The Choice is Ours

 


            Many of us remember the 1960s when it was loudly proclaimed, “there are no absolutes.” Now, superficially, this seems right — but it’s not. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov 16:25). Contrary to popular belief, there is not an exception to every rule. Although the Bible teaches the uncertainty of many events, “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all” (Eccl 9:11), it also teaches the certainty of God’s moral principles and the inevitability of justice, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Eccl 12:14 ). Justice will be accomplished, either now or later. In their zeal to rationalize their behavior it was necessary to do away with absolutes, and so they proclaimed, “God is dead.” Eventually, the majority of God’s people learned the response that clearly exposed the proclaimers’ error, “Are you absolutely sure there are no absolutes?” Today’s sophisticates are trying to accomplish the same thing but with a new twist. By the way, did you know “sophisticated” has the meanings of deceptive, misleading and worldly-wise?

 

Remember when people were amused by the obviously false claim, “The devil made me do it,” as if the sinner had no choice. That claim, in a new guise, is being made today by many doctors, attorneys, politicians, social workers, and clergy to name a few. Let me illustrate. If I have a drinking problem am I really to blame? According to many of today’s leaders I am not; I simply have a genetic deficiency. If I am homosexual, is it of my choosing? No, of course not, I was born that way. It’s a matter of genetics. Keep an eye on the news and you will see example after example. You see it’s the same old thing. All aberrant behavior was justified in the 1960s because there were no absolutes, so of course people had to, “Do their own thing.” Starting in the 1990s aberrant behavior was justified because there is no choice; people are captives of their genes. WRONG! God has chosen affliction for his people because, “ . . . when I called, no one answered, when I spoke they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my eyes, and chose that in which I did not delight” (Isa 66:4).

 

Now don’t misunderstand. We are influenced by the physical, and sometimes very dramatically. But it is simply wrong to excuse all aberrant behavior as if there were no choice. God is not dead! We do have free will, and we are responsible for our choices. We don’t need to explain away our sins. We need to turn away from our sins (repent) and accept the One who can forgive them. We need to avoid sophisticated arguments and accept the “ . . . redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24).