Y’all Do the Right Thing!
5 Sept., 2017
A brief Apology for the Faith
ποιεῖτε ὃ ἔξεστιν “Do what is lawful” (cf. Luke 6:2)
Why? What is the motivation? Instinctually, the “right thing,” from a materialistic, even evolutionary point of view, is equivalent that which facilitates my well being, safety, and survival. Quite bluntly, this view would permit murder, cannibalism, robbery, lying – whatever is necessary – for my own survival and the propagation of my own offspring.
(Actually, even therein one does not necessarily find a basis for interest in my own particular progeny since they are not “I” and do not necessarily facilitate my survival and well-being. That is unless by mutual understanding and contract, the group forms some covenant agreement for mutual protection and survival to the benefit of the participants in a communal arrangement. Moreover, if physical or emotional [can’t say “spiritual”?] pain is overwhelming, the liberty to perform suicide is absolutely my sovereign choice.)
So if doing “the right thing” were to be guided by a Dawkins-like worldview, the Commandments would have no basis upon which to be embraced except that they might serve to restrain others from doing me – the sovereign individual – harm. And, to the extent that I or any other assemblage of persons are thus in communion with others, the Commands might serve the community as a whole, facilitating the survival of its various members. Otherwise, the Commandments are irrelevant and can serve as no authoritative foundation for moral guidance and constraint for a community in the moment, much less so for generations to come.
So just what IS the “right thing”? Can such a thing be known?
No. Not within this realm.
The source for morality, one may presume, must be outside the material world. Whether it emerges from an alien source or the “foreign” spirit placed inside a man, it must come from without as there is nothing “within” to be found for such. Morality is grounded in Law and originates from Spirit. God, we aver, has given this Law. This Law/Truth/Word is propositional. It is proposed that He has spoken through His prophets, confirming their authority with signs and wonders and culminating in the greatest of displays of power and revelation: the Resurrection of Jesus, that one predicted and recognized “messiah” of the Hebrews. He has given us Truth by which we are able to interpret reality and live ethically.
The right thing is not discovered by referencing myself and my well-being, first. It is revealed by God through His Word. I know what right is because God discriminates between right and wrong by His Law. He declares one and the other by His very Word.
The right thing is that which God declares to be right. And the wrong thing is that which He declares to be wrong. It is not a construct which proceeds from my preferences or predilections or “orientations.” It is not even what may seem to be “natural” and good to my own sentiments or judgments.
No. That which is good and right is that which God declares to be such!
Shall we opt to do the right thing?
Obey His Law, His Word, His Commands. And live. Why will you die?