by Richard Mansel, managing editor
Allan Bloom writes, “There is one thing that a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.”/1
Will this soon be true of our own children in the Church?
Progressivism in the denominational world seeks to move past Scripture and to be free to find truth in a variety of methods and resources. We see a measure of this growing within Churches of Christ. Progressives, as a whole, do not wish to be restricted from finding truth where ever and in whatever form they desire. Freedom is the centerpiece of their hermeneutic.
A debate raged at a Worldwide Anglican Conference years ago on the subject of Biblical authority. Eventually, the African bishop asked in exasperation, “If you don’t believe the scripture, why did you bring it to us in the first place?”/2
As the culture changes, their truth evolves to match up with the new reality. Accordingly, they try to get Scripture to accommodate the changing views related to the culture.
In the field of ethics, an enormous divergence of beliefs exists between liberals and conservatives.
“A Gallup poll showed overwhelming liberal support for homosexual activity (83%), premarital sex (89%), illegitimacy (83%), abortion (67%) and doctor assisted suicide (73%). Liberals support polygamy, adultery and cloning humans at an exponentially higher rate than conservatives.”/3
This discrepancy can only be explained by differing presuppositions. Why else would there be so much conformity on these issues in such large blocs within these two philosophical views? They are approaching the world with opposing perspectives. They can each look at the same object and see completely different items.
Sadly, progressives are being successful in their methods because many are being influenced into accepting the liberal worldview on ethical issues.
We see the world changing around us, but certainly not for the better. Everyone, it seems, is beginning to do what is right in their own eyes. It was just as destructive in the days of the judges as it is today (Judges 21:25). Except now, the stakes are higher because Christ is our king and if we abandon him, we have nowhere else to go but to Satan.
We must return to Scripture and remind ourselves that God’s Word is absolute truth that cannot be changed. “Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89, NKJV).
“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
We must stand humbly before God’s Word lest we be “found fight[ing] against God” (Acts 5:39). Accordingly, we must resist every effort to allow emotions to overpower our love for God. Satan is the father of lies and he has an endless supply of tricks to use to pull people from the truth. The denunciation of absolute truth is becoming one of Satan’s greatest ideas.
Whether we will accept the requisite isolation and fall prey to his ploys will depend on how powerful a bond we have with God and his people. We must remain armed with his power (Ephesians 1:19). The spiritual armor of God is our greatest defense (Ephesians 6). Prepare for battle.
1/ Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), 25.