We live in this strange postmodern society where everything seems to be relative. Truth, if it even exists, is up for grabs. One person's beliefs and opinions, no matter how outrageous, are seen as just as valid as anyone else's. In fact, the only thing you cannot do is say that one idea is better than another.
You know all this. We are surrounded by it every day.
So what do we do in light of this? As Christians, we look for a source of absolute truth. We know the source of that truth is the bible. Without a source of absolute truth, everything becomes relative. With a source of absolute truth, relativism is destroyed. What is right and what is wrong can be known. We can know God's truth because He has stated it clearly in the bible.
We know all this.
Just as a reminder about what the bible has to say about itself, here are a few verses:
Isaiah 40:8, "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever." (ESV)
Isaiah 55:8, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord."
II Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness."
Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
We Christians quickly say that the bible is true and authoritative. The interesting thing is that while we always say the bible is true, we often hesitate to say the bible is authoritative in all areas. Specifically, we certainly say the bible has authority where it commands, but we often shy away from saying the bible is authoritative in what it models for us.
Why is this? It must be because we do some things that are not modeled for us in the bible, but we want to keep doing them. This is the case in day-to-day living and in the gathering of the church.
The problem with this is that we, when we reject the biblical model, are creeping toward relativism in certain areas. How do we know if what we are doing as individuals or as a church is the right thing to do? What do we look to? If we have rejected the biblical model, then we have nowhere else to go. All ideas are up for grabs. There are no absolutes because we have rejected the absolute that was modeled for us in the bible.
The interesting thing in all this is that the bible says that we have been given all we need to live as God wants us to. In II Peter 1:3, Peter writes, "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence" (emphasis mine). We have been given all things we need to know to please God.
What Peter is saying is that the bible is sufficient. We do not need anything else. We do not need to look anywhere else. We do not need to come up with ideas on our own.
When it comes to decision-making in life, we have two options: the bible or relativism. Which will we select?
With the absolute truth of scripture (commanded or modeled), we know exactly what to do. Without the bible, it's all relative.