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Author Topic: Relative v/s Absolute  (Read 3209 times)

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Deborah-Leigh

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Relative v/s Absolute
« on: November 04, 2006, 10:07:10 AM »

Here is an excerpt from Ray's critique of James Kennedy's sermon "God is not Responsible...." on our home page.....

RELATIVE VS. ABSOLUTE

If a theologian can't see the "absolute" versus the "relative" in Scripture, he is in no position to teach anyone.

A little boys asks: "Why did God say in Gen. 3:9: 'Where art thou [Adam]?' Mommy says that God knows everything." (I Jn 3:20). You say, "Of course God knew where Adam was. Adam sinned. Adam felt bad. He thought he could hide from God. God was condescending to man's level. It was for Adam's benefit that God asked, 'Where art thou Adam?'" You say, "That's not a problem. That's easy to understand and answer. It's stupid to think that God didn't know where Adam was."

And, of course, we have Scriptural proof that God knew where Adam was because "He [God] knows all" (I Jn 3:20)

Neither did our Lord ask questions out of ignorance:

"Believe ye that I am able to do this?" (Matt. 9:28)

"Who is my mother, and who are my brethren?" (Matt. 12:48)

"How many loaves have ye?" (Matt. 15:34)

"Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" (Matt. 116:13)

Christ asked dozens of questions during His ministry. But He already knew all the answers:

" ... because of His knowing ALL men ... " (Matt. 21:27).

Christ even answered questions by asking questions. The Pharisees asked why His disciples transgressed the "traditions." Our Lord knew how to "answer a fool according to his folly" (Prov. 26:5) by asking: "Wherefore are you also transgressing the precept of God because of your tradition?" (Mat. 15:3)

This brings up another apparent contradiction, however, because Prov. 26:4 says: "answer not a fool according to his folly ... " Our Lord knew how to do that as well: "Neither am I telling you by what authority I am doing these things." (Mat. 21:27). These two scriptures in Proverbs should teach us to never pit one verse of Scripture against another. Verse 4 and 5 do not contradict. They are both true.

So if it's stupid to think that God didn't really know where Adam was, a relative statement condescending to man's level, isn't it then, likewise, stupid to believe that God contradicts Himself in the following verses:

 

THE RELATIVE:
 THE ABSOLUTE:
 
" ... seek, and ye shall find ... " (Mat. 7:7) "Not one is seeking out God" (Rom. 3:11)
"God changed His mind" (Ex. 32:14) "God is not a man Who changes His mind" (I Sam. 15:29)
" ... choose you this day whom ye will serve." (Josh. 24:15) "Ye have not chosen me,
but I have chosen you ... " (Jn. 15:16)
" ... whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God ... " (I Jn. 3:10) "All is of God" (II Cor. 5:18)
"Zechariah was just before God" (Lk. 1:5) (Comparing him to the corrupt priests) "Not one is just" (Rom. 3:10)
(Comparing man with God)

 

One is the "relative" the other is the "absolute." One is from man's point of view, comparing men with men, the other is from God's point of view. One shows how a thing is perceived while the other shows how it actually is. One is for minors while the other is for the mature.

Both Scriptures are true. The relative is true and the absolute is true. They do not contradict. However, one really is "relative" while the other is "absolute."

Theologians are always taking Scriptures that speak of the relative, from man's point of view, and insist that these verses are absolute. By doing this they commit a double sin. Because then they insist that these relative truths actually nullify God's absolute declarations. They won't admit to this in their own words, but this is what they do when they retain the "relative" at the expense of rejecting the "absolute."

Even theologians admit that their free will theory is limited. So they have invented "limited free will." They use analogies like a cow on a tether or a fly in a jar or a lion in a cage. Their freedom is limited to the confines of their restraints, but within those confines they are nonetheless, free. Is this true? Is there such a thing as "limited" free will? Or is this just more theological double-talk?

Only in religion do simple words lose their meaning. Let's look at Webster's Twentieth Century Dictionary: Page 963, "limited, a. Restricted." Page 682, "free, a. without restriction." So here then is what theologians want us to believe: Man has a will that is restricted without restriction.

