Thursday, December 5, 2013
* BEST OF DTB #220* The Catholic Defender: Moral Relativism
When moral relativism is matched against objective truth, people tend to move toward the least line of resistance.
The question of faithfulness becomes a matter of personal opinion. The danger is that moral relativism will mask itself behind personal opinion.
People will give the Holy Spirit credit for their personal opinion. Consider the work of the Holy Spirit:
"The Lord descended in the cloud. He spoke to him and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the spirit came on them they prophesied -- but only once. Two men had stayed back in the camp; one was called Eldad and the other Medad. The spirit came down on them; though they had not gone to the Tent, their names were enrolled among the rest. These began to prophesy in the camp. A young man ran to tell Moses this. 'Look,' he said, 'Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.' Joshua son of Nun, who had served Moses since he was a boy, spoke up and said, 'My lord Moses, stop them!' Moses replied, 'Are you jealous on my account? If only all Yahweh's people were prophets, and Yahweh had given them his spirit!'
Do you think that the Holy Spirit came upon Eldad and Medad to prophesy against Moses? Not at all! The Holy Spirit will not speak words against himself. In fact, what does Jesus say about the work of the Holy Spirit?
"I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name--He will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you" (John 14:25-26).
I have heard some give Mark 9:38-41 as scriptural evidence that the Holy Spirit can work with those outside the Church. The text reads:
"John said to him, 'Master, we saw someone who is not one of us driving out devils in your name, and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.' But Jesus said, 'You must not stop him; no one who works a miracle in my name could soon afterwards speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us. 'If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, then in truth I tell you, he will most certainly not lose his reward."
At the time of Jesus, there were other would be "messiah's" who had made their voices known but they did not produce the signs people witnesses with Jesus. People began to imitate the apostles as a result of those signs which was what Jesus was referring to. The work of the Holy Spirit is to bring all those who were witnessing the miracles of Jesus to become part of his body, the Catholic Church.
"Then some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those with evil spirits, saying, "I ahjure you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.' When the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish high priest, tried to do this, the evil spirit said to them in reply, 'Jesus I recognize, Paul I know, but who are you?' The person with the evil spirit then sprang at them and subdued them all. He so overpowered them that they fled naked and wounded from that house. When this became known to all the Jews and Greeks who lived in Ephesus, fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord was held in great esteem" (ACTS 19:13-17).
That is an amazing scripture! Today we hear all kinds of examples of Protestant Ministers who go so far as to risk snake bites in their services to casting out demons from among them. The clear danger here is that people become embedded in false doctrines of demons so ignorance is used by demons to enslave people in their moral relativism.
Any teaching that does not come from the Apostolic Teaching authority of the Apostles is a rabbit trail. People mask their personal opinions behind their spiritual understanding. It is easy to see how they would see the Holy Spirit within their own understanding.
The Catholic Church can recognize that the Holy Spirit can indeed work within non-Catholic entities, but that is not the same as recognizing that all church groups are equal? That is not the Case, only the Catholic Faith is the "pillar and foundation" of truth.
Since Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has been given to the world 24/7 present in each believer especially through the Sacraments of the Church. In the time of Moses, the Holy Spirit worked in a limited capacity. What a great blessing we have to have access to the Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit.
"Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world".
1 Timothy 4:1-2 states, "Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions through the hypocrisy of liars with branded consciences."
That is moral relativism in it's fullness. The Church teaches the objective truth that artificial birth control is sinful. The moral relativist will dissent from official Church teaching to stand on their own relativism.
The Church teaches that marriage is only between a man and a woman, the moral relativist will dissent and stand with their "progressive" partners accepting homosexual behavior.
As Catholics, we are called to pick up our cross and follow Him. When you continue to listen to Jesus words in the gospel of Mark 9:42-45, we are not to literally cut off our hand, cut off your foot, or pluck out your eye.
We are to avoid the near occasion of sin. Moral relativism will encourage you to go for all the gusto you can get, not worried about the consequences for living in sin.
We are to listen to the Catholic Church, the voice of Christ to the world. Jesus said, "Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me" (Luke 10:16).
We must respect those who strive to love the Lord outside the visible Church and we can recognize the good that they do, but we are to follow the fullness of truth which we have been given.
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