Church and among Christians. Only then can it (Please, God!) spread to a culture awash in convenient lies, wishful thinking, contradictions, and confusion.

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  • Gary

    The author is ignoring some truths. But if I listed what some of them are, I would certainly offend some readers.

    • Hannah

      There is a difference between speaking truth and baiting. If you believe that he isn’t talking about certain verifiable truths, then if you feel so led, you ought to post.

      • Gary

        Who decides whether truth is spoken in love ? Isn’t it the reader, or the hearer? If a reader is offended by what is said, they can always claim that the writer isn’t “loving”, and dismiss what was said for that reason, whether what was said is true or not.

        • Hannah

          Well of course it’ll offend some people – but that shouldn’t stop anyone from speaking the truth. There will always be those who are offended but as long as it is indeed truth, it doesn’t matter. As for speaking truth in love, it all depends on your heart. Are you saying these things because you want to help others or are you saying these things to cast unrighteous judgment on those who you deem lesser because of their “worse” sin? In the end, you’ll be held accountable for all things said and unsaid.

          • Gary

            I’m not the one who made the rules. God did that. Its interesting that when someone agrees with God about something, like homosexuality being a sin, that they are often accused of being “judgmental” as if it was their idea that homosexuality is immoral. Wanting to “help others” is not the only valid reason for telling the truth.

          • Hannah

            Agreed – truth is always needed and it’s not subjective to your ideals. However, while God repeatedly condemns homosexuality, He also has much to say about hatred, malice, and self-righteousness. We are called as believers to judge with pure hearts and Godly motives, but also realize that unbelievers can’t be held to the same standards because the Holy Spirit is not in them. Not trying to debate, just saying.

          • Gary

            What God defines as sin applies to everyone, believer or not. Same standard for everyone.

          • Hannah

            And they will be judged by that standard as Romans 2 says. In that same vein, Romans 5 does say that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. All will be judged for their sins, but those who have become sons of God through Jesus are forgiven. They will still sin and need forgiveness but they’ll never be judged as those who never believed.

          • Craig Roberts

            “But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48

  • Timothy Horton

    “God created humans as male and female and that exhausts the options. This is the truth. Deal with it”

    Well no, it’s not the truth. Sexual reproduction in multi-celled animals evolved at least 565 million years ago. Humans evolved from earlier hominid ancestors and became our recognized species around 200 thousand years ago. Human sexual orientation is not consciously chosen but develops from a combination of genetic effects and hormonal effects. Human sexual orientation is also not a binary “male or female” but ranges across a spectrum from hetero to bi to homo and all shades in between.

    Those are the real facts everyone needs to deal with.

    • Gary

      None of what you said is true. Not only is it untrue, it is impossible.

    • Ruby Pearl

      Facts, you say. That is absolutely ludicrous! The earth is NOT old, and humans did NOT evolve. You certainly have great faith in mere humans who tout such stuff and nonsense. Repent and believe, as Jesus said.

    • Charles Burge

      Your word against the Creator of the universe. Not a difficult choice which to believe.

      • Timothy Horton

        Millions of consilient and corroborating pieces of scientific evidence from a hundred different scientific disciplines amassed over the last 150 years against the personal interpretation as literal by some fallible and scientifically illiterate humans of a 2K year old passed down, heavily modified in multiple translations story. Not a difficult choice which to accept.

        • Gary

          Who designed all the living things that have evolved? Who controlled the evolutionary process and made sure that the things that were designed actually came to exist as functioning living organisms?

          • Kevin Quillen

            Gary; you have fallen for the “God of the gaps” theory. Intelligent design as the driver of evolution is a cop out and discredits the Word of God. Clearly says “six days”.

          • Gary

            Yes, I know that. I was trying to get him to see that evolution could only be possible if someone was making it happen. It cannot happen by accident, or chance, as most evolutionists claim.

        • Triple T

          Human bodies come in two different kinds. Clearer?

          • Timothy Horton

            Which of the two kind of bodies are hermaphrodites?

          • Triple T

            Those are rare cases in which something does not develop properly, and you know that. Don’t ask foolish questions to which you already know the answers

          • Timothy Horton

            So there are more than two kinds of bodies. Got it. 🙂

          • samton909

            Lots of insane people believe they are teapots, or Napoleon. That does not mean we encourage them.

          • llew jones

            Human hermaphrodites do not exist, a common misconception. Intersex people
            do not have both male and female reproductive systems, and are in most
            cases infertile. Animals are another story. Most snails are hermaphrodites and can reproduce normally.

            Tim you have not by any chance been hanging too long around the snail phyla?

        • Kevin Quillen

          care to explain how bones supposedly 65+ million years old can contain soft tissue? And please do not give Mary Sweitzer’s ( may not be spelled correctly) explanation. It is obviously garbage.

          • Timothy Horton

            Fossils don’t contain bloody chunks of soft dino tissue like professional YEC liars keep claiming. What has been found are microscopic mineralized traces of biologic material, mostly collagens. It’s an interesting find but does nothing to negate the millions of other pieces of evidence for the age of the specimens.

