A recent election in the country of Ireland legalized homosexual marriage by a margin of almost two to one. Journalists who reported on the situation stated that because of this election, the Catholic Church (the predominant religion of the region) would have to change its stance against the practice of homosexuality. Closer to home, one of our nation’s 2016 presidential candidates stated that it was time for our churches to evolve their stands against the practice of abortion in order to fit our culture’s view on the subject. These are two examples of what happens when relativism has taken hold in a society. Rather than there being an absolute standard of morality by which we can judge all things, our standards are instead shaped by what everyone thinks should be right. We have a social consensus that says some things are acceptable today that were not acceptable in the past because the majorities’ view of the subject has changed.
The Bible has oftentimes been referred to as the canon of the church. The background of the word “canon” (from Latin, Greek or Old English) refers to a reed or straight stick used as a standard of measurement. The thought being that God’s Word is the standard by which we measure our doctrines and practices. When we move away from the Bible, it is impossible to know what is wrong and what is right. While there may be a general consensus of basic morality apart from God’s Word, the general basis of morality is subject to change and interpretation. It all basically depends on the collective conscience of the society. This can be difficult in cases of Nazi Germany (the holocaust), China (the one child policy) or ancient pagan cultures (human sacrifice). In each of these societies, these practices of murder were allowed and promoted because of a lack of a standard morality apart from public opinion and current scientific thought. Our society today promotes many things that are against the Word of God because we have moved away from a Christian standard of judgment.
God’s Word does not change (Psalm 119:89) and it provides us with the knowledge of what we should do in each situation that we face (2 Timothy 3:16-17). When followed closely, it will create a society of tolerance, love and help for the poor. It also creates a system in which the family is promoted, a work ethic is introduced and the worth of mankind is emphasized. It is sad that there is such a famine of the knowledge of God’s law in our land (Amos 8:11) and even those who know it will not practice it.
Our task today is to know and to follow the Word of God in every aspect of our lives. Parents must recognize their responsibility to teach it to their children and we all need to emphasize what the Lord has commanded in every situation that we face. While the world may call us old fashioned and judgmental when we do not follow the social consensus of the day, the Bible is what all of us will be judged by on the Last Day.