THE WEAPONS OF SELF AND MASS DESTRUCTION
“Today not only in philosophy but in politics, government, and individual morality, our generation sees solutions in terms of synthesis (the reasoning and logical deduction process whereby a new and higher level of truth is produced) and not absolutes (truth that is pure, not mixed, perfect in quality, complete, never changing). When this happens, truth as people have always thought of truth, has died.” ~ Francis Shaeffer
As true Christians we believe that every word in the Bible is true; this is the foundation upon which we live our lives. Knowing what the Bible says about truth and hiding God’s word in our heart helps us to know when we are listening to the Voice of Truth. The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever. – Psalms 119:160 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8: 31-32-It is this moral absolute truth that some embrace and many reject. This article and the one to follow it as Part II will seek to reveal the impact of the choice of absolute moral truth or relative truth or moral relativism on the lives of those who pursue one or the other. Absolute moral truth is the truth as written in the Word of God- it is pure, complete, unchanging, perfect. Relative truth is that which each individual desires truth to be depending on situations and or circumstances or even how they feel they want truth to be.
“ Moral relativism is the view that ethical standards, morality, and positions of right or wrong are culturally based and therefore subject to a person's individual choice. We can all decide what is right for ourselves. You decide what's right for you, and I'll decide what's right for me. Moral relativism says, "It's true for me, if I believe it."
Moral relativism has steadily been accepted as the primary moral philosophy of modern society, a culture that was previously governed by a "Judeo-Christian" view of morality. While these "Judeo-Christian" standards continue to be the foundation for civil law, most people hold to the concept that right or wrong are not absolutes, but can be determined by each individual. Morals and ethics can be altered from one situation, person, or circumstance to the next. Essentially, moral relativism says that anything goes, because life is ultimately without meaning. Words like "ought" and "should" are rendered meaningless.
Evidence that moral relativism is seen as more "fair" or "neutral" than a "hardline" stance on morality is seen in a 2002 column from Fox News analyst Bill O'Reilly, who asked "Why is it wrong to be right?" In his article, O'Reilly cites recent Zogby poll findings regarding what is being taught in American universities. Studies indicate 75% of American college professors currently teach that there is no such thing as right and wrong. Rather, they treat the questions of good and evil as relative to "individual values and cultural diversity." The problem with this, according to O'Reilly, is that "they see the world
not as it is, but as they want it to be. And annoying questions about moral absolutes and unacceptable behavior are usually left unanswered.” ~ 2002-2005 Moral relativism.com
I believe we see this lie of Satan manifest itself in many churches throughout our nation that are being led by false teachings and preaching. Many who believe themselves to be followers of Christ and born-again Christians are being misled either by these teachings or by their failure to study God’s Holy Word on a daily basis. I also believe many use their desire to embrace relative truth or moral relativism as a convenient way to “feel good” about their pursuit of fleshly desires of that which God calls sin. This world view on truth permeates the minds of Christians and non-Christians alike in drastic numbers as will be evidenced by surveys shown below; however, it is certain that the convenience of this world view to many who use or pursue it, is their effort to escape or deny the guilt of their selfish, self-centered desires the inconvenient truth of God’s Holy Word brings upon their conscious.
Relative to the question of the existence of moral absolute or relative truth, the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance wrote an article entitled: Religious Beliefs of Americans…Does Absolute Truth Exist? In this article the following information is provided. Barna Research Group conducted phone surveys of American adults. They found:
In 1997, 50% of Christians and 25% of non-Christians said…that truth is absolute, not relative to circumstances. In 2000, 40% of individuals involved in a Christian discipline process believed that there is no such thing as absolute moral truth.
In 2000-January, 38% of adult Americans believe that absolute truth exists.
In 2001-November, 22% of adult Americans believe that absolute truth exists. Barna reported that such a rapid change—from 38% to 22% within 23 months—is almost unheard of in the field of morality and religion.
Barna found that the following percentages of people believe in absolute truth in 2001:
13% of those born in 1965 or later.
15% of adults who are not born-again Christians.
16% of Roman Catholics.
22% of all Americans (24% among women; 20% among men)
24% of those born in 1945 or before.
28% of those born between 1946 and 1964.
32% of those who attend conservative Christian churches.
32% of adults who are born-again Christians.
A report in the Los Angeles Times on Barna Research on September 17, 2002 quoted Barna as determining that:
Only 44% of born-again Christian adults are certain that absolute moral truth exists.
Only 9% of born-again teenagers believe in absolute moral truth.
In our society today, we who are true believers and followers of Christ as born-again Christians who study and embrace the full truth of God’s Holy Word can clearly and accurately see the consequences of the lie that Satan has spewed into the minds of Christians, non-Christians, and those professing to be Christians but are in fact not. The beliefs and practice of this lie makes man in his/her mind to be god, not the other way. Individuals in the pursuit of self, define what they want truth to be, irregardless of the destruction it brings into their lives and the lives of others.
Let us now take a closer look at relative truth. Now suppose Mary (a Christian) says she worships a personal God, whilst John (a Pantheist) says he worships a God who is in everything and everyone, and that God is not personal. Who is speaking the truth? It is possible neither of them is speaking the truth, but what we can say is that both cannot be speaking the truth. We can say this because the law of non-contradiction says: Two contradictory propositions cannot both be true at the same time.
