Right and Wrong: Who Decides?

When Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as President of the United States on March 4, 1861, seven states in the South had already declared their secession from the Union. Despite what you may have heard or read to the contrary, the reason for secession was the question of slavery. Lincoln stated it in his inaugural address: “One section of our country believes slavery is right, and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong, and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute.”

While whether slavery should be extended or not was the immediate political issue of the moment, the contention actually went deeper. There were many abolitionists who felt that slavery such as it existed in the United States at the time was a moral wrong, an evil that should be not just limited but abolished. Many abolitionists had in fact supported the proposition in the 1840’s that states favoring the abolition of slavery should separate from the South (en.wikipedia.org, “Secession in the United States,” retrieved July 17, 2020).

There were two starkly different views, as Lincoln said, of right and wrong. Who is to decide what is right and wrong?

In the Bible is a law against adultery, and supplementary laws regulating sexual conduct. Under these laws sexual intercourse with anyone to whom one is not married is forbidden. Also, sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex is forbidden, as is cross dressing. Yet these laws are flagrantly violated on a massive scale in today’s world, with about forty percent of children born in the United States, and more than fifty percent in some other countries, being born out of wedlock. Venereal diseases and many other problems related to adulterous liaisons are rampant in the world’s society.

The rebellion against God’s rules concerning sexual behavior is being led by people and institutions at the highest levels of society. An article in the Washington Times asks, “…why are we allowing America’s public schools to groom our children to be sexualized?” (“How public schools groom kids for sexual predators like Epstein and Maxwell,” Rebecca Friedrichs, July 15, 2020).

The article goes on to say, “Leading this despicable charge are unions posing as teachers and the deceptively named Healthy Teen Network, a coalition of over 180 sexual and reproductive-health justice organizations, including the CDC, Planned Parenthood and SIECUS [Sexual Information and Education Council of the United States] whose motto is ‘Sex Ed for social change.’ Their collective call to action demands funding and legislation for their brand of sex education, which they assert is a ‘human right.’”

This coalition of powerful organizations, including tax supported organizations, are distributing materials through the public school system aimed at encouraging children to engage in all sorts of sexual experimentation, which I won’t go into detail in describing, except to say it encourages children to engage in premarital sex and homosexual behavior. This is being done in the name of “health,” as though it’s good for children, and therefore it must be “right.” Others, think it’s dead wrong.

Friedrichs comments, “Though healthy adults know that sexualizing children leads to heightened sexual activity and even abuse by predators…, the ‘experts,’ nonetheless, have a stronghold in America’s schools thanks to government unions. Unions have woven a tangled web of well-funded organizations, governmental agencies, corrupt politicians and activists who deceive Americans into looking the other way while they sexually molest our kids.”

So who is to decide what is right or wrong, government bureaucrats encouraging sexual promiscuity, is it individual human beings, or is it God?

From the earliest time in the history of mankind, the time of the first human parents, human beings decided that they would decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong.

When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit God had forbidden them, they made themselves the arbiters of right and wrong. They rejected God’s rules, and had determined to follow their own ideas of right and wrong.

But was this the right decision? Was it the best decision for Adam and Eve, and for mankind? Should human beings today be deciding for themselves what is right and wrong, or should God be trusted to decide and tell us what is right and wrong in his sight?

Consider our origin. Where did human beings come from in the first place?

In 1859 was published “On the Origin of Species,” by Charles Darwin, that popularized the idea that all life forms arose gradually through a process of “evolution.” The upshot of this idea is that human beings were not created, but “evolved” from dead matter through a process of chemical evolution.

But the idea of such evolution is purely speculative, and is a logical and scientific fallacy, with no real evidence to back it up. Many scientists, including some prominent evolutionists, admit as much.

Chandra Wickramasinghe, Professor and Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy at University College, Cardiff, U.K., was a colleague of noted astronomer Fred Hoyle before the latter’s death, and has authored or co-authored several books and scientific papers dealing with cosmic microbiology and evolutionary theories.

In 1981 Wickramasinghe testified in a court trial in Arkansas concerning the constitutionality of a state law mandating balanced treatment of creation-science and evolution-science in public schools.

