Sunday, February 1, 2015

Relativism

I find myself troubled by a class I'm currently taking called Christian Ethics. We are discussing relativism vs absolutism in the Christian life. I just find it so interesting and troubling as well how easy it is to let relativist thinking creep in and deceive our hearts so that we feel like we are not sinning when we really are.

There is a strong verse in the Bible that gives us a stern warning. In Proverbs 14:12 it says "There is a way that seems right to a man, and in the end it leads to death."

That verse makes me think- am I really following Jesus' standards and living in His righteousness? Or am I letting the world and my environment- as well as the Devil's sneaky lies- change what I believe about God? Relativism has definitely made it's way into the Adventist church in sneaky ways and it's easy to get confused as to where God really stands on many moral issues.

A few of these questions that are relative to many in the church include:
How should I spend the Sabbath?
Is wearing jewelry and outward adornment really bad?
What does "no dancing" mean and how far should I take that? Who came up with that rule anyways?
Where should we stand on the issues of homosexuality and abortion?
Is using other people's tests and homework from the year before considered cheating in college?
What should music look like in a church?
What should a worship service be like?
Is this a good enough reason to divorce without committing adultery?
Does God want us to be vegetarians/ vegans, or meat eaters?
Is God ok with us eating out on Sabbath? Or cooking on Sabbath for that matter?

All of these issues are complex and many people have strong viewpoints one way or the other. For many of them, both sides of arguments can claim Bible verses of support. Other people simply dismiss these issues asking us not to judge each other because we say "it's all about your own walk with God. Everyone's on their own level." It can be easy to think that because of these complicated issues maybe God's rules are relative. 

But could God's standards (which are perfect) really be swayed based on us sinners? That could be scary. Why do we think that we are the individual that deserves an exception to the righteous law of God. 

Kainer, a famous book writer on Christian Ethics, writes that Lucifer originally did not claim to rebel against God but to improve upon God's moral system suggesting that the law was an unnecessary restraint upon the angels. He suggested that holy beings were capable of doing good without the law of God and that they should place confidence in their own reasoning rather than in God's revelation. In this way he introduced relativism which gives us, humans, permission to decide in certain situations the morality of an issue.

When we believe Lucifer's lie, we think that we ourselves are capable of deciding what is moral. We
 also may believe that the Ten Commandments and the Word of the Lord is not absolute teaching but
 could be changed based on situations of choice. Lucifer wants us to lose confidence with God's laws
 of love and disbelieve that they are always the most loving action. We need to recognize the limits 
of our authority and total dependence on our Maker to extents that no amount of “situational 
reasoning or rationalizing can ever change.

Why are we so afraid to say "I believe this and I believe it is absolute and unchanging." When do we 
look at God's law and realize that there are no exceptions. Why are we afraid to call ourselves and
others out if we are following God's law and His Holy Spirit?

What are your moral absolutes?
Do you think a Christian should be 100% absolutist or a little relative?
What are your thoughts on this topic? 
Please comment below thanks =)



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