Man does not have "limited" free will. Otherwise God would have "limited" sovereignty. Man has no free will and God has total sovereignty. Theologians try to make high what is low and try to bring low what is high. These teachings do not glorify God.

Somebody has been taking William James too seriously. God is not sitting around waiting to see what man will do through his "free will" so that He can then figure out what to do about it. Rather than conclude from the "wisdom of the world" that man has a free will (and thus deny the sovereignty of God), we must conclude that since God is sovereign, man can not and does not have a free will. This is logical, sensible, and lawful. It is Scriptural and it glorifies God.

Theologians condemn scientists for their inability to see beyond the "relative" in our universe. Surely these scientists must see that a God must be behind everything. However, except for rare persons like Dr. Einstein, they can't.
 Unquote..............................

This teaching strikes me with a powerful hand of blessing. It gives me new sight and discernment when reading posts here. It shows me that there are times when things can get really snarled up if what one person writes relatively speaking, is seen to conflict with what is understood in the absolute...... ;D....It can get very messy and this has been an invaluable lesson to me because I do not want to get into any mess....I've been in enough mess to last my little life time twice over and I am still not over it!....the mess that is ;D

On a more serious note though...It is so easy inside and outside this forum to get things muddled without using the wisdom of discerning if what one is seeing or reading is either Absolute or Relative. I nearly made the error of unravelling a post by not seeing that the message was relative not absolute. I notice that Ray does not venture into relative territory in his writing and teaching methods. Would you agree?....and still he gets flack! ;D....If we go out and communicate in relative terms we can get buried ;D

Persecution is to be overcome.  As we we learn through example and practise this solid method of communication through Absolute terms while making sure that as we are communicating in relative terms....that everyone knows it so as to avoid confrontation....I think we will all feel the blessing of Christ like communication. For me, this is just the start....

Arcturus....   :)      in training
« Last Edit: November 04, 2006, 10:37:41 AM by Arcturus »
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aktikt

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Re: Relative v/s Absolute
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2006, 07:37:46 PM »

Arcturus,

Agreed.  This idea of relative versus absolute appears to me to be a source of a lot of confusion when speaking about reality.  When I started having talks with my brother concerning scriptural things we had to develop an understanding that even though we would speak relatively in normal conversation that it was clearly understood that it was relative.  For example, I would say something like, "I'm leaving for the restaurant now."  Now, even though I am doing it God is the ultimate cause of my going to the restaurant is understood. 

We got to talking about the how instead of the why since the why was unchanging.  The why is always that God is behind it.  The how is God's operation in a particular instance. 

Good post,
Josh

     
« Last Edit: November 06, 2006, 07:40:27 PM by aktikt »
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Shakespeare-There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Deborah-Leigh

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Re: Relative v/s Absolute
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2006, 02:00:26 AM »

Hi Aktikt

I am happy that you responded to this thread.

I think the importance that lies in this teaching is essential!....

I have been talking with Kat about this subject and she communicated to me this : "Relative is never truth on its own, no matter how many relatives are put together they will not make a truth, they only support the truth. Absolute is the truth and can stand on its own and can not be contested, like scripture."

I think this was spot on too!

I like what you say about you comeing to an understanding with you brother.  I like too how you share that God brought you to discuss the how instead of the why....and that you elaborate that it is always that God is behind it and the how is God#s operation in a particular instance.

What I am driving at is this. If we use this technique and get aquainted with it ....will we not be able to discern what kind of vessel God is making us into.....for honour or for glory? 

This is deep.....the world does not see this wisdom neither does it know God....but as Paul wrote....1 Cor 2 : 9 Eye hath not seen nor ear heard neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him...but...BUT GOD HAS REVEALED THEM TO US!............

I desire to see and hear better! I believe if we all put on these glasses of Absolute v/s Relative....then we will all get to see and hear better.....I believe that would be a good thing that will make us an even more peculiar people...set apart...with the world that does NOT use this method to communicate, becoming more dim as we see with more clarity the glory of God and the truth of His Son Jesus Christ!