Wickramasinghe is not necessarily a believer in God, but in his testimony he stated:

“It is believed by neo-Darwinists that the full spectrum of life as we see it today as well as in the past is accounted for by the steady accumulation of copying errors and the consequent development of variety as a primitive living system is copied billions upon billions of times. It is stated according to the theory that the accumulation of copying errors, sorted out by the process of natural selection, the survival of the fittest, could account both for the rich diversity of life and for the steady upward progression from bacterium to Man.

“In our recent book Sir Fred Hoyle and I have argued strongly against this proposition. We agree that successive copying would accumulate errors, but such errors on the average would lead to a steady degradation of information. It is ridiculous to suppose that the information provided by one single primitive bacterium can be upgraded by copying to produce a man, and all other living things that inhabit our planet. This conventional wisdom, as it is called, is similar to the proposition that the first page of Genesis copied billion[s] upon billions of time[s] would eventually accumulate enough copying errors and hence enough variety to produce not merely the entire Bible but all the holding[s] of all the major libraries of the world. The two statements are equally ridiculous. The processes of mutation and natural selection can only produce very minor effects in life as a kind of fine tuning of the whole evolutionary process. There is above all an absolute need for a continual addition of information for life, an addition that extends in time throughout the entire period for the geological record.”

He goes on with more scientific arguments refuting Darwinian evolution, and concludes as follows: Life could not be an accident, not just on the Earth alone, but anywhere, anywhere at all in the Universe.” And further, “In the present state of our knowledge about life and about the Universe, an emphatic denial of some form of creation as an explanation for the origin of life implies a blindness to fact and an arrogance that cannot be condoned.”

The Bible supplies answers to the question of the origin of life that man cannot discover on his own. Not only that, but the Bible is the source of many other questions of vital concern to human beings.

According to the Bible, which emphatically claims to be God’s revealed word, human beings were created by God, the supreme, Divine Being, uncreated and Eternal. “Know that the Lord [Yahweh, the Eternal, or self-existing], He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture” (Psalms 100:3).

According to the Bible, we are God’s creatures and we belong to him.

The creation, with its brilliantly designed life forms, its glory and majesty, is a testimony to God’s wisdom. “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The Lord has made them both” (Proverbs 20:12). “Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, And spread its wings toward the south?” (Job 39:26). “O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions—This great and wide sea, In which are innumerable teeming things, Living things both small and great” (Psalms 104:24-25). “Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever: To Him who alone does great wonders, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who by wisdom made the heavens, For His mercy endures forever” (Psalms 136:3-5). “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens” (Proverbs 3:19).

The depth and power of God’s wisdom and understanding are beyond human ability to fully measure or comprehend. “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?’ ‘Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?’” (Romans 11:33-35).

By contrast, man’s wisdom, apart from God, is foolishness. “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their own craftiness’; and again, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile’” (I Corinthians 3:19-20).

In their foolishness men have turned to vanity, to the worship of stones and wooden images. Casting aside God’s counsel, human beings are brutish and their ways are the ways of destruction and death.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).

“Inasmuch as there is none like You, O Lord (You are great, and Your name is great in might), Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? For this is Your rightful due. For among all the wise men of the nations, And in all their kingdoms, There is none like You. But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish; A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine. Silver is beaten into plates; It is brought from Tarshish, And gold from Uphaz, The work of the craftsman And of the hands of the metalsmith; Blue and purple are their clothing; They are all the work of skillful men. But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation. Thus you shall say to them: ‘The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.’ He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion. When He utters His voice, There is a multitude of waters in the heavens: ‘And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, He brings the wind out of His treasuries.’ Everyone is dull-hearted, without knowledge; Every metalsmith is put to shame by an image; For his molded image is falsehood, And there is no breath in them. They are futile, a work of errors; In the time of their punishment they shall perish” (Jeremiah 10:6-15).

Human beings are incapable of knowing the right path of conduct apart from God’s guidance. “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).

There’s no getting around the fact that injustice exists in our society, and always has. Often movements have arisen, Nazism, Marxism and Communism for example, ostensibly to correct perceived injustices. But all too often, the solutions proposed by human beings to perceived injustice are not really solutions at all, but comprise a path that is destructive and evil.

