A Voice in the
"...as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after other flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." (Ju1:7)
In the aftermath of this year's presidential election, the Bush victory has stirred up media pundit discussions of "morality", recognizing that the heartland of this country was concerned about "moral values".
However, these discussions have also revealed today's general lack of understand of the issue. WHAT IS MORALITY? They observe that "conservative christians" and the "moral majority" tend to be those who believe in the 'rights' of unborn babies to make it to term so that they might LIVE LIFE, believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, reject today's sodomite/lesbian counter-culture.
In the opening Scripture passage we note that "immorality" is connected to the word "sexual". Indeed, if one does a word search on the word "immorality" in Scripture, in each case the context is tied to sexual matters.
And that's as it used to be in this country quite a few decades ago, before the so-called "sexual revolution" of the 60s and 70s. A girl who slept around was called "immoral". A couple living together without an ecclesiastical blessing were called "immoral"..."living in sin".
However, the terms "Moral, morality, immorality" have to do with more than just 'sex'. It has to do with "right" and "wrong". It has to do with the "goodness or badness of human action or character". Morality has to do with "standards" of what is right or wrong. And also, according to the dictionary, morality "ARISES FROM CONSCIENCE or the SENSE of right and wrong"
From where does conscience come? It is God's Law "...written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts meanwhile accusing or else excusing themselves...in the day when God will judge the secrets of men through Jesus Christ..." (Rom2:15-16)
Morality of conscience is that inner voice that nags at the person stealing what is not theirs. Morality is that which convicts the person's heart when they murder somebody, the innate understanding that what they are doing is 'wrong'. When a couple, not intending to be married to each other are having 'fun', they speak to each other of how they are being "bad" and sneaking around in their activities, so as not to "get caught". Conscience.
But since the "sexual revolution" of the 60s and 70s, several new terms have come about. Moral "relativism", and along with that when considering the "standard" of morality, God's Word the Scriptures, the term, "gray areas".
God's Law is ABSOLUTE; and thus, morality (of conscience) is absolute. But when man has rejected God's Law, and has "seared" his conscience, he has gone about to establish other standards. Scripture calls them "doctrines of demons". (1Tim4:1-2) And by this, we know we are in the "latter times".
God's Law says: Do not commit adultery. (Ex20:14) Man says: As long as nobody is getting hurt, and the participants are 'consenting', what's the harm?
God's Law says: Do not murder. (Ex20:13) Man says: Does not a woman have 'rights' over her own body?
God's Law says: Sodomy is an "abomination". (Le20:13) Man says: I was 'born' this way, and unless you're wearing a robe and pounding a gavel, "you shouldn't be judging!" (Gen19:9)
God "created them male and female" with the mandate to "be fruitful and multiply". (Gen5:2,1:28) Man says, I wanna do what 'I' want.
And so, in his rebellion man proclaims: It is immoral to deny a woman the 'right to choose' (to murder her unborn baby). It is immoral to deny recognition to the domestic rights of people who love each other, and are engaged in what God calls "abomination". They are those of whom God proclaims, "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!" (Is5:20) They call their despicable immoral behavior, "moral". And they call those who wish to stand on God's holy standards of morality (rightness and holiness), because it decries their own despicability, "immoral".
It boils down to the matter of 'masters'. God, who created all things, set down a few basic standards of righteousness; and any deviance from those standards is called "unrighteousness". By definition in this discussion: "immorality". Satan, God's arch-enemy, tells his followers to defy God's standards. And so, what is considered "right" (moral) to satan's standards, is immorality to God.
The question is: who is one's master? Joshua exhorted Israel, "Choose you this day whom you will serve....the gods of the nations....but as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah." (Josh24:15)
Morals -are- absolute....God proclaims, I am and there is no one else besides Me (Is47:10b), you shall have no other gods before Me. (Ex20:3) You shall be holy, for I am holy. (Le11:44,19:2,20:26) That is: separate from sin.
Who is the master of sin? Satan, the -other- 'master'. Jesus proclaims, "I am...the truth". (Jn14:6) Satan "is a liar, and the father of it" (Jn8:44) You see how they are 'opposite'?
