Skip to comments.The Offensive Truth: Relativism and Our Kids
Posted on 06/20/2007 8:58:09 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback
I was dismayed a while back when I learned that a Barna survey found that less than one out of every ten churched teenagers has a biblical worldview. But a survey is just that, a survey. Things couldnt be that bad, could they? Well, I recently heard a shocking story that vividly illustrates just how far relativism has infected the Churchto the point where Christian kids balk at the idea that Christianity would claim to be, of all things, true.
Four years ago, the BreakPoint staff and I launched Centurions, an intensive, year-long education program designed to equip 100 people each year to defend a biblical worldview and teach it to others.
One of our Centurions participants takes that call very seriously as she works with students at a local middle school. She sponsors a Christian club at the school, voluntary of course, and in accord with all the state laws. The students lead the club, and she mentors those leaders.
The club has been studying the ReWired curriculum, which BreakPoint created with Ron Luces Teen Mania. The DVD explores the four basic worldview questions: Where do I come from? Why is the world in such a mess? Is there a way to fix it? Is there a purpose for my life?
Everything was going fine until the group reached lesson 10. Lesson 10 leads the kids through a series of choices to learn to recognize the difference between matters of truth and matters of taste. One of the choices, believing Islam, Buddhism or Christianity, flashed on the screen.
Our CenturionIll call her Joanne, told me what happened next: The students went nuts. All but one of the eight leaders completely balked at the concept of distinguishing Christianity as true and other religions as false.
The next day when they met again, Joanne told the students leaders that they would not have to teach lesson 10 to other students if they didnt believe it.
Joanne learned that several of the seventh graders had talked to their parents or pastors over night. But the result of those conversations was shocking. One girl had written a paper that night on why we shouldn't hurt others feelings by claiming our way is right. One young lady had met with her pastor, who told her no one can be sure of truth. It is all perspective, he said. The students agreed that they should not offend others by saying Christianity is true. Only one was prepared to teach it.
While Joanne respected the authority of the parents and pastors, she encouraged the students to continue to consider the concept of truth, reminding them that Christianity--like Islam and many other religions--makes an exclusive claim to truth. She also reminded them that the words I am the way, the truth and the life . . . no man comes to the Father except by me, were Jesus' words, not hers.
What I find really shocking here is what this story tells us about the state of discipleship, not just of our kids, but of parents and pastors. This story is a wake-up call. We must learn what we believe, why we believe it and then instill it into our children, giving them a biblical view of all of life. We cant stand idly by while relativism undermines the faith of our kids and robs them of the one sure hope they haveand desperately need. Friends, if this story gets to you like it gets to me, its time we got busy.
There are links to further information at the source document.
If anyone wants on or off my Chuck Colson/BreakPoint Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.
BreakPoint/Chuck Colson Ping!
If anyone wants on or off my Chuck Colson/BreakPoint Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.
For me, caring about others means being judgmental and helping people get on to the right path, and telling them when they are on the wrong path.
As long as the kids themselves think Christianity is true what’s the problem? The Catholic Church used to teach that it was the ONE TRUE CHURCH. Well that offended a lot of people so it was changed to the Catholic Church teaches the FULLNESS OF TRUTH. That is, other religions have some truth but we have the most there is to be had. So the kids can just say Christianity contains the “fullness of truth.” If the kids are uncomfortable with that, then why the heck are they even Christians at all?
“One young lady had met with her pastor, who told her no one can be sure of truth”
If someone stabs another person, and that person dies, it is murder. That is the TRUTH.
Speaking of truth, meatball is the only acceptable pizza topping. Pepperoni, mushroom, sausage, and the like, are sins. This is such an obvious truth that no further explanation is required, because we meatball-topping-pizza-eaters have a monopoly on all truth. Anyone who believes otherwise is a relativist headed down the wrong path, and has no business being out in public trying to sell us normal folk on their evil toppings. We must teach...no, instill...no, wait, ram this down the throats of our children or we will all perish!
