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The Lie of Moral Relativism

By David A. DePra

In this day and age of moral relativism, Truth doesn’t matter anymore. It doesn’t matter, that is, unless it is MY Truth. People want to make up the Truth as they go along. The goal is to have "a truth" which will relieve me of all moral responsibility. We might expect this of people of the world. The trouble is, this is happening, right now, in many churches.


Moral relativism in a church must, of necessity, find the supposed approval of God and His Word. People are at least honest enough to realize that their lies must be contain some moral rationalization! Thus, what we have today in many churches is an "anything goes" attitude – but "all in the name of love and forgiveness." We want to do as we please, but know that we cannot unless we find moral justification and approval. Right now, the love of God will do. People suppose that because, "God is love," He will love me no matter what I do. Because God has forgiven me, nothing I do can hurt me.


This is deception. God IS love and does forgive. But if you think that this means He ever intended you to be able to do as you please, you are deceived. The fact is, the more I come to grasp God’s love and forgiveness, the more I will want to do, not as I please, but as HE pleases. That is what conversion means, and anything else is NOT conversion.


God has established moral standards for human beings because when we function within those standards, we are operating within the laws of our nature – laws that bring health, life, and Truth. When we violate morality, we destroy ourselves. Not only physically, but psychologically. Go far enough in rejecting morality and holiness, and you might still be quite intelligent. But you will be morally insane.


Notice that none of this is a matter of God necessarily coming down and punishing anyone – although sometimes He does. Rather, it has to do with more of HOW WE ARE MADE. We are made for God, and no other. We are made to function in holiness. Refuse that and you will receive exactly what you choose: Unholiness and independence from God. Moral insanity. A reprobate mind.


These are the consequences for sin – consequences that sin itself creates. If we persist, we WILL experience them. "The WAGES of sin is death." (Romans 6:23) Death is what our sin EARNS for us. Thus, if you want to live independent of God, God will eventually judge you worthy of your choice. He will give you independence from Him. Independence from God equals separation from God. Eternally, "eternal separation from God" is a description of HELL and eternal death.


The notion that real love must destroy all moral standards is sweeping this country and this world right now. To allow immorality of the worst kind is now called "enlightenment." To give moral assent, for instance, to gay marriage, is being lauded in many churches as "the final breaking down of intolerant standards of the dark ages." Translated, what this means is that until we have moral anarchy, where everyone can do as they please, we are still in bondage.


But wait.  Breaking down moral standards is one thing. But that is not all that is happening. No longer are people content in doing as they please. Today, they demand that what they do please you and I as well! More and more, people are demanding that WRONG be called RIGHT, and GOOD. By the government. By YOU and by ME. In churches, people want immorality and ungodliness to be given an affirmation and stamp of approval. If they don’t get it, then they label you as intolerant, mean-spirited, and judgmental.


If it weren’t so tragic, it would be comical. Just look at what is going on here. The very fact that people want "wrong" to be called "right" is an admission that they have a MORAL conscience. You would not even be thinking in terms of right and wrong unless you had a moral nature, and a moral awareness. All of these things prove, to a greater and greater extent, that while man has the capability of refusing the Truth, and of denying moral standards, he nevertheless is aware that there ARE some. Otherwise, there would be no debate about any of this. We would consider the "anything goes" attitude to be normal.


So now we come to a question: Does it really matter what we believe? Is there such a thing as absolute Truth? Christians should not be in doubt about the answer to these questions. But many are. It is a sad commentary on our churches and leadership today.


Absolute Truth


If there is a God, there is absolute Truth. On and about EVERYTHING. Why? Because God is absolute. He is eternal. He never changes. And while we must say that God decides what absolute Truth is, it is more accurate to say that God IS the Truth. That is what Jesus Christ said. He said, "I am the Truth."


So what we see is that if there is a God, absolute Truth is determined by who He is, what He has done through Christ, and by how everything relates to HIM. What this means for a Christian is that we do not have the right to make up our own Truth. Truth was around a long time before we were born, or this world was created. Rather, Truth is something we DISCOVER because God has taken the initiative to reveal it to us.


Herein is a principle: In the final analysis, we are either going to allow God to adjust us to Himself and His Truth, or we are going to adjust the Truth to fit our own will. All of us are in that process right now.


For a person who does not want to believe in God, of course, you cannot start talking about God as the source and embodiment of Truth. But really, logic easily solves the problem. Once I say that I am certain that there is no God, I have just made an absolute statement: I am certain there is no God. That is MY absolute Truth. I have contradicted myself out of my own mouth, because I do believe in at least one absolute – that there are no absolutes.


Now, there are people, of course, who say they don’t know if there is a God. They claim that if they were given proof, then they would believe. Others say that they do not believe it is possible to know if there is a God. But again, this is a logical contradiction. Once I say I don’t know if there is a God, I am placing myself in the position of moral accountability – for I am admitting that God MAY exist – a God to whom I am eternally accountable if He does exist. This means I am at least accountable for finding out. And if I say that I do not believe that it is possible to know if God exists, then, again, I am establishing an absolute Truth: It is not possible to know if God exists. In this case, my vocabulary betrays me because if I say it is not possible to know if God exists, I am admitting that He may exist – otherwise why the statement that I cannot know WHETHER He exists? Again, I am morally accountable for finding out, although, in this case, I have excused myself by saying it is impossible to find out.


When all the arguments are over, you come back to the age old question: Is there such a thing as absolute Truth? Logically, the answer is always yes, for we have seen that even a denial of absolute Truth is a statement of absolute Truth in the negative. And once we establish that there is absolute Truth, even as it pertains to natural laws, we must ask, "Who decided?"


The "big bang theory" was one attempt to get back to the source. But someone had to create the "big" that went "bang!" And someone had to create the law by which the "big went bang." And then we might ask, "What existed before the "big bang?" Nothingness? If so, then who created, "nothingness?" Is there such a thing as "non-existence?" Universally? If so, who or what started the process, no matter how small, which brought non-existence into the state of existence?




Herein we see why the Bible states clearly that man is without excuse for denying the existence of God. And without excuse for denying his accountability to God:


For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Rom 1:18-25)


The truth described here, which is held in unrighteousness, is the Truth that God exists, and that man is accountable to Him. God says, "They are without excuse," for denying this, because the evidence is all around us. Once a person admits there is a God, and admits that he is accountable to Him, that person is material which God can work with. If he seeks God, he will eventually be led to Christ.


This age of moral relativism is the result of man rejecting the Truth in favor of his own will. People are seeking to make Truth relative to themselves. It will never be. Truth is relative only to God, because God is the Truth.


As mentioned, we will either allow God to adjust us to the Truth, or adjust the Truth to fit ourselves. Man’s accountability to God is absolute. There is no escape from this, and believing it is not true will not change it. *


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