Find a Place to Make Your Stand

Several years ago, I was reading a political account written by a well-known member of a relatively recent presidential administration.  In the book, the author recounts an exchange between himself and another appointee in which he spits out in frustration, “Where is the hallowed ground?”  It is difficult to fashion a cohesive plan or make the correct decisions if there is no baseline by which such things are measured.  We are accustomed in our time to electing politicians unstable as water and accept flip-flopping as a matter of course for those in such positions, but it is, also, increasingly difficult to find common individuals with inviolate beliefs.  It should be little wonder that people of our day are so irrational, immediate and immature.   

In great degree, there is nothing wrong with changing positions.  It can be that a former belief needs to be changed in light of new information.  In addition, each of us has held opinions which proved to be unfounded.  In such cases, it is an honorable thing to admit a previous view as deficit or wrong and a point of virtue to say, “I have changed.”  This mea culpa will find much use in viewpoints confirming or denying specifics of any day but should find less appropriation when applied to general life principles.  In other words, it may be reasonable to change a certain application of principle but not the principle itself.  Of course, this is hard to verify since people will alter core beliefs and deny the recalculation of values.

Problematic in a shifting and slippery age such as ours is the plain fact that many people have no discernable core beliefs.  Everything is up for grabs with them and subject to the changeable winds of fashion.  Things that should be foundational are faddish.  The sad, resulting truth is that such persons cannot be relied upon for direction or perspective in times of uncertainty.  It’s not that each settled conviction of every person is correct as much as it is that people who give thought to the comportment of their lives are more serious about the issues and measured in their approaches.  They know where they stand and are less amenable to compromise on matters of real importance.  Houses built on rocks stand through storms.

There is a difference between one who changes a considered viewpoint for a reason and one who has no moral compass.  I am convinced that baseline morality is not a matter of private interpretation.  While there will never be unilateral agreement on every point of discussion even among those of similar persuasions, lack of agreement on the nature and residence of moral authority is at the root of the divisive conversations today.  Calling something right does not make it right, but failure to accept an established code of ethics leaves us no alternative.  All we can do is vote and conform to will of the majority whether or not the majority showed up for the tally.  It is certain that there will be no executive action from heaven on behalf of the truth.

For the believer, God’s Word defines bedrock morality.  While it does not answer with specificity each point of interest, it gives regulations and principles that govern the godly life.  All misunderstandings are of human origin though each of us is capable of applying the Bible to our own situations.  Herein lies the rub.  A concept has no force if it does not find expression in life.  For this reason, every individual must be a serious student of the Word and reliant upon the Holy Spirit for guidance in discerning God’s will.  As concerned Christ-followers outwork the inworking of the Creator in daily living, they shine as lights in the darkness of the world and leave no doubt that all of life is a holy calling.

Sterl

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