“I can see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin,” says Peter to a sorcerer named Simon in this morning’s chapter from Acts.
It’s a moral judgment. Period. Some things are sinful and some things are not. Some things are moral and some things are not. Some things are right and some things are wrong. If there is no sin, the Son of God entered our world for no good reason and died for even less.
Some years ago, two men named Beckwith and Koukl published a book: Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted In Mid-Air. Moral “relativism,” as the word suggests, means that whether something is right or wrong is all “relative.”
“Society-Does” relativism claims that since each society has its own set of rules, there can be no absolute standard of right and wrong.
“Society-Says” relativism teaches that folks ought to live by whatever rules their particular society says. If your society says “gay is OK,” then it is.
“I-Say” relativism means that right or wrong is determined by what each individual says is right or wrong for him or her self.
This is similar to days of the Judges in the Old Testament when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”
Beckwith and Koukl rightly point out that to consistently follow this kind of thinking, one must admit that Mother Theresa was no more or less moral than Adolf Hitler, that torturing three-year-olds for fun is neither good nor evil, that giving 10 percent of one’s financial surplus to an invalid is neither praiseworthy nor condemnable, that raping a woman is neither right nor wrong, and that providing food and shelter for one’s spouse and children is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. In short, it’s all relative.
The Bible says: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ ” Even an unbeliever knows that there are some basic “rights” and “wrongs.” And yet values clarification, political correctness and multiculturalism have infested education, government and churches, all bleating “tolerance” for things which are plainly evil by any standards. The usual lines are: “Who are you to judge?”…and…”Don’t force your morality on me!” But this so-called “tolerance” is selective. It picks and chooses. Just push any of the current hot buttons – gay marriage, abortion, militant feminism – and these “tolerant” people become rabidly “intolerant” of Christians, the Bible & basic decency.
One of the authors illustrates this point when he says, tongue in cheek, “A seventeen-year-old high school student told me he’d been talking with a teacher who claimed that all morality is relative. ‘How do I refute her?’ he asked. ‘Steal her stereo,’ I said. ‘In situations like this you’ll learn more by her reactions than by her arguments.’ ”