Tag Archives: relativism

A Shattered Delusion

There was a time when my life was illusory and paradoxical.  I used to have a bleak outlook where I believed that my life was purposeless and I was wasting the years that had been given to me, yet I was certain that I was a pretty good guy purported by my strong character and perfect sense of right and wrong that would ultimately garner an exceedingly favorable afterlife.  On October 9, 2009, my life was completely upended.  I had a vasectomy, a relatively minor procedure that left me in crippling pain.  October 8, 2009 was probably the last pain-free day I’ll ever enjoy.  Interestingly enough, that fateful day was the most important day in my life.

I didn’t realize that one must be utterly broken to come to the Cross.  After all, I had already asked Jesus into my heart, was sprinkled as an infant, and was confirmed when I was thirteen.  I was in the system.  I was so saved that I didn’t even need Jesus.  At least I lived that way.

Deep in the hidden recesses of my heart I knew I was in big trouble but I told myself that I was a swell guy.  In comparison to everyone else, my flaws were so minute that God could easily overlook them.  My foibles were infinitesimal in comparison to the godless heathens running the streets.  I was a terrific catch for God.  It’s not like I murdered anyone, right?  Or have I?  In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus tells us that unrighteous anger is murder in the heart.  Oops.

Then there is the lying, the stealing, the dishonoring of my parents, even adultery of the heart.  That’s a tough one to swallow, but Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 5:28.  If we delve into the OT, Hosea illustrates that we are all adulterers to God.  The marriage of Hosea and Gomer is a picture of the marriage of Christ to his church.  His unfaithful bride. Our broken vows.  An ongoing affair where we turn to our success, our money, our vices, our hobbies; we turn our idols into cheap substitutes for our Redeemer.  Yet Christ made an unbreakable covenant with his people.  This was the God I rejected because I already had my ticket to heaven punched with all that I had done.  I created my own paradise in my mind where I was my own savior.  I lived in a world where I had broken all of the Commandments before breakfast, but in my eyes, I was a good person.  I was delusional.

I was blinded by my relativism, and my veil of perceived goodness had to be pierced.  Not just pierced, but utterly shattered by a curse that left me with a lifetime of pain.  This was much more than hurt feelings, but enduring physical pain that will forever remind me of what I once was.  This curse was perhaps the greatest gift that God could have given me because it afforded me the opportunity for saving grace.

I can clearly see that I once lived in a world of make-believe.  I persisted in a fictitious realm where I usurped God’s authority and redefined the qualifications for entrance to heaven much like people redefine gender and marriage today.  I am still a bad man, but I am a bad man who has been redeemed by a good God.

CC image courtesy of waferboard on Flickr.

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Where is the Line?

How can one decide to walk the line if he doesn’t know the line?  Is the line merely of an external nature where one will be nice to others and tell the truth?  Perhaps, but that would be incomplete.

To even know what the line should be, one must know what truth is.  Without truth, our parameters are arbitrary.  Consider the spoon bender in the Matrix.  Fine.  There is no spoon.  We can say there is no ultimate truth.  If there is no ultimate truth, there is no truth at all.  Only the illusion of truth.

History can testify that this relativistic view of “what’s true for you is not necessarily true for me” is alive and well.  One view that can be adopted is the Machiavellian end justifying the means.

This is the fruit of postmodernism.  It should ALWAYS be illegal to murder.  It should ALWAYS be illegal to commit adultery.  It should ALWAYS be illegal to rape.  History’s relativism suggests otherwise.

Perhaps the most discussed question in history is, “What is truth?”  Pilate asked that very question in John 18:38.  I am no theologian, but I am a Christian and I believe that the Bible as a whole, answers that question quite nicely.

Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai.  These Commandments were a code given by God that we are to live by.  Even today, I would guess that most people agree with some of them.  Murder is bad. So are stealing and adultery.

Regardless of the code we choose to live by, even if your motto is, “To thine one self be true,” you betray yourself.  Are you always true to yourself in all cases?  Are there exceptions?  These exceptions, intentional or not, would betray the above maxim.

God’s law was meant to show our shortcomings.  Our sinful nature. Jesus really put the screws to us when he said he is most concerned with what’s inside.

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27, 28 ESV)  Our thoughts condemn us in the eyes of God.  We thought we were keeping this commandment by not physically cheating on our spouses.

Jesus also stated, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’  But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. (Matthew 5:21, 22 ESV)  Anger is equal to murder? I’m guilty of unrighteous anger.  According to Jesus, I’m guilty of murder perhaps tens of thousands of times in my life.

The law was never intended to measure our good deeds with.  The law crushes the lawbreaker under its weight.  This is why we need the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

So, what is the line?  I submit that it’s the Ten Commandments.  Do I walk the line?  At best, I stumble alongside the line.  Thanks to Jesus, I am not condemned by the line.

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/prompt-walk-the-line/

It’s All Relative?

All of the great philosophers have attempted to answer the really important questions. Are people innately good? How do we determine what is moral? Where do those socks go when they are lost in the drier? Perhaps the greatest question of all was posed by Pilate. He asked Jesus, “What is truth?”

The dictionary certainly doesn’t help. It says truth is the quality or state of being true. Sounds kinda circular to me.

If something is true, is it always true? Or is it only true to the individual? Maybe the question should be reframed. How about, “Is truth really namby-pamby”? CARM.org states, “In relativism, all points of view are equally valid and all truth is relative to the individual.” So, from the relativistic postmodern view, truth is namby-pamby.

On the surface, relativism sounds pretty good. We each can hold our own truths and everyone lives happily ever after, right? What happens when these relative truths conflict with each other?

If I say chocolate ice cream is the best and you say vanilla ice cream is the best, how do we determine what is right? (I believe I first heard this analogy from Todd Friel on Wretched). Rock, paper, scissors? We both can hold our individual view as our favorite ice cream flavors are preferences.

What if you say murder is bad and I say murder is good? Are we both right? Are these ‘truths’ preferences? Which opinion overrides the other?

Before you say that murder is harmful to the murderee, how do you know? What is right for you is not necessarily right for me. Maybe the murderee has terminal cancer. Maybe not. It’s irrelevant. I say murder is good. You have no right to force your worldview on me anymore than I have a right to force my worldview on you.

Maybe you think it’s a stupid question. That’s merely your preference. In the world of relativity, serial murder is just as valid saving the whales. Further, the mere fact you think the question is stupid is forming a judgement.

Doesn’t the Bible say, “Don’t judge?” Is that all the Bible says? It goes on to instruct the proper way to judge. To judge with righteous judgment. Wait a second, I thought the Bible said, “Don’t judge.” When considering what the Bible says, think about what Paul Washer says. He says it so eloquently in KJV style. In response to this particular misconstrued scripture, he says, “Twist not scripture, lest ye be like Satan.” That sounds mean. Wait, I take that back because I was being judgmental.

The truth is that there is absolute truth. This truth comes from an eternal God. This is where we derive our morality. Is rape always bad? We already know the answer, but if we play Dueling Worldviews, we cannot say with any authority that rape is bad. We have an opinion.

I’m no expert. See what William Lane Craig has to say on the subject. You cannot have objective moral values based on subjective observations.

I’m no authority. I’ve just heard the argument unfold and people insist there is no God, yet there are subjective-objective moral values.

This argument gives me a headache. Some people want to suppress the truth in God so vehemently, he will accept ridiculous tenets to support his fractured worldview.

I know I must be anti-intellectual because I’m a Christian. We “blindly” hold onto crazy beliefs. Why should I accept the lie when I can plainly see the truth?