Saturday, November 22, 2008

11/22/08 - Moral Relativism

"What works for you works for you; what works for me works for me."

"I don't think it's right, but who am I to tell someone else not to do it?"

"Don't tell me what to do and I won't tell you what to do."

"Really you should just mind your own business, because it's not your place to judge."

These are a few ways we express moral relativism in our society. We have adopted this attitude that whatever you want to do should be okay and we have no right to impose our biblical standard (truth) on anyone.

I appreciate what John Piper says about relativism: "The claim that there is no one standard for truth and falsehood that is valid for everyone is rooted most deeply in the desire of the fallen human mind to be free from all authority and to enjoy the exaltation of self." (You can read his entire lesson on "The Challenge of Relativism")

To clarify, I am not talking about issues that are non-essential. Christians often fight over whose standard needs to be followed, but I am talking about issues that are essential.

I believe we don't want to say, "This or that is wrong" is because then we open ourselves up to being under the authority of Truth.

We, as Christians, must examine areas where we've allowed ourselves to say, "Well, I don't agree with that and I think the bible clearly says it's wrong, but who am I to say anything about it, after all, if it's good for them, it's good for them. I would never do it, but I can't judge."

How do you believe this mindset has filtered into the church?

1 comment:

Prov16v22a said...

Personally, I've learnt that we can believe in moral abolutes and yet still fall into the trap of moral relativism when not wanting to offend someone or come across as pushing them to agree with you. Getting the balance can make quite a discussion. Afterall 'Do not judge' is quite true. I like to use the explanitory words of Romans 14 Do not 'despise', or 'set at naught thy brother' and how each is the Lord's servant not ours.

Alot of it I think starts with those subjects that are not clearly stated in a command. We like to find a clearly summed up law to follow, but the New Testament states things as characteristics/guidelines (gentleness, soberness, purity) for each to use their own judgement on as the Holy Spirit directs. So some search the Scriptures to see what is said on the topic and use those to deduct the needed information, whereas others consider those too, but don't see them as saying suchandsuch so exactly. They possibly also see some as being taken out of context. We see these issues as being not so absolute and take the flexible stand. If you're on the liberal side of an issue that fits fine, but if you see things from the 'herb eater' side such a flexibleness isn't so acceptable. Yet, we are told not to judge, so maybe that is how it ought to be -each to his own. No. There is a right side to the 'herb/meat eating' issues. Rom 14:14 Often truth (and error) is on both sides of our disagreements and we have to take the truth and leave the error.

Paul says, "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind" Each is to know what is right on any issue and follow that. We are to love others regardless and allow them to have their own opinion, but that does not require letting down any stand of what we believe is right. It requires loving them -speaking out of a heart of love. Not easy to do, but with the Lord's help we can learn.