Do you see this (relative...meaning as God is working in me He is revealing this to me including you as He brings His light of wisdom and council into those who He is bringing into His wisdom and language).........This is so important!(relative...meaning God is doing something wonderful in me and He is showing me and is making me desire to share with you and love you all with a joy and anticipation of your joy too as God touches you with His light)....

This is a new language for me. It is a new dialogue....Is this making sence.....Is this the language of the Kingdom of God?...I believe it is......I desire to learn it more.....I know God is the keeper of this language.

Arcuturs :)
« Last Edit: November 07, 2006, 04:57:23 PM by Arcturus »
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Kat

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Re: Relative v/s Absolute
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2006, 12:14:31 PM »

Hi Arcturus,

I have been studying the relative and absolute, since you posted this ,
and it is really necessary for me to come to an understand of this concept.
You have presented it really well,
it has helped me grasp what was hard for me to fully comprehend.

From Webster on e-Sword:

Relative
REL'ATIVE, a. [L. relativus.]
1. Having relation; respecting. The arguments may be good, but they are not relative to the subject.
2. Not absolute or existing by itself; considered as belonging to or respecting somthing else.
Every thing sustains both an absolute and a relative capacity; an absolute, as it is such a thing, endued with such a nature; and a relative, as it is a part of the universe, and so stands in such a relation to the whole.

Absolute
AB'SOLUTE, a. [L. absolutus. See Absolve.]
1. Literally, in a general sense, free, independent of any thing extraneous. Hence,
2. Complete in itself; as an absolute declaration.
3. Unconditional, as an absolute promise.
4. Existing independent of any other cause, as God is absolute.
5. Unlimited by extraneous power or control, as an absolute government or prince.
6. Not relative, as absolute space.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
From Ray's article, that Arcturus posted above.

One is the "relative" the other is the "absolute." One is from man's point of view, comparing men with men, the other is from God's point of view. One shows how a thing is perceived while the other shows how it actually is. One is for minors while the other is for the mature.

Both Scriptures are true. The relative is true and the absolute is true. They do not contradict. However, one really is "relative" while the other is "absolute."

Theologians are always taking Scriptures that speak of the relative, from man's point of view, and insist that these verses are absolute. By doing this they commit a double sin. Because then they insist that these relative truths actually nullify God's absolute declarations. They won't admit to this in their own words, but this is what they do when they retain the "relative" at the expense of rejecting the "absolute."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As I come to understand this important aspect of God's Word, it will be invaluable in my study.

mercy, peace, and love
Kat


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Prosizz

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Re: Relative v/s Absolute
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2006, 04:07:51 PM »

Thank you Arcturus for posting this. As I read it, it became clear to me what Ray meant in the article you posted. A special thanks to Kat because, I was about to get a dictionary when I noticed that she already posted the definition. Thank you again.

I think you are all right.
I have been thinking for the past  24 hours after I listened to Ray's Bible study about one detractor who is contacting people trying to lure them away from "Ray's heresy". I wondered why has Ray even wasted his time trying to prove how wrong Coy was ( spelling???). And bang!!!, here is Arcturus' posting that answers me: Ray has to still obey the relative truth "exposes those who contradict" even though the absolute truth dictate that God is the cause of those contradict.

What matter at the end is to accept the fact that only God's absolute thruth is the mystery that is being reveal in us.
I hope I got it right.
Thanks again.
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Deborah-Leigh

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Re: Relative v/s Absolute
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2006, 04:53:15 PM »

Hi Kat and Prosizz

This is really good (relative :D...only God is good...."good"... my point of view ;D

Kat I once had e-sword on my computor and it took up too much space so I erased it! I am very grateful for the imput. I can see now that you tried to encourage me to get e-sword. I am going to copy your post and ponder it some more. These truths are wisdom seeds. Your contribution brings color to this jewel Ray uncovered for us all to comprehend, nurture and value. I am glad you have grasped it. I am still not quite there yet....I have a way to go still and that is why I posted this....(relatively speaking ;D...God is causing this!...All love to Him!)

