Why is Relativism a Threat to the Christian

I am sharing today a post by my hubby about one of the most harmful–and subtle–threats to our walk with Christ. Nothing new, but still important to be aware of.

In the context of the relativistic world view of today, Dr. Ravi said in an interview in Baltimore,

‘We are being trapped in the quicksand of the absence of objective truth’. He went on to say, “We are in a post-Christian era in that the terms are not understood, but ironically, we are still living off of the bequest of its values in the West. And once those values have been expended, and we no longer have the roots from which to draw, then we will find out the ramifications of it. If there is no objective moral law, relativism will take hold, and relativism ultimately will lead to self-destruction.”

Moral relativism is a philosophy that asserts there is no global, absolute moral law that applies to all people, for all time, and in all places. Instead of an objective moral law, it presents a qualified view where morals are concerned, especially in the areas of individual moral practice where personal and situational encounters supposedly dictate the correct moral position.

Frederick Nietzsche wrote, “You have your way, I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, it does not exist.” The Greek philosopher Protagoras said “man is the measure of all things.” Meaning each person can decide their own standard for right and wrong living. What is morally right for me may be wrong for another. This is the essence of relativism.

Cultural relativism claims that each culture has its own distinct but equally valid mode of perception, thought, and choice. Cultural relativism, the opposite of the idea that moral truth is universal and objective, contends there is no such thing as absolute right and wrong. There is only right and wrong as specified by the moral code of each society. Within a particular society, a standard of right and wrong can be inviolate. Cultural relativism maintains that man’s opinion within a given culture defines what is right and wrong.

However, there are absolutes; everything in our physical reality proves this, like gravity and mathematics.  Science confirms it. One cannot find what is wrong unless they have an ultimate standard. It in this context that it can be proven that the Christian world view is most consistent with reality. There is truth and there is falsehood. God is complete objective truth because He is that standard. We Christians believe God determines what is true and right, which He has instructed in the Bible. Those who hold to the relative position believe man does and that he can change as he wills.

In contrast to the moral relativist whose worldview is secular humanism, the Christian worldview provides a solid standard and authority that can be confidently referenced and followed. The Creator God, Who has revealed Himself in His Word, is both the standard and authority for morals. From God’s nature comes pure good that serves as the straight line by which all crooked lines can be measured.

We can’t test truth by our feelings. A person can’t feel error, but you can use your mind to think truth. You cannot distinguish good and evil by your feelings because evil (sin) feels good. Truth is not the opposite of falsehood. It is the absence of falsehood. Evil is not just the opposite of good, it is the absence of good. To decide that something is evil means that one must have a standard of truth. Whether it is the Bible’s or their own they are living by someone’s standards.

Our society has become its own moral compass as to decide what is good. Humanism is trying to do what is right without God in the equation. The humanist doesn’t require religion because he is confident that the heart of man is basically good. The humanist’s standard of goodness must be low enough for the average person to be able to meet its requirements consistently. God’s standard of goodness is perfection, which we cannot attain, except Christ becomes our propitiation and mediator. Humanists have no cure for evil nor can they explain it. Christ who is God and the ultimate good is the only answer.

I can’t help but believe that we are approaching catastrophic times in the West. God does not mete out disaster specifically during the Age of Grace; disaster comes from the decay of moral and ethical values within the combined community. We sow to the wind and reap a whirl wind. The West has become immoral and thus has destroyed the foundation upon which it was originally founded. This destructive progressionism has accelerated exponentially in the last years in the US of A.

How should Christians respond to these postmodern influences that have seized the West and many of the churches?

  • One way is to teach, model (and equip families if it is a church) to instill a biblical worldview in the lives of their children. Parents, children and churches in general must foster a healthy respect for the authority of the Scriptures. The regular reading and application of God’s Word in everyday life will help in countering the postmodern denial of authority.
  • Living by the Spirit of God. There is no way we can fight the relativism that is pervading all our society today unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God and are thus able to be obedient to God’s Word.

~ Steven

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