In today’s world, popular movements have sprung up to completely disrupt society, to destroy the nuclear family (man, wife, children in a stable home). To engender lawlessness, to oppose every vestige of Biblical morality.

Rebellion against God’s laws is not a pathway to greater justice or peace or prosperity. Rather, it is a pathway to confusion and destruction, to suffering, oppression, disease and death.

“The wicked prowl on every side, When vileness is exalted among the sons of men” (Psalms 12:8).

Our moral compass, regardless of nationality, race or sex, should be the Bible, God’s word. God intends the Bible to be our guide to life. It is the Maker’s manual for human behavior.

Manufactured machines usually come with a manual written by the manufacturer to explain how the machine operates and how it can be maintained in good order. The Bible is God’s manual for what kind of behavior works for the benefit of human beings and what is destructive and harmful to us.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path” (Psalms 119:105).

“For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23).

Unfortunately, most human beings don’t like to be reproved for their evil deeds.

Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

For improvement in every aspect of society, for true justice, for peace, joy, and fulfillment of every human being’s potential, we need to look to God, to his word, his laws, for guidance, not the flawed reasoning of human beings who hate God and his counsel.

God knows what is best. The Maker’s manual shows us the path to understanding what is right, and what is wrong. It teaches us what works to achieve ultimate human happiness, and what doesn’t work.

God told the people of Israel, through Moses, as they were about to enter the land of promise: “You shall not at all do as we are doing here today—every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes” (Deuteronomy 12:8).

It is opposite of wisdom to refuse God’s counsel and follow our lusts and the folly of rebellion against God “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise” (Proverbs 12:15).

God claims the right to decide what is right and wrong, and he expects us to abide by his decisions.

“There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?” (James 4:12).

God’s laws are transcendent. They are not the product of ignorant, primitive nomads blindly developing for themselves a “god” and a set of laws and rituals of their own devising, as so-called “scholars” have speculated. God’s laws are an expression of eternal principles applying to all people and all times.

”Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

God warns us over and over in the Bible that curses will ensue if we do not keep his commandments. “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28).

Nations and peoples, such as Britain and the United States, and other related peoples, who have known unprecedented prosperity for the past several centuries are just now seeing the beginning of curses that will ultimately result in humiliation and ruin. Rulers, governments, nations, and individuals, who reject God’s laws and turn aside from his word will pay the price.

This is illustrated by God’s rebuke of the house of David, after Solomon failed to remain faithful to God and allowed rebellion and idolatrous worship to proliferate and flourish in the ancient nation of Israel.

God took most of the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave ten tribes to Solomon’s former servant, Jereboam. “Now it happened at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the way; and he had clothed himself with a new garment, and the two were alone in the field. Then Ahijah took hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it into twelve pieces. And he said to Jeroboam, ‘Take for yourself ten pieces, for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you“ (but he shall have one tribe for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel), “because they have forsaken Me, and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the people of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways to do what is right in My eyes and keep My statutes and My judgments, as did his father David. However I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, because I have made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of My servant David, whom I chose because he kept My commandments and My statutes. But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand and give it to you—ten tribes”’” (I Kings 11:29-35).

God promises that if we, as individuals, nations and as a world, do not turn from our rebellion and evil ways, curses and calamities will befall us. But we can avoid such punishment for doing evil if we turn from our sins and seek God in humility and repentance.

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (I Peter 3:12).

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:6-9).

God told the people of Israel in the wilderness: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).

“Now behold, one came and said to Him [Jesus Christ], ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’ So He said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments’” (Matthew 19:16-17).

Sooner or later, every one of us will give account to God for our deeds. “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.‘ So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10-12).

Our nations are on a path to disaster, but it could all be avoided if we would repent, and acknowledge God as lawgiver, and the arbiter of good and evil.

Even if your nation as a whole does not now repent, however, each individual has that option. “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

This article is also available in pdf format.
Download “Right or Wrong: Who Decides.pdf

Copyright © 2022 by Rod Reynolds


Unless otherwise noted Scripture taken from the New King James VersionTM

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Messenger Church of God
PO Box 619
Wentzville, MO 63385

Please follow us: