[quote=AlanFromWichita]Momentarily side stepping the contraceptive issue and natural law discussion, I have been meaning to ask some of the same questions about “relativism.”
I think the word is overused and disagree with the notion that relativism is somehow bad while “absolutism” or whatever is good.
In fact, Jesus constantly “adapted” rules which were being applied too rigorously by the Pharisees. He worked on the Sabbath, which was considered an absolute breach. He cleverly endorsed the absolute penalty of stoning the adultress in such a way as to condemn it. Sometimes he interpreted laws more strictly than their literal meaning, such as equating being angry with one’s brother rather than killing.
That’s because Jesus is not about giving us a million rules. We already had that before Jesus came. While many seem to think that Jesus just added onto the rules, what He really did was come so that we may be adopted into His family, transform our hearts, be healed, and then naturally follow His call as sheep to a shepherd. Therefore we quit worrying about the rules because we no longer desire anything unlawful. This is how He fulfilled the rules, not by demanding strict adherence to a static, written code.
If a static, written code could possibly guide us through all of our individual situations, then the Holy Spirit would be somewhat redundant.
The Pharisees were obeying the letter of the law while ignoring the spirit of the law and they were not repentant.
The adulteress disobeyed the letter of the law but was repentant and was given forgiveness.
In neither instance and on no occasion did Christ say we can disobey his new covenant which is a stricter moral code than the old law. He also never said that we can interpret the law so that we can do what we want and still say we are obeying Him.