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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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LIVING IN THE ABSENCE OF MORAL LAW

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:18 ESV)

I-love-this-grace-thingThere are too many in our time who claim salvation by grace and live as if there is no moral law. They live lives of irresponsible deviancy from the truth of God. In practice, they do not honor God in their hearts or minds. They are blasphemous because their lives are no different from their non-Christian friends who deny the gospel. Do you profess to know God but deny Him by your works?

Life is not an experiment in relativism; it is the pursuit of the true nature of reality. It is the gravest error to think you can live in contradiction to the truth. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 ESV) As Christians, we are to hold forth this light in the Danger-antinomianiamdark places of the world. As Jesus said, “… let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 ESV) Therefore, we live to open the eyes of the morally blind in order that “… they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God.” (Acts 26:18 ESV) We pray that they receive forgiveness for their sins and sanctification through faith in Jesus Christ.

TRUTH

TruthR. C. Sproul:

Openness to truth where truth may be found is a long-standing virtue that worked on the assumption that there is such a thing as objective truth, to which we should be open. Students of higher education now taught one overarching virtue: to be “open.” The purpose of their education is not to make them scholars but to provide them with a moral virtue—an openness, a relativism that eschews any form of fixed objective values or truth. Its simplistic creed is that there are no absolutes.

Without objective standards of truth, we are left with feelings, impressions, and intuitions that can never be judged as either false or bad. The bottom line of such an approach is not merely ignorance and skepticism, but the ultimate dehumanization of persons. If everybody is right, then nobody is right. If every viewpoint is equally valuable, no viewpoint is valuable.

As members of the body of Christ, we face twin enemies, both of which are deadly. First, we are tempted to embrace the thought patterns of the secular world in order to be modern and relevant in our thinking. We are terrified of being perceived as being “out of it.” Continue reading

DESIRING TRUTH

absolute-truth“The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” (Psalm 119:160 ESV)

Postmodern culture is made up of many who believe that there is no truth to absolutely define reality. People believe that everything is relative to something else, and thus there can be no “one truth”. This leads many to think that moral absolutes do not exist and there is no real moral authority to declare what is good and bad. Their ethics become “situational”, therefore, right and wrong are relative to their circumstances. This inevitably leads to believing anything that feels good or seems right, at the time, is right in those circumstances.

Higher education has bowed its knee to the religion of personal pragmatic relativism. These institutions have encouraged our youth to adopt the attitude that, “Whatever seems to work for me is my truth.” Have they forgotten truth’s very definition: “The property of being in accord with fact or reality”? In other words, truth must correspond exactly to existence. The world has forgotten that truth does not change with the winds of public opinion. According to Winston Churchill:

“The truth is incontrovertible.  Malice may attack it.  Ignorance may deride it.  But in the end, there it is.”

Continue reading

Engaging Our Neighbors About Truth

Quoting Chuck Colson:

[A]s my colleague T.M. Moore writes in his weekly ViewPoint column at the Colson Center, our culture, our civilization, many of our friends, family and neighbors, and even many within the church are in the grip of the lie.

And what is the lie? T.M. says “The lie insists that God either does not exist or is not really relevant to human happiness … [that] every human being must decide for himself” where to find happiness. “This is the way that seems right” to so many people these days, but, as Proverbs 14:12 says, “in the end, it is the way of death.”

The most obvious manifestation of the lie afflicting modern culture is relativism — the idea that there is no absolute truth. Relativists, T.M. points out, “insist that truth is what people understand it to be, depending on their circumstances. … A relativist cannot say definitively that this or that idea … is true; the most he can say is that it may be true for me, for now.”

It’s not hard to see how moral relativism lies at the heart of so many of our cultural pathologies: greed, abortion, the breakdown of the family, so-called “gay marriage,” and on and on.

But “those who know the truth in Jesus Christ,” T.M. writes, “cannot simply stand by while the lie ravages churches, communities, families, and individuals.” We need to engage the culture, engage those who disagree with us. And engaging others means, first of all, listening patiently to what they have to say.

And then when we speak our turn, we must respect them as men and women made in the image of God, realizing that because they are made in God’s image, they are always “susceptible to the in-breaking of truth when it is offered in a firm, gracious, and clear manner.”

