More than twenty years ago, Mr. Rodney King was brutally accosted by the Los Angeles, California police department; at the height of the mayhem that ensued in the city of Los Angeles after this incident, Mr. King asked the following question during a hastily crafted press conference:
“Can’t We All Just Get Along?”
This journalist believes that the answer to Rodney King’s question is a resounding yes, but first we must attempt to come to grips with the origin and nature of “evil.”
The use of the word “evil” alone is enough to cause great apoplexy among certain groups of people – most notably “ethical relativists” who do not believe that there is at least one universal truth principle that can be embraced by all people and at all times.
In Judeo-Christian parlance, the word evil – to quote Saint Augustine – is the complete absence of good; it is the absence of GOD’S Goodness.
Last week, some of my readers suggested that I may have to clarify some terms as this series on the nature of “evil” and “injustice” continues.
I want to thank the readers of my blog who brought this to my attention.
Some of the words that I used last week were terms such as “ethical relativism,” “philosophical naturalism,” and “secular naturalism,” and a “Judeo-Christian worldview.”
When we talk of ethical relativism we are talking about a way in which we engage in discussions about ethics and values.
When one refers to what one “ought to do” or “should do,” then one is employing moral or judgments of how we should live together and make decisions together as a nation and individually.
Secondly, philosophical naturalism refers to an outlook of life that states that there is no GOD and if there is a being that one could call GOD then this being is impersonal and a part of the visible universe (not independent of the universe).
If a person embraces “philosophical naturalism,” then in reality they are embracing either atheism (the belief that there is no GOD) or agnosticism (the belief that one lives in a state of “unknowing” with regards to whether or not GOD does or does not exist).
A Judeo-Christian worldview is an outlook and perspective on life that is based squarely upon the teaching of the Hebrew Bible (Mosaic Law, the writings of the Prophets, and the books of Hebrew Poetry) and upon the person, work, and teaching of JESUS CHRIST as revealed in the New Testament.
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20 & Deuteronomy 5) along with The Sermon On The Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7) form the basis of what we call our Judeo-Christian value system.
From 1607 to the early 1930s much of the America during both the Colonial period and during the formative period of The United States of America operated under a Judeo-Christian outlook or worldview.
Why are these terms so important?
Because a person’s eternal destiny is at stake with regards to how he or she either believes or does not believe in the GOD of the Hebrew and Christian Bible!
Our Jewish friends still await the coming of The Messiah while Christians like myself believe that The Messiah has already come in the Person of JESUS CHRIST.
If philosophical naturalism (atheism or agnosticism) is true, then this life that we live is all that there is.
If secular naturalism is true, then all of humanity might as well all “live, eat, and be merry for tomorrow we will all die.”
However, if the GOD of the Bible – to quote the words of the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer – is there and He is Not Silent, then a refusal to embrace both the teachings of the Old and New Testaments and the life and person of JESUS CHRIST and His teachings is not a trivial matter, but a matter of grave and eternal consequence.
An ethical relativist is a person who believes that both “ethics” and “moral principles” change through the course of time and that they fluctuate according to the changes in a culture, social climate, or society.
A person who believes that GOD is eternal, immutable (unchanging), and holy (uniquely different from His / Her creation and perfect in moral purity), will understand that all moral judgments, values, and principles flow from GOD’s unchanging character.
If one accepts a Jude-Christian worldview, then one will observe, view, and see reality in a way that is diametrically and unalterably opposed to an ethical relativist.
There is no middle or compromising ground between these two worldviews; they are mutually exclusive; they cannot peaceably co-exist!
On the eve of World War II, British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill told the British people that the war against Nazi (atheistic and nationalistic in its orientation) Germany and her allies was nothing less than a war to save “Christian Civilization itself!”
The battle against secular (atheistic and agnostic) naturalism is nothing less than a battle for the Judeo-Christian soul of America herself.