Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Relativism Maximizes the Absoluteness of Self

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  Isaiah 55:6-7

This week we are talking about sin and being truthful with ourselves about our sin.  Yesterday we talked a little about how we can avoid obedience to God by redefining the truth about sin in our lives.  We can avoid the truth and block it out but then we deprive ourselves of the blessing of God’s gracious forgiveness.

Relativism Maximizes the Absoluteness of Self – Relativism, generally speaking, is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid and that all truth (and value) is relative to the individual.  Basically that means that we can make everything relative to our lives in whatever way we see fitBeing a relativist enables someone to choose his/her own truths and moralities, and consequently, to escape from being accountable to a God of absolutes.

Relativism makes the statement “There are no absolutes.” However, this is an absolute statement which is supposed to be true. Therefore it is an absolute truth and the statement “There are no absolutes” is false. Thus we can see that the basic theme of relativism is self-refuting. As Dr. Ravi Zacharias metaphorically explains, “The pure relativist cuts off the branch on which he is sitting while telling you that branch cannot be severed”.   One of the saddest things about the relativism of our day is that it undermines God's forgiveness. Here's what I mean.

1.    Relativism constantly minimizes or denies the absoluteness of God.

·      It functions implicitly as if God had no clear and unchanging character-as though there were no divine measure for human character.

·       Relativism does not get along well with biblical statements like, "Be holy for I am holy" 1 Peter 1:16, or, "Be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect" Matthew 5:48. So relativism minimizes the absoluteness of God and his will.

·      Relativism uses the mind of man to distort the reason of God. If we redefine the law we may avoid guilt, but we will not avoid consequence.

2.    Relativism maximizes the absoluteness of self. It says that the way to healing and wholeness is to stop measuring yourself by external standards or expectations, even God's. Instead, without reference to God or his Word, be yourself.  Make yourself the measure of what is good and acceptable.  Give yourself an unconditional positive self-regard.  The only role that God has to play in this relativism is to be the divine endorsement of your own self-affirmation. God functions as a kind of booster for the absoluteness of self.  If he presents himself as one with standards or commandments, then He is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

It sounds gracious on the surface-to say that God has no law, no standards, no expectations, no commandments, no threats - that He is simply there to affirm me in whatever I happen to be; that sounds like grace and freedom.  But there is one massive glitch…it destroys forgiveness.  Where there is no law, no just standard, no legitimate expectation, no normative way of relating to God and man, there can be no forgiveness.  Because forgiveness is the letting go of real offenses, real transgressions, real violations, and real faults.

Based on God’s word, there is a God, there is a holy law, and in the name of Jesus Christ there is forgiveness. Recognizing our sin and asking for forgiveness is the first need we have towards sin meeting truth, and God stands ready to meet it.

Scripture to Claim:
Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.  Psalm 86:4-5

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