Not everything is right. Yes, it's true, not everything is right. There are things in this word that are just plain wrong and you have to understand that. Even when those things may bring pleasure, they may be wrong. Even when those things hurt no one but yourself that doesn't change a simple fact, they are wrong. No matter how many people may enjoy something, it can be wrong. In the Christian tradition we call it sin. There are as many definitions of sin as there are sins. To me sin is anything you do contrary to God's law and God's law is natural law. The same natural law our founding fathers spoke about. There has been much discussion about that, God and the Constitution. I often hear an argument that Jefferson and others identified themselves as Deists. My response to that is always the same, Okay, so what is wrong with that ? Deists recognize that there is a creator. They only reject the idea of revelation and authority, not that God doesn't exist. They rely upon reason and observation of the natural world to draw the conclusion a single creator is responsible for the earth. In short they observed that in order to have intelligent order in the universe you would have to have had intelligent design. This world didn't happen by accident. They wrote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as natural law, law that requires no one to write it down. It was understood and accepted that people knew this as an inherent part of their being. The best example is that a child loves by instinct and only rejects others when taught to do so. Children understand the natural order of things before they can even speak !
When we start to "openly " practice behaviors that were previously kept hidden it is for a simple reason. That action is an attempt to gain acceptance for behaviors we know to be wrong. That is why we kept those behaviors hidden in the first place. Putting those behaviors on parade will not change the natural law from being violated even when a society accepts those behaviors. Consider the Inca's and human sacrifice. That was certainly practiced openly, accepted as a religious expression but it was never right. We look at it with horror today but then it was everyday stuff. In our religious texts we may read that a certain act is an abomination unto the lord. What does that mean ? Some synonyms are, disgust, hatred, aversion, torment and atrocity. These abomination are always generated by their acceptance in society. They are allowed, accepted and taught. It is man that fails to follow the natural law, the natural order of the universe and acts in opposition. When man starts to write law in opposition to natural law, chaos will always be the end result.
It is all connected to one word, Obiedenance. Christians call it original sin. When Adam ate the fruit of the tree of good and evil that first sin was committed. It is my thinking that what was learned from eating that fruit was evil. Adam and Eve were made aware of evil, as a choice. Before that they just acted in accordance with natural law. The Bible doesn't tell us how long that was though. But Eve was deceived by Satan. How was she deceived ? She was given false information and convinced of it's validity. A false promise and we hear a lot of those these days. In short she disobeyed the law of God. She did so believing it would be to her benefit, she herself would become as God if she knew all good and evil. What she learned was that she had sinned. And now mankind was saddled with that knowledge forever. Yes, we learned that we had a choice, whereas prior to that knowledge we just did what came naturally. We learned that we could choose in defiance of God and those natural laws for short term gain. And man is a weak creature, prone to taking those shortcuts. Man has attempted to justify that choice ever since.
Central to the concept of Obiedenance is punishment and reward. If we are obedient will we be rewarded ? If we are disobedient will we be punished ? Yes and yes. I believe our reward will come in the afterlife and also our punishment. Man has been punished for that original sin since the beginning. We could have lived a life of simple existence having all our needs fulfilled by a loving God but for one simple choice, and we couldn't resist that temptation. As punishment we were made aware of good and evil. We were made aware of that choice. Now man must live with that knowledge as a burden. We can not overrule that " law " no matter how many laws we write. Man's punishment is the deception we practice. Man continues to deceive himself about the nature of sin, of wrongdoing and the consequences. There is right and wrong !
There are those that wish to replace God with Government. A complete reversal of the natural order. It is God, the creator, that is the final judge off right and wrong. That is exactly why we are a government of the people, by the people. James Monroe, a professed deist incidentally, wrote, " to suppose any form of government will secure liberty and happiness without any virtue in the people is a chimerical idea. " What was he saying there ? He was saying it is up to man to make himself happy, that government can't fulfill that. There must be virtue in the people. Moral excellence is virtue. And I had to look up chimerical, a word I wasn't familiar with. It means something hoped for but impossible to achieve or an illusion.
It troubles me to see our moral foundation being chipped away. That is exactly what the Constitution and Bill of Rights established, our moral foundation. Both are under attack from all sides. Most troubling is the Christians that are joining in the fight to destroy natural morality and ethics, choosing to act in opposition for political gain or perceived superior values. The arrogance of man amazes me. I think that realization may have something to do with aging. I remember when I was 19 and knew it all ! Now, I see the arrogance of youth, the foolishness of it all. Troubling indeed to see the church in full support of what the Bible tells us is an abomination unto the lord. They are spelled out fairly clearly. haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person that stirs up conflict in the community. Each one a contradiction to natural law.
Well that is my sermon for this Sunday morning.