Relativism In Christianity

Has relativism crept into our Churches? Are there no longer absolute truths? Is everything written in shades of gray?

Many are beginning to say that doctrine doesn’t matter. Many refuse to talk about or take definite stands on important subjects. To many, everything else besides a four-point gospel is non-essential. Yes. We HAVE given into a subtle, relativistic spirit. We have entered into a fog of uncertain Christianity.

What should we do when we are uncertain about doctrine? And should we just agree to disagree from the get-go? Acts chapter 17 gives a good answer to that question…

When Paul brought the Word to Berea, they didn’t riot and reject Paul like those in Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-9); neither did they agree to disagree like those in Athens (Acts 17:15-34); “they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11b). What brought peace to Paul and those in Berea? It was an unwavering devotion and reliance on the absolute truth of God’s Word.

Sadly, this has become a lost art. Men rarely gather over God’s Word to discern the Will of God, and when they do it’s rarely to discern truth; its more likely to find “common ground”. Buts that’s not what the Bereans did. They already had a common ground -God’s Word. And they were not content with agreeing to disagree.

Most men are unwilling to change their mind on things they have held to for so long. This is true even in theology (note: all theology means is the study of God). Because of pride, they reach a limit in their understating of God. They are content with being uncertain and agree to disagree.

Yes, we should not argue over frivolous matters. Yes, we should not cause unneeded friction. Yes, we should pursue peace above all. Yet, ironically, the way God produces peace among the brethren is by us becoming one in mind (1 Cor.1:10, Phil.2:2). Our divisions are broken down when we cast down out our right to personal opinions. Seeking God’s eternal and absolute truth becomes our only way. For the Holy Spirit does not speak in shades of gray, but clearly, precisely, and with certainty.

If this happens, and we become united in Spirit and in Truth, the result will be that Christianity and other religions will become more divided. Christians will appear more separate than usual. But among ourselves, there will be an unwavering peace brought about by our oneness of mind in the things of Christ. We will become more separate from the world, but more inseparable as a body of Christ.

Really, we have just become lazy and blinded by our many idols. All our stuff clouds our thinking. Hearing from God through His Word is not only difficult but without divine assistance it is impossible. The revelation of God’s Word is understood in general, but illumination is rare. Because of this, we replace the bulk of our learning with other Christian literature.

The results of this are quite scary. In a world where information is a click away, one can gather facts on theology, even prepare a sermon without any help from God. It is hard to distinguish whether what is preached is the gathering of information by a man or the illumination of God’s Word to the man.

God speaks to our heart by first reaching our mind. He does not bypass the logical faculty to reach the emotional faculty. They are inseparably linked. Our love for God will only grow as deep as our ability to comprehend God.

May we long for the day in eternity when we know Him fully, as He has known us; where we will love Him completely, as He has completely loved us.