A writer named R.J. Rushdoony has observed that if you want to find out who is the god of any culture, just figure out who or what has the final say. Who makes the rules?
The Judeo-Christian tradition has maintained that the basis of law is what God has said and that man’s place was to understand and apply His law. That law is unchanging and applies to all men everywhere. It is absolute and there are no exceptions.
God has revealed Himself in the Scripture and obedience to that revelation was the honour due Him as God. God had set the standard.
The Marquis de Sade believed that there were no absolutes, as revealed in Scripture, and that he was therefore, totally free to make up his own values as the god of his own universe. He was unflinching in his belief and declared that to be kind or to abuse, as those terms related to the old value system, meant nothing. If he derived pleasure from abusing another and was powerful enough to do it, then the abuse was good. He, his own god, was pleased. A man had set the standard and from him we get the term “sadism.”
Our culture sits between two worlds. We don’t want moral absolutes because we don’t want anybody telling us what to do. Nor do we want moral anarchy. We don’t want the other guy to take advantage of us just because he might own a bigger gun.
We don’t want anyone telling us what to do and we want the other guy to be nice. That is the crux of the matter in the United Church as it wrestles with the ordination of sexually promiscuous persons.
Those pushing for the ordination of “sexually active” persons of any “orientation” view themselves as “progressive” and speak with disdain of the Old Testament scriptures where such behaviour is called an “abomination.” They conveniently forget that Paul used a similar label in the New Testament. The book of Romans was written to the Romans during the age when sexual activity of every “orientation” imaginable was very progressive.” To call the ordination of homosexuals “new truth” for a “new, progressive church age” expresses more ignorance of history than even of scriptures.
The new wisdom is that homosexuality is something I am born with, like left-handedness. What about bestiality? What if my sexual orientation is toward rape? Towards babies? But they are not “consenting adults.” Maybe not, but my orientation is only fulfilled by violence against them.
What grounds do you have for telling me t is wrong to rape or to have sex with dead bodies? You might say “but it’s not nice!” Or I will call you “necrophobic” and demand my Charter rights to express the sexual orientation I was born with.
You cannot have it both ways. You cannot use the language of scripture for its nice, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing sounds and ignore its moral absolutes. If God has not spoken or if God is dead, as Nietzche said, then all is permissible. Welcome to the world of the Marquis de Sade.
Man, as god, creates his own values. Man says, “and who or what decides between men when somebody isn’t being nice to you or not doing what you want them to?” Power. Raw power. ‘Might’ makes right.
And that is the issue with those who would destroy revealed, absolute truth in order to create their own “progressive” variety. They would exercise power. They would be as “God, determining good and evil.” That was the original temptation and it still is the most basic and powerful.
Who calls your shots? That is your god!