Unchangeable Truth

Positonal Statements


A proper view of truth is a necessity in theology. It has become the common view today that truth is not absolute but relative. Since the Bible is unchangeable truth, if unchangeable truth is questioned then the truth of the Bible loses credibility. Furthermore, if absolute truth is denied, then the truth of the Bible cannot be fully embraced as truth, nor communicated as truth.

Examples of relative truth

“It is true because I believe it”

The most common perception regarding truth is that truth is defined by the person. Truth then is not discovered but it is constructed by the person. Yet belief in itself, regardless of sincerity, does not define what truth is and sincerity does not create truth. Truth is that which corresponds to reality. A person can believe something strongly and yet be wrong.

“It is true because most people think so”

In the age of public opinion polls, when most people believe something it carries more weight. If a person can persuade enough people, then truth can be created. Yet sheer numbers of followers do not create truth. Many people can be wrong.

“Two contradictory truths can both be true at the same time”

The law of logic known as the law of non-contradiction is not taught in the bible, but it is clearly presumed. Yet more and more people are willing to adhere to two or more opposing ideas. This is the case because of the mistaken notion of relative truth. This then allows people to claim to accept the truth of Christ without denying competing ideas that contradict Christ. This syncretism allows people to “accept Christ” without true faith. While more common outside the U.S., it is becoming more common in our society.

Definitions of unchangeable and relative truth

How relative truth can best be understood:

What unchangeable truth implies:

False claims of relativists

Truth is relative according to perspective. What is true from one observer's perspective may not be true from another observer's perspective. For example, “the book is lying on the right side of the desk” is true or not true depending upon the perspective of the observer.

Truth is relative according to the person. What is true about one person may not be true for another person. “I feel sick” is not true for everyone but only for me.

Truth is relative according to time. What is true at one time may not be true at another time. For example “Reagan is the President” is not true though it once was.

Truth is relative according to meaning. The same statement can mean two different things when said by two different people. For example, “Jesus is God” means something different to a Mormon or a Muslim than to a Christian.

Critique of relativism

1.         Critique of the belief that truth is relative to people

            What is true for one person is true for all people

                        If ancient men believed the sun moved around the earth, then it is true for all men

                        that ancient men believed this.

                        This does not mean that it was true in ancient time sand false now that the sun

                        moves around the earth.

                        It will never be true for anyone anywhere at anytime that ancient men did not

                        believe the sun moved around the earth.

            What is true for all persons all the time and everywhere is an unchangeable truth, by

            definition.

2.         Critique of the belief that truth is relative to time and place

            What is true at one time and place is true always and everywhere. “Reagan is President”

            (said in 1982) will always be true. It will never be true that Reagan was not President then.

            Each statement must be understood in its context. If the statement were made in a country

            other than the USA in 1982 it would not be a true statement, unless it was clarified to mean

            the USA.

            If the statement is true at all times and places, it is by definition unchangeable.

Additional critiques of relativism

1.         To say “all truth is relative” is a self-defeating statement.

            It in effect says, “there is one unchangeable truth, that all truth is relative.” Therefore, all

            truth would no longer be relative for there would be at least one unchangeable truth.

2.         If relativism were true, then the universe could contain contradictory conditions and truths

            (which is impossible). It is impossible for what is true and its opposite, what is false, to both

            be true.

                        For example, “I am Randall” and “I am not Randall” cannot both be true.

                        Jesus could not be born both in Bethlehem and in Nazareth.

3.         If relativism were true then nothing could be true.

            One could not claim that it is an unchangeable truth that something is not only a relative

            truth for him.

            That relative truth claim is not enduring,l since it can be changed at any point in time.

4.         If relativism were true, we could never be mistaken, learn or lie.

            For everything would be true, even when I am wrong.

            And one cannot be wrong unless there is an unchangeable truth that is different from what

            he believes. There is no need to learn truth.

Misunderstandings of Unchangeable Truth

Application of Unchangeable Truth

1.         To the Bible

                        If truth is unchangeable, then if the bible is true then it is also unchangeable.

                        If the truth of the Bible is unchangeable, then it cannot change with the reader.

                        If biblical truth cannot change with the reader, then what is true in the Bible for me

                        (given proper interpretation) is true for everyone.

2.         To Morality

                        If truth is unchangeable, then truth about morality is unchangeable.

                        If truth about morality is unchangeable, then it does not change from person to

                        person.

                        If truth about morality does not change from person to person, then we are all

                        obligated to the same moral code. When the Bible describes us as having a

                        conscience, this conscience ought to be identical to God's moral desires. To the

                        degree that our conscience deviates form God's moral desires, it is weak. We ought

                        not to act against our weak conscience, but God's ideal is for our conscience ought

                        to mature (Romans 14). In no case is it ever right to depart form God's moral code

                        on the basis of our conscience.