I have found that the truths that a culture professes are in direct relationship to the moral and ethnic values of that culture. The framers of the Constitution of the United States proclaimed “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” They believed that the truths they proclaimed were self-evident to all men, because they referred to specific God-given qualities that defined their humanity. Without these truths, human nature would lose its humanity and re-define who they were. They believed there was a Creator, a higher power and that the moral compass of their society should always point towards that Creator. They also believed that the precepts found within the Bible gave them the moral and ethnic convictions in which all truths were to be measured. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim 3:16-17
The reason this belief was held at the founding of our country was because our culture at the time was a Theonomous culture, where the law of God was so imbedded in their hearts that the overwhelming majority of people all reasoned the same. This can be traced to the Great Awakening that swept our nation from 1730’s to the 1760’s. By the time of the Revolution, universal human equality was a common American ideal. God’s law was so self-evident within the human heart that there was a consensus within society that our morality was based on the word of God as found in the Bible. The problem we have today is this; our culture is not a Theonomous culture but an Autonomous Culture where autos meaning ‘self’ and onerous meaning ‘law’, ‘self-law is prevalent. In other words each person dictates their own moral prerogative. (Read-Romans 1:21-32)
Our country has lost its moral compass and may soon find itself where all the former great societies seem to have ended. Rational discourse, the hallmark of a great society, can only be found when the values and morals of that society are found to have a common denominator within all discussion. The further apart our moral values become from those whom we disagree with will determine our definition of the others words and intent. If left unchecked it will lead to open conflict against the other. History has shown that when we stray from the moral truths that are outlined in the word of God, there will be consequences to our disobedience. Slavery brought on the Civil War and the sexual revolution has brought about the killing of over 50 million innocent babies through abortion. Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
This is the reason why common sense is not so common anymore. If each person believes they are the higher power of reason then by definition they negate any discussion as being frivolous if it does not lead to the other person changing their opinion. Demanding the other to change their conviction is what makes up a Heteronymous culture, which is Heteros meaning different and nomos meaning law, a different law. That is when the culture is dictated by those in leadership at the top determining what happens to those at the bottom. Marxism, Communism, Islam, Saudi Arabia or Iran to name a few, are representative of a Heteronymous culture. An Autonomous Culture first expresses their views and then reverts to a Heteronymous culture demanding the other to follow their views. That is why our culture cannot find any middle ground, we are finding ourselves having less and less in common and our words that we use to express our opinions are based on differing meanings because each man does what deems best for himself. Therefore there is no objective truth or value, before which one’s will, one’s liberty, must yield in obedience. You can be either a liberal or conservative and still not hold to the moral compass of God’s precepts. To the degree you hold fast to the values that encompass a Theonomous culture will determine whether your words carry Godly values, insight and wisdom or mirror the Autonomous Culture found in your own rational mindset.
Some may say that we have progressed to the point where God’s moral laws are out of step with the times. Which raises the question of just how does a country define its moral behavior? If we look at all the school shootings, opioid addictions, wars and rumors of wars, a political system that is in shambles, 50 million abortions, the rapid growth of the LGBT community, 40% of school kids between the ages of 16-19 who are considered obese, the media industry being at times borderline pornographic…then I would say that our moral compass has been smashed. If you were a Progressive you would belief that we as a society—change for the better— over time. I wonder how many of us really have the worldview that things are changing for the better? Just because technology has made great advancements does not mean that humanity has.
How Then Do We Define Truth?
Why cannot men determine for themselves what is morally right and morally wrong? Because truth by its own definition is always restrictive. It will always have its boundaries. We cannot, each of us, have our own truths. Gravity by itself defines what it is. I cannot have my own definition of gravity and you have your own definition, there is only one definition for gravity. Truth is the same way.
Read how Ravi Zacharias defines morality, “There is no absolute morality without God. If you are assuming there is evil in the world you must assume there is good as well. If you are assuming there is good you are also assuming there is such a thing as a moral law that separates the two. When you say there is evil there must be good or you would have no definition for evil. If there is a moral law there must be a moral law giver. If there is no moral law giver there is no moral law. If there is no moral law, there is no good if there is no good there is no evil. There is no absolute morality without God so in seeking ‘truth’ we cannot find it without keeping God in the paradigm.”
Knowing the truth is really a God issue. When God is removed from the equation our reasoning becomes faulty and our speech becomes nothing more than self-righteous accusations based solely on why we are right and you are wrong. Wisdom and understanding is found in God alone and the further he is removed from our lives the more evil and suffering will prevail, because sin is a violation of God’s ultimate purpose for humanity.
Just before Pilate condemned Jesus he asked, ‘What is truth?’ a question that is still asked to this day. Either we believe Jesus is ‘the truth’ or like Pilate we crucify Jesus for political expediency, over and over again. Truth, absolute truth can only be found when we follow the moral precepts written in God’s word. When this happens reasonable men of integrity will recognize and affirm with confidence that there are truths that are ‘self-evident’ and recognized as such by all men. Our prayer is that another Great Awakening will be released upon our country so that the hearts of men will turn and our country once again will become a Theonomous Culture. One nation under God!
May you find the joy that comes from giving an apt reply and a timely word to those who seek truth.