The law of non-contradiction states that contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time, e.g. the two propositions “A is B” and “A is not B” are mutually exclusive. The principle was stated as a theorem of propositional logic by Russell and Whitehead in Principia Mathematica. This is an important part of apologetics, as many people will state, “that is true for you, but not true for me”.
If there is an absolute truth, it behooves us to seek it, and to know it. As an example, in Christianity, we state that Christ died according to the scriptures, and was raised from the dead on the third day according to the scriptures. In Islam, they state that Christ never died on the cross.
(Similarly we have a huge contradiction regarding the deity of Christ (God vs god)).
One can plainly see that these two statements cannot both be true simultaneously. Yet, from a great many who are offended by the gospel message, in a New Age world of anything goes, they will state that Islam is true for them, Buddhism is true for them, and Christianity is true for you, and who are you to say otherwise? But in this case, it is impossible for truth to be relative. Either one is true or the other is. Ignoring that will not make it go away.
In a similar instance a couple years ago, Oprah indicated that there are many names that one might give to that which she calls “God”, including “energy,” “consciousness” and “life”; at the same time she famously stated that Jesus Christ was merely a symbol, and that clinging to the “Old Rugged Cross” was a “mistake”. These beliefs are in stark contrast to the statements of God’s word, and have very different consequences than those referred to in scripture, if one applies them to a world view. Therefore the two worldviews are incompatible. Either the bible is lying to you, or Oprah is wrong. There is no logical third option.
In this attempt to be accepting to others, we deny that all these ideas have very contrasting beliefs. One simply cannot believe that every viewpoint is possible and remain honest. But it can become much easier to base belief on feelings as opposed to truth, because of the consequence (social pressure, fear of losing friends). What we must ask is this: is it truly loving to not seek truth in order to protect feelings? If salvation is a reality, and there is one way to attain it, is it kind to not share it for fear of retribution?
C.S Lewis says, “…it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
He offers this advise:
“The great difficulty is to get modern audiences to realize that you are preaching Christianity solely and simply because you happen to think it true; they always suppose you are preaching it because you like it or think it good for society or something of that sort. Now a clearly maintained distinction between what the Faith actually says and what you would like it to have said or what you understand or what you personally find helpful or think probable, forces your audience to realize that you are tied to your data just as the scientist is tied by the results of the experiments; that you are not just saying what you like. This immediately helps them realize that what is being discussed is a question about objective fact — not gas about ideals and points of view.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
I continue to work on discipling others and spreading the good news of Christ as best I can, and in love as I am able, but with full knowledge that a) I am utterly imperfect, and b) that God and His truth are utterly perfect. We should all be grateful the morality and truth of God’s word are not malleable. What a terrible thought! But the consequence of a perfect and immovable God is that He is inexorably a God of order, and reason, not a God of confusion, and His nature and the truth of His ways and plans are fixed, all above our wishes and ways.
Again, C.S. Lewis states: “If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with Fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about.”
The law of non-contradiction is an ugly truth to wrestle with. It shouldn’t be, as it is a plainly obvious law. I am all for debating which perceived truth is correct, and making a decision based the data at hand. But when someone emphatically states there are many truths, that all truth is subjective, and relative, what progress can be made? This is an emotional standing, upon which one feels that he or she is safe. Safe from offending friends, offending God, and incurring consequence. It is interesting to note that the most heated contestations with someone who thinks all world views are acceptable is when you assert that truth is not subjective, but absolute. “That is your truth, not my truth!” It is deemed an imposing of one’s will upon another, rather than a stating of natural, created order. We are at that point asking a person to accept a reality based on objective truth, and objective morality, contrary to what they wish to perceive. This can be a scary and emotional transition.
Boiled down, we are talking about introducing the reality of Law into the worldview of society. This is anathema to naturalism, atheism, and New Ageism. We know we are not saved by the law, but by grace. However, Romans 7:7 says, “What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.””
This is compounded by, James 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
This is the introduction of consequence to a worldview, which convicts the heart, and forces one to try and reject the reality of God, or instead to humble themselves before Him.
In relative truth’s simplest form of defeat – saying truth is not absolute is itself an absolute statement. It is self-defeating.
In conclusion, based on the bible, Christians are admittedly narrow-minded in this truth – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6
This is the case with Creation vs evolution debate as well, two contradictory world views which once logically considered, cannot be simultaneously believed (for more on that click here).