There is something wrong with the world. All sense of public morality seems to have fled the building.
Okay, maybe I overstate the case somewhat. However, think about three current news items and you will see the same problem:
The News Of The World Hacking Scandal.
The American Debt Default Crisis.
Abortions For Disabilities.
The first two problems are all over the news right now. The third is not covered so much. Basically, there have been numerous abortions carried out in the UK during the past nine years for treatable conditions such as a cleft palate. The total number of abortions last year in the UK was just under 190,000. That number is about 21 abortions every single hour. In the UK alone.
What ties these three things together?
For me, the common theme is the loss of society’s ability to see clearly which things are truly valuable. Please, let me explain.
The Revered Joanna Jepson wrote this article about these abortions. One of the comments on her article, posted by someone named Xassandra, says “Having a child is essentially a selfish action, caused either by carelessness or the planned desire to perpetuate one’s genes. People’s level of sentimentality and lack of self awareness and responsability on this subject never ceases to amaze me. Having said all this, I have a child that I love and would die for and I believe that most people who have made the decision to have a child sincerely love their children and feel the same (emphasis mine).” Even when Xassandra says having children is essentially selfish he/she cannot deny loving their child. Why? The Bible says “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children are a reward from Him (Psalm 127:3).”
In the Kingdom of God having children is not a selfish thing. Ever. Rather, having children is allowing God to bless those whom He wants to bless. The life stories of families where disabilities are present are incredibly poignant to hear or read. Please do not ignore or try to minimise the difficulties – these are real. However, far too many of these families point to the blessings and rewards of simply having another person in the family – disabled or not – for disability to be dismissed as too difficult or actually bad for the child. Perhaps a difficult life is better than no life.
Having lost the sense of what is valuable, society regularly throws up the same problems over and over. The hacking scandal is a simply matter of personal integrity.
For the journalists, does anyone actually think receiving illegally obtained information is a morally acceptable thing to do? If not, then why do journalists practice this habit?
For the ‘investigators’ (or dirty hackers if you would prefer), surely the gathering of information illegally is morally wrong. Why do it?
For the police the questions become even harder. The police are actually tasked with enforcing the laws of the land. So how is it ever justifiable for a policeman to take a bribe in exchange for anything?
For the politicians the case is equally dire. These men and women are elected on the basis of trust (which seems somehow laughable but this is, in fact, the case). To violate such trust in exchange for money, influence, publicity or even mere friendship is inexcusable.
Yet these things happen. Put your observation skills to the test and look for examples of the leaking of information by someone to the media. Some source said this, someone close to the action said another thing and we have learned lots of things from some very reliable people. This is all rubbish! How is it acceptable for someone to sit in a confidential meeting and then go out afterwards and spread information which is confidential?
At its most basic level this is simply deceit. It is a violation of trust. It is lying.
It is, in a word, sinful.
Yet the church says nothing.
The government faces a huge crisis related to its budget and ability to borrow money. Why should this be a crisis? How can it be morally acceptable to live on someone else’s money? When did debt become the preferred option?
Even in the course of the difficult negotiations to raise the borrowing limit of the US government there has been a huge amount of political manoeuvring. The value of simply telling the truth has been severely diminished. Now spin is what matters.
From the perspective of God’s Kingdom, the question is fairly simple:
How does the government pay for what the government wants to do?
The answer is either one thing or another thing. Compromise will allow a little bit of both. On the one hand, if raising taxes is not an option then the government must simply spend less money and so do fewer things. On the other hand, if raising taxes is acceptable then raise taxes to an appropriate level and be done with the debate.
For option one, if the American people want lower taxes then the American people must accept a less active government. On the other hand, if the American people want a more active government then the American people must accept higher taxes.
These are simple ways of looking at the matter. Of course the plans and methods involved in governing a nation as large as America are necessarily complicated. However the loss of moral values becomes very clear when the questions are simplified.
You see, the loss of moral values is found in the drive to cover up the truth by blaming someone else for the problem. Both the Republicans and the Democrats, Congress and the Executive, are guilty. They all want to blame the other person rather than attempting to clarify the issue, take responsibility for the decision and get on with doing the jobs the people of America put them there to do.
The loss of a sound view of morality leads to these double standards and they show up everywhere.
Where can we find a moral compass? The Word of God.