There is a lot to take in - to process. This manuscript and audio is on www.desiringgod.org
Ps 63 in prayer
Work toward a definition by asking the question how is relativism a bad thing by contrasting thinking relatively.
John MacArthur is tall - in relation to - the standard of measurement (in relation to JP), but would not be true in proportion to the Sears Tower or giraffes. It is relative. Concrete and objective.
That is a good and indispensable way of thinking.
What is meaning and relative statements?
Relativity and relativism. Two different things.
1. There is no external objective standard for measuring the statement.
2. You can't know it.
3. You can't figure out its meaning.
4. Its out there, but I don't care.
There is no external measurement for right/wrong. Homosexuality is only dependent on your standard of measurement - you actually want me to yield to your preference?
The view that no one standard of t/f, good/bad exist that is valid for everyone.
What does it imply about Truth - Truth War (MacArthur). Relativists may incur that there is no such thing as truth. It confuses things about truth. However, they usually go to: your truth, my truth. They have to conform to my own standard of measurement. They may be contradictory - but who cares?
And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Jesus asked them to take a stand on a simple truth. Tell me about truth. They pondered: shame, pointing out hypocrisy, or pride and safety (we don't want to be harmed). Since we can't say either - we won't answer. We'll think of a new truth. We don't know. The seed of relativism. Its the way the depraved mind works. The "adulterous" mind from last week - it doesn't want to marry truth - it wants to marry what it is in love with or enjoys. It wants to defend self and choice. The mind if prostituted with our passions. They use their minds to save their skins - not defend the truth. Not what is true - but what works?
Mind & language - the nimble - in its slavery to its passions. Language does the dirty work as the covering of duplicity. To hide. We don't know.
Jesus responds - (tone of voice, look on his face?). Doesn't answer.
The claim that there is no standard - rooted in cravings of human heart not to want to be constrained by an external force, but rather wants the exaltation of self (shame and physical harm). We protect what it wants. PRIDE. For that reason - we should avoid it. Move our kids and college students away from it.
Evil Destructive Effects of Embracing Relativism
1. R commits treason against God. It is a revolt against the objective reality of God. Shear existence presents truth. God is ultimate of all truth claims - what He is, wills, says: objective validity for everyone. James 2.10-11. Key to argument God's law - to God's person - It is against one Law Giver. It is a revolt against HIM. Remember the holiness of GOD!
2. R cultivates duplicity. Relativism is true is contradictory. No one tries to live relativism consistently. It can't work. It won't stand philosophically or practically. It breeds hypocrisy. Non-contradiction, cause and effect. This is immoral. It is most obvious in practical life. Professors are best at this. In their classes - but do they live it - but then they go home and get upset when their wives don't listen to or misunderstand them. He's a hypocrite. The God of this world blinds...
3. Conceals doctrinal defection. Tragic effect on language. Language has a noble task - the Praise of God. Objective Truth vanishes in a fog of relativism. It just defends preferences. Gives rise to every manner of spin. Goal of language is the manipulation of reality. Not affirming confessional truth - now the concealing defection from the truth in our churches.
Machen - What is Faith, 1925 Language doesn't function to articulate high affirmation of what is out there, but is used to express "I find this confessional useful - today". Moses wrote the law and God blew the ink dry (colleague). I'm really still orthodox. Temper of mine is hostile to precise definitions. They discourse on God, but don't want to simply define what they mean by these terms. 2 Cor 4.2: But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. What you see is what you get - I have no secrets. Oh, that that would be how we are as teachers.
4. R is used to cloak greed with flattery. 1 Thess 2.3-6 - For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. Flattery is the use of language to make people feel good about themselves so you can get what you want. 2 tim 4.3: For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,
5. R cloaks pride in the guise of humility. Who am I? I can't make that decision for anyone that God's truth, Jesus is the only way. But, that is centered on the "I". When Truth goes - so does humility. If there is Truth (universally valid for all men), then we must submit to it (lower ourselves). Understand - stand under it. Its there - I'm under it. We are a servant to the TRUTH. What happens to the person who decides its not there? Pride. Not humility. We are masters. R is created to protect arrogance. The essence of original sin and pride. I'll choose (humbly of course). "The king has no clothes on!" Be the kids who aren't afraid to tell.
6. R enslaves people. John 8.32.
7. R bread totalitarianism/anarchy. Revival or a dictator. Pray for the first one. Michael Novak.
Cultural relativism hasn't been spoken to. Poisonous effects on personal integrity.
Remember the chief priests and the elders. Destroy pride - embrace TRUTH.
I pray for college students who face this every day. Women who face this in their homes b/c they don't want to submit. Pastors who don't preach the Truth in their churches. Fathers who won't act on discipline in love in their homes. Friendships and relationships that are destroyed by this. TRUTH sets you free - you are no longer in charge. How freeing is that? Live and embrace TRUTH - not what you think. Sin is confining and restraining - we are slaves to it. Spread a passion for the Truth no matter the cost. Do that for the glory of God.