As was my habit on Mondays, I was in the Student Union on a large urban campus. I sat behind a table, neatly arranged with Bibles and gospel literature. I prayed to encounter those who may be curious, or on whose hearts God already was tugging.
A rush of cold air accompanied a crush of students and faculty bursting through the doors as first-hour classes ended. Suddenly, Murray*, a physics professor and two students stopped beside the table.
I said, “Hello!” The students looked uncomfortable.
Before I could engage them, Murray took over. The next few minutes were filled with an impressive display of “Professor belittling and berating the religious guy.”
Murray had dropped by on previous occasions. His interest was not in dialoguing with me. I was his foil for unloading his emotional anger and frustration at what I represented to him: danger.
He associated me with the worst of “Christian” history. He was angered by my narrowminded belief in a singular spiritual truth: only one God exists, and faith in Jesus is the only way to know this God.
The fact that I shared this “truth” with students – especially those who held other religious beliefs – was at times more than Murray could bear. This morning was one of those times.
Murray was primed with scientific terminology, mind-boggling statistics and academic jargon. He launched into a well-rehearsed verbal offensive against me and my faith.
I didn’t even try to defend against the diatribe. I would not have known where to begin to answer. In a few short minutes, Professor Murray had done his best to portray my “faith” as bloody, nonsensical, and the very opposite of truth.
I remember feeling sorry for the two students. Too embarrassed to look at me, they stared at their shoes.
Murray put “the last nails in the coffin” of his tirade against me. “Admit it. You don’t know you are right, you only believe it. You cannot say Jesus is the only truth!”
His blazing eyes challenged me. His authoritative tone demanded that I relinquish my foolish hold on my unacceptable belief that Jesus is God and ultimate truth.
At that moment I noticed a very elderly gentleman passing by. I said to Murray, “Look, there’s your father! Aren’t you going to say hi to him?”
Murray looked confused. He and the students turned to see the elderly man continue down the hallway.
“What are you talking about? That’s not my father!” was Murray’s bewildered response.
I exclaimed, “Wow, how rude! Your own father, and you don’t even say hello!”
Murray’s confusion became irritation as he emphatically denied that man was his father. “What’s wrong with you? Are you crazy?”
Murray didn’t understand why I was insisting this man was his father. In an even voice, I responded, “How do you know that man is not your father?”
“Because I know who my father is,” was his instant reply.
I affirmed, “Yes, exactly. You know who your father is, Murray. And I also know my Heavenly Father. And for that reason, I cannot deny the truth.”
Murray looked at me incredulously. “Brainwashed…fanatic…,” escaped his lips as he hastened toward the exit, his sheepish students in tow.
It was Jesus who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but by Me.”[i]
To know Jesus is to know the Truth. God Himself confirms it when we place our trust in Jesus as Savior. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are children of God.”[ii]
In our day of relativism, is it possible to know truth? How do you know what you believe is true?
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