Enduring Church of God

Blurring the Lines

Character and integrity are quickly fading away from our society today.
Charles E. Bryce

There I was sitting on the back row of a packed auditorium. On the stage speaking to us was a well– educated, experienced lecturer carefully going through the topic of change and compromise.

Then, right out of nowhere he said that we should NEVER draw lines in the sand. If we do, we’ll just end up shifting them or wiping them out altogether! That was startling to hear him say, since it was such a drastic departure from what he had been teaching for so many years.

No lines. No borders. No limits in our choices, decisions and actions. If you feel like doing it, do it! Follow your heart and go for it—that is the hue and cry of our anchor–less and rudder–less secular society today.

This mentality is a throwback to the philosophical folly of years gone by. No absolutes. Situation ethics. Never say never. All of this claptrap thinking always leads to trouble, pain and ultimately disaster. It never stands up over time. As the wise old line in the country music song says, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

The lines between right and wrong, good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable are becoming blurred. This leads to merely floating along on the breast of circumstance, twisting in the wind and being tossed to and fro. No stability or steadiness. No roots or clarity of direction. Just whiplash, uncertainty and confusion. That is no way to live life. We can do better than that.

Many years ago while traveling along Highway 1 in southern Saskatchewan, Canada, I heard Earl Nightingale, a famous radio personality, say something that I have never forgotten. It was around midnight on that lonely road in the middle of the winter with a snow–covered landscape stretching out for miles in every direction across that vast flat prairie. Mr. Nightingale said (to paraphrase): Whatever you feel most passionate about is what will define who you are as a person and decide the direction you will go in life. That has been indelibly imprinted in my inner–most being ever since—chiseled in stone permanently in my thinking.

What do you feel intensely passionate about? Where do you stand concerning standards, values and principles of behavior? Is there ever a time that you would draw the line about something and refuse to budge one iota—no matter what the consequences?

Should we have parameters and borders that we will never cross, limits that we will never exceed? The answer is a resounding YES—in all aspects of our lives. There are things in life that we should never do and there are things in life that we should always do, whatever the situation might be, whether under pressure or not.

For instance, we should never lie, ever, no matter what the circumstances are. God never would and neither should we. “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2). Lying is always wrong, every time. It will lead to big trouble in every case.

We should always remain faithful to our spouse in marriage. Under NO circumstance is adultery ever okay. It is always wrong and it carries penalties that are far reaching and heartbreaking. Fidelity to our mate is something we should always practice. That is a line that must never be crossed anywhere or at any time. It is delusional to view that issue as a matter of opinion or dictated by whatever is accepted by society’s norms. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matt. 5:27–28).

One gorgeous spring afternoon many years ago in Pasadena, California, as a student, I had the opportunity to lead a walking tour of the beautiful Ambassador College campus which was located on South Orange Grove Boulevard at that time. As we strolled along, soaking up the splendor of the grounds, one man in particular began to ask me questions about life, the existence of God and the theory of evolution.

He soon made it clear that he was an agnostic and did not believe in dogmatically drawing lines or being definitive about much of anything. It all depends on the facts at hand, he said. There are no absolutes, he said. I responded by asking if he really believed that there are NEVER any absolutes, no matter what. To which he replied: “ABSOLUTELY!!” I then pointed out to him that what he had just said was in fact a clear absolute. He began to stammer, backtrack and mumble something about having to look into that, as he shuffled on over to his car and drove off.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if those in positions of leadership today would stand tall and stand by what they say, without wavering and “walking back” their positions and decisions when too much heat is brought to bear by their critics? Whatever happened to guts, backbone and integrity? The tried and true values of honesty, dependability, loyalty and responsibility are being trumped by cheapness, phoniness, spinelessness and double–mindedness. It is disgusting to see supposed leaders cave in and settle on the expedient thing instead of the right thing.

Character, which is one of the most precious and vital possessions we can have, is quickly fading away in our American way of life. Thankfully it can still be found here and there and from time to time, but it now qualifies to be put on the list of endangered true values!

The very moral fabric of our society is under such stress that it is starting to unravel. If this downward spiral in morality is not stopped dead in its tracks and turned around, the foundation of our way of life will be demolished.