“All but one of the eight leaders completely balked at the concept of distinguishing Christianity as true and other religions as false. “
One young lady had met with her pastor, who told her no one can be sure of truth
Pontius Pilate would have agreed. (”What is truth?”)
You have it completely backwards! All toppings are good in the eyes of God, except anchovies. The anchovy eaters must be wiped from the face of the earth.
The quotation from John in the article. Jesus made it pretty clear what his opinion on this particular subject was. And the great commission. We are to tell all men about Him. We can either say:
* "He is the way, the truth and the light. Noone comes to the father but thru Him."
* "He is a way, He knew the truth, and he's one of the ways you can find the light."
One is biblical. The other isn't. If you are evangelizing to folks, eventually you have to be prepared to answer that question. No sense being scared of it. If you have a question about that, you really aren't a Christian.
For evidence for why Christianity alone says what happens thousands of years before it happens, please see http://www.direct.ca/trinity/y3nf.html. This is the signature of God.
Other “religions” don’t do this. Not Islam, not Bhuddism, not Hinduism, not Zoroastrianism, not B’haism. Whatever their spelling, they are the words of men and not God.
“The anchovy eaters must be wiped from the face of the earth”
I agree. I don’t like “salt pizza” !!
Are you saying that Christianity is a tool for predicting the future?
The anchovy eaters are a slippery slope. Fish pizza is unnatural. Where will it stop? Lox pizza? Sushi pizza? Blackened Sea Bass (with a hint of basil) pizza?
We are actually discussing this topic in my Bible study right now.
We just started the topic, and I need to read up on it.
What does it mean to not be under the law?
Less than 10% of Americans who call themselves Christian possesses a Biblical worldview.
More than 90% of Americans who call themselves Christian do not possess a Biblical worldview.
2/3 of Born Again Christians assert that there are no absolute moral truths.
What does that mean? Sin really doesnt exist.
Ergo Redemption was not really necessary
Ergo Christ died for nothing
Begs the question Why the need to be Born Again?
4 out of 10 say they are absolutely committed to the faith.
44% of churched youths agree with this statement: Humans are capable of grasping the meaning of truth.
85% of churched youth agree with this statement: What is right for a person in a certain situation may not be right for another person in the same situation.
(Relativism and situational ethics)
62% of churched youth agree that: Nothing can be known for certain except that which is experienced in your life.
Why I believe the Bible and have a Biblical worldview:
“I choose to believe the Bible because it’s a reliable collection of historical documents written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses that report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies and claim that their origins are divine rather than human in origin.” Dr. Voddie Baucham
With the tagline you’ve got, I take it you are kidding. Its all right to be exclusive when it comes to America, patriotism (freedom no exceptions), but not when it comes to religious matters?
Most people read Mt 7 and just get as far as “Judge not, lest ye be judged”, not realizing that Christ himself goes on to teach us how to judge properly.
Seriously? I should accept Jesus because 10 years ago “Guy Cramer” wrote a piece using incomprehensible language and math claiming to prove that the Old Testament correctly predicted the date of Israel’s independence?
What's the problem with being afraid to speak the truth?
My late husband was a Catholic. The priest visited me when he died and looked at me aghast, knowing that I am a saved Pentecostal Christian, “Do you mean you believe in the resurrection?” He asked. I couldn’t believe it. He was probably in his 30’s, and this was 12 years ago. The Seminaries don’t teach em like they used to I guess.
Relativism has no place in our church. The CFR crowd has been trying to kill the church for years now, and they are making vast inroads with some of the kids and too many adults as well. Bodes very bad for the future if this continues. It’s up to the parents to wake up and take charge.
The former Soviet Union countries are all flocking back to the Lord I hear. True peace can only come with a strong belief in the Almighty. As our country slides further into moral corruption, He will not bless it. He will remove His protection from us.
