The Benevolence of the Post-Modern Man

Whether you are scrolling through a website like Buzzfeed or Upworthy, or even through the newsfeed on Facebook, you will generally see two types of things. One being a story that causes every person to outrage over the lack of morality shown, or you will see something that causes every person to smile in juxtaposition to the former.

The main crux we keep coming back to in both of these issues is that there has developed an ambivalent stance on morality. The same person that is outraged over the skinheads throwing a brick into a black family’s window is presupposed by their own world-view to label such an activity as amoral. While they are offended by this action, it is not classified as “evil” in postmodern intellectualism simply because morality is something that cannot be defined clearly with absolutes.

What I may classify as “moral” may not be considered the normal moral practice in another part of the world. Further more, the same is said of absolute truth. What is true to me is not necessarily true to another, unless preconditioned results yield scientific date with which one can say with certainty that something is true (i.e. mathematics, certain laws of physics, verifiable theories, etc.).

Yet even in the laws of philosophy, one could argue, rather vapidly, though we know something to act similarly each day, such as the rising and setting of the sun, we can only say with certainty on previous observation, “the sun shall rise tomorrow.” Based on the normal behavior of the sun and its calculated pattern, one can deduce that the sun shall indeed rise – yet the observer can’t say with certitude that it will actually happen; though results have frequently shown a normative pattern, differing variables can produce different results.

This same principle has been applied to various aspects of culture over time, especially within epistemology (the theory of knowledge). More clearly, the objective of epistemology is to develop a concise definition to what is true. However, epistemology is, generally speaking, subjected to one’s own idiosyncrasies. Thus, when this same application is made regarding Christianity, especially regarding the scriptures, it can’t fall within that theory of knowledge.

In other words, when a person quotes scripture correctly in defense of doctrine, the resulting response is fashioned by the recipient’s ideology, whether they are inside or outside of church walls. This is why apologetics, while profitable to the bible-believing Christian, ultimately serve no purpose in the evangelization of the lost.

The main issues within epistemological debate stem from two outcomes: there is no absolute truth; there is no absolute code of ethics or morality. Though this theory of knowledge tries to find a definition of truth, it has essentially led to postmodernism. There is no source from which wisdom comes, nor a source for ethical guidelines – besides the self. This introspection is influenced greatly by other thinkers, past conditions, and even sometimes a dubious, higher being or power – however, even this is subject to the merit one finds in these factors.

For the postmodern, there is no higher moral code than one’s self, thus it can produce hesitancy even in calling the holocaust evil based upon the grounds of it seeming morally good and acceptable to the Germans in that time period. Yet what has developed from this that is even more frightening than a lack of willingness to call something evil, is how flippantly many ascribe benevolence to all mankind. Generally speaking, all people have “good” inside themselves, and are generally predisposed to do “good.”

There are several problems to this. If nothing is truly evil, then “goodness” is just as irrelevant of a term as “evil.” If there is no such thing as absolute truth, “goodness” cannot be absolutely defined. The even larger problem to this is that the gospel is viewed as inadequate; such an act would be cosmological child abuse, void of true love, unnecessary, and without merit.

If man is generally good, what need does he have for a Savior? If evil is not a persistent problem of humanity, what need does one have for deliverance from it? If God is not storing up wrath for the unbeliever, wrath so insurmountable that it would cause mankind to fall prostrate if they even came close to understanding the fullness of it, to what end does man need deliverance?

Instead, what is echoed is the sentiment of Pilate as he looked the Messiah in the face, retorting, “What is truth?” Each man goes his own way, wandering, but not lost; stumbling, but not falling headlong, until the end of his life when he discovers the entirety of God’s wrath being executed upon him for all eternity. There will be no excuse, nor question of absolute truth in these times; in complete misery and anguish, he will know with absolute certitude the moral standards of God.

He will know the absolute truth of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ – and it will not save him from God’s wrath because he denied it whilst living. He will know that he was evil all the days of his life, even from his mother’s womb, and that the only redeeming part of his former life was that God was gracious to give him the common grace to live another day outside of this current wrath. There will be no relief, no expungement of his record, no justification, no forgiveness of sin, no beautiful Savior. He will be damned forevermore, and he will know and accept all of these truths without hesitation, all too late.

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