Pastor's Perspective: A sure foundation provides moral stability
One of the things about our society that I find fascinating is the phenomenon of bumper stickers. These small (or occasionally large) pieces of adhesive paper seem to contain everything from the wisdom of the ages to the most inane thoughts possible.
Some stickers extol the virtues of family (My child is an honor student at ____ ), while others poke fun at points of view that the person seems to disagree with (If God didn't want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?). Some are focused on religious truths (God loves you), others on spiritual warnings (Jesus is coming back soon), and others are crude and crass, containing language that I won't include in this article.
But when you read the stickers on many cars, sometimes with two stickers next to each other that contain diverse or even contradictory statements, you get the sincere feeling that a lot of people are trying to figure out what the truth really is.
It's like they can sense that there is a truth to be found, but that they are wandering, trying to figure out exactly what it is. They seem to be searching for a moral compass to direct their lives, and grasping at short, pithy statements that seem to resonate in their mind.
Many people today believe and teach that there really is no standard "moral truth" that is the same for all people and at all times. They believe that all truth is situational, dependent on what the circumstances are at the time, or that each person must find their own truth, and if my truth differs from your truth, that's fine, since all truth is relative.
They believe that the issues we face today have become too complex for a one-size-fits-all morality and standard of behavior. Instead of the society of 50 years ago when I was a child in which there were widely accepted societal standards of truth and of right and wrong, we are now living in a society where many of the moral standards have been cast off, and everyone has to try and figure out what is right and wrong for them, effectively encouraging each person to become a law unto themselves.
Some people may write me off as naïve or a throwback to the past, but I do not believe in relative truth or in situational ethics. When I was younger, I did wander and struggle and try to find my own way in the morass of relative truth that was just beginning to gain in popularity in those days. But after a lot of struggle, and after doing a lot of damage to myself and others, I rediscovered a foundational truth that I had been told in my youth, a truth that I believe is for all people at all times. That is that God has told us what is true, and has given us a standard to live by, HIS standard, and all of that is contained in the teachings of the Bible, especially in the words and example of Jesus.
Jesus Himself told a parable in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:24-27 New International Version) of two lives, symbolized by two houses: "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."