Thursday, April 6, 2017
What is truth? That was the now infamous words of Pontius Pilate during the trial of Christ, and he seemed to be indicating that truth is somehow open to interpretation. That maybe it is for scholars and theologians to debate until the end of time with no definitive conclusion, and he seems to be right. 2000 years later we are still having the same debate, lending credence to the words of Solomon nearly 1000 years before Pilate. " There is nothing new under the sun."
I was recently engaged in a discussion on this very subject, unfortunately I was unable to finish. However I've been meaning to write a blog about it for a while now, so here goes.
The question that was asked of me was this. Why do I consider a specific group of people immoral?
Now we Christians get this a lot, and we cringe every time we do, because it's a "loaded" question. Most people who ask it aren't really looking for understanding, but rather looking to pick a fight. They are trying to catch us looking down our noses in self-righteous judgement. First of all let me state that mature Christians don't do this, it is counter to our understanding of God. The real question that needs to be answered here is. Where do we get our standard of truth and morality from?
For most of society the answer to that question is, "I just know," indicating that it is some kind internal moral compass that gives them their standard of truth. That based on their experience and the way they feel about a subject, they arrive at a moral conclusion. Furthermore the relative "Rightness" of their conclusion, is based on the intensity of their feelings.
The problem with this line of reasoning is that feelings change all the time. It might be raining today so I feel one way, but tomorrow I may feel differently, or someone close to me may influence my feelings one way or another, thus my standard of morality will shift. If our moral compass is always pointed to ourselves, then it can never point to true north, that is to say it is useless for finding truth.
The bottom line is this; if we are using our own internal standard of truth and morality, then that standard is nothing more than our opinion, and our opinion is no better than that of anyone else's, even than that of say Hitler. Now we all know that Hitler was wrong for killing 6 million Jews, but by his own standard he was doing what he felt was right for himself and his people. So was Hitler a moral person?
Well if I want to overlook my own personal moral shortcomings, then I have to overlook his too, right?
I have actually heard people say that Hitler was moral, just to avoid the implications of that last statement!
The usual rebuttal however, is that society judged Hitler and passed sentence, but I should remind you that Stalin killed even more people, and died of natural causes at a relatively old age. But let's explore the idea of society being the standard.
The Canaanites decided that it was moral to sacrifice their children to the god Molech, in a most horrific way. We all know that torturing babies for fun is wrong don't we?
The Romans executed Christians and Christians are still being executed by Isis today. No one says that's moral do they?
Just a few decades ago Jim Crow laws were all the rage in this country, but the laws have changed. Does that mean that we have evolved? What is to say that 100 years from now the mood, (feelings) of society won't change again, and the morality we are legislating today won't be considered immoral.
By the way don't tell me we can't legislate morality, all laws prohibit one behavior in favor of another.
So it seems society doesn't have a fixed set of morals either.
So the question still stands, what is truth?
First truth must comport with reality.
That is to say that it must explain all that is, just as it is, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It must explain the love of a mother and the most vile evil, and it must differentiate between the two.
Second it must be a standard that is outside ourselves and society.
That is to say that it it is not relativistic, true for you but not for me, (try that with a police officer sometime) and it can't be based on feelings, because feelings change, it must be fixed.
Lastly it must be perfect.
That is to say that if it were to be adhered to perfectly, we would need no other law.
Now what I just described is God, He is perfect,He doesn't change, and He is outside of His creation. He IS the standard, and He revealed Himself in the Bible. So if you want THE standard of morality pick up your copy today. Available wherever fine books are sold.
Friday, January 27, 2017
Gender equality. It's a term we hear often now days. Society and the feminist movement would have us believe that in order for men and women to be equal that we have to be treated the same. We are entitled to have the same jobs, the same pay, the same opportunities. Every part of our lives should be alike. We're taught that anything a man can do a woman can do better. We're taught that male and female are just labels but that we're really all the same. What you must realize is that equal does not always mean "the same". God, the creator of the universe, designed us to be different.
God created us in His own image, both male and female (Genesis 1:27). God created us to be equal (1 Peter 3:7). God said it is not good for man to be alone, man needs a helper ( Genesis 2:18). Being a helper doesn't make women any less than men, it just means that together we're better. So He created woman out of the rib of man (Genesis 2:21). God gave men and women different strengths and weaknesses. God designed men to be strong leaders, and to protect and provide for their families. God designed women to be help mates for their husbands, caretakers of the home, and bare and raise children. I know this is a very unpopular way to look at our roles in this day and age but it has been God's plan from the very beginning. When we get married we are join together, man and woman, as one (Genesis 2:24). We are told to leave our parents and come together as one whole person. Working in unity, together, for our family, with the same purpose in mind, for the same goals and end results.
Society's view of equal is not the same as God's. God says He made us equal from the beginning. Society says you must be able to have it all and do it all on your own. It tells us we don't need anyone else to be successful. But God says "I will give you everything you need" (Philippians 4:19). God is our provider and wants what is best for us. He wants to make us complete. You see, God designed us to need each other. He designed us to be a part of a community. He gave men and women different traits and attributes to compliment one another. Together, a man and a woman come together to make a whole. We ARE God's perfect design.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
A little more than thirty years ago we stood together for the first time as husband and wife. Since then I have enjoyed a warm and stable home. Anyone who knows me understands that I had nothing to do with that. My ideas of domestic infrastructure include reels and pallets for furniture, and paper plates are just good as fine china where I am concerned, and while I may have other redeeming qualities, (there is debate in some quarters) housekeeping is not my strong suit. Still I have enjoyed clean sheets and "magic laundry", (that is dirty clothes thrown on the floor only to appear clean and put away the next time I have need of them) all of my adult life thanks to you.
In a society where the traditional homemaker paradigm is thought of as less than a real contribution, you set that as your higher calling. You have always wanted to be a mother and a wife, even your collage education was in child development, making our children lucky enough to actually have a professional mother.
Knowing your desire to be a stay at home mom I did all that I could to see to it that you never had to work, and that if you did it was by your own choice.
I had no idea how blessed I would be in that decision.
While I did go to work every day, sometimes my earnings didn't afford much of a lifestyle. When combined with an addiction in our early years, homelessness was often a possibility, yet when I came home there was always food on the table, clean presentable clothes to wear, and our home was always warm and inviting. Monet never had a painting on our walls, but everything in our house spoke of love and family, and while Goodwill was your store of record, it might as well have been Sacks for the way we were dressed.
No one else would ever know the sacrifices you have made over the years, but I do. Even your children have no idea the number of times you put yourself last so we could have your best.
As I chased my career across the country, taking you far from family and friends, you never complained. As I worked too many hours, you always gave me a safe haven in which to recharge. I don't think you know that my ability to keep my promise made to you all those years ago was only made possible by your commitment as a a homemaker.
The days I wanted to quit I knew you were giving your all, how could I let you down, and on the days I was so tired I couldn't continue, your faith in me renewed my strength, even if just for one more day.
I have enjoyed a long career, even owned my own business for a while, but living my dreams was only made possible because of my silent partner, behind the scenes always holding me together and pushing me forward. Giving me a home filled with love and laughter, and raising three beautiful daughters in whom I am proud of and love dearly.
The look in your eyes on of wedding day still says it all, you put your trust in me, but it is I who has come to rely on you.
Just a housewife? I don't think so you are the heart of this corporation, and I couldn't have done it without you.