Prosizz...just look how God is working in you! Thank you for sharing that! I feel excited when I am shown how God removes veils of darkness off our eyes to see His light and truth more clearly. I enjoyed the deeper insight you expressed that God is the cause behind those who contradict. .... that every knee will bow in the end... :D

Arcturus  :)
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Deborah-Leigh

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Re: Relative v/s Absolute
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2006, 02:18:59 PM »

I have been chewing on the concept Relative v/s Absolute and have come up with this so far.......

As I am coming to understand what Ray has written in his 2nd letter to James Kennedy, I read the following…the relative is from man’s point of view.  The absolute is  God’s declaration. Ray shows us that the relative and the absolute in scripture does not contradict.

I could not figure this out at first. How can man not contradict God? Well that is just it you see. Man can contradict God but GODS SCRIPTURES do not contradict God.  We CONTRADICT GOD all the time!…(some more some less)… and it is important to discern this correctly, because Ray  follows this up with his understanding and  insight where Ray says that Theologians make high (mans point of view) and low what is high (Gods declaration). Ray says that this does not glorify God and I am starting to now see why!

I looked up what relative means from the Collins English Dictionary.
It states that relative has meaning or significance only in relation to something else. When this English translation is applied to Scripture, for me that means relative (mans point of view) has meaning or significance ONLY in relation to Gods declaration. For me, this fits!

What is astounding to see here is  theologians make void what God says to carry over what THEY say…MAKING HIGH WHAT IS LOW AND LOW WHAT IS HIGH.  Ray says that Theologians insist that relative truths nullify God’s absolute declarations. Theologians retain the relative and reject the absolute.

For me this illustrates the widespread and gross mis-use and outright abuse of the Scriptures. As I am starting to understand this now, I feel that anywhere I see scriptures being used in debate to show right what is wrong and wrong what is right is defamation and blasphemy of Gods holy character, nature. Spirit, love and  light.

This makes me understand never to use Gods scriptures in contest with other scriptures to show contradiction. The scriptures do not contradict!  They all are written relative to God and that is what makes their words pure and holy spirit and truth.

I am going to make very sure in future and to try my level best to discern which scriptures are relative (written for the benefit of man) ….relative to God, and which are absolute (God’s sovereign declaration). I know only God can give me this insight and I thank Him for starting to show me. This following scripture takes on new meaning for me relative to God who is good not evil, who is light not darkness and who is sweet not bitter!….

Isaiah 5 : 20…Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!……

Arcturus  :)...studying :D
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Kat

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Re: Relative v/s Absolute
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2006, 11:03:11 AM »

Hi Arctutus,

Thanks for your continued efforts to expiain this subject.
I think I am really beginning to understand it now.

If I say, "My house is too small."  That is true only in a relative sense,
because it may not be true or too small to someone else.

Now if I say, "God does not live in a house made with hands."  This is absolute statement, as Acts 7: 48 proves, because as you said, "the absolute is God's declaration."

Act 7:48  "Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says,"

This is a simple analogy, but it woks for my understanding this.
So now I can be more confident as I discern the scripture, as you said,

Quote
I am going to make very sure in future and to try my level best to discern which scriptures are relative (written for the benefit of man) ….relative to God, and which are absolute (God’s sovereign declaration).

mercy, peace, and love
Kat

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Deborah-Leigh

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Re: Relative v/s Absolute
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2006, 02:15:48 PM »

Hi Kat

I am so glad you share with me the value of this precious jewel that Ray has given us.

I appreciate your examples because they make it easier for me to grasp as well.

I am pondering this now....   "relative (mans point of view) has meaning or significance ONLY in relation to Gods declaration. For me, this fits!........."

Does this mean that....mans point of view if it bears NO RELATION with Gods declaration, then  that point of view  is of no significance or meaning......Like the earth if flat. Opinion. Man evolves from the big bang. No meaning. The earth is round. Truth.


Thank you for sharing your insights Kat

Arcturus :)
« Last Edit: November 09, 2006, 02:17:16 PM by Arcturus »
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