You are incapable of "accepting Jesus" until He calls for you.
Liberals think it’s okay to seek truth as long as you never find it.
“The former Soviet Union countries are all flocking back to the Lord I hear. True peace can only come with a strong belief in the Almighty. As our country slides further into moral corruption, He will not bless it. He will remove His protection from us.”
Well, we seem(we being our so called leaders)to be doing everything possible to incur His wrath.If “Shamnesty” passes, we are begging for retribution, as it is slavery for the “ruling class” Moral corruption is endemic to same.
What I run into is that tolerance trumps truth. That assures that all conversations are very shallow. People want credit for having any old opinion they picked up somewhere.
Today, for instance, Bush vetoed stem cell research on moral and ethical grounds. Hillary called that ideology, denying the quest for truth and asserting the subjective, instead.
“Liberals think its okay to seek truth as long as you never find it”
Outstanding little comment!!
B U M P
It would have been more interesting if the young lady had had the presence of mind to ask the pastor if he was sure his statement was true.
With this statement you are doing exactly what Colson is talking about....mixing taste with truth.
Truth: The Earth is Round
Taste: The Earth is beautiful.
Truth: Tangent = opposite divided by the adjacent
Taste: Math is fun.
Christian theology is either true, or its false. Liking Christianity, a matter of taste, is not the same as believing in it.
I’ve had, “Dancing With Wolves” on tonight. What happened in Washington about the Shamnesty bill?
The President vetoed the stem cell bill insuring that:
A) Three states — CA, MA, NY — will lock themselves in a battle for bio-tech by funding the hell out of research, stem cell and otherwise.
B)Potentially giving other countries reason to fund the research.
The end result is pretty much the same. Stem cell research will continue. Whatever benefits are to be discovered will be discovered, either in the U.S. or another country.
Good. I’ll sleep better then. :)
The result is probably a lot better from their point of view. More money and independance. However, you seem to think that individual moral choices are insignificant when others don’t agree. That’s cynical.
Individual moral choices are significant. They shape history.
However, science will continue to push ahead.
The point of my screen name and tagline is to sum up my entire political philosophy, which I'd like to see world-wide, and not just in America. Of course, we all believe our opinions are the exclusive truth, but the point of my post was to lampoon the extent to which some people look down upon others that do not accept their opinions 100% hook, line, and sinker. And to lampoon the tiresome matter of "relativism." Are you a Christian, or are you a relativist? Are you a Hindu, or are you a relativist? Jew, or relativist? Are you a presuppositionalist postmillenial nondenominational dominionist reformed orthodox nonsectarian born-again (fill-in-the-blank), or are you a relativist? The line separating truth and taste can be rather thin sometimes.
The two predominate American worldviews at-a-glance:
View of God - Theistic (God Exists), Necessary Creator & Sustainer of the Universe.
View of God - Atheistic (God does not exist in the theistic sense), May have a non-theistic god or ‘higher power’
View of Man - Created in God’s image and place in a position of dominion over the rest of the earth and its creatures.
View of Man - Evolution Random Processes, single cell organism run a muck.
View of Truth - Absolute, truth is for all people for all time.
View of Truth - Relativism, what may be right for me may not be right for you. Extended implications are for the cultural and for different eras of time.
View of Knowledge - Knowledge is gained through general and special revelation from God. General as it applies to creation and all the sciences, special as it applies to Biblical revelation of the nature of God. General is subordinate to Special.
View of Knowledge - Naturalistic Materialism Only through scientific exploration. Nature is a closed system. Thus those that have a non-theistic view of a god, have a god that resides inside of this natural closed system.
View of Ethics - Absolute
View of Ethics - Cultural and Negotiable
Eating meat is a sin. And casting moral judgement over sexual pairings is a sin. And not paying “your fair share” to the state is a sin. And living in a nation that consumes more goods than the average is a sin. And waging war outside of your borders is a sin. And protecting your borders from tresspass is a sin...
