Experience is everything. Right? Or so says the tagline on the back of my husband’s deodorant. When it comes to odor- this very well may be accurate. But what about your church? Do you really want your church marquee and your deodorant to share the same message? Do you want your pastor taking lesson notes from his toiletries?
That message on the back of the deodorant struck me this morning. My husband and I left our church over four years ago when we became aware that they shared the same slogan. The pastor admitted it was so in a blog he posted on the subject of, what I term, experiential relativism. He explained that while moderns once valued “truth” more highly, they, as a post-modern church, would say they, along with the current generation, value experience more highly. There is no basic truth. A person’s perception of truth is formed by his experiences. And because your life experiences are different than mine, our “truths” are different, often diametrically opposed, yet, both are equally valid.
This ridiculous conundrum, or shall I say, riddle, forced my husband and I to ask ourselves from whence do we derive “truth”? What is it? Where is it? How can I find it? And once we have happened upon it- how, pray-tell, can we walk in it?
God has now graciously taught us this experienced-based belief system is a mirage in the desert of religion- it’s arrid waves leading astray desperate and thirsty wanderers.
This relativism can now be found in nearly every church in America. Oh, don’t scoff yet, my little friend. You would be surprised. I once thought like you: not my church! I find it eerily disappointing how unwilling the masses are to question their churches and their pastors. Scripture warns us a time would come upon the earth when a man would deceive the people, demanding worship from everyone on earth. I never could see how that would be possible, until now. When I speak to my loved ones and friends about the mass apostasy infiltrating the churches and can demonstrate with profound evidence that the church they are attending is deeply imbedded, they are quick to deny the facts. Another common response is, “Well, I don’t get involved with all of that stuff, I just go on Sunday’s.” My reply back is, “Show me in Scripture where God allows that.” They never can. It has become a matter of opinion.
On that point, it has all become a matter of opinion, hasn’t it? This relativism, this experiential truth, it is up to one’s opinion. There is no absolute basis for Truth. Ah, but is there? John 17:17 “Sanctify them by Truth. Thy Word is Truth.” He tells us His Word is Truth. He does not tell us that our life experiences, our feelings, and our opinions count for truth.
One cannot simply believe their 5 senses, or that sweet, lying voice in your heart to know what is right, and good, and pleasing. Proverbs 28:26 “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.” Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”
Thus- the state of our world and the professing apostate church.