Relativism is increasingly popular in our contemporary social environment and regrettably seems to be accelerating in the culturally stained version of evangelicalism that we are familiar with today. Relativism is the worldview that maintains that absolute truth statements are not binding across the board but only to those hold them personally. In other words, what is right for you is not necessarily right for me.
If we in the church adopt this worldview not only do we have nothing to say to an unregenerate world but we have nothing to say in the pulpit on Sunday mornings! In the name of progressive tolerance evangelical relativists could eventually not only marginalize but also eradicate themselves completely.
Can you imagine the demonic exuberance on the day when Satan could say accurately, “The church is now silent!”
An example of how this thought has so woven itself into contemporary churchianity is the demotion of doctrine. Often times folks will come to our church and say that they also visit these other churches as well and they are glad that we are all on the same page. However, the other churches have divergent doctrinal views, which center on the basic understanding of what the gospel actually is! Never mind the various and sundry other issues that are out of sync.
Often times folks will appeal to the fact that we are all evangelical churches, who are worshipping the same God and have sincere motives. It seems as though, as long as we are not Roman Catholic then we are ok. As long as someone says ‘Jesus’ every now and then, plays music that is heard on K-LOVE, and has an AWANA program everything must be ok. As long as they are sincere and love God everything is ok…doctrine is left up for the ‘interpretation’ of the individual churches.
How would Jesus view a relativistic professing God-follower that clings to sincerity?
In John chapter 4 we see Jesus talking with a woman from Samaria. The Samaritans of course believed in God, well at least an abbreviated canon, however, they would’ve said that they followed Yahweh. In the midst of Jesus exposing her sin (4.16-18) he rebukes her for her dishonoring worship! This worship is dishonoring to its intended object because it is not wrapped primarily in truth but in sincerity!
Jesus tells her that she is worshipping God in ignorance and is lacking he essential elements needed for God-centered worship, namely “spirit and truth”:
“You worship what you do not know…”God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”(John 4.22a, 24)
It is critically important to remember today that according to Jesus sincerity does not carry the day but truth. We cannot please God through what we think is right but only through what he thinks is right. To disregard this foundational understanding in the name of progressive tolerance is to be intolerant of what the Savior has said.
Today is a good day to resolve to promote and defend primarily what Jesus actually enjoys rather than what causes you and I to make more friends and obscure the sharp exclusive statements of the Bible.