Truth; Relative or Absolute?

Contemporary thinking suggests, “What is right depends on the situation.” Many believe “there is no body of eternal, unchanging truth;” that “truth is relative and may vary from group to group or from time to time, having no objective standard.”

Is this right?

There are two standards of morality: man’s and God’s. History demonstrates that man’s morality is governed by a changing mode of relative values. This is because every code of human law falls short of absolute justice and equity. Whatever human intelligence designs or regulates must fall into the class of relative values. No human authority can tell us how to act so that the greatest good will come to the race.

God’s laws are absolutely perfect. As Creator of all, He knows what is best for the whole of mankind. Being all wise, He knows without experimentation what will work for the best. He sees the end from the beginning. His laws are not relative. They are timeless. They need no revising.

God has two kinds of laws, natural laws and spiritual, moral laws. The laws of nature are absolute and unchanging. The law of gravity is as true now as in the beginning, in America as in China. God’s spiritual, moral laws are as absolute and unchanging as the laws of nature. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). “The word of the Lord abides forever” (1 Peter 1:25). His word is final and complete and men are warned, “Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar” (Proverbs 30:6).

Today, decisions about attitudes and behaviors are considered to be a matter of personal inclinations, of likes and dislikes, based on the mood and the convenience of the moment. There is also less inclination to accept responsibility. “Others” or “the circumstances” are blamed for what happens. Personal responses to what others do and to what happens in the environment are considered to be outside of one’s control. Admittedly, there are often happenings over which there is little personal control and there are detrimental circumstances which come to us unbidden, yet how we act [or react] is within our grasp. We can be held accountable for our responses. And will be. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive compensation for his deeds done through the body, in accordance with what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

The fact that “old ways of life corrupted by deceitful desires” can be “put off” and a “new self” can be “put on” (Ephesians 4:22,24) indicates that self-control and adhering to a standard of conduct can be practiced. The fact that it could be said of some who had indulged in immorality “that is what some of you WERE” (1 Corinthians 6:11), indicates it is humanly possible to exercise control over one’s personal actions, reactions, and choices. It is possible for men and women to adhere to God’s spiritual, moral law.

While whatever human intelligence devises falls into the class of relative values, whatever divine intelligence designs falls into the category of absolute value. Whereas “men suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Romans 1:18), God’s truth remains the same. It does not change to suit the whims of men. Thus, the decision for which every person is responsible is this: to follow the way of moral relativity or to adhere to the way of moral maturity and sensibility.

  • Frank J Daniels, pulpit minister & teacher

Making the Sick Well

Jesus showed interest in making sick people well. It wasn’t the focus of His ministry. Nevertheless, several cases of His healing the afflicted are recorded in the Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, in giving accounts of His work, all mention cases of His making the sick well. For instance, when Jesus met a man with a shriveled hand in a synagogue, He told the man to stretch out his hand, and the record says, “So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.” (Matthew 12:9-13). On another occasion, a lame man was “made well” (John 5:15). A woman drew power from Jesus to address her ailment and Jesus, commending her faith, said, “Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:34). Careful to mind the Spirit’s authority, the apostle, Peter, healed a lame man. (Acts 3:6-8). Later, defending himself, Peter said, “It is by the name of Jesus of Nazareth … that this man stands before you healed.” (Acts 4:10).

In many of the cases where healing of the ill is mentioned, a word for “wholeness” is used. Jesus (and His apostles) was interested in restoring folks to wholeness. The word is hugies. The modern word hygiene is derived from it. Good, sound health was the result of the interventions Jesus exercised.

A form of this same word is used by the Lord to describe the nature or character of His teaching. For instance, in 1 Timothy 1:10, and in Titus 1:9 & 2:1, the word hugiaino (sound, healthy) is used to qualify the doctrine of Christ. To be healthy, a man must give heed to the doctrine of Christ. And it must be the doctrine of Christ for health to result. This is the word used in 2 Timothy 1:7 to tell us what it is God gives instead of and to displace “a spirit of timidity.” God gives “a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline;” self-discipline literally being “soundness of mind.” It is also the word used in 1 Peter 4:7 where the Christian is urged to be “clear minded and self-controlled;” clear minded being the translation of hugiaino. And the text relates why this is important. The Christian must be healthy in mind in order to pray because “the end is near.” The term is also used in 1 Timothy 6:3-4 where this warning is sounded by the Lord: “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing.”

Jesus is interested in making sinners whole. Yet, wholeness depends upon attending to the correct material. The doctrine of Christ is healthy. It is given to make men whole. To deny the doctrine of Christ is to invite the visitation of ill health. To change or modify the doctrine of Christ is like changing a prescription. The wrong chemical, or the incorrect dosage, could maim, injure, or kill. At best, the wrong prescription will be ineffective in effecting a cure. Only the correct medicine, applied in the prescribed way, will restore health. The great Physician, Jesus, knows what ails us. He knows best what will achieve our health. So, why do men and women want to do other than what His word says? Sinners who are converted to saints are those who “agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus and to godly teaching.” 1 Timothy 6:3. And saints who slip into sin are those who do not “agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus and to godly teaching.” For excellent health, choose the correct prescription. Choose – and agree with – the doctrine of Christ.

