After Jesus clearly declared the truth to Pilate, he despondently responded to the Savior, “What is truth?” To Pilate, as to many people today, truth is subjective and relative. Others believe truth does not even exist at all. Still others believe truth is unknowable or unattainable. While this moral and theological relativism is becoming increasingly prevalent in our Western culture, godly men of the past also dealt with this crisis many years ago.
Dr. Chester Tulga, a Baptist fundamentalist, wrote the following 7-point conclusion to his 1954 booklet The Doctrine of Right and Wrong in These Times. Consider the truth of his words:
1. Our times are characterized by deep uncertainty concerning truth and morality, resulting in an alarming moral confusion which has corrupted the world and deeply infected the churches.
2. The prevailing liberal theology of our day reflects this moral confusion in its emphasis upon love rather than holiness, in its disregard of ethical values in formulating its doctrinal views and its tolerance of sin in the lives of its ministers and churches.
3. The evangelical world, with its shallow knowledge of the very theology which it professes to believe and defend, has been deeply affected by relativism in both truth and morality, resulting in moral and ethical antinomianism often connected with the more fervent professions of orthodoxy.
4. The liberals and the neo-orthodox, knowing that they have abandoned the biblical basis of truth and morality, offer many and varied schemes whereby moral reconstruction can begin, none of them adequate to the task.
5. This confusion concerning truth and morals has resulted in the glorification of compromise, the decline of moral indignation and a general atmosphere of mutual exoneration in which sinners reassure each other when convicted of wrongdoing. Men are exhorted to trust one another indiscriminately and regardless of whether they are worthy of trust. Basing the exhortation upon a too optimistic view of human nature, men are exhorted to use the “positive” approach and avoid the negative, for presumably there is some sort of immanent divinity in man to which these values appeal.
6. The Christian basis of morality, long since abandoned by the world and the liberal churches, is based upon the nature and character of God, the moral law as set forth in the Scriptures, the perfect example of Christ, the moral sanctions of the heart and the ethical strivings of the Spirit of God in the believer’s heart.
7. The moral obtuseness of the day, this moral sluggishness of human nature, the easy going tolerance of liberalism, the soft antinomianism of our day, must be met and corrected by the provisions set forth in the Word of God by which, through the Word of God and the Spirit of God, redeemed men can live lives acceptable to their Creator and Savior.
Our responsibility today as faithful Christians is to declare to all (believers and unbelievers alike) that truth does exist and that it can be known—regardless of what anybody says or believes. God has declared the truth concerning His person and work. God has declared the truth concerning man’s origin and nature. God has declared the truth concerning His remedy for man’s sin problem. God has declared the truth concerning righteous, godly living. God has declared the truth concerning the end times and what is to be expected. God has declared the truth concerning the reality of heaven and the reality of hell. The truth is found only in His Word to man—the Bible. We are not left in the dark!
— Matt Costella