A Word on Moral Relativism

I have seen this issue more and more as of late, but what is relativism? “Relativism is the belief that what can be known, especially in relation to moral issues, is dependent upon ones own personal views or the collective beliefs of one’s culture.” (Beckwith. 1998. p. 418) To be more specific, the relativism that is threatening the truth of God’s word is subjective relativism or subjectivism, which can also be known as moral relativism. This view is a theory that the basis for moral judgments is simply expressions of one’s personal opinions or feelings. Despite the logical evidence for moral law itself, which concludes there is a threshold for right and wrong among all people, moral relativism means that individuals cannot see why they need to be saved.

moral-relativismIf you take morals and make them subjective or based on one’s opinions or feelings, than the law of God found in the Torah will not convict the sinner to address their sin and therefore realize the grace of God through Christ Jesus. Subjectivism, “becomes a pragmatic approach to living life as non-confrontational and as guilt-free as possible. Thus, when a person shares an opinion and a counter opinion is offered, both views can be considered right from their personal vantage points.” (Beckwith. 1998. 419)

In our culture today we can see the neglect of God’s word as truth by those who are accepting sin instead of turning from it. Liberal christianity, not as in the political stance ‘liberals’, has altered its viewpoint to cater to some sins while accepting others. This new age christianity (not to be confused with mysticism) says that judging a sin is judging the person, therefore, we must not do it. Yet the bible clearly states, “My brothers. if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19) We are not to judge the man, but discern what is holy and what is not. Part of the community in Christ is helping others grow closer to God, which will be hindered by sin. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

Some sins in the United States of America have become acceptable and we are called to stand by the absolute truth, which is God’s word. If we are to teach the Law of God, we must be able to teach our brothers and sisters in Christ to say the least. “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” (Luke 17:3)

Regarding moral relativity, “The Book of Judges warns about moral relativism, or behavior based on human opinions. The Bible teaches that the standards for human behavior are God-given. Left alone, humans will always fail to live up to those standards. But with God’s help and in his grace, we can learn of his will for a more righteous way.” (Arnold & Beyer. 1996. p.185)

As followers of Christ, to minister we need to help sinners understand why they need to be saved when we share the gospel. As followers of Christ we need to help rid of the active and willing acceptance of sin as being okay. Be still and know who is Lord, otherwise, you’ll find your morals bending according to our culture or an individuals feelings, but we know who is The Lord. We know who is the truth, the way, the bread, and the life. (John)

Finally, C.S. Lewis’ apologetics from Mere Christianity regarding the Moral law, “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I gotten this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too — for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist — in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless — I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality — namely my idea of justice — was full of sense. Consequently, atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

(Beckwith, Francis J., and Gregory Koukl. Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998

Arnold and Beywer. Encountering the Old Testament. Grand Rapids. Baker, 1996)


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