“This law is a problem for the Postmodernist concept of relativism, namely, "there is no ultimate truth; truth is relative to persons, times, circumstances or culture". Clearly, the statement "you must drive on the left hand side of the road" is true in the UK but not in France. Yes, in such cases 'truth' is culture dependent - it is a 'local' truth. But what about the universal truth being discussed by Mary and John? The relativist would say that both Mary and John can be equally correct since "truth is relative to the individual". But this is saying that two contradictory propositions ("God is personal" and "God is not personal") can be true at the same time - which violates the law. Hence relativism in this particular context is false and misleading. Relativism is also logically incorrect. Since it maintains that truth is relative to the individual, then relativism has to state that there are no absolute truths. But the statement "there are no absolute truths" is itself an absolute i.e. definitive statement which is supposed to be true. So how can we believe it when we are told "there are no absolute truths"? The statement is illogical. Relativism is therefore not true because:
• it is logically incorrect (see the above definition of 'truth')
• and it violates the law of non-contradiction” ~ Seekingtruth.co.uk
There will come a time in each life in which we will stand before a casket to pay our last respects for a loved one. Many thoughts will flood our mind. For some, there will be the peace and blessed assurance that the souls of those with right relationship with God and the gift of salvation by the merits of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the moral and absolute truth of God’s Holy Word will be ushered into the Kingdom of God. For others, there will be the inescapable confrontation of the merit of one essential question: Is moral truth absolute or relative? Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life no one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) God has prescribed His Holy Word as the absolute truth to all of man. For all of man who choose to reject Jesus Christ and the Word of God and follow another religion or ideology, they have embraced their perception that truth is relative based upon among many things, personal situations or circumstances. They too will be ushered into eternity and face an absolute truth.
In an article written by the United Church of God entitled God and Satan: Truth and Life vs. Lies and Murder “Jesus says of Satan – the Spirit that is ruling the world – Satan is the exact opposite of “the truth and the life.” Christ is the truth; Satan is a liar. Christ is the life; Satan is a murderer – takes life away. Relative truth would then be a lie produced in the minds of man.
Let us return for a moment to our place in front of the casket of our loved one as surely we would be in deep thought of memories past. For the one who is gone, he/she is ushered into that which is eternal. For the one left behind, he/she is left to live life until their final breath in which the very next moment, they too will be ushered into eternity. It is the eternity after death that will be determined by who you and I say Jesus Christ is before our death.
Searcher: “How can I know if what you tell me is true?” The Ancient One responded: “Friend, unless it exists, you cannot know the Truth. For if there is no objective Truth, then why be deluded? Better try instead to enjoy the brief time left to your pointless existence! But what if a deeper reality actually exists? To be real, the Truth must stand alone; everything contradicting it must be counterfeit!” Anon.
In 1 John 1:8 Jesus said: if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. The Word of God is true and it stands alone with nothing added or taken away and all that contradicts it is a lie. Those who believe absolute moral truth does not exist deceive themselves and the truth is not in them. Those who believe truth is relative deceive themselves and the truth is not in them. The purpose and significance of moral relativism or the concept that truth is relative must be viewed for what it is and what it does in the minds and lives of all who embrace it even for a moment. I personally believe it to be sin under the guise of another name and God’s Holy Word says it is sin.
Inconvenient truth is that truth which is not suited to one’s own comfort, purpose, needs, and desires. It is God’s Holy Word—It is Jesus Christ, that for all will stir our conscious and heart to accept or reject Jesus and God’s Holy Word. It is our conscious of guilt that will send us in many instances to embrace some frame of thought or belief to justify to ourselves the doing of that which God calls sin.
The title of this article uses the words inconvenient truth. The support for this focuses on (1) absolute truth, (2) relative truth, and (3) absolute moral truth.
Weapons of self and mass destruction as part of the title is designed to focus on the sin in our lives that is enabled by the lies Satan brings into our minds and our desire to embrace them. In this article the lie of relative truth has been revealed for what it is; however, so has the mass belief in this lie by many of our generation. It is my desire to write Inconvenient Truth – The Weapons of Self and Mass Destruction Part II to focus on the following weapons of our destruction used by Satan to entrap our souls: pride, foolishness, blasphemy, an evil eye, deceit, wickedness, covetousness, thefts, murders, fornications, and evil thoughts.
“Wicked men do their utmost to secure themselves and their possessions against the judgments of God; but all in vain, when the day comes on which they must fall. It is sad to think how much more most care about their bodies than their souls. Many love good preaching, or good advice and support of friends and family, if it keep far away from their beloved sin. But it is better that sinners persecute ministers, family, or friends now for faithfulness…than curse them eternally for unfaithfulness.” ~ Matthew Henry
C.S. Lewis called pride ‘The Great Sin.’ He wrote “According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through pride that the devil became the devil; pride leads to every other vice; it is the complete anti-God state of mind…it is pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.”
In his commentary to Numbers chapter 33 Matthew Henry writes –“Soon our wanderings end, and our eternal state (destination) be fixed beyond recall (can’t be changed); how important then is the present moment! Happy are those whom the Lord now guides with his counsel, and will at length receive to his glory. To this happiness the gospel calls us. Behold now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. Let sinners seize the opportunity, and flee for refuge to the hope set before them. Let us redeem our time, to glorify God and serve our generation; and he will carry us safely through all, to his eternal kingdom. Let us hear this and fear. If we do not drive out sin, sin will drive us out. If we are not the death of our lusts, our lusts will be the death of our souls.”