by Bill Nugent
Tolerance, pluralism, relativism and respect for other people’s beliefs is what postmodern university professors say will lead to world peace. I’m convinced that the professors are sincere in their beliefs and seek to do good. However, their definition of “tolerance” and their rejection of moral absolutes will bring the opposite of peace.
The postmodern world in which we live is a world of “anything goes.” Another word for “anything goes” is relativism. Relativism is the belief that all morals, cultures and worldviews are equally true. The opposite of relativism is a moral absolute. A moral absolute is a system of morals that applies to all people groups across all cultures and all time periods of history. An example of a moral absolute is the Ten Commandments.
You may remember that there are three major worldviews. TheChristian worldview maintains that truth is revealed by God. Themodern worldview maintains that truth is discovered by human reason. The postmodern worldview maintains that truth in the absolute sense does not exist because each individual creates his own truth by his own intellect and emotions. To the postmodernist therefore, truth is not absolute but is relative. Something that is true for one person is not true for another. Each person makes up his own truth and his own morals.
Those who teach relativism at our universities and colleges claim that relativism results in tolerance and peace. The illusion of tolerance and open-mindedness is the main selling point of relativism. Christianity is derided as rigid, absolute and dogmatic. Even nonchristian thought systems are rejected as being secular dogmas taught from the writings of dead white males such as Plato and Aristotle.
Postmodern pluralism does not bring either peace or tolerance but rather confusion and a new dogma called “political correctness.” Most speakers at universities who defend conservative values are booed off the stage by the so-called “tolerant” young people. Postmodernists at the universities are overwhelmingly pro-abortion. They fight for the right of women to kill their preborn children so these women will be free to live for self-fulfillment unencumbered by child rearing responsibilities. The innocent unborn child is not tolerated!
No ancient civilization was more philosophically and religiously pluralistic than ancient Pagan Rome. There are many similarities between Pagan Roman sophism and postmodernism. The Romans even had a pantheon in which all of the idols of all faiths were displayed and honored. Pagan Rome, however, was more brutal to its neighbors than almost any society before or since. The conquest of Gaul alone resulted in the brutal killing of a million people and the enslaving of another million. It is estimated that two-thirds of the population of the Roman empire were slaves.
How could multiracial, pluralistic Rome be so brutal? Rome was brutal because war and slavery are caused by greed. Relativism and pluralism do not remove greed from the human heart!!
The only thing that removes greed from the human heart is the transforming power of Christ at the new birth. When we receive Christ as Savior we are spiritually reborn.
When Christianity spread across Europe it brought spiritual revival and a system of moral absolutes to the West. Europe was the first continent to abolish slavery. Western civilization was and is not perfect but it does have the Bible as a measuring rod of absolute truth and an impetus toward reform.
As the West abandoned Christianity the twin evils of fascism and communism arose and resulted in the slaughter of millions. Both fascism and communism are ideologies that contain the postmodern notion of moral relativism. The fascists and communists made up their own system of morals rather than adhering to the biblical absolute. This moral relativism, inherent in fascism and communism, caused the fascists and communists to believe it was right to murder their political opponents. In other words they didn’t believe it was wrong to commit murder. They rejected the Judeo-Christian moral absolutes contained in the Ten Commandments.
Let us pray that not only the West but all the Earth will turn away from ideologies of evil and find the spiritual renewal freely offered to us in Christ.