By Joe Chesser
We live in a land of freedom. We have the freedom of religion, the right of free speech and the right to bear arms. We have the right to a speedy trial and protection against cruel and unusual punishment. These, among other things, are specified in our nation’s Bill of Rights. We are an independent people. We have the right, within reason and law, to do whatever we want whenever we want to do it. As Americans, we can believe what we choose, vote the way we choose, and live the way we choose.
Unfortunately, many have allowed these freedoms to permeate the way they view God and the Bible. Many have put themselves in the place of God to determine what is right and what is not. The freedom to choose how we live as citizens of the United States has, for many, become the same standard used in deciding how we are to live as citizens of God’s kingdom.
For example, let’s consider sexual morality. In America, anything is OK as long as it is right for you and doesn’t harm kids or pets. If teenagers want to have sex, who’s to say that it’s wrong for them to do so? If people want to live together outside of marriage, who has the right to say that they shouldn’t? If people want to marry others of their own gender, who has the right to oppose it? If people want to get a divorce because they don’t like their spouse any more, who’s to say that’s wrong? In fact, those decisions may actually be very good ones, they may be the best choice under the circumstances – at least from a human perspective.
But, is what we think is good and right necessarily what God thinks is good and right? Many have become so accustomed to making their own choices that they have come to believe that whatever they think must also be what God thinks. They have, in effect, imposed their views upon God. They have decided that if they think something is good (i.e. sex outside of marriage) then God must also think that it is good. How can God condemn something that is good?
Cunningly, Satan has persuaded us to become our own god. We have begun to judge God by our own goodness rather than judging ourselves by God’s standard – His Son Jesus and the words of Jesus, the Bible. God is our standard. His word is our only way of determining right and wrong (John 12.48). Let’s not get sucked in to the way of thinking of those around us. Let’s not judge God by ourselves, but ourselves by God. Let’s take on the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5).
- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org