Rights and wrongs - Hope 103.2

Rights and wrongs

By David ReayFriday 6 Nov 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Romans 2:13-16

13 If you sin without knowing what you’re doing, God takes that into account. But if you sin knowing full well what you’re doing, that’s a different story entirely. Merely hearing God’s law is a waste of your time if you don’t do what he commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God.

14-16 When outsiders who have never heard of God’s law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience. They show that God’s law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation. There is something deep within them that echoes God’s yes and no, right and wrong. Their response to God’s yes and no will become public knowledge on the day God makes his final decision about every man and woman. The Message from God that I proclaim through Jesus Christ takes into account all these differences. (THE MESSAGE)

We sometimes hear people say there are no absolute values. The irony is that to make such a statement is to declare something to be absolutely true! We sometimes hear people say there is no right or wrong. If we properly criticise such a statement, the other person may well seek to defend the truth of what they are saying. In other words, they believe they are right and we who disagree with them are wrong!

As our passage suggests, all people made in the image and likeness of God have a sense of right or wrong. You don’t need the Bible or a particular system of government to have such a sense. Certainly people can be mistaken about their values or even ignore them. But it seems they exist nevertheless.

Neither Scripture nor common sense allow us to get away with the nonsense of there being no absolute values and no underlying right and wrong. To say “everything is relative” is to immediately contradict oneself as the statement itself is not “relative”—it is absolute.

So when atheists and critics of Christianity accuse us of sloppy thinking, we may on the one hand admit that we can be so accused at times. And on the other hand, suggest that we are sometimes rather sloppily accused!

David Reay