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July 16, 2014

Are there absolutes that can be trusted?

Ada — Back in the 70s there was a film series with the philosopher Francis Schaeffer titled, “How Shall We Then Live.” He described how every nation that became the leading nation of the world had a discernable and predictable rise and fall.

  Each great nation lasted an average of 200 years. What always seemed to signal the beginning of the end for each subsequent ruling nation was its people switching from a belief in absolutes to situational ethics. 

Situational ethics  promote, “What’s ‘right’ is dependent on the circumstances. What may be right in one situation may not be right in another situation.”

Schaeffer describes how each powerful nation began to crumble from within as it applied situational ethics vs. absolutes to its decision making. He then goes on to describe how our culture hopped on the fast track to relative thinking in the 60s. 

Remember how absolutes were seen as archaic, limiting, and unrealistic during that period?

 He then called our nation to  return to absolutes as our standard for living and decision making. Which set of absolutes should we use if we decide to heed his warning and not follow the same destructive path of every great but fallen nation before us?   

 Schaeffer recommends the Bible as our standard for absolutes for two reasons. One, the principles of the Bible were the “grid” our founding fathers worked from as they crafted the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.

 Secondly, he recommended the Bible because it is a set of absolutes that has survived the tests of time and adversity. Its validity has been questioned and attacked literally for thousands of years by some of the greatest minds of our times, yet no one has been able to successfully discredit it. 

In fact, some of those great minds were converted to a deep and abiding belief in God and His principles as they discovered how believing made more sense than  disbelief. 

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