RELATIVISM – the Catastrophic Concept of our Times
The theory of Relativity, as described by Einstein (Nobel Prize for Physics, 1921), assumed and subsequently proven correct, that since there is no fixed frame of reference in the Universe, everything is moving in relation to everything else.
In our times, those dealing with the abstract, i.e. theorists, philosophers, theologians, writers, poets, etc, – began to claim that all truth is relative to the individuals. This means that morals, religions, art forms, political movements, etc, are to be judged similarly. This concept has adopted the name of Relativism.
However, Relativism has a much longer history that its present life of about one hundred years. It first appeared in the Christian Church in the West, where religious truths were explained in crude, inaccurate and distorted language, so it may be understood by the large masses of people who were invading Europe at the time, and who were mostly illiterate. It was extensively used by the Franks, particularly by Karolus the Great (KarloMagnus), who demanded that the Church alter certain of its tenets, acceptable to his subjects, making them thus more easily controlled and retain their loyalty.
Recently, it was left to a young Greek-American priest, father John Romanides (Professor of Patristic Theology) to reveal the extent Relativism had affected the Western Church, elements of which had also invaded Orthodox Theology, particularly since many Greek theologians continued post-graduate studies in the West, mostly in Catholic and Protestant Institutions. Romanides brought to light the fact that Augustine, Anselm and Thomas Aquinas (author of Summa Theologica), had systematically distorted almost every Christian Dogma, reversing the message of the Church Gospel. Distortions of variable significance had been happening in the Western Church through the centuries, but impossible to easily identify, as they were silently inserted and secretly hidden.
Unfortunately, the current philosophy of Relativism is pervasive in our social culture today. With the rejection of God and Christianity in particular, absolute truth is being abandoned by the masses. Our pluralistic society wants to avoid the idea that there is a right and wrong. This is evidenced in our deteriorating judicial system that has more and more trouble punishing criminals, in our entertainment media which continue to push the package of immorality and indecency, and in our schools which teach evolution and “social tolerance,” under the guise of “Safe Schools“. In addition, the plague of moral relativism is encouraging everyone to accept unheard of modes of moral and shameful behaviour and a host of other “sins” that were once considered wrong, but are now acceptable and even promoted in society. It is so pervasive that if you speak out against moral relativism and “its anything goes” philosophy, you are labelled as an intolerant “bigot”!
Of course, this is incredibly hypocritical of those who profess that all points of view are true, yet reject those who profess absolutes in morality. It seems that what is really meant by the moral relativists, is that all points of view are true except for the views that teach moral values, an absolute God, or absolute right or wrong.
We Orthodox Christians, accept none of the concepts of contemporary Relativism, as it aims to disrupt society world-wide, causing immense moral and social problems, and possibly lead to insurrections in parts of the World where their ideas are unacceptable and hostile.
Source: April – May 2016 Lychnos Edition