God's Laws are absolute, and He proclaims, "the soul who sins shall die". (Ezk18:4, Rom6:23, Eph2:1) Satan's laws are also absolute, and following his ways lands the obeyer in the same place satan is going, prepared for the devil and his angels, the Lake of Fire. (Rev20:15, Mt25:41)
The only sort of "relativism" that exists is when the sinner, who follows satan, is confronted by the omnipotent holy God and His holy standards and law, which the sinner is disobeying because he is in rebellion against God; and yet, he cannot escape that 'conscience' God placed in his heart (Rom2:15). So how does he excuse his sin?
Wellll...it's all in "how you look at things". You see, after Eve ate that fruit, she DID NOT -really- DIE! She was still standing, and was able to call to Adam to give him some of the fruit, too. So, the question is: "what is death"? You define it this way, I look at it that way. After all, don't these people come away from their near-death experiences, proclaiming the "bright lights" on the "other side"? Who is the "angel of light" (2Co11:14), the "shining one"? (Is14:12)
Scripture tells us that "God is light". (1Jn1:5)
So, there you go. See? God is light, satan is light; what's the difference? In the end it's ALL THE SAME. Thus, if one Light says to tell the truth and not lie, and the other teaches you how to 'bend' the truth...it's all 'relative', based on your perspective.
God's perspective, or satan's... What is God's track record? What is satan's? Who is in charge of whom? Who answers to whom? Who created whom? Who is the judge, and who isn't? As such, who's Laws 'stick' at judgment? What is the Judge's reputation regarding those who disobey Him? But does he also show mercy to the penitent? What about the other? If you were following him down the perverted path, does he show mercy? When you get down-n-out, does he reach out his hand to pull you up "out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay"? (Ps40:2) Or does he abandon you to "death"? (Heb2:14b)
Of the two, who's 'perspective' is the better one? If the one has the "power of death", does the other give life? Indeed He does, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (Jn10:10) "I am...the life" (Jn14:6) "...this life is in His Son" (1Jn5:11)
If you've been used to the devil's ways, you -know- he has 'rules'; and you don't break those rules without consequences. So, what makes you think that, should you "choose life" (De30:19), that the One who gives life doesn't also have rules? When you follow satan, you are a "slave of sin". (Jn8:34) But Jesus "sets you free" (vs36) from sin's shackles, to become God's servant; yes, "slave". "..slaves to righteousness" (Rom6:18)
But being a "bondservant" (Ga1:10, Rom1:1, etc) to Jesus Christ is not the same as service to satan. Jesus promised, "My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Mt11:30)
There is no such thing as -individual- 'freedom'. In our western democratic societies we think we are "free". We think we can do "anything" we want. But we are in bondage to our so-called 'free' societies. If you don't believe it, just try to NOT PAY your taxes, and see what happens. Just try driving 100 mph down the freeway, when you think nobody else is around and you are not hurting anybody, and you can safely handle your vehicle at that speed; if a hiway patrol spots you, he's going to pull you over, give you a ticket, and you will pay a fine; and if you refuse to pay, you will be imprisoned. On my own residential 'property', which I 'own', if I decided to tear down my house, and build a skyscraper on -my- 'property', I would soon have the city "planning commission" and "zoning department" down my neck, because in a residential neighborhood, I am NOT ALLOWED to do 'anything' I want...with -my- 'property'. You see: we DO NOT have FREEDOM. We live under a "lighter yoke" than repressive regimes; nevertheless, we are under the authority of our respective governments, and the "law" of those governments.
Some people have what is called "dual-citizenship". Perhaps they were born to parents of one country, while those parents were visiting another country, and that country of visitation has laws stating that anybody 'born' in their land is automatically a 'citizen'. But their parents' country also has a law stating that any offspring of a citizen, no matter where they are born, is a citizen of the parents' country, due to having been born to them. And some people retain 'both' citizenships.
