Are We Adrift Morally?

    In the early days of the United States there was a general consensus

about what was right and what was wrong.  No one would publicly question

whether adultery was wrong.  The consensus came about because there was a

common reference point for morality, the Bible.  This is emphasized in

the Supreme Court chambers where Moses is seen  holding the ten

commandments of Exodus 20.  Not all of the founding fathers were devout

Christians but all agreed that the Bible had good moral instruction.

Today the Muslims are united in belief by the Koran.  They all appeal to

it for moral guidance.

    But today the courts,  and the country as a whole,  no longer have a

common ethical code to which all can appeal.  The Bible has been excluded

from our class rooms; teachers can be fired for writing the ten

commandments on the black board.  A judge was deposed for having the ten

commandments near his courtroom.  A decision by a jury was recently

overturned because one of the jurors carried a Bible into the room.  The

nation is like a ship on the high seas without a compass, uncertain of

its direction.  Because of this there is much bickering and strong

feeling about moral issues today.  How can one know what is right?

    The prevailing virtue of today is tolerance.    This translates into

autonomy for the individual.  Each is free to pick and choose his moral

convictions.  If it makes you happy, do it!  Do not judge another and do

not lay your moral convictions on others.  Be tolerant! 

    Homosexuality was once viewed as aberrant behavior that needed

counseling by psychiatrists.  Now it is viewed as normal for some people

by the psychiatric profession..   Divorce was once viewed as wrong.  Now

it is viewed as a good thing, giving one more choice.  To take the life

of the unborn was once a criminal offense, subject to prosecution.  Now

it is viewed as liberating for women, their right to choose.  Now liberal

courts make decisions based on what most of the people seem to tolerate

rather than on objective truth that applies to all in every age.  More

people use drugs and alcohol to excess than ever before..  Be tolerant;

many would say.  Do not be judgmental.

    An ancient proverb states: "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a

reproach to any people" (Prov. 14:34).  The proverb affirms that what

makes a nation great is righteous living.  To be righteous means one is

conforming to a righteous standard.  A builder constructing a house has a

building code to which he must conform.  Man desperately needs a moral

standard outside of himself by which he can measure his conduct.  But one

may say, "Is not conscience enough?"  No, history attests to the fact

that mankind has been very adept at rationalizing and twisting the

message of conscience.  Hitler could rationalize that it was good for the

German people to weed out the disabled, the retarded, and even the whole

Jewish race, all to maintain racial purity. 

    The Bible is realistic.  Man is terribly flawed and prone to sin.  "The

heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.  Who can know

it?" (Jer. 17:9).  The Law of God gives man an absolute standard to warn

him of wrong doing.  God states that these are for "our good always"

(Deut. 6:24).  America was once viewed by the world as a good nation,

moral and compassionate.  Today Muslim nations warn their peoples against

the immorality and pornography that spews out of American media.  Shame

on us!  It is time for the nation to repent and to return to God and the

moral standards of our forefathers based on the Word of God.

                    Donald L. Norbie

                    April 1, 2005