Monday, May 9, 2011

Written Mar '10: Relative Christianity

Christianity stands for absolute truth, and opposes relative truth. But when you get deep into discussion on many Christian topics, you find yourself back in relative truth territory. Christians have no choice but to participate in relative thinking because nobody has communication with God from which to learn absolute truths. Those who do claim that God reveals truths to them will evade the request to determine an absolute truth, such as “is cloning wrong?” What they mean is that God reveals truths for their lives, aka relative truth. Many instances of Christian relativity involve the notion that everyone experiences God differently. Some examples: One man sees God as his provider, another sees his provision as worldly. One man feels intimately close to God, another does not experience such feelings. One man feels convicted of an act, another does not. One man is called to preach, another is convicted the preacher is wrong. One man sees divine orchestration frequently, another sees normal coincidences. The list is endless. To me the most striking presence of Christian relativity is in Biblical meaning. Many educated Christians agree the Bible isn’t meant to be taken literally, that its truths must be spiritually discerned. When a group of people encounters a difficult verse, it’s common to conclude that everyone should pray about it. In other words, everyone should seek out what that verse means for them. If the myriad Christian denominations are to be unified, Christians must necessarily accept relativity within the Christian label, yet condemn relative truth and the “true for you” concept when outsiders plead it.

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