You may read more here. . . . 

God, Relativism, And The Law Of Non-Contradiction

The God of the Bible is the God of perfect order and perfect logic. He has created this world and established the laws of logic in it. These laws are absolute and applicable to all men, in all times, and in all places. They are not relative because they are a reflection of the holy, righteous, and perfect character of God. The moral law of God is our rule of life. It is absolute objective truth.

37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:36-38)

If you accept the philosophy of relativism; that there is no ultimate truth, then power becomes the arbiter of truth. Let’s take the idea of multiculturalism: It is a belief that each ethnic group must exist in their own little sections of society and their truth and their morality is right for them. The result is a fragmented society where there is no standard to bind everyone together. Such practices result in the destruction of that civilization, because no one is allowed (political-correctness) to stand up and say that the practices of some group are wrong. Those who advocate relativism want you to believe it is tolerant. It only allows, however, each man his own truth if that man doesn’t believe in absolute truth.

You must understand that relativism self-destructs logically. Perhaps you hear a relativist say, “There’s no such thing as absolute truth!” Ask him this question “Is that absolutely true?” If he says “Yes,” then he has admitted the reality of absolute truth. If he says “No,” he has denied the truth of his original statement.

So if the relativist has no truth apart from what he makes up for himself, then the only person he can lie to is himself. He may swear under oath to tell the truth, but he does not believe in absolute truth. The truth he tells may be absolute lies.

The relativist also has no basis for accusing someone of doing something wrong. Since, there are no standards by which to judge actions, he cannot call things right or wrong. It is impossible to ask for justice when there is no absolute standard of justice. The only world that can have objective, absolute truth and morals is a world created and governed by God. The Bible refutes the philosophy of relativism. The Bible gives us truth and morality. The Bible teaches us the truth about God. Absolute truth exists because God is a God of absolute truth.

The Bible also teaches us the truth about the world. The Bible tells us that God created the world and all of the laws that exist in the world. The laws God created are fixed. No one can make up his own laws and his own truth. There are laws of logic in the world because God created the world. God created the laws of nature and moral laws for all men. These laws are true because God is the ultimate source of absolute truth.

Give Me That New Time Relativism. . . .

37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:36-38)

People today seem to have a problem with absolute truth. The truth has always been out there and around us, but too many of us seem to want to imaginatively create “our” truth. The academic and politically correct members of our age have advocated “relative truth” over “objective” truth. Objective truth comes from outside us. It is based on the objective reality that exists. Relative truth comes from within us and is based on subjective truth. Subjective truth confines itself within the individual who becomes the sole arbiter of truth. Thus, you may often hear in our times that illogical self-defeating statement: “That may be true for you but it is not true for me.” Such a person has adopted the subjective mind-set that there is no absolute truth! This again, is a self-defeating concept.

The modern relativist creates truth for himself in his own little world of reality. If he believes in God at all, he believes in a god who looks amazingly like himself. Now, if you want to think like a Christian you cannot be swept along with this politically correct notion of relativism. You need to think like a Christian and respond to the present culture like a Christian. The Christian believes in objective absolute truth while the relativist believes in subjective non-absolute truth. In other words, the relativist makes it up as he goes along. The relativist believes there is no objective meaning or truth in the world.

This is not only a problem in the world but it is also a problem in the Church. In many churches, people believe and do things because they like them; not because it is right or true. You may choose to go to a church because you like it or like the preacher. On the other hand, how many people attend a church because that church actually holds to the truth of the Bible? Do you attend a church that actually functions in a biblical way? Or do we make our decisions in these areas because of what we feel? Many people choose a church and what parts of the Bible they believe in based on their personal feelings. This is the way relativism has wormed its way into the church.

You also hear this idea that: “There are many paths to God.” If you claim to be a Christian, do you also attempt to give equal credence to many other beliefs? “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6) If you reject Jesus’ statement and believe that the Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian will all end up in Heaven, then you have become a relativist, not a Christian. You have rejected the truth of Christ to embrace many opposing truths and to deny absolute truth.

This will lead you to reject God’s Word as Truth. When you do so you are rejecting it as objective truth with one meaning. You have allowed the philosophy of relativism to infect your worldview. You must reject this popular point of view in order to stand for absolute truth which is the Word of God.

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