Needed: A foundation firmer than our feelings

Posted: Friday, June 04, 2004

Studies on the moral values of children have shocked experts and educators. Kids seem to have concluded that lying, cheating and even carrying out violent acts are allowable if they feel strongly about doing them. Where did they get these ideas?

A troubled man came to me for help after the advice he received from a professional counselor failed to lift him from depression. He said the counselor had told him to "go with his feelings."

If he had followed that advice, it's likely he would have either ended his life or injured those he mistakenly saw as the sources of his problems.

"How can this be wrong when it feels so right?" asked a once popular song, but we're beginning to discover that loosening ourselves from time tested anchors called "absolutes" can cause us to make shipwrecks of our lives.

Not long ago, the "if it feels good, do it" philosophy came into vogue.

Now we're reaping the tragic consequences of this irresponsible advice.

Thousands of lives ruined by drug and alcohol abuse in order to induce temporary highs and the tragic AIDS epidemic mostly the result of unbridled sexual promiscuity prove that feeling good for a moment can bring years of suffering and regret.

Solomon warned: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death," Proverbs 14:12.

In our time, the lowering of moral standards and even the value of life have proven the wisdom of Solomon's words.

Does this mean there are moral absolutes to which we can turn for guidance in every area of life?


Long ago, the prophet Isaiah warned his generation that they were falling into a moral twilight zone that would bring them great grief. In Isaiah 5:20, he said they were calling evil good and good evil, mistaking darkness for light and light for darkness.

Sound familiar?

Are you tired of hearing wrong commended and right condemned?

How long can we get away with this topsy-turvy morality?

Abraham Lincoln believed in ultimate justice, concluding that God would not be silent forever in the face of wrong, whether in the lives of individuals or entire nations. He drew this conclusion from reading the book of absolutes the Bible and urged others to consult it for daily guidance.

"Take all you can of this book by reason and the rest by faith and you will live and die a better person," he said.

Author Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Chicago's historic Moody Church, agrees, writing: "To think we can have morality without God is like believing we can have trees without roots, petals without flowers. In no past era has a culture been able to maintain morality and political freedom without the support of religious values."

Martin Luther said it well:

"Feelings come and feelings go and feelings are deceiving;

My warrant is the word of God;

naught else is worth believing."

We need a spiritual awakening that will reach into hearts and homes restoring reverence for God and respect for life, moving our morals from the shifting sands of fickle feelings to the rock solid footing of unshakable faith.

Where will this needed awakening begin? Why not in you and me?

Roger Campbell is an author, radio broadcaster and newspaper columnist from Waterford, Mich. He has written more than 20 books and has had articles published in most major Christian magazines.

He was a pastor for 22 years and has been a guest speaker in Alaska churches from Anchorage to Homer.

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