What Happened to The Truth?
“One of the most challenging points to evangelism today is convincing people that ultimate reality exists regarding religion and morality and that reality can be known. But, unfortunately, our culture has adopted this post-modern mood, essentially saying, ‘you live your truth. I’ll live my truth.’ The reason that we’ve gotten here is that our culture has a two-tiered view of truth. It’s an approach that would relegate certain things like math, science, and logic to absolute truth, but then religion and morality into whatever is relative to each person.
It rejects the idea that objective truth can be known on those issues. When it comes to religion and morality, for most people in our culture, it’s what works for you. You find the practical bits from different religious philosophies and put them together to make a religion and morality that works for you. If you’ve adopted the idea that those things can’t be known, if they even exist, then it would be very intolerant and rude to tell somebody their truth is incorrect. So we have to take a step back and make a case for objective truth, especially regarding religion and morality because most people don’t operate as if that’s a reality.”
How Can We Help Others to Think Critically About Absolute Truth?
“You used to be able to share your testimony with somebody, and they might be convicted or persuaded to want to find truth in religion as well. Today you could tell somebody your amazing testimony, and they would be excited to hear that you found something that works for you. Yet, no connection would impact their life because they’re operating from a completely different approach to truth. One of the ways that we can help each other along with this is by demonstrating that relativism fails as an approach.
I see statements that refute themselves all the time. For example, somebody might say love is more important than belief. We need to challenge each other to think about what the statement is saying. The statement is a belief that love is more important than belief. If love is more important than belief, then love is more important than that belief, which makes the statement false.
The Law of Non-Contradiction says that two contradictory statements cannot be true simultaneously. We can apply this to religion. Surely there are some principles different religions have in common, but at their core, they contradict one another. For example, Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.’ If that’s true, then it’s true for everyone, which means it has eternal consequences. But, unfortunately, Christianity doesn’t allow you to have your own truth.”
How Did We Move From Postmodernism to Moralistic Theistic Deism?
“I’m researching the deconstruction movement right now, and I see this dynamic all over the place. It’s not enough that our culture says we can’t apprehend truth regarding religion and morality. Instead, they’ve married it to critical theory, which critiques power structures and separates everybody into classes of oppressed versus oppressor.
People have rejected the idea that truth can be known regarding religion and morality. When Christians claim to know the truth, people view that truth claim as a power grab. That’s why when the Christian comes along and says, ‘Jesus is the only way; hell is a real place,’ that is viewed as people just trying to prop up some oppressive system, control the narrative, and keep people in their place.”
How Did We Arrive at the Present State of The World?
“One of the things that have pushed this more recent snowball is a series of books written by self-professed evangelicals. This crop of books argues that evangelicalism isn’t defined theologically, but these perceived behavior patterns and characteristics define it.
They spin what those characteristics are to make evangelicalism look like it’s a big oppressive cult. It’s led a lot of people to go into the ex-evangelical movement. But interestingly, ex-evangelicalism is synonymous with deconversion. They’re throwing out all the core gospel issues to liberate themselves from oppression.”
Why is There a Massive Focus on Following Your Passion?
“I wonder if a lot of it isn’t just a cultural shift in value. There was some research done in 2005 where they polled the average American teenager, asking what they thought about God. Most teenagers thought God was this giant therapist in the sky who would help them if they needed something. As long as you’re good and nice to others, He’ll help you if you need it.
Ultimately, it assumes that the point of life is to have contentment and fulfillment in your vocation and in the things you do. But that’s a shift from what the biblical purpose is. Instead, our human purpose is to worship God and be in His presence forever. God gave us the family structure; for a while, everything people did was for their family.
Feminism has sent women the message that it’s a drag if you have to stay home with your kids for a little while. So we’ve made everything about our fulfillment. Carl Truman speaks to this very well. Through Freud and Marks, he shows how we got to this idea that our sexuality is who we are. Then it’s virtuous to live out our deepest desires in the most authentic way possible. That takes all the focus off our relationship with God and our families. So the home becomes secondary. It’s like this thing you do when you figure out all the other stuff, and it’s a shift in the mentality of what matters in life.”
Are We Going to Suffer in Reality?
“I think the Bible promises that if you follow Jesus, the world will persecute you. So we have these promises, but then we have the greater promise that Jesus has overcome the world.
There’s a biblical theology of suffering. In the eighties and nineties, it seemed like the prosperity gospel went unchecked a bit. Even the churches that weren’t teaching a prosperity gospel caught it and adopted this idea that the point of life is to be happy.
