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Relativism

Apologetics, Relativism

Video Highlight: Objective Truth

In this presentation at the ReThink Conference, Brett Kunkle put forth the argument that Christians need to have better reasons for why they are Christians.

Giving reasons like, “I was raised Christian,” or “God changed my life,” have no impact on the atheist. Furthermore, Christians should avoid giving subjective truth reasons for their belief since experience is not enough to keep faith grounded. Instead, Brett contends that we should be able to state with confidence that, “I’m a Christian primarily because there are good reasons and evidence that Christianity is objectively true.” Objective truth is available to the believer.

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Apologetics, Articles, Relativism

Bringing Up Children in Boldness

I recently watched Do You Believe. Several moments from the movie stuck with me, including one in which the pastor in the film exhorts his congregation. “What does it mean to believe?” he asks. “True biblical belief requires action. So if you truly believe that Christ died so that we may live, it should not only bring you to your knees but also bring you to your feet.” Simply put: your actions should reflect your belief.

This same concept is found in the book of James: “Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.  But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:22-25).

Another key moment involves a lawyer warning a Christian that “[the] cross is going to cost you.” Similarly, in the book of 2 Timothy, Paul warns that, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). The persecution you and I experience may not mirror the severity of that of our brothers and sisters’ at the hands of the Islamic State, but if we live boldly in the cause of Christ for any amount of time, we will be made aware of the associated cost.

Our culture abhors clear lines; black and white becomes quite gray. Issues of gender and sexuality are at the forefront of these obfuscated lines today; with a gaining momentum toward throwing out any meaningful distinctions. There are many in the Church that are swayed by these cultural pressures to conform, and struggle to redefine Christian belief in an effort to remain “relevant.”

However, the Church must remember that Christ never stopped drawing clear lines between what God expects and the cultural norm of the day; how can we do any less? It is imperative that we train our children to be courageous in the cause of Christ, to stand for truth, and to declare that truth with boldness, which brings me to my point.

They are watching you.

You are the example that they will first mold themselves after. Your actions should reflect your belief, so that your actions reflect Christ to a lost world, and so that by modeling their values after you your children are in fact modeling their values after Christ. Pray that they would imitate Christ and be brought to their knees and to their feet.

Apologetics, Articles, Logic, Relativism, The Problem of Evil

8 Resources: Abortion, SLED Test & Trotting Out a Toddler

By now, you’re probably seen the undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress. If you haven’t, you can view the edited and unedited versions here, as well as Planned Parenthood’s response here. In the videos, representatives from Planned Parenthood discuss the sale (you can call it compensation, if you’d like, but it doesn’t change what is happening) of the tissue (that’s code for baby organs) that is procured from abortions with “buyers” from the CMA.

Since the first video was posted, two weeks of sharing videos, reading articles and signing petitions have followed. We have seen many debates (with varying degrees of civility) spawning in Facebook and Twitter feeds. For those opposed to the destruction of human life, they are filled with the desire to overthrow the Planned Parenthood machine. For those in favor, they fight back with venom. Both sides strike and I wonder, whose minds are changing? How will this play out?

As we have conversations and push forward toward the protection of unborn life, I wanted to share a few resources that you may be able to use to encourage reasonable discussions. First, you need to have some solid reasons for why you think abortion is wrong. Is a fetus a human or isn’t it? Is it really a woman’s “right” to choose? Realistically, as long as you know why you believe a person is a person at conception and why it is wrong for a person to be killed in the womb, you are on firm footing.

Social Media Graphics, Articles & Tools

I am including a few graphics here that we created from quotes in helpful articles, as well as an 8.5×11″ resource that covers the “SLED Test” and “Trotting Out a Toddler” approaches. I would recommend sharing them on Facebook or Twitter along with the link to the related article so that you can invite some interesting conversations.

The SLED Test & Trotting Out a Toddler

Sled Test and Trotting out a toddler handout

You can download the 8.5×11″ pdf here. Great presentation of the SLED Test here. More detail about Trotting Out a Toddler here.

 

For Facebook, Twitter or Instragram

 

Let’s Face It: Planned Parenthood Is Evil by David Harsanyi

While the tone of the article can be a bit coarse, I think David raises some interesting points and questions.

harsanyiabortion-socialmediagraphic-071815

 

Partial-Birth Abortion is Not About Abortion by Greg Koukl
koukl1abortion-socialmediagraphic-071815

 

Abortion for Rape Victims? by Greg Koukl

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See the investigative video HERE

nucatolaabortion-socialmediagraphic-071815

 

Whose Body Parts Are They? by J.W. Wartick

wartick1abortion-socialmediagraphic-071815

 

 

Tissue, specimens, human being, flesh, fetus, baby… Whatever you choose to call it…

psalm139abortion-socialmediagraphic-071815

 

We hope these are helpful tools and conversation starters! If you share on Twitter (@youthapolonet) or Facebook (Youth Apologetics Network) be sure to tag us so we can follow along.

 

Apologetics, Articles, Relativism

Marriage, Rainbows & Our Children: Same-Sex Marriage Resources

As you are probably already aware, the Supreme Court recently issued a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. On the day the ruling came down from on high, accompanied by a cascade of rainbows and celebration and retaliation, I can readily admit that my initial reaction was  disappointment.

