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Home The Light Articles from 2002 Right? …or Wrong?

Right? …or Wrong?

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Right? …or Wrong?

Americans are increasingly reluctant to make critical moral distinctions, even when necessary. Whether things are true or false, right or wrong, good or evil doesn’t seem to be of much concern anymore–so long as we are all pleasant to each other and do nothing to call into question our collec-tive self-esteem. Non-judgmentalism is the current key to being accepted in our present society. Don’t say anything is wrong or anybody is wrong. Social critic Michael Novak writes, "I don’t know if ‘judgmentaphobic’ is a word, but it ought to be. Where conscience used to raise an eyebrow at our slips and falls, sunny non-judgmentalism winks and slaps us on the back." And the church is not far behind in all of this.

Year after year, Gallup polls reveal that nearly 90 percent of all Americans consider religion either "very important" or "fairly important"–and even those who don’t regard themselves as conventionally religious generally profess to believe in a Supreme Being. It may surprise you that on any given Sunday, more Americans are to be found in church than the total number of people who attend professional sports events over the course of an entire year. If the pulpit is teaching anything at all, it would seem a fair conclusion that at least a moderate portion of these people would know that there are some things that are unquestionably right, and other things that are unquestionably wrong. It would further seem that these "churched" people would equally admit to the moral responsibility before God to pass reasonable judgment on those things that violate the very reason why they go to church–God is Sovereign, and His standards of right and wrong must not be violated.

But because this is not so, someone needs to explain the paradox of a people who strive to be both religious and non-judgmental. How is it possible to believe in the existence of God yet refuse to express outrage when His moral code is flouted? To have faith in God, but to reject moral and Spiritual absolutes? How is it possible that there exists so little tolerance in the public square for expressions of "faith" and the moral and religious standards that naturally follow this belief in a transcendent God? How is it possible to be a theist and a relativist, a traditionalist and a post-modernist, a believer and a "judgmentaphobe"–all at the same time? How is it possible for our nation to guarantee liberty while banishing from the public square any reference to a transcendent moral code, or even reference to the Author of that code?

The answer to these questions is that it is simply not possible. In the view of our country’s Founding Fathers and our greatest moral teachers, religion–and the truths to which religion points us–is essential to the success of the American experiment. The Founders believed that God is the source of truth (and He is!)–and that it is through Christianity that the light of self-evident truth will guide Americans in their lives, order their national affairs, and protect their liberty. At least this was their coveted wish. If we are to resolve the problems that currently threaten to overwhelm us, we must be convinced that we first must recover this traditional understanding of Christianity as the way in which we determine commonly agreed-on moral precepts–an understanding that has clearly been present throughout most of our history but has somehow grown obscure today. America needs to make room in the public square for the plain truths of God’s Holy Word, without the burden of attempting to be "politically correct," watering truth down into an unrecognizable, meaningless sham. We need to accept the undeniable axiom that truth exists, and that the embodiment of it (spiritually) is in the Word of God. We need to gird on the armor of judgment and, comparing spiritual things with spiritual, exclude from fellow-ship all who would offend God and lead the souls of our brothers astray. God will not sustain for a moment those at war with His cause, openly or subtly. He requires the same intolerance within the church, but it can never be so until the church accepts her responsibility to rightly judge the disor-derly, the false teacher, the errorist. "Judgmentaphobia" must not be found among the people of God. –Adapted

 

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