Supposing somebody had citizenship in both the USA and an Islamic country, and while in that Islamic country, killed his wife. So then, upon returning to the USA, he is promptly arrested for killing his wife; but complains, saying that his Islamic citizenship entitles him to kill his wife with impunity. And so, as the legal wranglings progress, he would attempt the defense of "relativism". There it's OK, here it's not. I was over 'there' when I did it...it's a matter of legal perspectives between countries. One country's laws 'relative' to the other's.
Perhaps, in the legal wranglings, an option is presented: to -go- to that Islamic country, -PERMANENTLY-, and 'renounce' the US citizenship; with never the ability to return to the US, under any circumstances. Exile.
You see, Jesus proclaimed: No person "is able to serve two masters." (Mt6:24)
If that same person were to kill his wife in the US, and was arrested; would the judge hear the defense: It's legal under my Islamic citizenship, so you have no jurisdiction over me, since I'm a citizen of this other Islamic country. That argument would not stand. This country's laws would not view the murder through 'relativistic' eyes.
But this is what man does to God's Law. He claims to "believe in god" (he knows not -who- that god may be, nor -which- one of the many that people of the world hold to); but also holds to the 'morality' of satan....which is "immorality" to the Most High, the one who also -created- satan, originally as the "anointed cherub that covers" (Ezk28:14)
Thus, how can satan's morality (God's immorality), and God's morality coexist? THEY DON'T. But man salves his conscience with moral "relativism".
So, here we close with that other word of today's mantra:
Of the various dictionary definitions, the one that applies here: 'Worth' in usefulness or 'importance' to the possessor.
Media pundits have been amazed that the election was decided on the non-tangible; as they view them, in their Godless minds: "IDEAS"; rather than quantifiable statistics like Economy, price of oil, did Saddam have WMD in Iraq, Bush "outsourced" the capture of Bin Laden to "warlords", etc. (whatever topic you want to plug in there)
Jesus asked the question: "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mt16:26)
Even though most American's are in debt up-to-their-ears, there is the public perception of great wealth. If I take a moment to watch the traffic speeding by my store, I am amazed to realize the 'opulence' of today's vehicles. And to see the commercials, they come with every gadget and feature imaginable. What happened to the days of a comfortable seat, enclosed in a warm compartment, four wheels, engine and steering wheel...to get you from Point-A to Point-B? Today they can watch their favorite TV shows, have lunch, play games and be entertained while making the trip. Today's vehicles cost what yesterday's dwellings did! And we could discuss today's opulence endlessly...
But what people voted on was "values". The other day I saw a news show segment about this man (I don't remember his name) whose life consists of radio talk shows, and seminars; giving financial advice, exhorting people to get out of debt; cutting up those credit cards. They showed some people selling pretty much all their possessions; anything they didn't need; even selling expensive vehicles in favor of more 'utilitarian' ones....for what reason?
They had all these THOUSANDS-of-DOLLARS worth of possessions, but they were NOT HAPPY. In some cases, the males in these extreme debt situations were contemplating suicide due to the enormity of their debt, and seeming inability to pay it. Again, as Jesus told about the one who had the bountiful crops and pats himself on the tummy and says, "I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry. But God said to him, Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have prepared? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Lk12:19-21) Of what use are all those expensive things, if you are contemplating suicide?
While all those THINGS have a high price tag with many zeros after the dollar sign, they are of NO 'VALUE' when one's eternal soul is in the balance.
And so, in this world as societies, we may be concerned about the economy, homeland security, education, health care, war in Iraq, and all sorts of things that governments deal with.
But what is of greater VALUE?
MORAL VALUES. Righteousness, rightness, goodness, decency, purity, etc.
In these latter days it so often seems like: "The good man has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among mankind. All of them lie in wait for blood; each one hunts his brother with a net." (Mic7:2)
But the recent presidential election suggests that there may, yet, be 'some' who desire morality.
And this begins within the heart of each one of us as we turn our hearts towards God.
"The steps of a good (moral) man are ordered by Jehovah, and he delights in His way." (Ps37:23) "The good (moral) man obtains favor from Jehovah, but He will condemn a man of wicked devices." (Pr12:2)
Related topic: Jesusland ?