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WE LOSE OUR STANDARD
By: Max Lucado, In the Grip of Grace (excerpt)
Submitted by Debra Stitt - 3 Mar 2003

When I was nine years old I complimented a friend's model airplane. He curtly replied, "I stole it." He could tell that I was stunned because he asked, "Do you think that I was wrong?" When I told him I did, he answered simply, "It may be wrong for you. It's not wrong for me. I didn't hurt anyone when I stole the plane. I knew the owner. He is rich. I'm not. He can afford one. I can't."

What do you say to that argument? If you don't believe in life beyond the rafters, you have little to say. If there is no ultimate good behind the world, then how do we define "good" within the world? If the majority opinion determines good and evil, what happens when the majority is wrong? What do you do when majority of kids say in a certain group it's all right to steal or raid or even fire pistols from a vehicle?

The hedonist's world of no moral absolutes works fine on paper and sounds great in a college philosophy course, but in life? Ask the father of three children whose wife abandoned him, saying, "Divorce may be wrong for you, but it's OK for me." Or get the opinion of the teenage girl, pregnant and frightened, who was told by her boyfriend, "If you have the baby, it's your responsibility." Or the retirees ripped off of their pension by a huckster who believed anything is right if you don't get caught.

A godly view of the world, on the other hand has something to say to my childhood thief. Faith challenges those with cricket brains to answer to a higher standard than personal opinion: "You may think it's right. Society may think it's OK. But the God who made you said, 'You shall not steal' -- and He wasn't kidding.

By the way, follow the godless thinking to its logical extension, and see what you get. What happens when a society denies the importance of right and wrong? Read the answer on a prison wall in Poland: "I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality."

Who made the boast? Adolf Hitler. Where are the words posted? In a Nazi death camp. Visitors read the claim and then see the results: a room stuffed with thousands of pounds of women's hair, rooms filled with pictures of castrated children and gas ovens that served as Hitler's final solution. Paul described it best: "Their foolish minds were filled with darkness" (Romans 1:21).

"Come on, Max, you're going too far. Isn't it a stretch to state that what began as a stolen model plane will conclude in a holocaust?"

Most of the time it won't. But it could, and what is there to stop it? What dike does the God-denying thinker have to stop the flood? What anchor will the secularist use to keep society from being sucked out to sea? If a society deletes God from the human equation what sandbags will they stack against the swelling tide of barbarism and hedonism?

As Dotoevsky said, "If God is dead, then everything is justifiable."

BY Max Lucado, In the Grip of Grace (excerpt)

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