Being Mean…Not!

Being Mean…Not!

by Christie Masters

The relativism that permeates our culture makes a demand of each one of us: “Be tolerant!” Tolerance has become the crux of what is moral, and to be in open disagreement with the beliefs or lifestyle of another person is considered the ultimate immorality. Relativism declares that there is no “truth”, no absolutes to fall back upon when weighing the morality of our actions. We must all be neutral in our communication with others with no hint of judgment regarding their choices, and if there is an absolute, it is absolute tolerance. The problem with this doctrine of tolerance is that it eventually develops into its antithesis. Tolerance ultimately becomes intolerant of anyone who dares to speak about truth or who even suggests there is truth to be known. To suggest there is an absolute truth to live by is now considered bigoted and mean. But is the truth mean? Does it really help others to withhold it, deny it, or ignore it?

Most people, if they took time to consider this idea thoroughly, would come to the realization that “meanness” is found in our attitudes toward one another and not in truth itself. Truth, to be sure, is a natural divider, making a clean line between what is right and wrong, but it is our delivery of it that can be unloving or unkind. The real danger, however, is found in the withholding of truth altogether for fear of offending someone. It is like watching a blind man stumble closer and closer to the edge of a cliff without ever calling out to warn him. We may be powerless to grab him, but we can still cry out that the danger is there. In a world that is increasingly hostile toward anyone who declares that there is such a thing as absolutes, it can take a great deal of courage to speak out against the moral relativism that blinds us. But the alternative is unthinkable, and here we must realize that withholding the truth for the sake of a temporary and flawed peace will never truly benefit anyone.

“The truth will set you free.” Real love does not ignore a man in chains, but gently places the key to freedom in his hand. Many people who have been previously caught up in dangerous lifestyles have shared that it felt like bondage to them, it felt as though they were slowly dying, either physically or mentally, and they felt hopeless. Speaking the truth to hurting people offers them a way out. By identifying a clear moral choice, the path out of addiction, homosexual lifestyle, pornography, etc. becomes clearer. It is a difficult road, but at least it becomes visible when truth is spoken. Relativism is like a fog that blocks the path to freedom from view. We wander around in a world that has embraced it with no clear way forward.

We must remember that from a Biblical worldview, truth walks hand in hand with forgiveness. While moral absolutes shine a light upon the darkness, love has offered us redemption. We can change course, we can step away from the edge of the cliff, we can live in freedom from bondage, but it is not possible without first knowing which course to take or which direction to go. Truth offers us this guidance, and it is a safe, firm foundation from which we can rebuild our broken lives. This is what is loving and kind: to offer hope to one another by sharing what is good and true, by believing and knowing that there is a good and true, and not letting fear silence us.

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