I went to see Josh McDowell at Walnut Creek Community Church.  During his talk he mentioned that only 9% of evangelical youth, youth who have said, “I have personally trusted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. If I were to die today, I know I would go to heaven because He is my Savior and He has forgiven me of my sins,” believe in absolute truth.  Absolute or universal truth is, as defined by McDowell…

A truth that exists outside ourselves, one that is true for all people, for all times, for all places.

We have experienced an epistemological cultural shift.  So we have more than just a generational gap, but two different cultures with those who are 35 and up, and those who are 34 and younger.

It has taken awhile to get to this point, but now we see a clear difference in the source of truth which was once viewed as a personal Creator God, but now it is seen as created man.  This has led to some key distinctions within these two cultures (the first statement representing those who are 35 and older):

  • Truth Discovered vs. Truth Created
  • Cognitive Truth vs. Relational Truth
  • “If it is true it will work.” vs. “If it works it is true.”

So with young adults and youth most view truth as being internal.  We create it.  “I believe it therefore it is true” instead of “It is true therefore I believe it.”  The last statement has a subtle change – “if it works it is true.”  For instance we see this argument with the message of abstinence, “It’s not realistic.”

This is plainly seen with evangelical youth as well, for instance.

  • 39% disagree that the Bible is the Word of God.
  • 51% disagree that the bodily resurrection of Jesus was a historical event.
  • 63% disagree that Jesus is the Son of God.
  • 65% say there is now way to tell which religion is true.
  • 58% believe that all faiths teach equally valid truths.
  • Only 4% believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God.

What’s the number one virtue now?  Tolerance.  Which basically means, today not how it’s historically been defined, “all beliefs, all values, all lifestyles, and all claims to truth are equally valid.” 

This is broadened out with multiculturalism which means “all cultural beliefs, all cultural values, all cultural lifestyles, and all cultural truth claims are equally valid.”

Do you see the problem with this?  This position can’t say anything is wrong.  So you are from a tribe of cannibals in the Amazon… that position is ok because we can’t make a value judgment since that is their lifestyle.  Cannibalism isn’t ok with me, but it is ok for them.

Pedophiles??? How else do you think the ACLU could defend NAMBLA (The North American Man/Boy Love Association), or the fact that this organization even exists!

I know those are extreme examples, but carry this out to its natural conclusion and this is what we see.  This is a factor in the gay marriage debate as well.  Thirty years ago we wouldn’t have had this conversation.  Now it is legal in Iowa (and Massachusetts and Connecticut).  Thirty years from now what will be tolerated?

Thoughts?

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