Speaking absolutely…

If you see someone who is becoming passionate about an issue and who is wanting to do something to fix that issue and who wants you to submit to their idea about how that issue should be fixed, no matter what they say or how much they might pretend otherwise, you are seeing someone who believes in absolutes.

As G.K. Chesterton once put it,

“Thus we may say that a permanent ideal is as necessary to the innovator as to the conservative; it is necessary whether we wish the king’s orders to be promptly executed or whether we only wish the king to be promptly executed…There must be at any given moment an abstract right or wrong if any blow is to be struck; there must be something eternal if there is to be anything sudden.”

And that’s so important, I think, to understand as you talk to people about the gospel.

As a Christian, you believe in absolutes and you admit it. You didn’t come up with those absolutes. You may not even by temperament, cultural background or family history like all the absolutes. But you submit to those absolutes because you are convinced they come from God. The person you are talking to often will look down on you for this. But the reality is, they most likely believe in absolutes as well. Otherwise why are you talking? You might as well just be barking at each other. But, while they believe in absolutes, it’s very likely they won’t admit it and perhaps one reason they won’t admit it, is because then they would have to think about where they get those absolutes from. It just doesn’t sound very humble to say ‘I want the whole world to conform to my inner standard of what is right or wrong.’ Or, ‘I want all of human history to submit to the standard a few of us from a particular social class in the West has decided is the ultimate rule.’

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