No, Mr. Giuliani, truth is not in the eye of the beholder
In the ongoing political conversation about whether or not the President of the United States will sit down with Robert Mueller for an interview related to the question of Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election, one of the President’s lawyers, Rudy Giuliani said “truth is in the eye of the beholder.” I suspect he meant that in today’s relativistic marketplace of ideas, truth is treated as if it is relative, but what he said was truth is relative.
For the record, it is not.
This was not the first time Mr. Giuliani has made a statement about the times in which we live, which regard truth as relative, and the truth: truth is not relative. In May he also asserted that truth is relative.
Giuliani said he was concerned that the president would become a target or that the interview would be a perjury trap, because the “truth is relative.” The president’s legal team continues to try to set limitations on an interview, including the duration and questions posed, he said.
“They may have a different version of the truth than we do,” Giuliani said.
Many of Trump’s advisers have expressed concern that he would be accused of committing perjury in an interview.
So to say that one person or group of people may have a different version of the truth suggests that truth itself is a matter of debate and that people are entitled to their own set of facts – even in the case of a legal matter. This is a stunning statement from a lawyer and public official who has relied on the testimony of witnesses sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If truth is in the eye of the beholder, then whatever a person asserts to be true is true. Up is down. Down is up. Good is evil. Evil is good. And we find ourselves not in Kansas but in Oz or maybe more accurately, down the rabbit hole into Alice’s Wonderland.
To be clear, truth is that which aligns with reality. Truth squares with, well, what is actually true.
The truth is God is whether people believe it or not. The truth is Jesus, the eternal second member of the Godhead, condescended to human reality and became a man. As the incarnate Christ He demonstrated what a life lived in full communion with God looks like. He revealed what it looks like to live to God’s glory and not our own. From love to grace to holiness we find the pattern in Jesus. He really lived, he really died, he really rose bodily from the dead, he really ascended into heaven and he’s really coming again to bring the fullness of the new heaven on a new earth where he will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. Every knee, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, will on that day really bow and every tongue really will confess, “Jesus Christ is Lord!” to the glory of God.
That is true truth, whether people believe it or not.
I was attending a denominational meeting many years ago in Louisville, Ky. The debate on the floor of the assembly was raging and I stepped out to use the restroom. A woman was cleaning the Convention Center restroom when I entered. You could hear the proceedings in the hall over the P.A. system. She was visibly shaken by what she was overhearing. I asked if she was okay. “Okay? No ma’am, I’m not okay. Are those people talking about what it sounds like they’re talking about?” she asked.
“Well, what does it sound to you like they’re talking about?” I asked.
She replied, “It sounds like they think it’s up to them to decide if Jesus Christ is Lord. And if that’s what they think then they haven’t read the Bible and they don’t know Jesus. Jesus is Lord whether those people say so or not!”
I smiled in agreement and we prayed together in the bathroom for the darkened minds and proud haughtiness on display in the Convention Center floor. Neither of us had a vote in the matter before the assembly but both of us committed to testify to the Truth of Jesus who alone is the Way and the Truth and the Life.
Truth is not relative. Perspectives on the events of the day may differ, but the truth is a fixed reality precisely because it is affixed to reality.