Thursday, January 20, 2011


An emphasis on personal feelings or responses as opposed to external facts or evidence; In philosophy a theory stating that the only valid moral standard is the one imposed by somebody's own conscience…

I recently read the following article by Stewart Fenters a young man with a passion for the “Truth” … In a “Church” world where almost nothing is “Wrong” or “Sinful” (Remember that old word) as long as you don’t feel bad about it, this letter blessed me & challenged me, I trust it will do the same for you….

The Problem With Subjectivism....

I was riding in the car listening to the radio and an interview with Shooter Jennings came on. Good ole Country rock. He said the following, “Hold to what is true and to who you love, whatever it is you find to be true and whoever you love”. My stomach turns a bit when I hear statements like that. Mostly because of how untrue they are.

When talking of your faith with a non-believer, this response is quite typical in today’s culture: “I have no problem with your faith. Christianity works for you, but it doesn’t really work for me. I’m still looking to find my religion”. In an age where being “religious” is actually kind of cool, it shouldn’t be surprising. Again, my heart breaks when I hear statements like this because of how far from the truth they really are.

In this light, you can look at faith in two ways. It can be subjective; meaning that it is based on our feelings or opinions. Or it can be objective; meaning that faith is not influenced by our own feelings or opinions about its truth.

The Gospel is objective in that its truth stands alone and its security is not dependent on our belief for it to be created or continue to exist. For example, God doesn’t exist because Christians believe He exists. He exists without the opinion or influence of any living thing. Another example, the glorious salvation offered to us by God did not come into existence simply because we believe it. It is an event that has happened and we chose to accept the continuous gift from a gracious Lord. Let’s put it inversely as well: believing something that is inherently false doesn’t magically make it true. If I choose to believe with absolutely certainty that I am a fish, my belief maybe somewhat honorable (or insane) but it will not be true.

If you look at faith in Christ in a subjective light, it gives you the freedom to pick and choose elements of truth from other religions as they “fit” into your personal belief system. This practice of picking and choosing elements from other belief systems into your own is called syncretism. It has seeped its way into our culture as well as our churches. We hear a passage that is difficult to follow and we choose to keep that element out of our practice of faith. But God’s truths are not meant to be picked apart. Psalm 119:96 states that “To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless”. Every other “truth” in the world has a limit, but the truths of God have no bounds and are eternal. Anything contrary to the Gospel is not the Gospel at all, and changing a little portion of the Gospel tears apart the integrity of the message itself. God also makes a warning to these kinds of actions in Revelation 22:18-19.

You could write a book on this topic. I am not going to write a book. However, one example of how truth and lies being mixed came to me this morning. I make coffee in a French press every morning and as I was boiling the water, I began to think about the purity of water. It is so clean and so fresh and it sustains life. As I poured the water into the coffee grounds housed in the press, I saw the two ingredients mix and become a completely different drink. No one could look at my cup of coffee and say, “yes that’s water”. They could say, “There’s water in that drink, but it’s mixed with something else”. Fundamentally, it has been changed. When it comes to faith, you cannot mix truth with lies and expect truth to be the same. The holiness of God can’t be seated next to the un-holiness of earth. He must reign above all things (Col. 1:17). The great St. Augustine said the following, “Christ is not valued at all, unless he is valued above all.”

While God’s holiness and value does not depend on our belief of his majesty and power, our life is dependent on his grace and mercy, and our very breath is in the hands of a Sovereign King. (Ps. 39:5).

We must take the truth of the Gospel for all it is worth. We must allow entire message of love to envelope our lives by recognizing our sinful nature and the God of grace and mercy who has brought us out of sin into righteousness, out of darkness into light and out of death into life.

Stewart Fenters… Is a musician and worship leader at Seacoast Church in Mount Pleasant, SC.

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