Relativism

<<comparable, variable>>

While it is true all people are made in the image of God, and we should value and appreciate what distinguishes them, the world-view of relativism considers that all beliefs, customs and ethics are relative to a particular social context, consequently, there are no universal standards of right and wrong, and so no one can judge another society’s

His standards will be our judge –                                           live by them

customs. Because it believes there are no absolutes but only a vast range of culturally distinctive practices that are legitimate expressions of human existence, no one ethnicity should endeavour to impose their ideas on another group. Instead, it suggests different things are right for different people at different times, therefore people can live by their own standards in a society, having diverse values and beliefs with “everyone doing what seems right in his or her own eyes” yet this leads to death (Jdg 17:6; Prov 16:25). We all have also been damaged by the effects of sin and therefore any beliefs and practices that are contrary to God’s moral standards (as stated in the Bible) are unacceptable to Him, as culture or human values do not dictate truth – God does. Truth is not relative. Hence we are to know the truth, which is God’s unchangeable Word, and try to live by it for this will judge us (Jn 8:32, 12:48, 17:17; Heb 4:12). He doesn’t change and neither do His standards, which include the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:3-17; Num 23:19; Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8).

Within each of us, our conscience is a good indicator of right and wrong unless it has been ‘disabled’ by a continual ignoring of its warnings or an acceptance of the world’s eroding standards.

  The guidelines for our attitudes and behaviour                                           come from God not society

Idolatry and activities in the sexual realm are examples of what must be changed. By embracing the gospel message sinners become aware of what the Lord requires and are enabled to set aside practices that do not honour Him. God’s standards must take priority over culture if there is a discrepancy. Thus, we can celebrate the diversity of cultural representations provided they do not violate God’s commands or Biblical principles.

See also: absolutes, commandments, compromise, conscience, culture, ethics, non-negotiables, perspective, pluralism, standards, truth.

 


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