It is difficult to pinpoint why I was disappointed, however, because it is not as if the ruling came out of left-field (perhaps that isn’t the best expression given the circumstances). Perhaps the sadness came from the inner parts of me that still hoped reason and restraint would prevail this time. At any rate, I would imagine that one of your first thoughts was “what now?” What now and what does this mean for the children that we are attempting to raise to be able to think critically, live Biblically, and act lovingly? So this week, I am providing a list of resources and articles that have surfaced on the web to help us think, respond and proceed well in the coming days and years.

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Apologetics, Articles, Relativism

Moral Relativism, Absolute Truth & Stealing Swings

Have you ever heard someone say, “True for you, but not for me”? How about, “You shouldn’t tell people what to do”? Of course you have! But did you know that those are signs that that person doesn’t think there is absolute moral truth? That’s relativism!

In other words, they think that there isn’t any truth that is true for everyone. Instead they think that truth is subjective(determined by personal feelings and beliefs, “I think it is this way, so it is this way for me.”) rather than objective(not determined by personal feelings and beliefs, “It is this way even if I don’t think it is this way.”). Relativism is very problematic, for a number of reasons, and we will explore a few of the reasons below.

One day, Absolute Andy and Relative Rita are playing at the park. Relative Rita sees a swing that she really wants to play with, but another child (we’ll call her Unfortunate Uma) is already on the swing.  Rita shoves Uma off the swing and happily begins swinging!

 

Absolute Andy: Rita! Why did you take the swing from Uma? That was a really mean thing to do and it was wrong for you to take it. You should say you’re sorry!

 

Unfortunate Uma: *sniffle, sniffle, sob*

 

Relative Rita: *rolls her eyes* It is wrong for YOU to tell ME what I should and shouldn’t do! Just because you think it’s wrong doesn’t mean I have to. You shouldn’t tell me what to do!

 

Do you see what happened there? Rita told Andy 3 things. (1) She said that taking Uma’s swing wasn’t wrong because she didn’t think it was wrong, (2) she said that it was wrong for Andy to tell her it was wrong, and (3) she told Andy he shouldn’t tell her what to do! This is an example of moral relativism. Rita is saying that things aren’t objectively right or wrong unless she agrees that they are right or wrong. She says that if she doesn’t think shoving and stealing are wrong, then they really aren’t wrong for her to do. Let’s think about what Rita said.

Do you think it is okay to steal? Probably not. How about to punch someone for no reason? Of course not! If a person like Rita, who thinks that truth and right and wrong are subjective, in order to be consistent, they would have to say it is okay for people to punch other people for no reason at all! Does that sound like a good way to think? I sure hope not. In the same way, your friend can tell you all day that he thinks the sky is green, and he might even really believe that, but it doesn’t actually make the sky green, does it? That is a small example of a thing that is true whether you think it is or not. I’ll bet you can think of lots of things like that.

 

subjectiveandobjective

 

There is one more thing we should notice about the story. Did you catch that Rita said it was wrong for Andy to tell her stealing the swing was wrong? She told him not to tell her what to do! She was doing the very thing she was saying was wrong. Isn’t that a confusing way to think? A lot of the people you will talk to who say things like this haven’t thought carefully about what they believe. This kind of relativism is often just an excuse for them to behave however they want. They may say it’s wrong to stop people from doing things you think are wrong, but if you tell them “Alright, I am going to steal your iPod because I think it is OK,” and start to take it, I’ll bet they’ll try very hard to stop you(That’s just an example of a way to get them to think about what they are saying; obviously you shouldn’t ever steal anything).

Moral relativism is full of things called logical fallacies, and we will look at logical fallacies in a future article. It is important to know about moral relativism, because sometimes people say that Christians shouldn’t tell other people that things are wrong or true. You’ll hear “be tolerant of other beliefs,” but what they are usually really saying is “we don’t like what you believe, because it isn’t what we believe, so stop telling us about it.” Our God has told us truths that are true for everyone, and it is our job as His followers to defend that truth and share it with others. Even Jesus called himself “the way, the truth, and the life!” Truth is really important! For now, let’s see how Andy responds to Rita!

 

Relative Rita: It is wrong for you to tell me what to do!

 

Absolute Andy: May I ask you a question, Rita?

 

Relative Rita: Well, I guess. What?

 

Absolute Andy: If it is wrong for me to tell you that it was wrong to shove and steal from Uma, then why is it okay for YOU to tell ME that it is wrong to correct you?

 

Relative Rita: Uuh, I don’t know, I guess that doesn’t really make sense, but still, that doesn’t mean it was wrong for me to take this swing.

 

Absolute Andy: Hmm.  I guess in that case I will just shove you off the swing and take it for myself. *Andy starts walking closer to Rita’s swing with his arms outstretched*

 

Relative Rita: No don’t!! That’s not fair!!!

 

Absolute Andy: Exactly! I wasn’t really going to shove you, but I wanted you to see that you’re being silly. Let’s go apologize to Uma.

 

More in-depth resources about Moral Relativism for parents and young adults:

 

Clay Jones’ Truth SERUMM for Moral Relativism

“Moral Relativism” on Got Questions?

“A Dialogue on Relativism” on CARM

“The Myth of Moral Relativity” on Stand to Reason’s Blog

Faith Interface’s “Seven Fatal Flaws of Relativism”