I recently had a conversation with a loved one who felt that it is arrogant for Christians to insist that there is only one way to heaven. He said that every person is entitled to his own truth. Indeed, there are many people who resist the idea of absolute truth. In the words of Victoria Aveyard, author of the bestselling book Red Queen, “The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain.”
(For the purposes of this post, I will limit my thoughts on truth as it relates to religious convictions.) As a Bible-believing follower of Jesus Christ, there are declarations of absolute truth that I believe in. For example:
- There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles (Romans 3:30).
- Jesus is THE way, THE truth and THE life; no one can go to the Father except through him (John 14:6).
- There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
- The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever (Psalm 119:160).
That last declaration reinforces the very first statement in my church’s doctrinal stance: “The Bible is the inspired Word of God written without error, so it is our only sure source of knowledge about God and His plans, and is our absolute guide for doctrinal teaching and godly living.” Properly understood, the Bible points us to the Creator whose word is true, righteous and endures forever–all these because God himself is truth and righteous and eternal.
The Bible counsels against arrogance; therefore, an arrogant Christian is going against the Bible’s teaching on godly living. When Christians claim that there is only one God and one way to heaven, they are not being arrogant. On the contrary, their belief in the one true God leads them to pursue a life that is characterized by humility, kindness, goodness, peace and love. They strive to follow the example set forth by the one true Savior, Jesus Christ, who modeled these virtues.
I am unapologetically devoted to God’s Word because it is true. It is enduring because it is the word of the unchanging God. It is righteous because it is the word of the perfectly holy God. In contrast, if we insist on “truth is what I make it,” then our truth is not constant. It changes, depending on our social norms, cultural values or the condition of our kidneys.
Which truth will you hold on to–your word or God’s Word?