BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY VS RELATIVISM
by Alan Yusko
2 Timothy 4
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
We are living in the last days before the Lord Jesus returns. To many living today sound Biblical doctrine is not important. Love and unity are preached at many pulpits with sound doctrine completely ignored. Since sound doctrine is ignored many have embraced relativism where there are no absolutes. Within the belief of relativism there is no right or wrong but instead just other peoples opinions which must be respected. The Bible is not the foundation for teaching but instead an 'anything goes' type of belief system is embraced. So-called tolerance of all kinds of teaching is the earmark of relativism.
Many non-Christians have embraced relativism. With relativism there are many paths to God and no one has the right to say his way is any better than another. Since they believe that no one can know anything absoulutely in the spiritual realm, everything is accepted. What is right for one person may not be for another. If it works and the person is happy with his religious beliefs then that is acceptable. So the word that goes beside relativism is 'tolerance'. One must be tolerant and have an 'open mind' to all 'truth' and no one has the right to say that one person's spiritual path is better than anothers.
In this tract we are going to look briefly at relativism which is the religion of those with no absolutes in the spiritual realm. We will look at what a person must do to be a part of the religion of no absolutes. Then we will compare the claims of Christianity that enrage many who have embrace relativism.
To start lets ask the question: How does one embrace relativism? Is it easy to do? What must a person believe... or more correctly non-believe.
GOD IS! (POINT ONE)
One of the main facts of the Bible is that God IS! He exists and really makes no effort to prove His existence. Many who have embraced relativism deny the existence of God. Since there are no absolutes in relativism then there can be no absolute God. If God does exist then no one really knows much about Him so all the different paths to 'God' are neither right or wrong. The relativist has troubles making definite, absolute statements about God and who He is. On the other hand the Bible is quite different. Lets look at a few Scriptures related to the existence of God:
1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Genesis is the first book of the Bible. Chapter 1 verse 1 is at the very beginning of the Scriptures. Notice God does not try to prove His existence. He just simply IS! He exists. The Bible begins by stating in the beginning God..... The existence of God is a fact. God does not spend any effort trying to prove His existence.
1. (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
All a person has to do to know that God exists is to look at His creation. The incredible depth and complexity of God's creation show the existence of God.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well.
Even the extreme complexity of the human body shows the existence of God. Science today still knows little about the great creation of the human body.
In light of these points what does God think about those who still deny His existence? God does not attempt to prove His existence in Scriptures but He does have something to say about those who deny His existence. God has left mankind with all the evidence they need to know that HE exists. Yet foolish men still will deny His existence. Here is what God says to the atheist or agnostic:
1. The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good.
God says that those who deny His existence are fools. He has left ample evidence of His existence and it is just plain foolish to say God does not exist.
Not all people who accept the religion of relativism deny the existence of God. However many indeed deny God's existence. They feel that one cannot be sure about God and who He is. Instead they feel all viewpoints are valid since no one really knows for sure.
THE BIBLE IS GOD'S WORD (POINT TWO)
Point two is something that all who accept relativism choose not to believe. Point one dealt with the existence of God. Some who have embraced relativism may or may not deny God's existence. However all relativists reject the Bible as God's Word. God's Word is nothing more than the mere writings of man. The Bible is no greater than any other religious book in the world. Again if it works for one person, fine... another religious book may be equally valuable to another person.
Without having a belief in the Bible as God's Word a person can not believe ANYTHING absolute in the spiritual realm. Who can know who is right or not? Without the Bible who even knows what happens after death? There are many unanswerable questions to the relativist.
On the other hand, the Bible is the literal Word of God penned by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is not one book but rather it is 66 books written by 40 authors over a time period of 1500 or so years. It is so complete and unified in its teaching that many think the Bible is just one book. The Bible is God's revelation to mankind. It is God's Word.
Since relativism rejects the Bible as God's Word it has no way of knowing what is true or what is false. Therefore everything must be accepted and if it works for one person then good for that person. What 'religion' works for one person may not work for another. However in relativism all 'spiritual' teachings are equal since no one knows for sure which is really correct or true. By rejecting the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God there is no anchor for the soul. All teaching is equally valid as no one really knows for sure what is right.
Here is a question for thought: Can an all powerful God inspire men to write His Word and then preserve that Word from corruption? Is that too hard of a thing to do for an all powerful God who created the heavens and the earth? Also, does God have the ability to communicate with mankind? If God chooses to inspire men to write down His Word and preserve that Word so all men can read His words and teachings..... is that too hard for an all powerful God??? Think about it!
The Bible is very reliable.
2 Timothy 3
16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
The Bible is the literal Word of God and He has preserved it. Look at the Lord Jesus... He freely quoted from a common translation in His day. It was as common as the King James version is today. In Israel they have uncovered the text of Isaiah..again nothing changed. Also in Israel they found the entire book of Ezekiel written in stone tablets. They are known as the Ezekiel tablets. Again NOTHING changed. God has surely preserved His Word.
