Nov 22

Open Thought Asks: Is Truth Absolute or Is Truth Relative?

Jesus said, ” If you continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8: 31-32).  

Let Truth uncover and destroy error in God’s own way, and let human justice pattern the divine.

Mary Baker Eddy 

What is truth?  I define truth as everything that God knows--divine wisdom, understanding and true knowledge.  It surpasses the wisdom of human knowledge and weighs above understanding perceived by the human senses.   Absolute means “complete, whole, unlimited, definite–that which is not dependent on anything else” (Webster).   Things relative are those things that are related to each other or are dependent upon each other.   Is truth dependent on something other than itself to be true?   Does it need verification of its existence?

Many years ago, a graduate professor of philosophy asked a similar question, “Is truth absolute or is it something that changes?”   As a new student in Christian Science and anxious to prove myself, I answered quickly, “Truth is absolute.”  The professor said, “Ok, how do you know it is absolute?  Defend your position!”   I could not.  The professor found my inability to defend amusing, and used the example to drive home the point that in philosophy, one is free to take a position, but when you do, be able to defend that position, otherwise, keep your mouth shut.  My readiness to answer questions in that class were severely limited for the rest of the course.  I would however today, like to defend my understanding of truth’s absoluteness.

Truth is Absolute

 Such a statement has no room for deviation, changeableness or partiality.  If truth is absolute, what makes it so?  Jesus said,”Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  Free from what? Error, sin, sickness and death.  On what basis did Jesus have for claiming some things true and others false?  From boyhood, he had been taught that God was his Father.  Thus, as children do, he communicated with his father, believed the words his father spoke and proved the understanding of those words in his human experience.  Thus, he learned to “believe.”  As he grew into manhood, his ability to obey the messages he received from God ignited his understanding and gave him unfaltering faith and trust  in what he heard.  He saw the blind re-gain sight, the deaf hear, the lame walk and the dead raised.   Thus, he labeled those messages “truth.”  That truth became the center and circumference of his being, so when the opposite of those messages appeared in his experiences, he simply drew upon the truth he already knew, and saw truth’s process of healing work over and over again.  Similarly, I have proved the words of Jesus, the prophets and Mary Baker Eddy to be true in my own experience.

God is Truth

Truth is absolute because it is, has been and will continue to be applied in unlimited situations, conditions and experiences that prove its unchangeableness.   If it changes, it loses its ability to be classified as truth, thus becoming error or untruth.   Truth with a capital “T” is another name for God–thus making God, Truth.  Everything God knows about Himself is true.  He has no cognizance of error or sin.  Popular belief believes that God knows error.  They say, “How could He heal it if He does not know it exists?   The presence of God, Truth causes matter, sin, sickness and death to disappear.  They cannot exist in the same space as God who is perfect, good and eternal.   Confusing?  No!  I ask you, “Can you hold hate and love in your heart at the same time?”  The answer is No!  The moment that you are holding on to hate, there is only hate–no love exists and vice versa.  If you want to experience love, you have to let go of hate at any given moment.  The same holds true for God.  His presence dissolves everything unlike Him.  

Is Truth Relative? 

My answer to this question has to be No!   God is Truth and has no need of validation.  However, perceiving truth as human knowledge, one receives a different answer.  This goes back to my philosophy teacher urging me to either support what I believed or keep my beliefs to myself.  Truth is true whether I believe it or not.  It is unchangeable and eternal!  Truth is only relative if it is based on observation and perception of the senses.  Understanding based on human experiences and concepts need validation.  They are temporal and changeable.  What is true for one person may not necessarily be true for another.  Mankind seeks to make God manlike, whereas man is Godlike.  Once understanding bases truth on a higher level of thought, one begins to glimpse the eternality of truth–it power and impartiality.  There is no “god” higher than Truth, for God is Truth and there is only one God.  Human gods have no knowledge of truth.  Their knowledge is based on error, steeped in error and fall with error!

Truth is absolute.  It stands alone–has no support, nor needs support.  It is the still, small voice heard above the thunder of sin, disease and death.  Listen and you will hear!

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