Monday, April 07, 2014

Who Can Say Who's Wrong?

A confluence of one nationally renowned event and then a personal one got me thinking about the question:  "who can say who's wrong?"  Rather than attempt to describe the former, here's the first paragraph of a breathtaking Los Angeles Times article on it:

Brendan Eich's 10-day reign as CEO of Mozilla, developer of the popular Firefox web browser, ended Thursday. He was done in by the news that he had donated $1,000 in 2008 to support Proposition 8, the anti-gay rights measure on the California ballot that year.

Companies now require unmitigated support for same-sex marriage as a job qualification.  Less than eight years ago, you could oppose it and become president.   Who can say that Brendan Eich is wrong?  Same-sex marriage advocates say it's them who know.

Going door-to-door last week at some townhouses, there was a big window at the end of one walk, no curtains or blinds, and a fifty-or-so woman there in the kitchen looking out at us (my daughter, her friend, and I) and signalling, no, don't come to the door.  I waved and said that we didn't have to be religious people, just friendly people from the same town.  She opened the window and our conversation kept going.  She was ultra-liberal and didn't want a religious conversation, but what was nothing became about a 30 minute talk.  With secular humanists like this, pagans really, I tell them that I don't want to talk to them about God or the Bible if they don't want to hear it -- only if they want to hear it.  The Bible even tells me not to do that.

Everyone looks at life through a presuppositional grid, but I acknowledge it fully.   There is only one truth -- there can only be one truth -- which I presuppose, and I never stop judging what I see and hear by that one truth.  My view of the world is very clear and very consistent.  About thirty minutes in, a voice came from above.   I'm not Charismatic.  It was the husband, a 57 year old audio tech professional, who finally exploded.  He had been listening to the whole thing in the upstairs window and was very angry with me.   He insulted and ranted as much as anyone could, looking down from the upstairs window.

The man was incensed with all people like me, the darkness who caused most of the problems on earth.  That interested me, because I wanted to know why he thought that way, but I never heard a single coherent point in what he said, including why he didn't like us and thought we were delusional and the like.  He mentioned our arguments were old and shallow and that kind of thing.  Uh-huh.  How did he know that?  I had just been talking to his wife about how we know what we know.  Can we say we can know someone is wrong?

To know that you know, there must be absolute truth.  The man and his wife are selective relativists, a terminology I first heard Robert George use related to the ethics of ivy league schools.  They knew we were bad, were darkness.  They knew that.  They knew that same-sex marriage should be allowed, that homosexuals should have all the rights as everyone else.  Why are we against two people who love one another?  Why not let them love one another?  You know the only acceptable answer at that moment is, "You're right."

Homosexuals don't love each other; they can't.  They can't know what love is. They pervert it to suit their purposes, into what is actually just lust.   Rather than disagree, I challenged the mere idea of random chemicals, two accidents, judging anything wrong about different random chemicals.  To judge, you must borrow a Christian worldview.

So those were the two examples why I'm asking "who can say who's wrong."  Now for homosexuals to be "good winners," they allow the losers, anti same-sex marriage, to have the freedom of their point of view.  It's true.  It's not consistent for homosexuals to be intolerant.  They can't say anything is wrong.

On the other hand, I've never advocated for tolerance on moral issues.  Ever. I can say who is wrong.  Very few people can tell others they're wrong.  Very few.   Very few true absolutists exist.

Absolutists don't agree to disagree.  Absolutists don't make up a list of non-essentials for which multiple positions exist.  Absolutists praise uniformity of doctrine and practice.  Absolutists believe there is one truth and that you can and should know it.  God expects only absolute unity.

Only one reality exists, not two.  Two assertions about reality can't both be true -- only one can be true.  In the Bible, God says what is true about reality -- that is the truth.  Whatever disagrees with the Bible is false.  God's Word is truth.

One has jettisoned from truth and absolutism when he denies inerrancy of scripture.   One has vacated absolutism when he allows for any change in what scripture says.  God said He would preserve every Word for every generation of believer.  When you deny that, you have left the fold of absolutism.  You are now left with some degree of relativism and any degree will end in full blown relativism.  Men can call love whatever they want because they have no basis for absolute truth.  They have abdicated that with the acceptance of error in the Bible.

The one reality is represented by three transcendentals.  There is one truth, one goodness, and one beauty.  You are not an absolutist when you believe there is more than one goodness or beauty.  What is true and good and beautiful is one, because God is One.

If you abandoned one beauty, but still believe in a perfect, error-free Bible, you have still surrendered truth.  You are not an absolutist.

Absolutism is the only love of God.  God has only one way.  His way.

Who can say who's wrong is an absolutist.  Are you one?


I know that there are those, even professing conservatives, who say that this absolutism is what's wrong.  It's wrong because it pushes away young people.  It's wrong because it sends people into postmodernism.  The idea is that you've got to allow some kind of adaptation, some kind of balance or middle ground or compromise, or you'll lose everything.  None of these are actually arguments.  They don't answer the fundamentals.  The Bible presents absolutism.

There are three other faux arguments that I have heard.  One, liberty.  But absolutists believe in liberty.  Liberty is an absolute.  Fail.  Two, diversity of gifts.  Diversity is gifts, not truth.  You don't have diverse truth, goodness, and beauty.  You have one.  Fail.  Three, Christianity has allowed for diversity of positions historically because of things hard to be understood.  I've argued against this several times here with no answer.   Fail again.

There are no actual, legitimate arguments against what I'm saying.  The argument is ultimately a form of pragmatism for coalitions and numbers.

I understand that because of sin there will be more than one position that different Christians will take.  However, absolutism is still the base position.  You start with one meaning, one interpretation.   That has been given up, and that's why we're to the acceptance of same-sex marriage in evangelicalism.  They see it as a non-essential like amillennialism and infant sprinkling.  When you give up absolutism, you get relativism, which, like I said, ends in all out relativism.  We're on the steep decline in the downward slope that ends in a big splash or the crunch position.

1 comment:

Roger Granquist said...

I see this was posted a while ago, but I just found it and read through. Thank you for this. I've recently (currently) been debating the issue of alcohol "allowances" in our Christian culture. And with that the truth behind 1 Thess 5:22. Would you happen to have any thoughts from previous articles on this topic? I am not sure I've presented by belief of total abstinance over "all things in moderation" that the others are holding to. Or any current thoughts?
Thank you.