Is There Absolute Truth?

This is a tough question! The simple answer is yes. The more difficult answer gets into the idea of morals and how we understand the concept of sin. How do I know something is wrong? There are honestly several ways. One of the main ways is looking to God’s Holy Scripture. Through reading God’s Word, we have a direct link into the mind of God and what He thought was important for us to know. Some things aren’t mentioned in there. However, you can use logic and reason to begin to understand the overall mind and nature of God. Through the tool of reason, we have divine wisdom in the areas where he was silent. So, let’s talk directly about sin and how it manifests in our lives.

What is sin?

Sin is the direct willful turning from God’s known will, direction, or the law. It’s not your actions that are the sin, it’s the decision to turn away from God; to go your own way. This is why no one sin is greater than any other. I turn from God and then I do something. The sin is not the action, but the decision before the action. The action is the result of the decision to turn away. All sin is equally abhorrent in the eyes of God. Because of the fact that all sin is the same, we are able to understand that God is the ultimate decider of what is “wrong” or what “sin” is.

Without God, there is no sin. There is no wrong:

If there is no God, then there is nothing I can do that is wrong. Let’s pretend for a moment that God does not exist and everything I believe has been a lie. Would it be wrong for me to steal a candy bar from the supermarket? Nope, if I can get away with it, it’s not wrong. There is no basis for you (my accuser) to say that what I have done is bad or wrong beyond your own opinion or that of others. Basically, if you don’t believe that God is the ultimate truth and decider of the moral law, then you have created some sort of system for yourself. Perhaps you believe that the state is the ultimate authority or the government. However, laws can be changed. If an extremely rich person decided to throw all their money into making it legal to have sexual relations with little kids, they could probably get that sort of thing passed into law. But does that make it suddenly right and okay to do that? I would argue no, but under a system where government or the state makes up what is moral and immoral, then it becomes right and okay. The same could be said for people who make the decision for themselves if what they are doing is right or wrong.

Now, some of our decisions have to be based on our knowledge of God’s nature, but ultimately we believe that God will lead us in a direction through prayer, the study of His Word, and conversation with other believers into knowing his correct direction for us. None of those assumptions can directly contradict God’s Word or His known nature. For example, I don’t believe God would have it in His will for your life for you to murder your whole family and then use their bodies as shields to defend yourself from the law as you run naked down the street. That’s just not in His will and it would directly go against the known law of God and His nature. However, if a person decides that their own feelings and thoughts are the ultimate form of truth, and that is the truth, then there is nothing stopping them from making decisions and creating any form of moralistic code they want. They literally become their own god within their own mind.

If their own morals dictate that murdering their family and running down the street naked while using those bodies as shields is right… who am I to say they are wrong? Their opinion is just as valid as mine if there is no higher power that is greater than our own desires. This gets into the idea that all ideas are not equal. Not everyone can be right. Someone has to be wrong. You will hear it said that all paths lead to “god”. No, they don’t. They just don’t. You can’t believe that unicorns and fairies save your soul and still get into Heaven. It just doesn’t work that way. There has to be a greater form of truth. There has to be a higher power, other than your own will and selfish thoughts. Without God to lead us, we are lost in our own will.

D. Michl Lowe

Finding God In The Mundane

Finding purpose in your life is not as hard as people like to make it out to be. As Christians, we like to pretend that God is so complicated; that we are lost in understanding His will for our lives. I remember taking a course at our church several years back that was meant to help you understand what your spiritual gift was. It was a fascinating study, but ultimately, I’m not sure it helped me to understand what God was calling me to.

How was I supposed to use what I had found out to serve him? There was a guide of course that had lists of things one could do to use their gifts, but ultimately, I think such things are largely useless. I’ve been thinking for some time now, that we often put the label of “unknowable” on God’s will and use this excuse to remove guilt and remove the action that God would have us take. God’s will in your life is clearly laid out in scripture. Here are four questions to help you understand God’s will in your life.

  1. Is where I am at or what I am doing, leading me towards sin?
    • If yes, then this place might not be where God has called you to dwell. If no, then understand that God calls us to serve His purpose wherever we are and whatever we are doing.
  2. Is what I am doing at this place acceptable within the known law of God?
    • If the Bible speaks directly against what you are doing, then you can be sure that what you are doing is NOT within the will of God. The Bible is the authority on how we understand God’s will in our lives. He will not violate his own Word. I have had many people tell me that they “feel” like God is saying something is good when that thing directly violates God’s known law within scripture. Praying about these issues is VERY important, but it’s easy to get confused and believe that God is telling us one thing through prayer that violates His Word in the Bible. Don’t fall into this trap.
  3. Do I have a calling in my life?
    • A calling is something we know for a fact God has called us into. With this in mind, we should always be aware that if God has called us into something, we should be doing that thing. Now, it should be noted that oftentimes, God calls us into a task, but might have us complete that calling in a way we did not expect. As an example, someone might feel called to be a pastor, but God calls them to do so in Africa instead of Wisconsin.
  4. What are you doing now that doesn’t glorify God? 
    • Understand that there are basically three modes in which we live out our lives; actively serving Christ, actively serving the Devil, and operating in mundane activities. If you are actively serving Christ, then you can be mostly sure those activities are within His will for your life. Obviously, if you are in the process of committing sin, then you are outside of God’s will. The third option of operating in mundane activities is a hairy one. These activities are things like going to the grocery, watching TV, having friends over for dinner… basically anything that isn’t what we might call directly serving Christ. However, it’s easy for us to get caught up in these mundane activities and lose sight of God’s plan.

I have thought a lot about the mundane activities we fill our lives with. I find myself questioning if I personally spend too much time in those mundane activities. Coming home after work I find I just want to plop down in front of the computer and watch funny cat videos. Doing more than that just seems like too much effort. However, I have begun to look at my mundane activities as opportunities to serve God. Ever since college, a good friend of mine and I have been playing card and board games on a fairly set schedule. Several years back we started going to a gaming convention and were saddened by the complete lack of any Christian influence in this population of geeky kids and adults. We decided to take our mundane love of geek culture and games and put it to work for God.

It started with our own gaming night at our local church. During this time, we did some devotions and played a lot of games. It has evolved now but continues to provide a place where people can come, bring friends, have a bite to eat, and play some games with good Christian men. Taking something that was mundane and transforming it into something useful for God wasn’t hard. It was necessary for us to take a step back and examine our mundane activities and be willing to give those activities to God; allow him to overtake that area of our lives. We have been created for a mission. An important mission. The mission is to live for Christ in all areas of our life, regardless of where we are or what we are doing. Jesus wants all of us, not just the part we “give” on Sunday mornings.

D. Michl Lowe