Divergent opinions can’t all be right. To think so defies simple logic. Likewise, a society promoting the idea that truth is relative is not only trifling with absolutes, but is also headed for disaster.
Imagine a group on a wilderness expedition that decides a compass is unnecessary and charts the course for each day by the direction the majority feels like going. The longer they persist in consensus, the further the group is drawn from the destination.
In the last century, voices in popular culture declared a moral compass irrelevant—that right and wrong can be determined on the basis of consensus. The Cultural Revolution that began in the 1960s is not only peaking nearly 60 years later, but the anarchy of that era is also resurfacing on a scale that is even more disturbing.
The apostle Paul highlighted prevailing culture in light of biblical precepts. It is as though he anticipated 21st century vitriol and mayhem observing:
“they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful” (Rm. 1:28-31, emphasis added).
While we might think that we are experiencing unprecedented evil in the world, Solomon emphatically declared, “there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9).
A cursory examination of daily happenings suggests it’s time for course correction.
It is imperative that individuals within societies take responsibility for setting a proper course using a moral compass that is neither affected by the whims of popular culture, nor the passing of time.
We need to re-embrace our Judeo-Christian heritage; we need to get back to the Bible.
Before the young nation of Israel crossed the Jordan River, Moses gathered the people for what would be his final words of instruction. His words reverberated through the crowd:
“I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you” (Deut. 30:16, emphasis added).
Despite Moses’ warning on the banks of the Jordan River, fifty years after Israel’s conquest of Canaan, the land was plagued by civil and religious confusion. The condition is described briefly in the book of Judges: “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Jud. 17:6).
Western civilization faces a comparable dilemma attempting to function autonomously without God. In a very real sense, moral clarity has been stifled as individuals and societal factions have become a law unto themselves devoted to doing “what is right in their own eyes.”
Issues that common sense easily resolves—from which restroom to use—to discerning the distortion of facts in fake news—to permitting public threats to commit acts of terrorism and incitement to anarchy—have evolved into complex socio-political quagmires.
Conflicting standards reflect the dichotomy of worldviews that have polarized culture over issues that previously would have fostered unity among all but a fringe minority.
Current culture is commonly labeled post-Christian or a post-modern environment. Simply stated, popular segments of 21st century culture espouse the belief that man can gain all he needs to know through the narrative of personal experience while repudiating the idea of moral absolutes in any form.
Society’s moral compass based on the absolutes of the Judeo-Christian worldview has been replaced by cultural relativism—a law unto itself shaped around the felt-needs and ego-centric desires of the individual.
The ensuing chaos exponentially driven by the extent that culture turns its back on God pervades the globe. In point of fact, it seems obvious that the absence of common sense in everyday realities corresponds directly to the extent of the world’s animosity toward God.
Consequently, those claiming alleged disenfranchisement fuel widespread rioting, violence and anarchy reminiscent of my childhood years as a means to get their way.
Instead of succumbing to hand-wringing or head-in-the-sand posturing, Jesus gave precise directives to people of faith.
The living breathing organic church—not the organizational infrastructure or physical edifice— but rather, people of authentic biblical faith are the crucial component in correcting society’s moral course.
Like a lighthouse on a dark stormy night, Christians have a directive to function as “light” in the process of providing a stable reference point.
Piously huddled with hands folded, heads bowed and eyes closed to the reality of what is happening in the world around us, many in the church have ignored Jesus’ directive to engage culture and help restore society’s moral bearings.
Jesus’ directive that His followers be the “light of the world” is particularly relevant in the 21st century and the strategy for course correction (Mt. 5:14-16).
While the fringe of popular culture may have stopped going to church or listening to preachers, the Holy Spirit draws individuals to the example of grounded stable lives guided by an internalized moral compass based on the ultimate authority of God’s Word.
People of authentic biblical faith must grasp, internalize and demonstrate biblical principles as a habitual way of life.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Living an authentic biblical faith doesn’t just happen; it begins with a decisive choice to serve God rather than be driven by consensus.
Moses’ successor, Joshua, is a heroic example of a man who made that choice as demonstrated by his profound statement of faith:
“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15).
Not merely a spiritual declaration, Joshua voiced an all-encompassing commitment to serve the One-true God of creation in the daily realities of life.
Every person of faith is confronted with that decision at some point—you can make that choice today.
The process of instigating a cultural course correction begins one person at a time.
It is significant that every revival in modern times began as individuals determined to counter popular culture, submitted to God’s authority, exemplified biblical principles in every facet of life and banded together to positively influence their generation.
Today, let God use you as a positive influence to help turn our culture around in a much needed and long overdue course correction.
1) Compass by the Swedish manufacturer Silva. By Tobias R. Metoc (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) Hiking the Syncline Mountain ridges, National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska. By Roman Dial, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios)
3) I’ll serve you, Lord. By Jonathan Lwowski (Flickr: Praise the lord) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via Contact Form under ABOUT. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Categories: Aligning Your Moral Compass