Relativism

Good morning!   Grab a cuppa something and let’s have a seat and chitchat.  It’s been raining quite a bit here over the past week, and I’m so grateful!  We’ve needed it a lot.  Everything is looking green and the spring flowers are colorful!  Today, I want to continue the discussion from the last post on tolerance, branching out to relativism.  What’s is it, really?  Folks think this is some new thing we’ve all ‘grown’ into, but let me tell you the truth.  It’s actually an old way of thinking from the ‘enlightenment’ period of history from the 18th Century.  Relativism says that behavior, truth and ‘norms’ are based on what’s going on right now.  Cultural relativism is when a minority wants to behave in ways that were formerly socially unacceptable, and so they make enough of a splash to cause others to question what is right.  Eventually, they gain a foothold so we hear shouts of “tolerance”.  The only problem is that ‘tolerance’ usually means we tolerate them, but they no longer tolerate us.  Very sad, indeed.

It’s like a child deciding with his limited knowledge that it would be good to eat only peanut M&M’s.  He shouts, throws a tantrum and uses my favorite theory – that a peanut M&M is a completely balanced food in itself – Peanuts are protein, chocolate is a vegetable (cocoa beans), and milk chocolate is dairy.  We need some fruit – oh yes, that yellow or red or green shell must come from fruit to get that color.  Problem solved.   The theory sound great, sounds plausible.  But it’s based on error at the base.  It’s missing foundational truth.  Cocoa is not a vegetable.  There’s not enough milk in it to make it a dairy product.  The coloring has nothing whatsoever to do with fruit, and there’s missing information- the amount of sugar.  The peanut IS protein, but that bit of truth does not validate the rest of the theory.

I believe in right and wrong, and if anyone would take an honest look deep into their own heart (which is a very scary place to be sometimes!) I believe we all have the basics of right and wrong written in there.  We all know it’s wrong to murder, to steal.  But I think deep down we know other things are wrong, too.  Things like ignoring the God who created all of this, or the bullying and hatred that goes on in so many places, or the LGBT agenda, or selfishness.  Since when is pornography or sex slavery okay?  Why do the rules keep changing?

Human society has come a very long way in terms of technology and for the most part, I’m grateful.  It makes our lives easier on some levels; I also believe it makes things far more difficult on others, as an indirect consequence.  The biggest problem I see is the use of technology with complete lack of regard for other people.  We have forgotten respect and care for each other.  People have become objectified – they are mere objects that either contribute to or are detrimental to our happiness of the moment.

Science talks of laws of absolutes.  Gravity, temperature, light, atomic structure, etc.  I believe there are also moral absolutes.  The diverse religions of the world actually share far more than most understand.  Just as new discoveries reinforce and expand scientific absolutes, the same basic moral code has never changed.  It’s imprinted in our DNA, so to speak.

I want to challenge you a bit.  Take a good look at the beliefs you shout from the rooftops in your own little world.  Get brutally honest.  Is abortion really a woman’s body right?  Or is it murder of an unborn child?  Was there an earlier choice (foundational truth) that could have avoided the situation in the first place?  What about sex outside of marriage?  It is freedom?  Or objectification of another?  How about LGBT? Follow this through to a logical conclusion, apart from the religious aspect.  If everyone were homosexual, we would be extinct in a generation.   How about pornography?  Is it really a ‘private pleasure’ that ‘affects nobody else’?  Does it affect the way you think of others or treat others as objects for pleasure, rather than recognizing their true human dignity?

If this has caused you to question, and you need to talk to someone, find a pastor or priest.  Let them show you the Scriptures, and God’s mercy for humans and how we are to respect and love each other.  Be aware, however, that even some preachers can have erroneous base beliefs, from ignoring some foundational truth.  Stay with the Scriptures.  That’s where the true life and wholeness are found!

Next time, we’ll talk about freedom versus chaos…  talk to you soon!

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