Looking ahead to 2013 it’s easy to see minefields of problems. So how do we overcome the problems?
All our economic, political, and social problems can be solved by simply being able to decide what is right and and what is wrong. This is just another way of saying that our problems stem from disagreements about truth. Something that is right is true. If we are in disagreement on a matter then one side or another has an incorrect concept of the truth of a matter.
For instance, if the convenience store clerk and the armed robber trying to steal its cash register could both agree that the robbery is wrong, then the problem of the robbery would go away. Actually, there would have been no attempt in the first place.
How do we decide what’s right? Who decides what’s right?
Of course, from my perspective the decisions have already been made. God has provided guidance on right and wrong. It is written in the 66 books of the Bible.
“Well, now,” you say, “that’s a pretty narrow view of things, isn’t it?”
Yes, it is. But the nature of the problem (right vs. wrong) necessitates a narrow view. Everything can’t be right. In ethical matters, if something is right then everything else must be wrong. While this seems obvious we don’t see evidence of this in our day-to-day lives.
How many times do you hear or read someone say, “That’s your truth?” As if there can be a different truth!
Abortion is murder. “That’s your truth.”
Creating a trillion dollars out of thin air (the amount scheduled for 2013) is counterfeiting. “That’s your truth.”
Marriage is a covenantal union between one man and one woman. “That’s your truth.”
The concept of truth is necessarily exclusive. If it’s true that two plus two equals four then all other answers are excluded. There may be many answers, but only one true answer.
It’s likely that most readers of this editorial rant will recognize that we’re talking here about relativism. This relativism, the idea that truth can differ depending upon the social status of an individual or the general agreement of the society one is living in, abounds today. But truth is no different than gravity. It’s the same for all regardless of how we pretend otherwise.
There’s an old riddle: If we call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have? Answer: Four; calling a dog’s tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg. In the same way, pretending God’s laws don’t exist doesn’t mean they don’t.
And here we find the dividing line between Christianity and the rest of humanity: God’s rules of righteousness exist from outside of mankind. They’ve been revealed to man, not developed by man, and our agreement with them is irrelevant to their truth.
Now, humanists hate this idea because for them humans are the center and perhaps even the origin of the universe. Their truth holds that if a tree falls in the woods and no human hears it, then no sound could have been made. “I will make my own rules and live by them,” is their creed.
However, logic requires an external source of truth because if right and wrong do not exist independent of mankind’s assessment then for any societal peace we’re left with the principle of Might Makes Right. This brings us the inconsistency of changing truth – a variable invariable. How?
If the strongest are able to enforce their “truth” today but are overthrown tomorrow then their truth wasn’t actually true, was it? It’s irrelevant if the overthrow is by sword or ballot box or the progression of history – if truth can be changed it isn’t true in its essence.
We Bible believers must recognize the utter confusion and darkness God’s foes are stumbling around in and have always stumbled around in. The world has progressed only insofar as humanity has come to understand that there is an Immovable Truth and that the Truth can be known.
If we are to change the world (and that is our charge as Christians—Matt 28:19-20) it must be through shining the light of biblical education and restoring the biblical literacy that Western Christendom once had and is now losing. The fight is against the pride and arrogance of humanism and its insistence that mankind is in control of its own destiny.
Our battle is not political in focus, although politics will yield to its influence when enough of society again agrees on truth. It is not economic in focus, yet the economic ship will right itself under the influence of truth. Its focus is not medical, musical, scientific, or any of a number of other disciplines yet every discipline will flower and bear fruit under the influence of the truth.
There is much work to be done to bring about the peace & prosperity that man is to have on earth. But that peace & prosperity must be according to God’s rules, not mankind’s. In the context of God’s creation, not mankind’s. By means of God’s delegated authority, not man’s usurped authority.
Evangelizing is our battle. But let’s recognize that evangelism is nothing more than biblical education. Just as important is the point that the education is not only for the sake of providing an escape for the lost soul. Rather, the evangelism is mostly for the sake of the reconstructing and accompanying enjoyment of a world God loved enough to create in the first place.
~ John Bingaman