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Human Failures and Unfailing Truth 11/16/2006

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Yul Brynner, who died of cancer, warned of the dangers of smoking.

It has been interesting to observe the secular culture's reaction to Ted Haggard's terrible outing. Leonard Pitts, a reasonably thoughtful writer for the Miami Herald, asked with a straight face, "Can't we now safely assume any conservative who rants about the homosexual agenda is a lying hypocrite gayer than a Castro street bar?"

It's a stupid question with an obvious answer, yet too many people especially so-called "intellectuals" completely miss it. I can only attribute their lack of common sense to a moral foundation built upon sand. Such is the result of cultural relativism.

It has been said that morality which comes from man can be refuted by man, but morality which comes from God can be refuted by no man. In other words, when man (a fickle, hypocritical and imperfect creature) creates the criteria to measure truth, then truth will be just as inconsistent and vague as its creator. But if the measure for truth comes from a Higher Power that has not changed since before the first violent throes of the earth's inception, then that truth will be clear, dependable and absolute.

Actor Yul Brynner died of lung cancer in 1985.Shortly after his death, a television commercial appeared in which he warned, "Now that I'm gone, I tell you: don't smoke." The message was powerful. Here's a guy who, before he died, wanted to warn people to avoid the habit that killed him.

Did anyone dare call him a hypocrite? Did any newspaper columnists suggest that Brynner's words rang hollow because he didn't practice what he preached? If anyone did, they were dismissed as fools because truth is truth, regardless of who says it. Smoking can kill you -- not because a doctor or a pastor says so, but because it is true. Our failures never nullify truth or absolute principles.

The glorious hope of absolute truth is that anyone can find strength and redemption in it. The very same rock of righteousness that breaks us can restore us, but we first have to acknowledge when we are wrong and when truth is right. Denying the truth, distorting the truth and dodging the truth will only cause more damage. If we are creatures fashioned in the image of God, then the only way we can be whole and stand up straight is to align ourselves with our Creator. Otherwise, we are twisted, bent and crooked people.

In a world without God, the foundation continually moves. The scales are never balanced. The man who proclaims a higher measure and does not live a perfect life faces ridicule while the one who says that there is no right or wrong escapes all accountability.

Haggard's warning that homosexuality damages the family unit is being demonstrated in his own life, much like Brynner's admonition against smoking. Had the pastor come out in the manner of New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, who proudly and publicly declared, "I am a gay American," the apostles of relativism would have celebrated, but Haggard and his wife would have zero chance of restoring her marriage and five children would watch their family fall apart. Now they face incredible difficulty, but they still have hope. Haggard can still realign himself with the truth he knows and rebuild a better life than the one that his secret sin shattered.

The same principle is true for all of us, no matter the situation. It's bigger than smoking or sex. Once we understand the truth of right and wrong (that taboo concept we call morality), then we have forgiveness for the past, a solid foundation for the present and real hope for the future.


Author: James Robison

Word Count: 608

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, an international humanitarian aid ministry; host of the television program, Life Today; and author of The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net

Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.