The Nazis are invading! Their panzer tanks are plowing through Poland’s fields and crushing everything in sight. Some Poles are optimistic they can beat the Nazis back, but others realize the situation and know Poland is doomed. “Who will win this conflict?” some are asking. “Oh, that’s easy. It just depends on who you ask!” Of course, nobody gives that kind of an answer. They either think Poland will win, or be defeated by Germany (or they don’t know). Whoever you ask is either right, or wrong. Sure, the answer you get will depend on who you ask, but that’s no big news. The question is, will Poland win, or will Germany win? It doesn’t depend on who you ask, it depends on what’s actually going to happen!
Tragically, Germany won.
Now, as Germany was preparing to make a pizza out of Poland, the Jewish community had their own questions. “Is it safe for us to stay here, or should we flee to Sweden?” “Oh, that’s easy. It just depends on who you ask!” No, it doesn’t. Sure, you have to ask somebody, and you have to trust some answer. But that answer you trust will be either right or wrong; reality isn’t changed just because somebody gives a different answer!
Many of the Jewish people asked their rabbis, and the rabbis (most of them) said, “We should stay put.” So, if whether you should flee or stay put depends on who you ask, and you asked the rabbi and he says, “stay put,” does that mean you should stay put, even if you believe it with all your heart? Obviously, and tragically, no. Oh, I wish the rabbis had been right. Would that they were right! But they weren’t. And most of the Jewish people who didn’t flee were caught up and destroyed in the holocaust.
When I asked my friend how someone gets to heaven, his reply, “It depends on who you ask,” confused me. I didn’t ask, “How does someone think he can go to heaven?” I merely asked how someone does go to heaven!
This is my conclusion. Reality does not depend on who you ask. Rather, whether a person’s answer is right or wrong depends on reality. So, how does one get to heaven? That’s a serious question. And it doesn’t depend on who you ask; it depends on what the truth is, the absolute truth, the truth which is independent from our biased and feeble minds. Opinions and answers may be relative, but truth is absolute.