Relativism

December 8, 2012

Relativism

            Relativism is the theory that knowledge is relative or that it’s contingent on other factors.  It leaves us thinking that there is no absolute truth.  Relativism has left us in a sea of uncertainty.  There are those who say, “What is truth for you isn’t necessarily truth for me.” It leaves everyone free to make their own moral laws.

 

We no longer live in the same world our parents and grand parents lived in.  Part of the difference consists in the technological advances we have seen.  We have comforts and facilities they never had.  It’s different also in that the standards have changed.  We can’t hardly use the word “standards” any more because that word implies something that is fixed.

Those who resort to relativism seldom do so in order to raise the standards.  It is most often an excuse for throwing off the restraints the standards put on them They want to have liberty to do what they want to do.  They say, “Times have changed; the culture has changed, so the standards of right and wrong must change too.”

Lowering moral standards contributes to corruption, chaos and confusion.  Our society is in turmoil because people do as they please without taking the well being of others into consideration.  A common saying is “If it feels good, do it.” Yes, it may feel good to you, but how does it make others feel?

We all know that there are laws of nature that we must respect.  We don’t plant a garden in October so we can have fresh vegetables all winter.  You can’t teach your rooster not to crow until after you get up in the morning.  Just as there are laws of nature that we can’t change, there are also laws of society that we must respect if we are to live in peace and harmony.  God planned it that way.  The relativist thinks he has the right to change the laws that God has established.

The thou shalt and thou shalt nots were placed in God’s Word with good purpose.  The restraints found in the Ten Commandments demand that others respect me and give me what I have a right to expect from them.  By the way, they are found in Exodus 20:1-17.  Moral laws are not meant just to restrain me, but to make it possible for me to live in a peaceful, prosperous society.

Jesus taught us that we should love one another.  “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another”  (John 13:35).  Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”  (John 14:15).  Love for others puts us under the restraint of commandments.  Those aren’t commandments that we can change at will.  The basic needs of human beings don’t change.  We aren’t at liberty to change the commandments of what we should and shouldn’t do to meet the needs of others.

We aren’t properly oriented to life until we comprehend the fact that we aren’t here just to please ourselves.  Romans 15:1-3  says, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.   Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.  For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.”  If we just live to get all we can for ourselves we will be miserable outcasts in society.  On the other hand, if we live to give all we can, we will be recipients of the love and respect of those around us.  “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).

Those who resort to relativism nearly always do so for selfish reasons.  Others approve of the right of others to change moral laws because they too are selfish and want to change the laws in their favor.  Those of us who insist that moral laws are absolute, and can’t be changed, are called puritanical.  So be it.  Jesus is the same “yesterday and today and forever” (Romans  13:8).  His laws don’t change either.

 

 

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