The most marginalised position in public discourse today is “good things are good and bad things are bad” (Tom Whyman, Twitter, 26th August 2016)
I came across this comment today and was struck by how perceptive this tweet is. Of course, this deceptively simple statement raises many issues which need to be unpacked but the fundamental point is so clear: morality has become muddied and tolerance has gone too far. Too much time is spent defending the indefensible in the name of free speech. Not enough people stop to consider there is a higher value, a greater goal than just spouting whatever random nonsense you can pass-off as your (protected) opinion.
Of course, the malaise runs deeper. Society struggles to understand good and bad when relativism runs amok. What “I feel” has become paramount, even though we must realise this is subjective and dangerous. We all know in our hearts the numerous toxic and hateful attitudes that battle inside us. These need clear, unambiguous, loving truth-telling and discipline to be subdued in this life. Ultimately, only looking to Christ can begin to cleanse us.
Yet how can society function without a rock solid foundation for discerning fact from fiction, good from evil? The answer is, of course, that we see nations break apart and flounder as families become divided and fragmented, neighbours cheat each other and public services become corrupted, whilst business only cares about the bottom line because individuals have lost sight of what is right. We desperately need to recapture our sense of accountability, which can only properly grounded in understanding the judgement of God – the one court where we cannot bluster, fudge or con our way out of a guilty verdict. We will all face the One who sees everything and from whom we cannot hide.
It’s only through accepting and embracing this reality that we begin to search for Good News that really saves. We’re more wicked than we ever realised but more loved than we ever dreamed. I hope and pray that our world will waken-up to who we are, what we will face and the lengths to which Christ has gone to rescue us. Without Him, we might as well give up because we can never even agree what is good or bad. With Him, we are more than conquerors and this good creation He has made can be redeemed.