            YECs tend to be the most gullible and scientifically ignorant knobs posting on the web.

          • Kevin Quillen

            try again. blood vessels and red blood cells have been found. impossible for bones to be very old. the info is being repressed by the evolutionists side because they know it is the death knell for the THEORY. Do a little more research and you will find the truth.

          • Timothy Horton

            LOL! Oh goody, a dirt ignorant creationist who’s also a tin-foil-hat wearing conspiracy nut.

          • Kevin Quillen

            at least I have class and do not act like a jerk. Afraid to do the research?

          • Timothy Horton

            I’m a science professional (BS Biology, MS Environmental Studies) and have read at least a dozen papers on the topic. You’re a scientifically illiterate nincompoop who has never been within 500 yards of a science classroom or lab. Like most creationist morons all you know how to do is mindlessly regurgitate the usual YEC idiotic claims you don’t understand and can’t defend.

    • john654

      Jesus Christ IS God. You deal with it.

    • Toby Partridge

      Nope. I’m pretty sure this is still all theory… just like the Theory of Evolution that is taught as fact in our schools still. How can anyone prove anything that supposedly happened 565 million years ago… you know… when all those scientifically illiterate people lived?

    • llew jones

      You do seem to be a bit out of touch with what up to date atheists think about evolution. Check out the atheist philosopher, Thomas Nagel, who, in “Mind and Cosmos”, says he doesn’t want to believe in God and
      apparently still doesn’t, but thinks evolution, as a credible theory, will be dead in a few decades. He of course has been branded a heretic by the true believers like yourself.

      What has helped mess up Darwin’s hypothesis was the acceptance of the Big Bang hypothesis. From Darwin and even back to Democritus, the ancient Greek philosopher, the Earth was thought to have existed eternally (similar outcome as derived from a Steady State Universe hypothesis) thus no one considered the question of
      who or what brought time, space and matter into being at the BB singularity. When the BB was becoming widely accepted in the mid 1900s and Fred Hoyle was still opposing it, articles were being published in various science journals that claimed acceptance of the BB hypothesis would give too much credibility to creationism. The new atheists like Richard Dawkins apparently have enough faith to believe that though nothing is postulated to exist before the BB that it was still nothing that created the universe. We humans are not all stupid Tim. Similar skepticism rubs off onto the concept of unguided evolution

      On the evolution front Darwin knew that the Cambrian fossil record was a real problem for his hypothesis. Read him up on it. However he contended that the necessary, to validate his hypothesis, precambrian transitional fossils would be found. They have not yet been discovered. The fossil record is inconsistent and fails to confirm contemporary Darwinism as does investigation at the micro biological level. There are increasing numbers of atheistic scientists, with no religious axe to grind, who are rejecting evolution on evidential grounds. Get with it Tim and stop hiding behind evolution as the reason for your homosexuality.

      • Timothy Horton

        What are you blithering about? The BB has nothing to do with biological evolution. The fossil record extends back to around 4 billion years, at least 3.5 billion years before the Cambrian era and over 500 million years after the Cambrian. Science has learned a tremendous amount about evolution and life’s history on Earth in the 150+ years since Darwin’s OOS was published. You may want to leave the 19th century sometime.

      • Kevin Quillen

        Bravo brother. Well done.

    • Kevin Quillen

      evolution is a fairy tale. Deal with it. Soft tissue in dino bones will kill it.

  • Alex Finney

    Who cares if the person is going to Hell? Its as if a person is bleeding to death on the operating table and you are combing their hair. Belief in a young earth and intelligent design does not save a person.The only truth that ultimately matters is are you saved by Jesus? Have you confessed your sin and repented? The rest comes as the Gospel starts to change a person.

  • To the Author,

    While I agree with your points, I reckon Jesus would be amused at your telling people to “Deal with it”

    Peace be with you,

    Colorado Christian

  • Stephen D

    I do think there is a problem with presenting a biblical viewpoint as ‘truth’ to non-Christians. To commenters like Timothy Horton (multiple posts below) the Bible is demonstrably false, because the science in which he believes contradicts the biblical narrative. Science has revealed no God.
    Speaking as an adult convert to Christianity, I think the biblical view is that the truth of the Bible cannot be understand by non-Christians. Biblical truth is revealed truth. It is not science. Now I see it. Before I did not.
    Most science, of course, is false. This can readily be demonstrated by considering the history of science. You only have to read science mags like New Scientist to see that scientists are in fact highly irrational in their beliefs.
    The allegedly scientific narrative that sexual orientation is determined genetically (you can be born homosexual) is based on very bad science. Unfortunately however the drive of science towards truth is ruined by people who are looking to ‘prove’ predetermined conclusions. What if science proved that homosexuality was (as I believe) a lifestyle choice?
    As a Christian I am guided by what I believe is biblical truth. But I do not expect non-Christians to share my views, because they simply cannot see the truth the Bible reveals. On the other hand those who depend on science to determine their values are, I think, in big trouble. Because science is very fallible. It is constantly being proved wrong. You’ve only got one life. Trust in God. Science will let you down, for sure..

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