You may have heard the term “postmodern” and wondered just what exactly was meant by the word. “Post” means “after” and when coupled with the word “modern” refers to a time and manner of thinking that comes after the modern era. It is the time many say we are living in. This time we live in has generated a generally skeptical perspective of any subject you can imagine: literature, the arts, politics, and even religion. Truth is not objective, but is the subjective interpretation of one’s own experiences and circumstances. The postmodernist questions those things traditionally thought to be true.
This way of thinking appeals to the rugged individualism of Americans, we revel in being free to choose what we do, what we think, and what we believe. The postmodern viewpoint is intoxicating; it is exhilarating to be free. We like this godlike ability to choose.
It may surprise some to know this mindset is not modern at all, much less postmodern. It has been around for at least two millennia, actually longer. You see ultimate, universal truth is something man may deny, but has deep down yearned to know, and he has instinctively searched for it through the ages.
When Jesus stood before Pilate to be tried, Pilate questioned Him. In response to one of Pilate’s questions Jesus said, in part, “I have come into the world, to testify to the truth,” John 18:37. Pilate responded, “What is truth?”
You see, when we embrace the skepticism that truth does not exist, it generates a pessimism that it cannot be found and we abandon the search. We then live as we please, but soon discover a truth we cannot deny, our choices have consequences. The consequences of our choices not only affect us, but they affect others around us with the greatest impact being on our family and friends, those closest to us.
So then we ask ourselves if the search for truth was abandoned too soon. Is there some objective, transcendent truth on which our decisions can be based? If we are going to have to live with the consequences of our decisions, is there a better way of making them, a greater truth, a better life? Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” John 14:6.
You have the freedom to choose, but you will never be free from the consequences of your choices, either in this life or the next. I do not know if Pilate was parroting the philosophy of his day, or was simply skeptical, or had found truth to be elusive. You may feel the way he did. All I know is when he asked, “What is truth,” he failed to see it was the Man who stood before him.