Column: Lost without a compass
Our society tends to worry about the wrong things because it no longer is very good at diagnosing humanity’s most basic problems.
For 50 years America has systematically thrown public money at private problems and can’t understand why inner cities can’t educate their children, and places like Detroit have all but shut down. We are afraid to notice that Great Society giveaways initiated in the 1960s coincide precisely with the takeaway of school prayer. More money and less prayer led to an implosion of moral misdirection.
As the Bible has further disappeared from public life and education, the bedrock notion of the existence of right and wrong, of good and evil, of truth and lies, has dwindled into a sniveling cultural narrative that starts and stops with “Don’t judge.”
It’s secularism’s favorite Bible quote. Only a small bit of society any longer accurately comprehends where, how and why Jesus said, “Don’t judge.” I like Brent Riggs’ explanation: “Luke 6:37 (“judge not lest you be judged”) tells us not to be hypocrites, not to judge without compassion or understanding, and not to judge based on our own standards rather than God’s.”
Did you get that? “God’s standards.”
We think “don’t judge” means “invent your own standards.” No. It means God’s standards are real, authoritative, and supreme so don’t invent your own standards. God’s standards are in the Bible, not in government programs or humanist intellectual inclination. Morality is not about “going to church” and doing “the Christian thing.” It’s reading, knowing and acting on the Bible.
Society currently, bafflingly, assigns top moral priority to homosexuality, sexual freedom, gay marriage, and every non-traditional family structure. Christians are tricked into equivocating on “sexual sin.” Non-believers ignore “sin” entirely. Lacking biblical knowledge, our family foundations and civic morality are disintegrating in sin we can’t recognize.
Since 9/11 we’ve worried about Islam and its dramatically different religious and cultural order. My biblical mentor George Bebawi points out that Western culture is threatened less by Islam than its own biblical ignorance and rampant secularism.
“The Bible” TV miniseries (which morphed into this year’s movie “Son of God”) was birthed because its producers recognized the dearth of Bible education in schools. My wife Pam recently retired from 34 years of teaching public school English and noted the change in basic Bible knowledge students brought to class. In the 1970s, most had some idea of Noah and the flood. In recent years, most students had none.
The Bible is a moral compass pointing to the love and truth of Jesus Christ. Without Jesus, we are morally lost. Without a compass, we will stay lost.
That is society’s most basic problem.
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) invites comment, and encourages good judgment.