I know that this will rub many people the wrong way, but, nevertheless, it is absolutely true:
If you are seeing gray, it is a sure sign you are on the wrong side of right.
When it comes to matters of right and wrong — morality — the choices are always but always black and white. There is no ‘gray’ — never! Do you disagree? OK, well, if you will agree to play a little ‘what if’ game with me, I think I can prove to you that I’m correct. Here are the rules:
First, this is a ‘what if’ game, so these questions have been designed as hypotheticals. The point is not whether or not they are realistic, the point is whether or not a certain action is or is not morally justified.
As you answer each question, try to keep track of your yeses and your nos. Give yourself 1 point for every yes, and 0 points for every no.
OK, are you ready? Let’s play.
1 — Imagine that you are in a lifeboat filled to the point of sinking: one more passenger and the lifeboat will sink and everyone will drown. Then another survivor comes along and tries to get into the boat. Is it right to push that person away to save the rest of the people in the boat?
2 — Imagine a pregnant woman is told that she has a condition which will probably kill her unless she aborts her baby. Is it right for her to have an abortion to save her own life?
3 — Imagine a poor man lives in a community of rich people. Is it right for that poor man to be envious or resentful of the rich people around him?
4 — Imagine a poor woman living in this rich community. She is starving to death. Is it right for her to steal from one of the rich people so she can eat?
5 — Consider the poor man and the poor woman in this community. Is it right for them to vote for leaders who will take from the rich and give to them so their needs can be met?
6 — Imagine you are the leader of your nation, and there is an extreme emergency, but the facts are difficult to understand, and there are people who disagree about what should be done. Still, if you do not act and act fast, the nation could be destroyed. Is it right to lie about the people who are questioning your leadership in order to convince the people to do what needs to be done to save the nation?
OK, let’s score your test . A perfect morality score on this test is 0. Which means, if you have any points at all, you still have some work to do in understanding the concept of morality. Now, let me explain:
Question number 1 — No! I is never morally correct to intentionally kill or act in a way that will cause the death of an innocent person — no matter what the consequences. The Lord did not say, “You shall not murder — unless you do so to save your life or the life of other people.”
Question 2 — Same thing: No! Whether we want to accept it or not, the unborn is a human being, and it is never the morally correct thing to do to willingly kill another person — no matter what the consequences.
Question 3 — No! It is never morally correct to be envious or jealous of another person’s property. The Lord did not say, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor, — unless he has a lot more than you do.”
Question 4 — No! It is never morally correct to steal the property of another person. The Lord did not say, “You shall not steal, — unless it is from a rich person, or you need food, or shelter, or medical care.”
Question 5 — Same as #4: No! Whether you do the stealing, or you send another in your name, it does not matter. Morally, you are stealing either way.
Question 6 — No! It is never morally justified to lie about another person. This extends to telling lies that will cause harm to another person. The Lord did not say, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, — unless you have to do so to save a nation or for some other greater good.”
God’s commandments are clear, and they address every situation we might encounter. The problem is not that we can’t figure out what the right thing to do in any given situation actually is. The problem is that — for whatever reason — we simply don’t want to do the right thing.
I know it seems easy for me to write these things, but, please, don’t think that I see myself as better than anyone else. I know I am a hypocrite. Every day, I face decisions where I know what the right to do thing is, and yet, for whatever reasons, I find myself doing the wrong thing. We all do this because we’re all human. As humans, we tend to see things more selfishly. This is part of what the Lord means when He says:
Isaiah 55:8-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
This world has been designed to operate by a certain set of laws. These laws were written by a power higher than ourselves. These laws are universal. These laws are fixed. This means that these laws apply to all of us, equally, and we cannot add to, take away from or change any of these laws in any way. Among these laws are a set of principles we refer to as ‘morality.’ When we adhere to these moral principles, society operates more smoothly. The farther we drift from these principles, the worse society becomes. If we stray far enough from the moral laws governing human behavior, society breaks down and humans suffer greatly. Those who learn and accept this truth see by the external light. Those who fight this truth see by their own, internal light. Which light we see by makes all the difference in the world in determining how moral we will be.