By What Standard?

In a world of gray, we are suddenly asked to make definitive judgement in black and white. But by what standard?

A few weeks ago, as I sat in church, the question was raised regarding the current sex scandals rocking Hollywood and politics-"By what standard are we judging them?"

In a culture and world that preaches situational ethics, relativism and "live by your own standard," we are suddenly asked to make moral judgement on those who have done just that. But by what standard of right and wrong are we being asked to do so? That's the rub, right? I hope it's not too broad a brushstroke to say that the non-Christian will simply say, "It's wrong because you cannot treat your fellow human beings, especially women, like that."

I agree 100% with that and this is not a Golden Rule argument. However, if for the past few generations, we have been told that there is no standard, there is no judgement, there are no rules except those which we create, where does this moral high ground come from? It is inconsistent at best. Reduced to its most basic form it's little better than a parent replying to the child who asks, "Why not?" with a "Because I said so." A "Because I said so" argument is one that can shift from situation to situation.

I would argue that it is wrong for a very simple reason. It is an assault on the inherent worth of man (universal term applied here) as man, a being created in the image of God. It really does go back to our origin story-where did we come from, why are we here, what are we called to do? If we are created by an Intelligent Designer, then there must be a manual as well. The unbeliever will toss this argument aside as soon as I get to this point in the argument because it opens the door to the fact that if there is a manual for living, then there are laws and at the end of that thread, there is a Lawgiver. And if there are laws given by a Lawgiver, there are also right and a wrong and a day of judgement.

Without going going any further down that thread, let me re-ask the question: by what standard are we judging the Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinsteins of the world? I would suggest that it is something hardwired in our sinful humanity from the moment we are born, this inherent concept of right and wrong. It doesn't mean we live by it, it simply means it is there. As A.W. Tozer wrote years ago (italics added):

In the breathing, living cosmos there is a mysterious Something, too wonderful, too awful for any mind to understand. The believing man does not claim to understand. He falls to his knees and whispers, "God." The man of earth also kneels, but not to worship. . .Just now we happen to be living in a secular age. . .We are more likely to explain than to adore. "It thundered," we exclaim, and go our earthly way. But still the Voice sounds and searches. The order and life of the world depend on that Voice, but men are mostly too busy or too stubborn to give attention.

THIS is the infinite point of reference Sarte loved to refer to. It gives the finite, mankind, meaning, but most importantly, an answer to the question, "By what standard?" can we judge what is right and wrong in our modern world today.

The Lord is certainly using His rightful position at Judge Of All to do some "exposing" of His own these days!

We lost all standards of morality and character when we elected for president a self-serving, crude, narcissistic, ego-maniac who is a pathological liar, a serial cheater and abuser of women. He is the most petulant, petty and vindictive president in modern history. Character is destiny and there is no reasonable or morally sound definition of good character that Donald Trump can meet. Character, civility and decency ended on January 20, 2017.

Are you referring to JFK? FDR? Clinton? Character and civility was heading towards the door for many years now.

napleslover - you missed the date by about 24 years...January 20, 1993 was the end of character, civility and decency. Actually, we got two for the price of one that year...

There have always been some immoral people but a big change came in the sixties when the Bible and prayer were banned from the schools. Good morals should be constant, but a return to good morals should be welcomed. One thing to remember is not everyone has lowered the standard for their values, but are still targeted. False witness. Persecution/prosecution for their faith. It is hard to get the truth when only two people are in the situation. The media, Hollywood, and politics should not produce the code we live by. Moral values are gender neutral, they apply to everyone both male and female, plus the its. Donald Trump had nothing to do with the congressional cover-ups. Are all the perks congress have given themselves moral?

NWRED: Morality seems to be in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps the problem is that what some of us were taught when we were children, "Just because everyone else does it, you don't have to do it, too", usually accompanied with some form of "teaching" which could be anything from a long lecture, confinement to your room, or a smack on the rear, was drilled into childdrens brains. Then along came movies that gradually opened the door to an anything goes mentality. So here we are with some movies that are touted as the stars actually doing 'it" while being filmed, and stories of promiscuity by the actors that so many people come of idolize . And a growing mentality that if "they" can do it so can I. But few think about the consequences their actions have -- even many years down the road, as some people are finding out.

Man has always had a problem with the morality since Adam and Eve disobeyed God and then instead of saying "I'm sorry", Adam passed the buck to Eve and Eve passed the blame to the serpent! Cain slewed Able becasue of jealousy! Right and wrong have always been at odds! God placed morality in man upon his breathing life into us, God's image! Everyone knows God is real, some just don't want to accept that he is real and that everything, including life itself, comes from Him! This power struggle between man wanting to be God and God being who he is, is what keeps driving societys down from the morality of God to the cesspool of Sodom and Gommorah. Will keep happening until Christ returns and destroys evil once and for all! As for judgement, we will all be judged on how much like Christ we have become and do we and have we loved like God loves us!

In the movement toward the "end of character, civility and decency", a big step was taken with the election of the current president. Other presidents that were mentioned had serious character flaws, to put it lightly, but we have now elected a person who boasts of and proudly displays his faults. He doesn't respect goodness enough to even try to hide his faults.