Philosophically, RELATIVISM is the idea that elements, ideas, and truth claims are relative to or dependent upon other elements or aspects. Thus, statements such as:
“That’s true for you, but not for me.” or “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” or “Why can’t we all just agree and get along?” are commonplace statements for people who adhere and give in to the pressures of relativism.
Within religion, relativism is the idea your claim to truth is no more valid than mine. And according to John Piper, relativism now means “you may not claim to speak the truth.”
Relativism (the idea that all religions are equal or valid as long as it is TRUE to that individual person) has permeated our society in gross amounts. In the name of “tolerance,” we have accepted the idea that tolerance means not taking individual stands on truth.Our idea of tolerance has morphed into a gross relativistic worldview.
Granted, there has been severe injustices done in the name of “TRUTH” (think Crusades, the Iraq War, Witch hunts, the Inquisition, Slavery, etc.). Horrific events such as these undoubtedly cause one to be cautious to make bold truth claims in fear of being like “them.” Furthermore, in the name of tolerance, people who make truth claims are generally viewed as “close-minded” or “judgmental.”
However, we need to reclaim truth, rewrite the present meaning of tolerance, and re-establish what it means to stand on the “firm foundation” of the Christian Gospel.
Two recent media comments made me cringe. While watching Ellen, she had just given $25,000 to a woman and her family, and made this statement (not exactly a quote, but close enough): ‘You just have to maintain faith. All good things eventually come around.’
Ellen was NOT referring to faith in God. In fact, she didn’t say “faith” in anything. Just faith? Faith in whom? Faith in what? I don’t think Ellen truly knows either, but statements such as these are commonplace in our relativistic worldview. Just have faith…
Second, listening to 106.5 and their assortment of Christmas music, a woman came on recollecting a story about one of her Christmas mornings as a child. Although the details are unimportant, the story was something along the lines of “I left out some cookies for Santa. Santa ate them. I woke up. And I was happy.”
What made me cringe was this (again, not a direct quote, but close enough): “And when I found those cookies gone, I realized that Santa was watching over me and he had been all year. It just felt good to know that Santa was watching over me.”
Statements such as these are so commonplace it is sickening. Celebrities promote Scientology, a cult where the founder admitted to starting a religion just to make money. Celebrities promote a “mixed bag” of religions and claim this is their truth. Seminaries exist that teach about “Higher Lights” and tolerance towards each other’s Gods because they are ultimately equal or the same anyways. People honestly believe Santa is watching over them. They believe you just need to “have faith.” It doesn’t matter in what.
Relativism is for the weak of mind, the poor in Spirit…
Does this sound harsh? Maybe. Maybe not. Frankly, if people are “bold” enough to promote a belief in “positive thinking” or “Higher Lights,” then I’m going to be bold enough to promote Jesus Christ.
In the next few weeks, I’m going to post reasons why I believe in Jesus and how that effects daily ethical choices. Topics will include abortion, war, women in ministry, poverty, healing prayer, the supernatural, Universalism, Spiritual Warfare, Church, worship, mission, divorce, close-handed issues, open-handed issues, discipleship, atonement theories, and cults.
Furthermore, I’m going to post and write about why we can trust the reliability of Scripture and why we can trust the power we experience of Jesus Christ. I’m going to debunk myths about God and reasons why people “fall” to relativism.
May we come to stand firm on the truth that Jesus Christ is God’s son. He came as a human being to bridge the gap between humanity and God. Through his death, our sins were crucified to the cross. Through his resurrection, our sins have been defeated and we can accept, with faith, that belief in Jesus Christ leads us to eternity with him which will one day culminate with a glorious resurrection. We can stand firm that Jesus Christ paved the way and set the bar for the way WE SHOULD LIVE. Today!
May you as well come to find the problem of relativism and stand firm on faith in Jesus Christ.