The Calamity of Subjectivism – Charles Pogue

Charles Pogue

The doctrine that truth is determined by the individual based on one’s opinions and feelings is rampant in religious error. Many people today who claim to be religious do not accept the fact that truth is absolute. Truth does not change, and religious truth comes to man from God via the Bible, not through man’s subjective feelings.

Those who accept a subjective attitude toward truth assert a theory that limits knowledge to one’s experience. To them, what is both good and right is derived from the experience of each individual person. This idea is held to the extent that if one per‐ son’s experience (truth) directly contradicts that of another person, then both have discovered the truth. What is truth to one is not true to the other, but both are right. Subjectivism is nothing new.

In Judges 17:6 and again in 21:25, the Bible says, “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Doing what is right in one’s own eyes is the denominations false view of truth. Even if one denominational body holds to a doctrine that is the exact opposite and contradictory to the doctrine of another denomination, both are considered to be right. This is a human philosophy that is as false as the devil claiming to Eve, “Thou shalt not surely die.”

Isaiah 8:20 describes the condition of the subjective individual. “To the law and to the testimony: If they speak not according to this word, It is because there is no light in them.” One who speaks differently than the Word of God is full of darkness.

Among the many things God instructed His prophet Jeremiah to say to the people were these words: “But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth” (Jer. 7:28).

Those today who hold truth is a subjective thing have it cut off from both their hearts and their mouths. Truth is the Word of God, the Bible.

Paul warned the church at Ephesus not to walk in the subjectivism of those around them in Ephesians 4:17-21:

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus.

Be assured when Paul stated the truth is in Jesus, it puts to naught the idea that truth is in each individual. When Paul wrote the truth is in Jesus, he meant it is the words Jesus spoke personally and those He gave to the inspired writers of the New Testament through the Holy Spirit. The apostle wrote as much to the church in Corinth. “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37).

If someone says Jesus told me one church is good as another, where is it written? If someone says, one is saved by faith only, where is it written? These things contradict what is written, therefore they are not of Jesus, they are of man.

The apostle Paul also wrote to the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 5:21: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” Anyone who affirms that truth is what truth is to you and what it is to me, and we are both right even if we disagree—prove it! It cannot be done, for it is a lie and no lie is of the truth (1 John 2:21). The calamity of subjectivism is not only that it is not true, but it also keeps men from the truth.

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Author: Editor

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