There are three destructive schools of thought prominent in our culture, This addresses the first: relativism, tolerance, and subjectivism. They will be addressed in three sequential Posts. First, relativism.

In the late 1960’s a book emerged entitled Situation Ethics. The thesis is that the situation determines what is right and what is wrong. There are no absolutes. Thus, what is right for one person at a given time and under a specific circumstance might not be right for others. 

Push that out of the envelope and consider what it does to our legal system. It would also dramatically impact education. 

In chemistry there are absolutes. One atom of oxygen and two atoms of hydrogen always produces H2O, water. That’s an absolute. Think what it would be like in a chemistry lab if there were no absolutes. 

There are absolutes in math. Try to convince a math teacher that your answer is different and right from the rest of the class because you did yours at 6:00 AM on Tuesday and the rest of the class did theirs at 8:00 PM on Monday. 

In the matter of morals and ethics there must be absolutes. One reason certain groups have worked to have the Ten Commandments taken from public view is they are absolutes. In ruling to remove them from certain public places the court even said they must be removed lest persons looking upon them might come to believe in them as absolutes.

Parents need to be sure they don’t subtly teach children right or wrong is a matter of personal choice. This is done by a parent giving instruction to a child followed by “O.K.” Such as, “Junior, don’t do that, O.K.?” or, “Sissy, pick up your toys, O.K.?” If the child is being given instruction it should be made clear and not optional, “O.K.?”

The opposite of relativism is absolutism. Absolutism claims that morality relies on universal principles (natural law, conscience). Christian absolutists believe that God is the ultimate source of our common morality, and that it is, therefore, as unchanging as He. Absolutism builds confidence within society. It is a safety zone. Adherents can feel confident knowing what the rules are. An athletic team dare not engage in competition without knowing the absolute rules. They can feel confident by playing within the rules. In life as in sports there are penalties for violating the absolute.

Isaiah evidently faced relativism in his day and wrote “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5: 20)

Have you established your core beliefs? That is, have you set your own personal moral and ethical standards based on God’s Word and said these are they. 

According to tradition, Martin Luther is said to have said, “Here I stand, I can do no other,” before concluding with “God help me.”