Monday, November 19, 2012

A Thought

“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.  He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.”  3 John 11

“Situational Ethics” is a mindset that calls something evil in general but allows exceptions under special circumstances.  The most common argument concerns stealing.  Clearly it is wrong to take anything that does not belong to us, including “finders keepers”.  However, the common argument stipulates that if one is starving, it is not wrong to take food since it is not right that anyone go hungry.  We should be able to see, though, that this common argument opens all kinds of situations and circumstances under which the exception (starvation) does not consider whose food is being taken (maybe they were starving themselves) or how one came to such a pass as to be so hungry in the first place (won’t work and earn one’s own bread).  Under such scenarios, there are all kinds of exceptions we can make to the point that the foundational situation (stealing) has become relative rather than absolute.

Today the same situational arguments are made under all kinds of conditions and under any number of circumstances to the point that we dare suggest that _____ is wrong for “you”, but it’s ok for “me” because “my” situation is different.  So when we teach our children to discern the difference between right and wrong, the lesson is lost between the words we use and the actions we take.  In other words, we look for excuses by which we may judge our neighbor but absolve ourselves for the same crime, the same sin.  Subsequent generations take our flawed lessons and reapply these lessons to their own lives and under their own circumstances.  It is not long before sin itself becomes relative to human conditions, and we lose our need for a Savior since we are able to save ourselves (at least in our own minds and by our own faulty reasoning). 

Scripture does not allow for this kind of give-and-take simply because human reasoning, while useful, will always be flawed to a certain degree and almost always circumstantial.  It is far better to trust the Lord and His Revealed Word even if we do not clearly understand rather than rewrite the Scriptures to suit our own purposes.  If we move the “line in the sand” for ourselves, who are we to say that others (including our children) may not move the line even further for themselves?  Because we said so?  Because their situation is not quite like our own?  Hardly!

The Scriptures teach us what is good, and the Lord has clearly “shown us what is good”.  Let us then “imitate” what is good according to Holy Scriptures rather than try to make evil good for ourselves.  Our children are counting on us … and so is our Lord.


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