In reality, the Bible promises that it will sometimes be hard to follow Jesus. We’ll wake up some days, and it won’t feel like it’s working for us. We won’t have this euphoric feeling of the presence of God every day. Instead, the world would say, ‘if anyone wishes to follow after me, let him find himself. Let him live his truth and follow me.’
But Jesus tells us that we have to deny ourselves. We are promised to suffer, but it’s only bad if this life is all you have. As Christians, we have an eternal perspective. Everything we do here on earth has eternal ramifications. So I always tell people to think about the people they know who have suffered the most and have also clung to Christ in that suffering. They’re wiser than the rest of us. They have a deeper, more abiding joy than the rest of us. They’re more compassionate than the rest of us.
We should not underestimate God’s word when He says He’s working all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He uses even our darkest experiences and most difficult trials, and He turns those into good for us in many ways. And ask people who have suffered, and they’ll tell you. The idea that life is just about being happy is why we’re in the problem we’re in. Think about college campuses where you have a generation of kids who have virtually only had their feelings validated. This is making us weaker. I don’t know why people can’t see it.”
How The Culture Has Twisted The True Meaning of Matthew 7:1-6
“This is what we call the atheist’s favorite Bible verse. This is the verse everybody pulls out if you make any claim about objective reality regarding religion or morality. If you look at the context within which we find this verse, Jesus is actually giving instructions on how to judge.
He even says in that same context, don’t throw your pearls before pigs or give what is holy to the dogs. So you have to make judgments about people to know who the pigs are and who the dogs are. Jesus is giving us instructions on how to do that. Of course, this is the famous verse where He says, ‘take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.’
The whole point is to help your brother take the speck out of his eye but to make sure you take a look in the mirror first and ensure you don’t have a big log sticking out of your eye. The point Jesus is making is not that we never make judgments about people; it’s that we don’t judge hypocritically.
We don’t have the power to condemn somebody’s soul to heaven or hell. They will face their ultimate Judge on those matters. But Jesus talked about false teachers that will come into the church, and we will recognize them by their fruit.”
How Do We Avoid Mistaking Emotions For Truth?
“People don’t seem to want to reason these days. We can demonstrate that every law judges what people should or shouldn’t do. All laws legislate what we can and can’t do, what’s right and wrong, and what we should and shouldn’t do. We can swing the context into a broader scope so people can see the logical fallacies underneath some of these things.”
How Do We Get Objective Truth?
“We’re making claims about truth, but we’re not dealing with objective truth because this is an opinion. It’s what’s between our ears. Objective reality will bear out despite what your opinion might be about it. It’s something based on the object outside of your actual opinion. It’s not dependent upon you, the subject, but our culture has done a flip-flop.”
What Parameters Should Parents Set on Social Media?
“We do not allow our kids to have social media. I want to disciple them by teaching them how to interact with the media because it’s unavoidable. You have to know how to interact with screens. To the best of our ability, we limit screen time and disciple our kids on how to use it.
It’s unavoidable that your kids will know about TikTok, but I strongly urge parents not to let their kids have access to TikTok. Instead, I’ll snuggle up and watch clean TikTok compilations on YouTube with my daughter just before bed.
Many Christian parents can feel overwhelmed with all the access kids have. We have precious few years to teach our kids how to use technology. If they buy an iPhone at 18 and have yet to learn about how to navigate that as a Christian, we will have failed. I’m not saying every parent has to buy their kid an iPhone. This is just our choice, what we’ve decided to do, but it’s active discipleship.”
What Alisa Childers Wants You to Know About ‘Live Your Truth and Other Lies.’
“If there are people in your life following some of these social media influencers that are Christian, but presenting a more progressive Christianity, and accepting some of these lies without thinking. I wrote this book with them in mind.
I want it to feel like we’re sitting down having coffee, and talking about what the Bible has to say about these things, but also joking about where it’s gone wrong. This is a book you could give to somebody who might be following some of these self-empowerment websites. It’s all the lies we believe about ourselves in culture. What I wanted to do with the book, too, is show how the Bible gives us a better way to live. Not only is it spiritually life-giving, but it’s life-giving in the practical sense too.”
About Alisa Childers
As a lifelong church-goer, follower of Jesus, and former CCM recording artist with the Dove award-winning group ZOEgirl, Alisa experienced a period of profound doubt about her faith in her mid-thirties. She felt as though she had been tossed in a stormy ocean of uncertainty with no life jacket or lifeboat in sight. She didn’t know where to find answers to her questions, or if answers existed at all. Did she have to accept it all on some kind of blind faith? Alisa began to investigate her faith intellectually—she took seminary classes and read everything she could get her hands on. This began her journey from unreasoned doubt into a vibrant, rational, and informed faith.
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