The world – society – slowly or abruptly changes. At the same time changes can come – almost imperceptibly.
The changes that are no longer changes, but are integrated into the society, become established standards in the minds of the generation that follows on, – they grew up with them, in other words.
The changes they in turn notice and embrace or reluctantly acquiesce to – are ‘birthed’ by trend setters, instigators, sometimes dictators, or governmental policy makers, who introduce the changes in the first place.
Change comes from and as a result of, all kinds of influences.
Many beliefs, or held views that the next generation holds can be the result of the passing on of oral or behavioural traditions, that were part of the life of parents or guardians.
There are obvious areas where change is more easily noticed, or monitored.
Fashion is a prime example. Food/meal (diet) preferences. Modes of transport. Social activities. Revamping of educational approaches to teaching. Attitudes to exercise and healthy pursuits. Art, entertainment. Musical tastes. Relationship norms. Employment trends. Job descriptions. Career choices. Pop culture, etc. etc.
And so one could go on, usually we gauge change, by observing trends in areas such as those listed above, and indeed there are probably many more to add to the list.
Then there are changes in morality. Behaviour that is unacceptable today, is often embraced as acceptable tomorrow.
And so we begin to see the result of moral change in society.
Righteousness exalts a nation, lifting it’s game to a higher standard and performance for the good of all, effecting (and expressed through) these areas, and others, as mentioned above.
In the older generation, there are established norms of faith, belief, and behaviour that ‘paddle against the current’ or ‘swim against the tide’ of introduced or propagated changes, that threaten their demise.
Beliefs that are foundational to their long lives, that will not be shaken by the younger generation’s departure from them.
The younger generation will shake off what they perceive as the shackles of tradition, as practiced by their forefathers.
Sometimes this is good, sometimes bad, depending of course on what that traditional way of thinking is built on, what it has produced, the fruit of it’s existence, where it comes from etc.
Sometimes change is for the worst, sometimes for the better.
But morality by virtue of its essence should have an everlasting norm that must be adhered to.
All other changes outside of the subject of morality and the need for a moral code are negotiable.
But when it comes to a moral code, the guiding norms of the previous generation (if true) should remain foundational and ‘legislative’ when it comes to determining conduct in society, regardless of what generation comes next.
If otherwise then the moral code itself should be examined and if need be challenged, if it has been a ‘perverted’ code of practice, producing abuse, bitterness or damage.
The one right way is easily found in certain examples:
You shall not kill. (The sixth commandment).
e.g. You shall not go out and randomly gun down the first stranger you meet.
Simple. – A moral norm that should inform every human being on the face of the earth. A commandment to be adhered to regardless of nationality, creed, religion or outlook on life. We could similarly refer to other commandments.
But immediately we contextualise this commandment to a given scenario – we start to enter into areas of grey, and expose the differences of opinion we so easily encounter amongst a given society.
And that stirs up man’s nature in debate and disagreement.
An occupied country – people held captive to the dictates of wicked men – suddenly a father whose children have been killed finds a machine gun – and out into the street he goes – gunning down all and any strangers he meets. Shooting first and with no intention of asking questions later.
Claiming justification by the fact that all the strangers he will encounter are part of the occupying force who killed his family.
Thus we go from the simplicity of black and white morality or code, to shades of grey, when it comes to the commandment – you shall not kill.
This difficulty can be encountered in every individual situation where we seek to apply the black and white commandments that are divinely given.
Unfortunately the difficulty and seemingly irreconcilable difference of opinion that can exist when it comes to correct application of straightforward commandments produces the grey areas of debate.
This lack of unified agreement as to how to correctly apply the commandments can be used as an excuse and illegitimate reason for rebels to abandon completely the laws of God.
When we go from the simple into the complex, we still need the foundation of the relatively simple axioms as expressed in the ten commandments – from which to seek the guidance of God’s wisdom, in an endeavour to find solutions to the complex moral problems in society.