Mr. Dennis Prager, host of a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles, sounded the alarm recently under the heading “America’s Decay is Speeding Up.” Here are some excerpts of what he said:

With few exceptions, every aspect of American life is in decline.

The End of Male and Female: Whatever one’s position on same–sex marriage, one must acknowledge that at the core of the argument for this redefinition of marriage is that gender doesn’t matter. Marriage is marriage, and gender means nothing, the argument goes...

Why? Because for the first time in recorded history gender is regarded as meaningless. Indeed, increasingly gender doesn’t even exist; it’s merely a social construct imposed on children by parents and society based on the biological happenstance of their genitalia... In various high schools across the country, boys are elected homecoming queen. A woman was recently kicked out of Planet Fitness for objecting to a man in the women’s locker room. She was accused of intolerance because the man said he felt that he was a woman.

The End of Right and Wrong: At least two generations of American young people have been taught that moral categories are nothing more than personal (or societal) preferences. Recently, an incredulous professor of philosophy wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times titled “Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts.” In it he noted, “Without fail, every value claim is labeled an opinion” (italics in original). This extends to assessing the most glaring of evils. Since the Nazis thought killing Jews was right, there is no way to know for sure whether it was wrong; it’s the Nazis’ opinion against that of the Jews and anyone else who objects...

The End of Religion: There are no moral truths because there is no longer a religious basis for morality. More than the Enlightenment, it was the Bible especially the Hebrew Bible (which was one reason America’s Christians were different from most European Christians) that guided the Founders’ and other Americans’ values. Not anymore. Instead of being guided by a code higher than themselves, Americans are taught to rely on their feelings to determine how to behave. Instead of being given moral guidance, children are asked, “How do you feel about it?”

I suggest you read this excellent article in its entirety online at http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/americas–decay–is–speeding–up/.

It is written out of sadness and alarm about the direction our beloved America is headed.

You hear a lot of talk and see a lot of hand–wringing by those who could do something about this—our leaders in politics, religion and education. But they never get around to taking the quick, decisive action to stop this “train wreck” unfolding before our very eyes every passing day. There are people who see the tragedy happening and sound the alarm and desperately try to do what they can. But often it is too little and becoming too late.

It is ho–hum time. But so what? Who cares? Let somebody else do it. I’m too preoccupied with pastimes and activities to do anything to address the problem. This too will pass. These are the sentiments held by all too many in our society today.

We are now approaching the point of no return. When that happens, it will be too late to wake up and recover from the catastrophic collapse of our institutions and communities. Throwing all caution to the wind and living for now in a fantasy world of denial and false pretense will only hasten the end of civilization as we know it.

The rule of law must be re–established and elevated to its proper place or anarchy will reign supreme. All successful and lasting nations live by rules that regulate the conduct of its citizens and bring penalties for breaking those rules and benefits for obeying those rules. In other words—laws that govern human action, from top to bottom, with no partiality shown to anyone. When respect for laws goes out the window, what follows is what is happening right now in America and indeed around the world.

God warns us about this many times in His inspired book, the Holy Bible. Notice Isa. 5:20–21: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” This is talking about blurring the lines between right and wrong and good and bad. If that approach continues, it devolves into a state of no lines at all, and quickly! No restrictions, anything goes—which leads to complete destruction in the end. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matt. 24:22).

Sadly, we are headed pell–mell toward that destination. And here is why. “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judg. 21:25). “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient [fitting];” (Rom. 1:28).

Don’t be caught in this vortex of annihilation. You and yours can be spared and protected by following the right plan for everyday living. It is found in Joshua 24:15: “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Better days are ahead, in the Kingdom of God. But between now and then, the worst days in the history of the human race will occur—and in the not too distant future. You need to take action now in your own personal life, by taking a stand FOR what is right and AGAINST what is wrong. Draw lines between the two—wide and deep—and let the chips fall where they may. Don’t waver or be wishy–washy. Never compromise on what is right according to God and His Word—“thy word is truth.” (John 17:17).

If you do that, God will be with you. He will guide and protect you, because you are following the clear and unshakeable instructions in His inspired Word: “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” (Eph. 6:13–14).

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you as you STAND THEREFORE!