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Summary: Purpose of Judgement is not to condemn people or cut us off from God but to bring us back to lead us to restoration.

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INTRO:

Series on Truth – What is truth?

Relativism – rejection of absolute truth

– Truth is relative

Sincerity – even if belief contradicts another

is sincerity enough?

ILLUSTRATION: Attack on spy base

Three men have been found not guilty of breaking into and damaging the Waihopai spy base near Blenheim.

Adrian Leason, a teacher, Dominican friar Peter Murnane and farmer Sam Land were cleared of all charges after two hours of deliberations by a jury at the Wellington District Court late on Wednesday afternoon.

The trio had pleaded not guilty to burglary and wilful damage at the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) facility.

The prosecution said the trio cut their way through fences into the base, then slashed the plastic cover over a satellite dish with sickles.

Lawyers admitted the men attacked the base but said they were driven by a belief that the satellite caused human suffering and their actions to shut it down, if only temporarily, were lawful.

"That belief doesn’t have to be correct," one said.

[source: TVNZ website] http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/spy-base-accused-acted-in-self-defence-3398214

Problem with relativism

claims to be free from absolute truth

Relativists hold to the absolute truth of tolerance

contradiction within relativism

Absolute denial of absolutes

We have the absolute wrongness of intolerance!

QUESTION: What are some of your pet peeves? How do they affect your interactions with other people?

CONTEXT of 1 Cor. 5

Paul -- writing to church in Corinth

Serious division and morality

describes what true judgement is like

Recognises is ultimate judge

Purpose is not to condemn people

but to restore the offender

To right relationship w/ God and other people

Judgement is not to cut us off from God but to bring us back to him

lead us to restoration

READ: 1 Cor. 5

vv. 1-2 “does not occur even among pagans ...”\

not mean it never occurred – but it was infrequent\

was generally condemned as an evil practice

forbidden by Roman law and OT

Cor. Churches attitude -- boasted (cf. 1 Cor. 4:6)

view of their superior standing

Rather than decent Christian humility

saw Christian freedom as giving them license for almost any kind of conduct

Paul urges the church to hand over the offender to Satan

So that the sinful nature would be destroyed

Paul expresses hope that the offender’s “spirit [be] saved on the day of God’s judgement

How has the definition of tolerance changed over time?

Historically – defined as “putting up with beliefs one takes to be erroneous of false.” i.e. Most people tolerate Brussels sprouts or liver when served as guests, but no one tolerates what he enjoys (choc/ice cream)

Today – “accepting all views as true and not saying any are false.”

Forced to accept views that contradict one another

Properly understood: we respect people enough to permit them to hold their beliefs even if we profoundly disagree with them

We don’t accept that all views are true but we value what decisions people make in terms of their beliefs

Notice how people can say that we should accept all views as true until they talk to someone who doesn’t accept all views as true. Logic goes out the door and insults fly.


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