In the 1960’s Hugh Hefner’s motto “If it feels good, do it” became the slogan that characterized a generation, my generation. It was not right or biblical but it did become part of the foundational beliefs that a whole generation built their lives upon. This, of course, undermined the authority of the Scriptures which really declare the absolutes that determine what is really right and what is wrong.
Today we live in a different time and space marching to the beat of a totally different drum. Today people do not ask “Is it true?” but rather they ask “Does it work?” They have redefined truth as “whatever rings true to your experience, whatever feels real to you.” (Rick Richardson – Evangelism Outside the Box)
So, they have defined and test whether an action is right or wrong – not based on some objective standard like the Ten Commandments – but simply upon the desirability of the outcome. In fact, seventy-two percent (72%) of them believe that “you can tell if something is morally / ethically right for you by whether or not it works in your life.”
This, of course, is not biblical.
When Joseph, the son of Jacob, was a slave in Egypt and was propositioned by his master’s wife, he did not pause to ask himself, “Would this work for me?” Instead, the Bible records his response: “How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)
When David, who had sinned with Bathsheba and then engineered the death of her husband, was confronted by Nathan the prophet, David did not say, “Nathan, it works just fine for me, so don’t try to impose your morality on my behavior.” On the contrary, once his action was exposed, David responded in no uncertain terms, “I have sinned against the Lord.” (2 Samuel 12:13)
When Jesus, who was overburdened with the imminence of his execution, cried out to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, he did not protest, “This isn’t working for Me!” No, instead he said, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup of suffering away from me. However, Your will must be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42).
Today – a generation makes their decision by the credo, “If it works, it’s right.” But God’s perspective of reality says, “If it’s right, it will work,” for if you “Obey [God’s] directions, laws, commands, rules and written instruction … then you’ll succeed in everything you do wherever you may go.” (1 Kings 2:3) Ours is a cause-and-effect world in which God communicated to us His ways, ways that are based on universal – not pragmatic – standards. His ways protect us from harm. His ways provide safety and blessing for us. But today people don’t see it that way. And their distorted perception of reality is not only flawed; it also leads to hearache and suffering.
More in this tomorrow…