Methodist Bishops wrong again

Fresh off Jim Winkler’s abuse of the story of the Good Samaritan, we have this: God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action — A Pastoral Letter from the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church. These leaders embarrass themselves and the denomination over and over again.  (Please note that these are just the U.S. Bishops.  In my experience the International Bishops are more orthodox.  And as always, I’m grateful that my local church has sound theology.)

Once again, I am not anti-environment.  Two of my cars get 33-35 mpg, I have recycled newspapers for almost 40 years and I constantly minimize waste, among many other things.  But I find the shrill and un-thinking environmentalism espoused by these Bishops and other extremists to be counterproductive, and I am most concerned about their abuse of scripture to advance their political agenda.  

Here are selected portions of this announcement.

First, let us orient our lives toward God’s holy vision. This vision of the future calls us to hope and to action. “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Christ’s resurrection assures us that this vision is indeed a promise of renewal and reconciliation. As disciples of Christ, we take God’s promise as the purpose for our lives. Let us, then, rededicate ourselves to God’s holy vision, living each day with awareness of the future that God extends to us and of the Spirit that leads us onward.

Go read Jeremiah 29:11 in context, or even just verse 4: “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon . . .”   It has nothing to do with some generic promise to all people or even Christians.  It is a specific promise for a specific group (the Israelites taken into captivity by the Babylonians) at a specific time.   God’s plans for those who die without trusting in Jesus do not involve increasing their welfare or giving them a future with hope.  It will be an eternity in Hell.  Under no circumstances is this some kind of catch-all verse to share with people.

The Bishops completely misunderstood their foundational verse.  I’ve misinterpreted verses before, including that one, but (1) I’m not a group of 50 Methodist Bishops, (2) I am not speaking for the denomination, (3) I’m correctable and (4) I don’t take verses out of context to support my political views.

Did none of the Bishops realize how this verse was taken wildly out of context (bad),  did they not care (bad) or both (really bad)?

We practice social and environmental holiness by caring for God’s people and God’s planet and by challenging those whose policies and practices  neglect the poor, exploit the weak, hasten global warming, and produce more weapons.

Do they really challenge those whose practices neglect the poor and exploit the weak?  What have they done in, say, North Korea or Iran?

What do they do for the pro-life cause?  What could be more neglectful or exploitive than destroying unwanted human beings who are the weakest of all?

Have they not read that the global warming power grab was a fraud?  They need to pray for the spiritual gift of discernment.

Weapons protect people.  The Bishops should read Romans 13.

For example, in the Council of Bishops, the fifty active bishops in the United States are committed to listening and learning with the nineteen active bishops in Africa, Asia, and Europe. And the bishops representing the conferences in the United States will prayerfully examine the fact that their nation consumes more than its fair share of the world’s resources, generates the most waste, and produces the most weapons.

Maybe they should share our economic model (pre-Obama) that generated the amazing wealth in the U.S. — you know, the wealth we’ve shared with the rest of the world.  Economics is not a zero sum game.  Sure, some cheat, but if you provide superior service and products with efficiency you can win.  There is nothing un-Biblical about that.

We pledge ourselves to make common cause with religious leaders and people of goodwill worldwide who share these concerns. We will connect and collaborate with ecumenical and interreligious partners and with community and faith organizations so that we may strengthen our common efforts.

I see that 2 Corinthians 6:14 doesn’t mean much to these folks: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

We pledge to advocate for justice and peace in the halls of power in our respective nations and international organizations.

Really?  What are your plans for Iran and N. Korea? 

Ecumenical and interreligious partners persist in demanding the major nuclear powers to reduce their arsenals, step by verifiable step, making a way to a more secure world totally disarmed of nuclear weapons.

Again, what are their plans for Iran and N. Korea?  Naiveté is not a spiritual gift.  It can be deadly.

There is nothing wrong with a message of reduce, reuse, recycle.  But the church should focus on its real purpose first.  This announcement by the Bishops is just more left-wing politics disguised as religion.

I wish these Bishops put this much energy into sharing the Gospel.  I’d like to ask each one individually when they last shared the real Gospel with someone — including the key points about their sin nature and need for a Savior, and how Jesus is the only way.

Note: Comments are welcomed, but instead of theological liberals just telling me I should leave the denomination instead of criticizing it, how about actually addressing my arguments?  For example, if you think the Bishops’ take on Jeremiah 29 is more accurate than mine, please explain why in detail.

Hat tip: Mark at Chester Street

0 thoughts on “Methodist Bishops wrong again”

  1. I have found that Jeremiah passage to be one of the most misused passages by Christians. Right up there with it is 2 Chron. 7:14 which people try to assign to the U.S.A.

    My feelings about the UMC is that if your local assembly is fundamental, perhaps they should leave the denomination so as not to be associated with it. Same with Episcopals.

    Here’s my commentary on the UMC I did a couple months ago. http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2009/10/what-about-united-methodist-church.html

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      1. They should not be senior pastors and Glenn is dead on with the lousy theology that follows them. You should read his link on the horrific things taught in many Methodist churches (including yours?!).

        Hope you appreciate the clarity. I suppose I could have been wimpy like you were on the oxymoronic same-sex marriage topic and say, “Gee, I’ll have to let God sort that out.” Because the homosexual topic is vastly more clear than the women pastor topic.

        100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.

        100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.

        100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).

        0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

        But that isn’t clear enough for you, eh?

        You are welcome to point out where I’m wrong on the following biblical topics:

        1. The Good Samaritan: Is Winkler right that it is about Jesus favoring a government takeover of health care, including taxpayer funded abortions, or am I right that it was about how we should give and care for others with our own time and money?

        2. Did the 50 Bishops have the right take on Jeremiah 29, or is my assessment of the context accurate?

        3. Homosexual behavior is a sin. Trying refuting Romans 1 or the flaws of the shellfish argument.

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      2. “They should not be senior pastors”

        I guess Bishop Huie isn’t one of your favorites then.

        “I suppose I could have been wimpy like you”

        “You are welcome to point out where I’m wrong on the following biblical topics”

        And you are welcome to your honest opinions. Things are rather black and white for you. That’s fine. It’s just not that way for me. But like I said God will grade our final exam and lucky for us all he sees what we can’t…our hearts.

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      3. I don’t follow your “black and white” point. I’m really quite liberal on the non-essentials. I have opinions on when and how to baptize, when and how to do communion, etc. but I wouldn’t split over it.

        What is unclear to you about the Good Samaritan parable? What is grey about Jeremiah 29? What is unclear about “don’t murder?” If you don’t hold to the view that Jesus is the only way to salvation, what is unclear about the 100 passages that convey that teaching?

        I’ve noticed that you haven’t dismissed Winkler and the 50 Bishops for being so black and white. I didn’t sense them being unsure of their views.

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      4. I didn’t dismiss you Neil, not at all. I’m not dismissing any of it.

        The Bishops can do what they want. Honestly I don’t care what they do. But I have no problems with what they said in their letter. They have a right to their opinions. Same for Winkler. I happened to find Winker’s observation on the Good Samaritan different and for me that was refreshing. It caused me to look at that passage from a different perspective. I appreciated that. I really don’t care to go about trying to prove someone wrong. It seems like a pretty futile exercise to me. And as to my wimpyness…okay…so be it. God really will sort it out in the end.

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      5. So you think they got Jeremiah 29 right, or that it doesn’t matter if they don’t understand it or deliberately misused it?

        Why is Winkler’s take on the Good Samaritan refreshing if it isn’t true?

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      6. And I don’t follow the final exam metaphor, either. If you are talking about our deeds, then we all fail, miserably and completely. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.

        We aren’t saved by more right answers about Bible trivia. But if we are saved we should strive to see the world the way He does and not twist his word to conform to our view of the world or our political ideology.

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      7. I agree. But each person comes from their own perspective and experiences which colors everything. And we will disgree, but we don’t have to be disagreeable or rude to one another. We are all limping through this life together.

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      8. Marty, my guess is that you are a truly nice and kind husband / father / friend / etc. But you appear to have succumbed to faulty postmodern thinking.

        You make unapologetic truth claims and support others who do (i.e., Winkler). But when challenged you retreat (“let God sort it out”) and/or attack (“Neil is too black and white”).

        If you are truly a follower of Christ then try to be more like him. Hold the views He holds. Be loving but bold. Don’t be afraid of speaking the truth. If you aren’t sure what the truth is, study some more.

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      9. “Marty, my guess is that you are a truly nice and kind husband / father / friend / etc.”

        Ummm…I’m a truly nice wife/mother/grandmother/friend, etc.

        “But you appear to have succumbed to faulty postmodern thinking. ”

        I don’t even know what that is.

        “If you are truly a follower of Christ then try to be more like him. Hold the views He holds. Be loving but bold. Don’t be afraid of speaking the truth. If you aren’t sure what the truth is, study some more”

        I am trying..I don’t suppose I’ll ever have it completely figured out…but I trust God to take care of all that even if I never do.

        “But when challenged you retreat (“let God sort it out”) and/or attack (“Neil is too black and white”).”

        Didn’t realize I was retreating or attacking. It’s just something I’ve not yet figured out, so until I do I’ll let God sort it out.

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      10. Ummm…I’m a truly nice wife/mother/grandmother/friend, etc.

        Ooops, sorry about that!

        I don’t even know what that is.

        Sorry, postmodernism, among other things, leads to truth-is-relative thinking and that it is wrong to say others are wrong.

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      11. “But if we are saved we should strive to see the world the way He does and not twist his word to conform to our view of the world or our political ideology.”

        Well perhaps you view things as political that I or someone else might not see as political. For instance, I was telling a member of the church where I work about all the ministries at my church. We partner with local non-profits to help alleviate poverty in our area through ESL classes, computer training, helping the homeless, health care, jobs, restorative justice, etc. He thought all that was political. I see it as meeting physical as well as spiritual needs in a wholistic ministry.

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      12. I am all for meeting physical and spiritual needs and don’t necessarily see those things as political (though I do have a well founded concern over terms like “restorative justice”).

        What I find political are people like Winkler who expect the government to take from others to help people. There are good and bad political idea that can be debated on their merits. Where Christians should be careful is assigning Jesus’ name to their particular issue. The burden of proof is on them.

        I am glad to demonstrate the evidence for Jesus being pro-life, for example.

        Regarding meeting people’s spiritual needs: Do you think Jesus is the only way to salvation and that without him we spend an eternity in Hell? Cause I’m pretty sure that Wesley fellow did, and I know that Jesus did.

        If not, just what spiritual needs are you meeting?

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      13. I wouldn’t be opposed to female pastors if they held to orthodox teaching. Unfortunately that has not been the case – I know many women who have gone through the UMC ordination process, and without exaggeration I can say that I cannot think of *one* that doesn’t reflect the views of Winkler and his brood.

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  2. Excellent job Neil! Thank you for addressing this with much more insights! The Jeremiah passage is purposely, in my opinion, misused by these Bishops.

    These folks have a worldly mind set (secular humanism) and want to use the name and authority of Christ and His word to put <b.themselves on the throne. The US – UMC Bishops have swallowed the whole “emergent” – “social” theology non-gospel without a single hiccup.

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  3. Very interesting Neil. I am often confused by the lengths the left go to press their agenda, I do see this on the right as often, but hardly have I seen any denomination do something like this en masse on the right,

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      1. Dan:

        Are you seriously going to act like you have not seen the right trot out their gun toting, constitution writing, immigrant hating, etc., etc. version of Jesus in contradiction to the BIBLICAL one at least as often as the left trots out their tree hugging Jesus?

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      2. Some examples of volume and specifically abused passages would help. Many leaders in most mainline denominations (Methodist, Episcopal, UCC, etc.) do exactly what I’ve documented here. I know there are Fred Phelps types on both ends of the spectrum but they don’t speak for multi-million member denominations.

        I don’t see how you can conflate legitimate concerns over immigration with immigrant-hating. Should we open our borders without restrictions to the hundreds of millions of people around the world who would love to move here?

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      3. And besides, people like Fred Phelps aren’t Christians, no matter how much they claim to be; all one has to do is look at their actions – their fruit. False teachers maybe the “right wing nuts” but they aren’t Christians.

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  4. Neil,

    What do Methodists today believe about the teaching authority of Methodist Bishops?

    What I’m trying to ask, in a round about way, is are these individuals claiming to teach their obvious errors authoritatively?

    The reason I ask this is not to advance a Catholic position (“…wouldn’t it be nice to belong to a Church with authorative infallible moral teaching…” “Come to the darkside, we have cookies”), but rather to impeach the credibility of persons who are spreading error.

    If they don’t believe that their position carries the authority of truth, then why are they presenting their position at all? Similarily, if they do believe that their position is authoritatively true, do they even attempt to reconile the fact that their position represents a complete and total break with anything resembling historical Christianity, be it Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox?

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    1. The problem with Rome is that it DOESN’T have “authoritative infallible moral teaching.” All one has to do is look at history to see how thoroughly immoral Rome’s popes have been, let alone totally fallible. Let’s see, priestly celibacy, ever-virgin Mary, transubstantiation, murders of those who disagree, limbo, purgatory, praying to dead people, the re-crucifying of Christ at every Mass, indulgences, etc, etc, etc.

      With Rome, when the leadership is in grave error no one can question them and the whole organization descends into heresy and apostasy. With UMC and all other organized denominations, the individual has the right to question the teachings and those who adhere to scripture over what the leadership says do not fall into apostasy.

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    2. LCB,

      Good question, but I’m not sure about the finer points of the Bishops teaching authority. I just know that the most vocal ones have lousy theology and the discipline left decades ago when the orthodox leaders were too nice in letting the apostates hang around. And consistency isn’t their strong suit, so reconciling their views to anything, let alone the Bible, doesn’t appear to be a priority.

      LOL re. cookies!

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  5. As a Methodist, I am encouraged by the Methodist congregations outside the United States. Especially in both China and Africa, you find people on fire to share the Word of God with others. The message they share is the true hope of Christ, not diluted snippets of the Bible designed to advance specific political policies.
    Liberal congregations of the Methodist church are shedding membership at alarming rates. In an effort to broaden their appeal and be inclusive, they have become indistinguishable from the secular world. NOTHING they focus on as important requires one to believe in Christ. One can believe in peace and in justice and in improving the environment while completely disbelieving God exists.
    In contrast, our congregation continues to grow as we focus on the more fundamental message centered on Christ why Christ makes such a difference in a person’s life. The fastest growing Methodist churches are in China and Africa who also focus on the message of Christ and not simply restating secular political positions. Long term, I suspect the growth of these churches will strongly influence the direction the Methodist church will take and move it back to the core message of Christ. You can be sure the current bishops see which way the wind is blowing as well. The numbers do not lie. Making inclusion and liberal politics your primary focus results in reduced membership numbers. Focusing on the core message of Christ and sharing that message results in church growth. The current bishops either fail or choose to not realize that we do not have to change the church to reach out to people. We simple need to be true to the message of Christ and the Holy Spirit will move hearts.

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  6. “So you think they got Jeremiah 29 right, or that it doesn’t matter if they don’t understand it or deliberately misused it?”

    I have no problem with the way they used Jeremiah 29. You seem to think there is some hidden agenda or something. I just saw concern for how we treat God’s creation. I can see a relationship to that and the passage.

    “Why is Winkler’s take on the Good Samaritan refreshing if it isn’t true?”

    You say it isn’t true. I made no such claim. Winkler is speaking to the fact that we are our brother’s keeper and we should make no distinctions in caring for one another in common. Universal health care is one way to do that. I understand the point he is making. You see it one way….I see it another.

    “Marty, my guess is that you are a truly nice and kind husband / father / friend / etc.”

    Ummm…I’m a truly nice wife/mother/grandmother/friend, etc.

    “Ooops, sorry about that”

    Had you really read my comments or “listened” you wouldn’t have made that error. You have shown that you barely glossed over them, gleaned what you wanted, and were mainly concerned with getting your point across .

    “Sorry, postmodernism, among other things, leads to truth-is-relative thinking and that it is wrong to say others are wrong”

    Sometimes truth is relative and if you are stating your opinion – well, you know what the say…….opinions are like a______s everybody’s got one.

    Btw…I looked up “postmodernism”….couldn’t understand a damn thing that was written. Went waaaay over my head.

    “That’s good, I think . . . what if they don’t trust in Jesus?”

    You plant the seeds….God does the rest. It’s not up to you to save them is it? You know what they say….you can lead a horse to water……….

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    1. Marty,
      When people take Scripture out of context as a “proof text” for a particular teaching, then they are no better than the cults. The Scripture isn’t there for twisting as we see fit – it is there for our learning. If you have church leadership misusing Scripture, that is even worse because they are the ones who should know better. If you see nothing wrong with their misuse of Jer. 29:11, then perhaps you don’t understand the context yourself?

      “Sometimes truth is relative” WHAT?!?!? Truth is always absolute; there is no such thing as a “relative” truth. Truth is either true or it isn’t. There is a vast difference between truth and opinion. Good opinions are based on truth, bad opinions ignore truth.

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      1. Do you mean it is just my opinion that truth is not relative? So are then saying that there is no such thing as ultimate truth?

        Or do you mean it is just my opinion – the paragraph about taking passages out of context?

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    2. I have no problem with the way they used Jeremiah 29. You seem to think there is some hidden agenda or something. I just saw concern for how we treat God’s creation. I can see a relationship to that and the passage.

      What is most concerning with folks like you and the Bishops is that they are un-teachable. You point out to them v. 4, for example, and they could care less. They use the verse to try and prove their point anyway, because they care more about their agenda than what God really said.

      Universal health care is one way to do that.

      No, it is a wildly inefficient way for you to take from neighbor A to help neighbor B and give yourself credit.

      You have shown that you barely glossed over them, gleaned what you wanted, and were mainly concerned with getting your point across .

      Not at all. I’ve taken your comments very seriously and pointed out their errors. You just respond with, “That’s your opinion.”

      You plant the seeds….God does the rest. It’s not up to you to save them is it? You know what they say….you can lead a horse to water……….

      I agree with that. My question was aiming at what you think happens when they die if they reject Jesus.

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    3. I have no problem with the way they used Jeremiah 29. You seem to think there is some hidden agenda or something. I just saw concern for how we treat God’s creation. I can see a relationship to that and the passage.

      I urge you to re-read their statement. Note their multiple references to God’s vision. Then keep in mind that this particular vision was only for the Israelites in exile.

      First, let us orient our lives toward God’s holy vision. This vision of the future calls us to hope and to action. “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Christ’s resurrection assures us that this vision is indeed a promise of renewal and reconciliation. As disciples of Christ, we take God’s promise as the purpose for our lives. Let us, then, rededicate ourselves to God’s holy vision, living each day with awareness of the future that God extends to us and of the Spirit that leads us onward.

      What if they had used verses 17-19 instead?

      ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, behold, I am sending on them sword, famine, and pestilence, and I will make them like vile figs that are so rotten they cannot be eaten. I will pursue them with sword, famine, and pestilence, and will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, a terror, a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, because they did not pay attention to my words, declares the LORD, that I persistently sent to you by my servants the prophets, but you would not listen, declares the LORD.’

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  7. What I am saying is that SOMETIMES truth is relative. Not always however. It depends on the situation. One plus one will always equal two. And yes, IMHO, your interpretation of the scripture in question is your opinion.

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      1. This discussion has prompted me to do some research. I thought I knew what I was talking about when I said truth is relative. For instance I believe there is a God. For me that is truth. My friend doesn’t believe in God and so for her the truth is that there is no God. My reality. Her reality. I can’t prove God’s existence in the way I can prove one plus one equals two because it is by faith that I believe. But what I found in my research was the Double Slit Experiment
        which supposedly has proven that truth is relative to the observer. I also found Plato’s Protagoras – a dialogue with Socrates. All very interesting indeed. But I have found myself in a conundrum of sorts. Perhaps I’ll figure it out.

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      2. Hi Marty,

        I truly appreciate that you are interesting in working to learn more.

        Please consider this view of your God example: You and your friend have different views, but one of you is wrong. There isn’t a God and not a God at the same time and in the same way. Just because your friend doesn’t believe in God doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist.

        (Side note: I agree that you can’t prove God exists in the 1+1=2 sense, but we do have many categories of compelling evidence — you might be interested in some of the apologetics links to the right.)

        If I could point you just one site it would be http://www.str.org. They have a very winsome approach to sharing truths about God, how to think clearly and how to share it in a winsome manner.

        You might want to consider a few biblical examples as well. Jesus claimed to be the truth and made truth claims left and right.

        The Book of Acts has 13 presentations of the Gospel. Go scan them and you’ll find that not one says to believe on “blind faith.” They all involve presentations of facts and logic (and the occasional miracle).

        Happy new year!

        Peace, Neil

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      3. Truth is independent of belief or knowledge about it. Something is either true or it isn’t. Truth is unchanging even if our beliefs about it change. Beliefs don’t change facts.

        A lot of philosophers have sat gazing at their navels to come up with ideas about truth being relative to our perspective, but just because one is a philosopher, that doesn’t mean they know what they are talking about! All truth is absolute truth – it is true for all.

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      4. Marty,

        If I may, it seems that your position might be self-contradictory and self-refuting.

        Your thinking seems to be like this:

        I. All truth is relative
        II. The statement “all truth is relative” is absolutely true
        III. Therefore, all truth is relative because there is at least one truth that is not relative.

        Does that conclusion make sense? It doesn’t make sense to me, it seems to be self-refuting and self-contradictory.

        I find it helpful to recall that there are two different sorts of opinions, opinions on subjective matters and opinions on objective matters.

        Subjective matters are things that vary from person to person. When I say “Mint chocolate chip icecream is the best icecream PERIOD.” What I really mean is “Mint Chocolate Chip is the best icecream to me.” Were I to place that on the same level as “The sky is blue” “1+1=2” or “God exists” I would be presenting a subjective opinion as a fact. The standard response from most folks would be to laugh, because it’s obvious that the matter is not one of absolute truth.

        Opinions on objective matters are different. These are opinions on something that can, and presumably will, eventually be known as either “true or false.” An example of this would be, “Who is Jim married to?” Jim can’t be married to Suzie and Sally at the same time, he is married to either Suzie or Sally. We may have different opinions for a variety of reasons, but we will eventually find out that one of us is right and one of us is wrong (or conceivably we both could be wrong, and Jim might not be married at all, or could be married to Jill).

        But, with these different sorts of opinions, we are asserting what we believe the truth is on a matter. Once the truth is discovered (say, that the Earth is round), those who assert the Earth is not round are simply wrong. They are mistaken. They might insist they are not mistaken, but they’re still wrong. The roundness of the earth is not subjective in the way that ice cream flavors are.

        So, if I assert “God exists”, I am making an objective truth claim. This is not like icecream flavors. When your friend asserts “God does not exist” we now have 2 claims that are mutually exclusive. If one is right, the other is wrong. Additionally, one MUST be right and one MUST be wrong.

        A person is free to believe that God does not exist. But they are wrong. They may sincerely believe that God does not exist, but all that does is make them sincerely wrong.

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      5. Goodness, everyone else has pretty much covered the “truth is not and can not be relative” angle here.

        Marty, I hope you consider the others statements, and I hope and pray, for all of us, for proper discernment.

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  8. Okay, so sometimes truth is relative? How can truth be relative? It is either true or it isn’t truth. Truth is defined by that which conforms to reality. All truth is absolute truth. That is logic and fact, not an opinion. Truth for me is truth for you – we don’t have our own truths.

    As to the scripture in question, there is only one interpretaion for it. You can’t just take things out of context and make them say what you want them to say. In that passage God is talking to Israel and no one else. When someone makes a promise to a person, no one else can claim that promise; e.g., I promised my wife I would always be married to her; no other woman can then step in and say that promise applied to HER. In the same way, you can’t take Jer.29:11, a promise God made to Israel and then say it applies to other things. That is called eisegesis. And that isn’t just an opinion – it is the truth!

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