Is there absolute truth? A lesson from Jury duty

I spent last week serving on a jury for a civil suit in the superior court in my county.  It was a very interesting and worthwhile experience.  If you have a chance to participate in jury service, I recommend that you take that opportunity.  Yes, it is inconvenient but there is a lot of value in participating, and you are contributing to our democratic process.  The fact that twelve random people from all walks of life can be thrown together by forced public service and work together to reach a solution is remarkable.  I found this to be one of the most rewarding aspects of the process.  The current atmosphere of our culture didn’t give me a lot of hope that would in fact  be the case, but I am happy to have been proved wrong.

Most of the benefits from serving jury duty were in the personal growth arena: exercising patience, practicing hospitality (in the capacity of socializing), exercising humility when listening to others points of view, working with people to help them process their thoughts, helping people to think critically, disagreeing with opinions while valuing the person.  It was enriching.  

I am always interested to see Biblical principles and truths worked out in the world around me.  Jury duty was a perfect environment to observe the contrasts between a secular world view and a Biblical world view.  The case that we heard had to do with the perception of wrongful termination due to discrimination.  However, the facts revealed another story altogether: that of dishonesty and the resulting consequences.  When we began the deliberation process the various perspectives became clear, and as a Christian who operates from a Biblical perspective I found the dynamics unsurprising.  

We live in a  post-modern society where truth is deemed relative.  Your truth is your truth, and my truth is my truth.  Never mind the fact that relative truth defies logical thought.  While we were deliberating, there were two jurors who demonstrated that they operated from a post-modern perspective.  They sincerely believed that the plaintiff’s dishonesty was beside the point, and did not affect in any way the employers obligations to said plaintiff.  Those of us who disagreed, patiently explained again and again, that once the plaintiff was revealed to have been dishonest, all obligations of the employer to continue to find this individual light-duty work were null and void.  It did not matter how many ways we approached this aspect of the case, the post-modern thinkers just could not comprehend what we were saying.  One of the two even used her own dishonesty in a job application as ‘proof’ and support for why the plaintiffs dishonesty was just fine!  

As believers, we know that there is absolute truth, and it is knowable.  As I listened to these fellow jurors who held post-modern perspectives, the verse in Romans 1:18 kept coming to mind “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”  Deep down, every person knows that God exists.  Every individual has a God-given conscience that testifies to right and wrong.  If there is not a higher power that all are subject to, then where do our standards for morality originate from?  Without God, morality makes zero sense.  The unregenerate heart does not want to acknowledge the existence of God because they do not want accountability to God.  The unregenerate heart in its natural state longs to be the captain of their own destiny.  The great tragedy is when God gives them their desire.  I know with absolute resolved conviction that but for the grace of God, so would I be.  Thanks be to God that I was as one described in Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

It is not I, but He and He alone.  Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift!

Chris Powers

Soli Deo Gloria!



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