When a twisted gunman bursts into a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and indiscriminately shoots men, women and children, 99.9 percent of Americans know this is wrong.
When another twisted gunman bursts into a movie theater in Colorado and indiscriminately shoots men, woman and children, 99.9 percent of Americans know this is wrong.
But it’s hard to get that kind of consensus from Americans on much.
That’s because we’ve been conditioned in moral relativism for so long.
It’s like one of the worst mass murderers in history, Josef Stalin, said, “One death is a tragedy; 1 million is a statistic.”
Most of us can agree that murder is wrong. But yet we have influential people in Washington (Anita Dunn, the former White House communications director and current wife of White House counsel Robert Bauer, comes to mind) who still fawn over the greatest mass murderer in history, Mao Zedong. (She calls him one of her two “favorite political philosophers.”)
That’s when things start getting a little sticky – when we depersonalize and politicize right and wrong.
This is a mental illness even affecting some who claim to believe in biblical morality.
They often cite, without any context Jesus, words, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1).
But does the Bible really suggest that we cannot or should not judge?
In fact, it insists that we judge. It merely suggests that we do so without hypocrisy.
Jesus makes this clear in John 7:24 when He says: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
Again, in Luke 12:57, Jesus Himself says: “Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?”
Judging is not an option, according to the Bible. It is not a sin. It is a commandment.
“But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man,” it says in 1 Corinthians 2:15.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:21, it says: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
What is good?
What is true?
There must be some standard for that. I submit to you the only standard that makes any sense is to be found in the teachings of the Bible. Absent those, we are like ships without a rudder.
We’re all going to be judged some day – and on what basis? Our judgment – our ability to discern right from wrong and whether we repent of the wrongs.
“He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day,” said Jesus in John 12:48.
God will indeed judge all of us.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,” we read in Hebrews 4:12.
What did the Apostle Paul tell the Philippians? “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.”
Making good decisions with a pure heart is the central theme of the Bible.
What did Solomon ask of God that gave him favor?
“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
“And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.”
Judgment comes with spiritual maturity, we learn in Hebrews 5:14: “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
But people without the Spirit of God are incapable of judging wisely, according to 1 Corinthians 2:14-16: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.”
Understanding right from wrong? I believe God etches the Ten Commandments in the hearts of all men. Some choose to heed them. Others do not.
But no better standard of right and wrong has ever been devised in the history of the world.
Jesus simplified it still in Matthew 22:36-40, when asked which is the greatest commandment in the law: He said: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
That’s how we discern right from wrong.