Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hello World

This world is a conundrum.

Consider how the world works. You have seven billion people moving about, thinking their own thoughts and seeing the world from their own perspectives.

A percentage of those people subscribe to a particular way of managing their thoughts and perceptions. These ways, called 'religions', give people a kind of template that they can apply to their worldview so that it makes more sense. Usually, this includes some notion of a deity who defines a certain level of morality, a lens that people can use to interpret what they see and assign it a certain quality.

But more and more, people aren't subscribing to these 'limiting' positions and instead are taking a relativistic approach. And since the previously mentioned group of people follow their religion to a varying degree of intensity, their perspectives become more relativistic as well.

Relativism is the 'in' way to think these days. Everything you see and experience is not measured on a predetermined scale but is instead applied to the personal ethic. This ethic is unique to the individual, developed over time by a person's previous experience and knowledge. And since each person's ethic is unique from everyone else, my perspective on things will probably look very different than yours.

Yet somehow, there is what is considered a universal set of ethics. Don't murder, don't steal, don't rape, etc. Many people believe this to have been caused by the various ancient religions that all based their ethic off of some kind of even more ancient code, or it might have risen over time as people found out that getting along would provide better personal security. And therefore, we have this universal standard that no one seems to want to question.

But if everyone's personal ethic is unique and different, then why should I follow these universal laws? Why would it be considered virtuous for me to be kind, compassionate, or gentle?

Let's take a relatively mild example. Say my neighbor has a sheep that is very white and fluffy. It would look really good in my garden next to my bus stop (yes, I hope to eventually have a bus stop in my garden that I hope to also eventually have).

I ask my neighbor, "May I please have your sheep." He says, "No, you may not." I am now sad because I have no sheep. So I instead go online to and have a sheep delivered to my doorstep.

This is how most people in the world would deal with this type of situation, especially in consumer-centric America where pretty much anything is available online (including sheep, though not at the made-up URL I just mentioned; don't surf there, I honestly have no idea what you may find).

But why do I subscribe to this concept that what is my neighbor's is his property and not available for acquisition? Let's say I don't subscribe to this concept; what would I do? I would probably waltz right over to my neighbors pen, put the sheep on a leash and walk Serta right over to my yard. I now declare this sheep mine.

But since it is pretty obvious to my neighbor that his sheep is missing and I suddenly have a sheep that looks a lot like his old one, he files a police report. Now Serta is back in his pen and I am in the pen.

"Why did you take the sheep?" asks the judge.

"Because I like him and I wanted him. He is so fluffy and looks like a cloud," I reply.

"But the law says that it is wrong to take your neighbor's things without his permission."

I ponder these things: the rule of law, the relative nature of everything in reality, a new wool sweater, and I reply, "But sir, I don't agree. I believe that if I want something, I can take it."

The judge doesn't agree and I end up with a fine, a restraining order, and two months of community service.

So, somehow, even though my relativistic worldview is unique and valuable, still I was trumped by some law system that I didn't vote for. And I still have no sheep.

Yes, I understand, this is a ridiculous story. But it's not that far-fetched. Our society decries racism, genocide, pedophilia, animal cruelty, and so many other issues that "we all agree are wrong." Do we all agree? Obviously not, because people still do them. And usually, hopefully, they end up paying the penalty.

Still, it comes down to the fact that someone sometime said that these things should be wrong. We don't all come to this conclusion by ourselves. Even in the past when slavery was common, women were subordinate, and people conquered others for the sake of national pride, we still had this inkling in our souls that these things were wrong. I'm sure people stood up, and I'm sure they got whipped for it because it wasn't in the common interest to change their ways.

Nevertheless, injustice was seen as just that: unjust.

Ladies and gentlemen, whether we like it or not, in all of our souls there is a common morality that didn't come because it was taught to us by our parents or our culture. It was placed there when we were crafted by the hands of our Creator. Instead of fighting it, diluting it or writing it off as archaic, we need to dig deep to solve the reason for this common ethic, this general sense of right and wrong that goes way beyond the means of survival.

But this world is still confused. It thinks that we can have relativity without standards. But all we are left with is anarchy, and the standards we resolve to are the standards we originally started from.

The Bible exists as a lens so that we can see the world from the proper perspective. We may not like everything it says, but it nevertheless determines morality, not us. Denying this only serves to bring more confusion, when all along we could have had the right perspective.

I pray that you will see that we all have inside of us the desire for justice and truth. Instead of running from it, humble yourself and submit to the truth of God. I guarantee that you will see that it was what you knew was right all along.