In my post, Comprehending Our Culture, I listed several worldviews that are prevalent in our world that we must contend with as we share the gospel of Jesus Christ. On Thursday, February 18th, I found myself engaged in a discussion with a co-worker about religion. What I thought would turn out to be a very calm discussion turned into an emotional and angry (not on my part) discussion with my co-worker refusing to engage any longer. The reason for her refusal was my very polite and logical stance that absolute truth exists. She refused to believe that.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s true. As long as people believe what they want to believe is what matters!”
This statement was the result of my explanation to her that the Jesus of Christianity, Islam, Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses are all different and there has to be truth about the identity of Jesus, forcing all other contrary ideas to be labeled as untrue. In my mind, it was a matter of simple logic. But she refused to logically think in these terms.
Prior to this, we discussed what she doesn’t like about Christianity. Her first response was she hates rules. After hearing that, I asked her if she thinks man is basically good. She replied no. Then I proceeded to justify the need for law. She agreed that law was good as a means of restraining full blown evil in society. Then I pointed to God as being the Lawgiver and man’s fallen nature.
Her next point of attack was the inerrancy of the Bible and the relevancy of “concocted stories from thousands of years ago.” She unashamedly claimed there was no way to verify whether our modern Scriptures are accurate translations from the original languages. I explained to her the veracity concerning the number of Biblical manuscripts scrutinized by top linguists and Christianity’s historicity, but to no avail.
At this point, I proceeded to share the gospel, since I knew she wasn’t clear on what it was. As I was explaining to her, she remained quiet and attentive. When I concluded with the resurrection, I started introducing the various accounts of Islam, Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses. She replied that it’s disrespectful to tell someone they’re wrong and Christianity shouldn’t be forced on other cultures. When I tried to tell her that God created all cultures, deemed it good, yet sin is the universal problem, she vehemently replied, “I will never, ever believe the Bible!”
Now, you’ve probably noticed a couple of contradictions in her argument. This is what relativism does. It breeds perpetual contradictions. Perhaps it should be called contradictionism. First, she’s a self-proclaimed rebel, yet she agrees that law is good and necessary for the peace of society. Second, perhaps the most unbelievable, was her adamant stance that all religions are true, yet claiming Christianity isn’t true. That’s an absolute statement she’s claiming, yet it has no weight according to her worldview. By definition, relativism can’t lay hold to or claim absolutes. Logically, a relativist should question his or her own position. Where no absolutes exist, there is no rationale, reason and meaning for everything. Therefore, all things fall apart.
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ This is the true God and eternal life.
(1 John 5:20)
Dr. Piper’s thoughts on relativism.
Street Witnessing in Southern California
Grace & Peace,