  • Frank J Daniels, pulpit minister & teacher

The Power of Planting a Seed

We cannot force someone to hear a message they are not ready to receive,

but we must never underestimate the power of planting a seed.

As it says above, a message can be given, but it is possible that among those who are present, there will be someone who is unready to receive it.  However, a seed may be planted; a thought, an idea, a concept, a piece of information that becomes relevant and important later, perhaps when a crisis or change in circumstances motivates recall of what was shared and is now seen as instructive and as providing good direction.  While time continues to exist, and thus the opportunity that such existence allows for change, the germination of a seed in a mind and heart is possible.  That is the hope with which those who share truth operate.  For it often seems that their efforts fall continually on deaf ears and/or are seen by blind eyes.

Paying heed to truth and change is what God provides for in His providential patience.  Note the message of 2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is … patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”  [I urge you to read the whole of 2 Peter 3, especially to learn what His promise is concerning the world.]  It seems that many today are like those then who took for granted that they could be cynical and complacent about God keeping His promise.  He gives a chance, but if men and women do not make the most of the opportunity, the day of judgement will be grim for them.  Thus, those who share the truth continue to do so in the hope that planted seeds will germinate into repentance and obedience.

But many will not … and Jesus knew that this would be true.  Yet, He still died to provide opportunity for the ungodly to repent and become godly.  God’s love for all the world, as expressed in the sacrifice of His one and only Son, ought to have every man and woman of every generation on their knees expressing adoration, gratitude, and obedience to His will; yet multitudes live unwisely, failing to understand His will and failing to express authentic faith by doing what pleases Him.

Generous Jesus expressed incredible love in being the sacrificial Lamb.  For, at the time of His death, no one was appreciating what He was doing.  Even those who were closest to Him did not understand; not until He showed them the evidence of His resurrection.  A lot of people will not undertake an effort unless they have some evidence or indication that their effort will issue in success or income.  Others, even when offered pay for labor, will not do the work because they consider it an unpleasant task.  How unpleasant was crucifixion?!  Knowing that multitudes would not respond appropriately to His love, Jesus still obeyed the Father’s will and submitted to death by crucifixion.

Jesus knew that many would not respond appropriately.  In one of His sermons, He said, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:14).  This, even though He has made the way known. [John 14:6].  In the same chapter of Matthew, He revealed that even good people would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven because they had “not done the will of the Father.” [7:21-23].  Then, the first chapter of Romans reveals that He knows that there are people who, despite the evidence of creation and His revelation of truth, persist in doing what is unrighteous and ungodly. [Romans 1:18-32].  By way of His inspired writer, Paul, He reveals that people “will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” [2 Timothy 4:4].  Earlier in that same letter to Timothy, God (through Paul) acknowledged that “in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” [2 Timothy 3:1-5].  What a catalogue of sorriness!

Jesus knew, and He knows.  Nothing is hidden from Him.  His truth is still knowable.  But many ignore it, or, if they have learned it, still do not do it.  On the basis of what Jesus and the inspired writers reveal, heaven will not be crowded.  By His word, few enter.

Even though there are many who do not receive the truth, there can be among them, some who seem unready for the message.  For them, the message may be like a seed, i.e., that which has to germinate and spring forth into acceptance and obedience.  However, much will depend upon the kind of mind and heart they possess.  Jesus categorized people into four classifications of receptivity.  In His parable of the sowing of the seed of the Word of God, there are:  1. those who are deluded into believing devilish lies, 2. those who receive it joyously but then give up when they are challenged by difficulties, 3. those who hear, but give more attention to the cares, riches, and pleasures of life and do not develop as faithful followers.  The fourth category is:  those “who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” [Luke 8:4-13].  Jesus knows that the world for whom He was willing to die is divided into these four categories of hearts and minds.  The seed can flourish in the heart and mind that is honest and good.

It is because we do not possess His insight, that we continue to speak and/or write and urge attention to be given to His Word.  We cannot readily assess the kind of mind and heart that is in our audience.  Thus, we sow the seed of the Word of God ….. hopefully.  We must never underestimate the power of planting a seed.

“We cannot know the will of God if we are ignorant of His Word.” – A.W. Pink

  • Frank J Daniels, pulpit minister & teacher

Tip for Getting Along

What you think of the Bible does not affect it – but it affects you. If it seems uninteresting that does not make it so – that has to do with what you think. If it seems too exacting, remember that it contains the only kind of standards God can give – perfect ones. It is your attitude that determines whether they help you to live a better life… or not. To get anything worthwhile from it you have to let it speak truth to you.

The Kendall-Balls’ Most Recent Update – December 2020


Here is our last report for this year. What a year it has been, but we pray and hope for good things and God’s blessings on us all for the new year. As you will read, we have made plans to conclude our reporting trip (which was derailed by the pandemic and has kept us in virtual isolation since March) in late April-May, if the travel is permitted. We are well and our spirits are high because the Lord has been mindful of us and we are blessed beyond what we could have imagined. We have relocated to the most wonderful property in Carronshore, and we are discovering that our neighborhood is full of young families. Please join us in prayer that we might reveal God’s lights and love as we begin to get out and about to meet them. We pray that all the isolation and fearful attitudes that have prevailed for so long will create opportunities for the Gospel to be delivered in sweet tones of love and acceptance and allow God to use us to draw more people to Him.

December 2020 report (1).pdf – OneDrive (