Moral Relativism & The Battle For Truth

“I am… the Truth”

~ John 14:6

The influence of a Modern, and more recently, a Post Modern worldview places a premium on the relative nature of truth. According to those who embrace Post Modernism, truth is largely a particular construct of the individual based on their immediate circumstances. So that, what may be true one moment and in one context, may cease being true in the next. Both Modernism and Post Modernism came about as a result of the Enlightenment and was a product of the 17th & 18th century Age of Reason. Consequently, this shift from objective to subjective truth has adversely effected the faith of many Christians and has lead to a rapid decline in the belief of moral absolutes and an objective standard for truth.

For example, men like Joseph Fletcher (1905-1991) who was an ordained Episcopal priest, theologian, educator, and author developed a concept known as “situational ethics” whereby the ethical nature of an act gives more consideration to such things as private ideals, individualistic values, and personal interests over and above transcendent, absolute, moral standards. Another 20th century theologian, Lutheran professor Karl Bultmann (1884-1976) promoted the philosophy of existentialism, again advocating for a strong emphasis on the immediacy of how one’s own experiences shape their beliefs about life, faith, and truth.

As a result, this moral relativism has spread, not only throughout society at large, but it has sadly taken root in the Church. We judge truth rather than truth judging us. There is a battle for defining truth. Many Christians now look more to their own personal experience for what they believe or “feel” is true rather than trusting the objective standard of Holy Scripture. Yet, it is in the Bible where we read Jesus’ powerful testimony about Himself – He is the Truth! Truth is not found in private meditation or personal reflection, truth is found in Jesus Christ alone. Christians ought not to look inward for truth, but outward and upward. Look to Jesus. That which is truth will always accord with what God and His Son has revealed to us, not what we can find delving into the depravity of our own sin-darkened hearts.

Therefore, if we find ourselves trusting too much in the “wisdom of men” or in “leaning on our own understanding”, let us repent and remember: truth is in a person, that person just isn’t ourself – it is the Lord Jesus Christ. The One who declared two thousand years ago:

“I am… the Truth”.

~ apl

The Evidence of Piety

Let Christians remember, that in a season of revival as well as in a season of coldness, the evidence of piety is to be sought in the fruits of the Spirit. And let sinners remember that no degree of attendance or means, no degree of fervor, can be substituted for repentance of sin and faith in the Savior.

~ William Sprague (1830-1915)

Our Inheritance

In [Christ] also we have obtained an inheritance…

~ Ephesians 1:11 (NKJV)

Those who are “in Christ”, that is, those who repent, believe and embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior have had promised to them a great and glorious inheritance. Though this anticipated inheritance contains many countless benefits and blessings, the greatest of them all is the eternal communion and fellowship we will enjoy with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

But let us not forget the very nature of an inheritance; it is only received after someone dies. First, Christ died for us (the Surety of our inheritance), and then, as we live and die in Him, we obtain that true treasure. It is an inheritance. It is not something we fully realize here and now. The blessedness of the Christian’s reward may never be completely realized this side of glory. Yet as an inheritance, promised by a loving God, it is waiting for the Faithful who die in Christ in this world, only to be raised with Him in the next.

~ apl

Two Separate Systems

The plain truth is, there are two distinct and separate systems of Christianity in England at the present day. It is useless to deny it. Their existence is a great fact, and one that cannot be too clearly known. According to one system, religion is a mere corporate business. You are to belong to a certain body of people. By virtue of your membership of this body, vast privileges, both for time and eternity, are conferred upon you. It matters little what you are and what you feel. You are not to try yourself by your feelings. You are a member of a great ecclesiastical corporation. Then all its privileges and immunities are your own. Do you belong to the one true visible ecclesiastical corporation? That is the grand question. According to the other system, religion is eminently a personal business between yourself and Christ. It will not save your soul to be an outward member of any ecclesiastical body whatever, however sound that body may be. Such membership will not wash away one sin, or give you confidence in the day of judgement. There must be personal faith in Christ, personal dealings between yourself and God, personal felt communion between your own heart and the Holy Ghost. Have you this personal faith? Have you this felt work of the Spirit in your soul? This is the grand question. If not you will be lost. This last system is the system which those who are called evangelical ministers cleave to and teach. They do so, because they are satisfied that it is the system of Holy Scripture. They do so, because they are convinced that any other system is productive of most dangerous consequences, and calculated to delude men fatally as to their actual state. They do so, because they believe it to be the only system of teaching which God will bless, and that no church will flourish so much as that in which repentance, faith, conversion and the work of the Spirit are the grand subjects of the minister’s sermon.

~ J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Cease Not To Rejoice

It is, indeed, certain, that all the senses of our nature are so formed, that every trial produces in us grief and sorrow; and no one of us can so far divest himself of his nature as not to grieve and be sorrowful whenever he feels any evil. But this does not prevent the children of God to rise, by the guidance of the Spirit, above the sorrow of the flesh. Hence it is, that in the midst of trouble they cease not to rejoice.

~ John Calvin (1509-1564)

We Ask You

We ask you, Master, be our Helper and Defender. Rescue those of our number in distress; raise up the fallen; assist the needy; heal the sick; turn back those of your people who stray; feed the hungry; release our captives; revive the weak; encourage those who lose heart. Let all the nations realize that you are the only God, that Jesus Christ is your Child, and that we are your people and the sheep of your pasture.

~ Prayer of Clement of Rome (c. 96AD)