A Biblical Look At Spiritual Relativism
Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.
Due largely to man's natural rebellion from God, most people today, including far too many Christians, accept some degree of relativism in spiritual things. There is a disdain for absolute morality and truth. Many Christians read Scripture's claim that in Christ we have been set free from the condemnation of the law of God as saying that Christians no longer need to consider God's law in their lives or that "Christian love" demands that we not insist that there is absolute truth.
1. Read the story recorded in Judges 17. Was Micah religious? Was he faithful to the Word of God? In what ways was he unfaithful?
How about Micah's intentions - were they good intentions? What light does verse 6 shed on this situation? It helps to know that household shrines filled with idols like those Micah built were common among the peoples of the Middle East. The idols were usually a personal selection of the popular local gods, and many of these have been found in ancient ruins.
2. It is into this situation that a Levite from Bethlehem comes, looking for a place to live and work. What was the work of the Levite? (See Numbers 1:47-54.)
How do verses 8 and 9 indicate that this Levite might have been desperate for work? What bargain does Micah strike with the Levite in verse 10?
3. Was the Levite faithful in his service to the Lord in serving Micah in this way? What words in verse 11 indicate that the Levite had no conscience problems with this kind of service?
4. Micah himself was not only religious, he was also pragmatic. What ultimate good did he see in the arrangement with the Levite? Do people treat religion in the same way today?
5. Identify the elements at work in this story. How are Micah's good intentions indicated in this chapter? How is his religion evident? Were all agreed on the shrine and service to it? In what ways did this situation reflect the religion of Israel?
In what ways did the situation fit right in to the society already living in this area? How many parallels with today's church can you find in this story?
6. Despite offering every detail that people use today to buffer the absolute force of God's Law, which verse in Judges 17 most harshly condemns this action? Does that verse also apply to our own day? Yet, how does today's call to an "authentic morality" turn this virtue into a vice?
7. How does the recognition of our pluralistic society that no religion or denomination is to be considered any better than any other get translated into doctrinal relativism within churches?
Isn't this relativistic attitude what allowed Micah, as well as the Levite, to worship God as well as idols? In such a situation as this, is God really worshiped?
8. Compare the conclusion of this story with today's church scene. In Judges 18:14-26 we read about what happened to Micah and his Levite. What motivation do we see in Judges 18:19-20? How was that motivation also seen in Judges 17?
Compare this with Isaiah 56:10-12, Philippians 3:18-19, and Romans 16:17-18. What additional things do we learn about those who promote relativism within the church from these New Testament passages?
9. It is startling to make the full circle of relationships between doing away with the Creator and the evolutionary ethos in a Scriptural story, but we can find that full circle in Micah's story. What evolutionary principle does Judges 18:25 remind you of?
How is the sociologist's use of "peer pressure" as justification for an action just another application of "survival of the fittest"?
10. How is the world's claim that creationism is not good Christianity because "most Christians" don't accept a literal reading of Genesis really another form of the "survival of the fittest" principle?
In what other ways is this same argument used to promote relativism in spiritual things?
11. What can we do to combat relativism in our lives - including our churches? See Job 28:28, Hosea 14:9, and 2 Timothy 3:15-17.
12. Close with a prayerful reading of Psalm 119:8.
Enlightening resources on this topic:
For Time and Forever
Dr. Henry Morris
Bible authority Henry Morris explores the breadth of what it means to have purpose in God's creation. Besides debunking evolutionary myths, Dr. Morris also answers the heart cry of man: where do I fit? Does God have a purpose for me? Morris recognizes that since our time is short in terms of life span, we must all work to fulfill the Great Commission; we must recognize the biblical truth that there is an overall plan of salvation and we must work to implement it. Answering age-old questions like why do bad things happen? and is there a heaven and a hell? Morris provides a framework for laymen and scholars alike to see their true purposes.
1427-5 $12.99, Paperback,222 pages
Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation
The World's First Creation Encyclopedia! This awesome, beautifully illustrated book covers Unlocking the Mysteries of the Early Earth, Evolution, Original Man, Ancient Civilizations and more. A must for everyone's library. Includes CD rom sampler.
Interest level: High School-Adult
7130-4 $34.99, Hardcover, 240 pages
For more information about these resources or to order
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Copyright Â© 1988 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz.
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