Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A State of Iffyness

It seems our nation has deteriorated into a state of iffyness on right and wrong. We think if it is legal, it is right (abortion, 19-year-old drinking age). If it is illegal, it might be wrong…on the other hand it might not be wrong (marijuana, 55 mph speed limit). It is right if it is permissive and questionable if it is restrictive. If everyone is doing it, it is okay. Peer pressure also determines right and wrong. Not only is this a relative morality (situation ethics) but it is a constantly changing relative morality and the change is downward.

Periodically, there is a hue and cry against immorality based upon bad results, as in Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), or the present pressure to increase the drinking age to 21 (assuming the “drinking” age really means “drunk” age because it is based upon the number of traffic fatalities caused by people “driving under the influence” under the age of 21). Should we also measure the number of fatalities caused by people 21 or over driving under the influence? Would that change legislation?

Many are incensed over child abuse and child pornography, some of it because of the bad results in society. The attempt is to change the laws so people would know these things are wrong and consequently stop it.

I am sympathetic and supportive of most of these movements, but there is something inadequate about them. Even the outcry against abortion is based upon the numbers (millions) of babies being killed. If there were only one abortion, would there be an outcry for a change in the law?

There is far more sexual immorality than there are abortions. Where is the outcry? Lying is wrong if it is under oath (perjury). It is only considered wrong if the legal code says it is wrong. Whether or not the laws ever change in either a permissive or restrictive direction, there are certain things that are wrong. Here are a few.

They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:29-32 (NIV)

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 (NIV)

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