Guarding Against Situation Ethics
It is unfortunate that many who claim to be blood-bought are acting out a set of ethics not taught in God's Word. The influence of humanism has been devastating for God’s people. This has happened, in too many cases, without us even knowing it. Living in a society thoroughly saturated by materialism, humanism and hedonism has caused many of us to lose sight of those ethics clearly taught in the Bible. Consequently, many of us seem unable to distinguish between right and wrong, justice and injustice, responsibility and irresponsibility.
Evolutionism, situationalism, utilitarianism, behaviorism, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, sociobiology, and all the other inventions of man that form the basis for secular ethics are all man-centered and "this-worldly" (i.e., humanistic). Subjected, as we are, to an educational system that administers heavy doses of humanism, while, at the same time, being constantly exposed to a media that has almost totally embraced humanistic philosophies, it is not surprising we are so infected.
Today, the churches are facing a serious assault. Unfortunately, many Christians have already surrendered to Satan’s onslaught. This has happened to many without them even knowing there’s a battle going on. In the midst of all this, some are claiming churches of Christ to be in better spiritual shape than they have ever been. It has been said that there are those who make things happen (this should be indicative of every Christian), those who watch things happen (more than a few Christians fit within this category), and those who, after everything is said and done, wonder "What happened?" We fear too many Christians fall into this last category.
It is time for preachers to speak out against humanism in all its many forms. There are more than a few Christians who have yet to hear a sermon on the subject. If preachers will not preach on the subject on their own initiative, then it is time for elders to demand that they do it. Watchmen who will not sound the alarm are nothing more than worthless good-for-nothings.
Discerning The TimesWhen our Lord stood before the Pharisees and Sadducees, they were unable to recognize Him as Messiah. The Anointed One they had waited for all their lives was in their midst and they were unable to recognize Him. In reply to their unbelief, the Lord said that even though they were able to detect meterological signs, "...can ye not discern the signs of the times?" (Matthew 16:1-3). This question is appropriate to Christians today. As a result of our technology, we have become very wise, but we are unable to properly discern the times in which we live. How much more abortion on demand, sexual permissiveness, di-vorce, pornography, homosexuality, secularization, erosion of the family, etc., before every vestige of those ethics taught in God's Word is erased from the collective memory of America? And if this occurs, how much longer will it be before the church is seriously persecuted? How much longer before the covert persecution some are already experiencing turns to open antagonism?
Watershed GenerationOur time has been called a watershed. Just as the mountains separate the rains, sending some to one valley and some to another, so this generation will proceed in one direction or the other. This decade, like a watershed, will set the tone of the Twenty-First Century. The American of the future will be a friend to God's people, or it will be their enemy. For my children's sake, I pray it will be the former.
Israel, unable to discern the times, paid a terrible price for their ignorance. As a nation, they were completely destroy-ed by the Romans in A.D. 70. Some, though, observant of their circumstances and familiar with God's Word, were able to avoid the conflagaration (cf. Matthew 24:1-35). Unfortunately, many in spiritual Israel today, like their counterparts in fleshly Israel, when asked about their ethics ("Whence [are they]? from heaven, or from men?") can only reply: "We cannot tell" (Matthew 21:23-27). Christians today must return to the only true, objective standard<197>the Word of God. The Scriptures have well said, "it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). It is only through living out those ethics taught in God's Word that we can truly be the "salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13). Christians must understand that it is our responsibility to "shine as light in the world, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation" (Philippians 2:15).197>
From Heaven Or Men?Your morality, is it a reflection of that which is taught by man, or is it a reflection of that which comes from above? Let us all determine to "Let [our] light so shine before men, that they may see [our] good works, and glorify [our] Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). When this is done, humanism is taken "into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (II Corinthians 10:5).