Man has to find a way to respond to the different complex dilemmas he finds himself in.
And there the tired mind, slumps into the armchair, lifts its arms up in the surrender of futility and admits it can do little to solve this awful state of (increasingly anarchistic) affairs.
Reams and reams could be written to try to address the multiplicity of ‘greys’. And by and large society has to do this. That’s why courts of law exist, attempting to steer us through the horrible greys that result from the moral collapse that is the result of sin.
The exhausted heart of man – in the face of the deluge of moral collapse – remains imperfect in himself, and unable to bring permanent change.
Imperfect and inadequate and unable despite his best efforts – unable to make the great change that will sweep away every problem and solve all complexities.
It is so bad, that he has to abandon utopian dreams of a perfect world, – in the light of the indictment of failure upon it through history repeating itself perpetually.
As the song says: ‘When will they every learn, when will they ever learn…’
When one boil of moral collapse is lanced, yet another appears almost immediately. Such is the contaminated nature of man.
For the Christian the promise of a new heaven and new earth, is the only answer. It is an eternal hope locked in the heart of God to be realised, in it’s appointed time.
This, of course is ‘pie in the sky’ to the unbelieving skeptic in bondage to the hopelessness that is plain to the natural eye.
The skeptic may agree roughly with what I have written in defining the problem. But his place of departure starts here, in rejection of the gospel.
It is my conviction that apart from the Christian gospel – no philosophy religious or otherwise offers to mankind a permanent means of escape from the moral mess of adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like;
This permanent means of escape will come someday.
For the Christian the certainty of the biblical promises that such a day will come are not solely based on the theology of eschatology.
But rather are also based on the reality of a living individual relationship now, with the Only Living and True God. Who has shown Himself faithful and true in fulfilling many of His promises already in the Christian’s life.
The Christian has therefore no problem in believing that He (God) will do what He says He will do – when it comes to the someday of man’s total deliverance.
So that he is not moved or dissuaded by any seemingly similar utopias (but which exclude Christ) offered by another religion or creed.
He knows the author of the promises personally, and knows how true He is to His word.
The impatient, skeptical, throwing back of the head in disbelief – regarding the preaching of a ‘someday’ truth, and the comparisons we make with the historical failure of what has always been – robs many of the reality of such a hope.
I believe there is no beginning of deliverance for this world, apart from the one that begins with the individual.
For me there is no other approach to resolving the complex moral dilemma of not only an imperfect world, but of one increasingly on it’s way to a universal skid row.
No other answer to the ushering in of a changed world can take place apart from an individual one. That is, one that entails the individual response of every human being receiving Christ as Saviour and Lord.
Man meeting his creator now – first, before anything else can be addressed, is the means of escape.
The reality is that not all will be saved. But the question as to who will be saved (delivered and changed) – is answered only on an individualistic basis.
It is of an individualistic determination. One that can only be decided by you and I, as we respond to the gospel message that has gone out into all the earth.
We are free moral agents. A society will not change except by the choices the individual makes.
To use two extremes of a different kind as examples – nazi-ism, and Beatlemania – unavoidably these were the result of the choices individual human beings made in order to make their corporate acceptance possible.
The individual choices resulted in a large corporate expression of allegiance.
The perfect Utopian society right thinking desires, cannot come to pass until the Divine hand of the Almighty brings it to pass in the way expressed – (hidden and revealed) – in the scriptures.
But the plan’s fulfilment – begins when man individually chooses to respond individually through a one-to-one encounter with Jesus Christ, now.
This sets up those corporately who will enter into the reality of the new heavens and new earth, still to come.
But this will never happen to the man who only has faith in himself and his own resources of intellect or will. Again history has proven it to be so.
Divine intervention will come – Maranatha. Even so come Lord Jesus.
[ The Glorious New Creation ] “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
2 Peter 3:13
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
[ All Things Made New ] Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.