Many don't realize how much evidence there is for the New Testament. Its easy to believe in the writings of Homer or Caesar where there is not really much evidence. However the New Testament has mounds of evidence and yet it seems to be difficult to believe:
We have 24,000 manuscripts of the New Testament as opposed to a few from other notable writers. A person can believe Homer, Plato, or Caesar without any problem but WHY the not New Testament?
Here is a list of books if you are interested in digging deeper into the FACT that the Bible is God's uncorrupted Word.
- Craig Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press 1987
-F. F. Bruce. The New Testament Documents. Revised Edition. London: InterVarsity press, 1960
-R. T. France. The Evidence for Jesus. Downers Grove IVP, 1986
-Norman L Geisler and William E. Nix. A General Introduction to the Bible. Chicago: Moody Press 1968
-J. Harold Greenlee, Scribes, Scrolls and Scripture - A Student's Guide to the New Testament Textual Criticism. Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1985
-Josh McDowell. Evidence that Demands a Verdict. San Bernardino: Here's Life Publishers 1979
-Don Stewart. Family Handbook of Christian Knowledge: The Bible. Josh McDowell, editor. Sand Bernardino: Here's Life Publishers 1983
There is lots of evidence for the reliability of the Scriptures. Don't let the devil deceive you into thinking otherwise...
RELIGION OF TOLERANCE
Another problem with the religion of relativism is Christianity itself. The relativist has no problem with a person believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. One person may believe in Jesus and another in Buddah etc. Again the goal is if it works for you then fine. However to say that the Lord Jesus is the ONLY way to God and all other ways to God will end up in hell, enrages the relativist. That is an absolute statement which the relativist cannot make. Relativism rejects the notion of absolutes. It is like one person arguing that the planet pluto is green and another person says the planet pluto is red. Since no one has ever been there no one really knows which is true. Relativism fails to realize that the God of the Bible knows Spiritual truth. God knows about eternal life in heaven or hell and has revealed all that information in His Word the Bible.
As we get closer to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ watch for deception to increase. Christianity will be hated by the world because of the claims made by the Lord Jesus Christ. The absolute statement that the only way to God is through the Lord Jesus is rejected by the relativist. Since the relativist rejects anything absolute they also reject Christianity. Christians are called narrow minded, closed minded people who think they have the market cornered on truth. The fact is that the Christian does have the Word of God, the Bible which is TRUTH. Since the relativist rejects God and His Word there is a clash between those who follow God and relativism.
Here is an interesting contradiction made by the relativist. Since they claim to be tolerant and to accept all truth it is interesting to see their reaction to Christianity. I have seen those who believe the religion of tolerance (relativism) violently reject Christianity. The claim that the Lord Jesus made about being the ONLY way to God brings out the intolerance in the relativist. Relativism is a teaching of no absolutes and all of a sudden when confronted by the claims of Christ, the relativist becomes very 'absolute' in the rejection of Christianity, God, and the Bible. The 'tolerant' become very intolerant! This statement is not true of all relativists because some just don't care. Some say things like: 'if it works for you then fine', and 'I know you THINK you are right' etc.... However, others do indeed react quite violently and become intolerant to Christianity and the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Why would a person accept relativism? Why would they reject God and His Word, the Holy Bible? One possible answer is the morality of the person. I have heard the saying that: A MAN'S MORALITY WILL DICTATE HIS THEOLOGY. That is a very interesting statement. Could it be that because of sexual immorality many pick and choose a religious or non-religious belief system that will not interfere with their morality or lack thereof? Think about it.....
What does the Bible say?
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Notice in verse 19 that men reject the light because they love the darkness. In otherwords they love their sin so much that coming to God and the light is rejected.
In this tract we have looked at the religion of relativism. In this belief system there are no absolutes nor can there be. By denying the existence of God and the Bible as the Word of God, the relativist can make no absolute statements. He does not know what is true or false. The relativist is limited to his five senses to determine what is right and wrong. Since there are no absolutes, everything is permissible. There is not one truth but many truths and hopefully a person will embrace a 'truth' that works for him.
On the other hand, Christians do not have such problems because they have absolutes. Christians know that God IS and that He has written and preserved His Word in the Bible. Those are two anchors for the soul. In light of that Christians can take God simply at His Word. He clearly said in the Bible that the Lord Jesus is the ONLY Saviour and the ONLY way to God (Acts 4:12, John 14:6). That is an absolute not a relative statement. We can trust in an all-knowing God to tell us Spiritual truths in His Word, the Bible. The Christian stands firm with many solid beliefs and absolute truths given by God in His Word.
This tract closes with a warning to stand firm to the foundations of: 1) a belief in God and 2) the fact that the Bible is the Word of God. Without these foundational beliefs a person has lost his anchor to his soul and is wide open to deception.
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
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