Excellent post; thanks!
See my post #40. The line between taste and truth can be blurry. I do not like any theology because I do not believe that any religion reflects the complete truth. Peruse the FR threads on Islam, and you'll see that most here (including me) find Islam to be both untrue AND distasteful.
If Colson wants to instill his beliefs in the next generation of children, he doesn't need to re-examine those beliefs, but rather the ARGUMENTS in support of those beliefs. Maybe the majority of kids today finds the usual arguments in support of Christianity incomplete, circular, dogmatic, incomprehensible, or otherwise inadequate. To non-believers, Christianity as a whole, and the many teachings within, are not self-evident. There's a difference between the Declaration of Independence, which reads "WE HOLD these truths to be self-evident" (because not everyone did), and Colson's position, which is basically, "Christianity IS self-evident, and non-Christians are moral relativists." Maybe the kids are uncomfortable - as they should be - with Colson's implication that you can't be a good person unless you're Christian. If he can't adequately explain why, he'll keep losing more and more students.
And your point is...? Are you calling me a socialist because I’m not a Christian and because I lampooned Colson’s particular claim to a monopoly on truth??
...and don’t forget the anchovies!
“What I run into is that tolerance trumps truth.”
Quite so. Our modern society has raised tolerance to be the highest of all virtues. If you can say someone is “intolerant” you are well on the way to winning any debate. Concepts like “truth”, “justice” and “common sense” get steamrolled by the tolerance shiboleth.
I think many are only “cultural Christians.” They celebrate the holidays and accept the Judeo Christian sense of right and wrong. They aren’t quite sure that everything in the bible is really true or relevant.
The number of people who believe the bible is the “literal truth” is only a small percentage of those who believe in Christianity.
It is possible for folk to be what is known as a deist, (someone who believes in the Christian message but has arrived at that belief by some kind of rational or logical thought process of reason and/or deduction) but primarily Christianity is a religion that is dependent upon personal revelation. Christians are Christians because Christ calls them and makes them Christians.
You cannot PROVE Christianity is true. That’s not to say that its positions and arguments are not defendable (throught what is known as apologetics) but because the truth of God is dependent upon the wisdom of God, and not that of men, that is really rather irrelevant. Think of it this way. If I cannot argue successfully to you that God exists, does that mean that He doesn’t? Does He promptly disappear in a puff of logic? By the same process, I could argue that YOU don’t really exist, and that all the posts under the name of Freedom_no_exceptions are being made by an alien from Mars. I mean, theoretically that could be true. I don’t know who is sitting behind that screen, neither does anyone else on this board. The only way you could prove you really are you is by coming round to my house and showing me the keyboard scars :) (This is not a challenge incidentally. I’m a believer. I actually DO think you are there!)
I believe Christianity IS true. That doesn’t mean that I think it has a monopoly on truth. If a Buddhist was to say to me “two plus two equals four” I’m not going to go away and abandon all mathematics as heresy. There is “truth” to be found in all religions (and all political theories for that matter) but that doesn’t mean they are all equally valid. Sure, all religions are superficially similar, because they are all asking and answering the same kind of questions (the big ones, life, death the universe - that kind of thing), but to say they are “equally valid” or “the same” is like saying George Bush is the same as Bill Clinton because they are both politicians.
The issue here is moral relativism. If people are being taught that nothing is absolute, and everything is equally valid, then yes, that protects them from bigotry. But what proponents of this approach forget is that if nothing is wrong then by consequence nothing is right either. And that is a VERY dangerous line of thinking to have instilled, either in the body spiritual or the body politic. What this article is really getting at is how far our culture has moved along that road already. You can bet your bottom dollar no mosque is teaching that Islam may not be the only truth.
Of course, even moral relativists do have absolutes - its just that their absolutes are different. They believe absolutely in tolerance and equality, after all :)