July 7, 2021



There is one story about how the blind felt an elephant. One, after this experience, said that the elephant looked like a huge hose, the second said that it resembled a large barrel, the third claimed that it was comparable to a tree trunk. Often, when we say the same thing, we look at it from different angles. We see things in different ways, and at the same time we can be right. But is this always the case? Not exactly. For example, there was an interesting case in Africa. One person was given a new name after baptism and was forbidden to eat pork as they believed in that community. One day a minister comes to visit him. Entering his hut, he smelled the pork being cooked in the kitchen. For this reason he began to reproach him. And the baptized man, in turn, said in his defense that it was not pork, but fish. The minister opened the lid of the pot to make sure that this was true. And yet it was the smell of pork. After listening to the minister, he said: “You baptized me and gave me a new name, as if I automatically became a new person. In the same way I baptized pork so that it is no longer pork, and now it is a fish.” Here, of course, common sense is needed. Although we often lose our unity due to minor issues, it happens that, on the other hand, we compromise with lies and end up deluded.

People cannot be right at the same time, even when they make contradictory statements. Truth cannot be vague, let alone contradictory. Today I am being sent links to numerous videos of conspiracy theories. You watch them and think that all opinions cannot reflect reality, since they even contradict themselves. As a result, you realize that all these claims of conspiracy theories cannot be true.

If you say that something is objective truth, it means that it is true, regardless of opinions and assumptions. Truth for all people without exception is the absolute truth, even if they do not know or do not recognize anything as true. Subjective truth is what can be true for one person, but not for another. For example, I can say: “What a beautiful modern kitchen”, and my wife says: “I like wood and rustic style more”. Now this is a matter of aesthetic taste. This is subjective truth.

To understand the difference between subjective and objective truth, it is necessary to distinguish, so as not to lose unity and at the same time not to be led astray. So why is this so important to us? Because more and more in secular society the idea is imposed on us that all truth is subjective – it is just a matter of opinion and views. But this contradicts the faith of a Christian, since Jesus clearly says that His Truth is objective and unchangeable. He clearly said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). We must understand that Christianity is based on objective truth. If this is not so, then we cannot have faith and confidence in everything, since all our ideas can collapse if this or that over time turns out to be untrue. This is an essential matter. Moreover, Scripture warns us: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Prov. 16:25) So, in order for our path to be directed towards eternal life, it is vitally important to believe in objective, absolute and unchanging truth. After all, God has no change, not even a shadow of change.

Recently, it has become fashionable to assert that all truth is subjective, but in reality, no one lives according to their own assertion, even those who so fiercely defend this point of view. It is completely obvious that we affirm the objective truth every day. For example, “Today is May 6th”, “I work in an office”, “Water is made of hydrogen and oxygen.” These statements are either true or false. There is no middle ground here. They cannot be just a matter of opinion. Therefore, objective truth exists, whether people recognize it or not. Even people who state that all truth is subjective, they actually claim to have objective truth, since they emphasize that this is so and not otherwise.

But the question is, how do we know which objective truth is correct and what is the absolute truth without the interference of human judgments and opinions?

Basically, very often you can hear that we, Christians, are allegedly intolerant of other beliefs, as we stand for absolute truth. By definition, tolerance means the quality of allowing other people to say and do as they like, even if you do not agree or approve of it; the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with. Based on those definitions, this in no way means that you should accept them at the expense of changing your own beliefs or even denouncing them. If we claim that there is absolute morality and objective truth, this does not at all make us intolerant or radical.

In general, today the idea is imposed that you must accept and believe that others are not mistaken, no matter what views they hold, because any opinion is subjective. But tolerance means showing patience for other people’s beliefs, not changing your own beliefs at the cost of recognizing something else as the truth. Therefore, you need to understand and firmly believe and say that Christianity is the only way to salvation, and belief in the only truth in no way makes them intolerant.

In the era of individualism prevailing in modern culture, we often even from the pulpits can hear such phrases as “in my opinion”, “I think”, “I believe”, which was apparently inherent in spiritual leaders during the earthly life of Jesus Christ. The words of the Bible, our Holy Scripture, must be spoken with authority. If we live with Christ and this has become a reality for us, and not a religious statement, then they will talk about us the same way as about Christ: “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Matt. 7:28-29)

It is also said that Christians force their views on their children. In this sense, it means suggestion of ideas or, so-called, indoctrination, in other words “brainwashing”. So what is indoctrination? This is the purposeful dissemination of any ideas, opinions and beliefs of a certain group in order to form the social consciousness embedded in it, without taking into account the ideas, opinions, and beliefs of other groups. In a nutshell, it is the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically. This definition, in essence, should refer to what leads to evil. It turns out that we, allegedly, teach and educate our children in such a way that we hide from them any alternative opinions, and moreover, we set them up to be hostile to dissidents.

Is this what the Bible teaches us? First of all, Scripture teaches us to love our enemies and do good to them. Secondly, Christians must be familiar with the cultural characteristics of unbelievers or members of different religions in order to understand why they think so and how they can be guided on the path of truth. Even Paul writes about this, talking with Greek philosophers, quoting their poet: ” … for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’” (Acts 17:28).

It is important to know how we teach our children. No one knows what is happening in our homes and therefore such people make their own prejudiced conclusions. All they don’t like is that Christian parents are teaching their children objective truth. Therefore, the question is not about indoctrination, but about the fact that they hate the objective truth that we teach our children. Indeed, in institutions of higher education, professors gladly take on the role of teaching their own “truth”, which you must reckon with, otherwise you are intolerant. But this is a violent ideology, intolerant of any other views and beliefs. When they enter universities, children are told that faith in God is just a tradition of parents and previous generations, which is imposed on them. Is this exactly true? Do we give them a chance to make their choice in life? Does the Lord give them such a chance? Sure. After all, a person is endowed with free will and choice. Therefore, our children, before starting an independent life, and even more so before entering colleges or universities, should understand what professors mean by the word indoctrination. After all, they do not want to feel that their faith is unfounded and has no ground under their feet, but only just the tradition and customs of their parents. They must know the Living True God of the Bible. A solid foundation is laid when they personally experience a relationship with the Lord. In this case, no one can shake their faith.

So, teaching children to believe in God is called brainwashing. But those who share such statements themselves assert their absolutism and “objective truth”, where there is no compromise, no critical thinking. The irony is that people who claim that all truth is subjective, in fact, are claiming their own “objective truth.”

So, based on the above, we come to the conclusion that truth cannot be just a matter of opinion. Even when we have to make decisions about what the truth is, we cannot only choose those spiritual beliefs that we like, but objective absolute truth requires seeking, hence a personal, honest in relation to ourselves, pure seeking of God. The Lord rewards the heart of those who seek Him. Truth must be sought, and not defined by us what truth is and what it is not.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matt. 7:7-8)

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!” (1 Chron. 16:11)

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13)

May the Lord be found by everyone and His truth become an eternal necklace for those who seek Him with all their hearts.

Max Volkov in Christ