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