When I was a kid, right and wrong were pretty much straightforward.
It does not appear that way anymore.
In the movie “Time Changer,” there is a scene where a man buys a hot dog from a vendor. He walks over to a bench, sets the hot dog down, and becomes occupied with the other things he is carrying. A kid (looks to be around the age of 12) grabs his hot dog and takes off. The man pursues the child. When he catches her, he says, “Don’t you know it’s wrong to steal?”
She replies, “Who says?”
Her question is valid. Why is it wrong to take something that is not yours? Is it wrong in every case? Should a one hundred pound person, especially if hungry, be allowed to steal food from someone weighing in at 300 pounds and can probably benefit from missing a meal or two?
Is it wrong to lie if the lie can help you achieve your objective? What if the lie benefits someone else?
Regardless of how you answer the questions above, I will ask the same question as the girl did – “Who says?” If you believe it is wrong for the skinny person to take food from the fat man – “Who says?” If you believe the hungry have the right to steal food from the well-fed – “Who says?”
Right, wrong, even truth itself is subjective today, left to the person making the decision. There appears to be no standard. This condition is hazardous.
For example – say we are constructing a building. The engineer on-site believes the foundations of the building should be ten feet deep. Someone else looks at the plans and believes the foundation should be twenty feet deep. Engineer number two believes a catastrophe of significant proportions will occur at some point if the foundations do not go deeper. The two engineers discuss the situation. Despite the arguments against his plans, the on-site engineer builds the building how he sees fit.
This situation is why states and counties have building codes. There is a “who says” needed here. Someone with authority has given a guideline, a right and wrong way to do things.
Society has thrown out our guideline, our moral code – the Bible. With no guidelines, what is wrong with a one-foot foundation for our new building? In other words, without the “who says” in our lives, we will build our lives on foundations that lead to catastrophe.
Some may say that major crimes or sins are still considered wrong by all. Yet, in the last year and a half, many people lost their livelihood along with everything they ever worked for, with no arrest or trial coming for those who burnt down sections of American cities.
For your research about calling good evil and evil good, type in “pedophile sexual orientation” into a search engine and start reading the arguments. There are studies and groups out there suggesting that pedophilia is not wrong. It is only another sexual orientation, and society needs to figure out how to deal with it.
Is it wrong to steal a hot dog? – Yes.
Is it wrong to burn down part of a city? – Yes.
Is it wrong to have sex with a ten-year-old? – Dear God, yes.
Without the Bible as a written standard, our society is quickly moving toward no foundation at all. Everything is crumbling.
I will leave you with four verses.
Isaiah 5:20, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
Jeremiah 6:15, “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.”
Psalm 11:3, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
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With houses of worship currently closed or restricted across much of the nation, the editors of the Baltimore Post-Examiner are inviting an array of spiritual teachers to share insights from the ages along with words of comfort and encouragement. These timely messages are not exclusive to any particular faith walk and will be included in our ongoing Spirituality series.
Preacher Tim Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. His weekly column “Preacher’s Point” may be found at: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com