But which is which? To get this wrong can have big, even terrible results. Many of our personal preferences are of little consequence. Some people eat steamed okra and like it. To them it tastes good and, mystery of mysteries, they might even serve it to dinner guests. One person likes vanilla, another prefers chocolate, and neither are right or wrong. Similarly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder as it relates to a great many things. We all have different and changing tastes.
At the same time, some things are good, right, beautiful, and true, regardless of personal taste. And to reduce the ultimate and absolute to the level of our preference for dessert or color of a rug commits a deadly error. Yet, our culture appears to be doing exactly that, and to such an extent that it’s difficult to find anything deemed a great sin other than Christians appealing to Scripture to call something a great sin. Nonetheless, good conforms to God’s definition of good, to that which corresponds to God’s character and will. True beauty flows from the same. And as God’s attributes are beautiful because they are holy, so we radiate beauty when God shines His holiness in and through us, either individually or collectively through the church.
Therefore, while an appeal to moral relativism—the denial of moral absolutes or selective application of the same—may provide a temporary rationalization for one’s sin, it will never annul God’s ultimate judgment. God, alone, determines moral absolutes, apart from whom no moral absolutes would exist. To relativize that which God condemns not only gives no protection from God’s ultimate verdict, it highlights the guilt of elevating our sinful desires over God’s authority and will.
Thus, the growth and popularity of the do, say, and be whatever you want culture reflects the exaltation of our fallen wants and will over the authority and prerogatives of God. Some things may or may not be relative, but God remains the sole and ultimate authority to determine which is which. He created and owns us. He made and sustains the universe in which we live. Apart from Him we have nothing, every good comes from His benevolent hand, and we owe Him all things. He stands as the ultimate and sole determiner of right and wrong, of good and evil, of purpose and meaning, and we depend on Him for knowledge of such things—which He has given to us in Scripture.
God stands as the ultimate good and source of all good, and His revealed will reflects the goodness and perfection of His character. Thus, every thought and action contrary to His design and will for us insults the honor and authority of the One to whom we owe all love and honor. “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17).
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, © Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1988, 1995. Used by permission.
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