Is society living in a day and age when morals and ethics are no longer applicable? Has the age of information transcended the age of accountability? I read an article recently on cnn.com that posed these questions. To give a short summary, the author suggests that the world is no longer bound to the morals and ethics presented in the Bible and that all one needs to succeed in life is faith in self and science. While I disagree with Mr. Brook’s general view of Biblical ethics, he does make a strong case against a moral code that is becoming outdated. I believe in one sense, he might just be on to something.
In Moscow it is illegal to drive a dirty vehicle. A person caught in violation could be fined up to $100. In Singapore, it is illegal to use a toilet and then forget to flush. Residents in Kentucky could be fined for transporting an ice cream cone in their pocket. Children are cautioned against burping during a church service in Nebraska and in Pennsylvania a man must get written consent from his wife if he plans on buying any liquor.
While we might chuckle at the outrageousness of some of these laws, there is a serious undertone. At the time of their inception, they actually made sense. Someone or something went awry, causing a need for these specific guidelines. While most of them might not be noticed today, at one time they were important and maybe even necessary for a functioning society.
As our nation edges toward progress, there is a different set of laws that are becoming obsolete and no longer required for proper functioning of a society. Their power is beginning to diminish and we are finding that these guidelines are becoming just as outrageous as carrying an ice cream cone in your pocket. Here are some laws that are no longer practiced or recognized by many in today’s free world:
All of these laws served a purpose when they were put into effect. They were there to govern the land, provide peace and security for its inhabitants, and maintain order and accountability. Much like a traffic light, they created a safe boundary line which guided the people toward freedom and away from destruction.
In Joshua 3:4, the Israelites were warned to keep a healthy distance between themselves and the arc of the covenant. That rule was put into effect for the safety of the Israelites. Joshua wanted to make sure they knew to keep God at exactly the right distance because they had no idea where they were going. If the arc were kept in close proximity, someone could have been injured or killed. Staying too far back would have resulted in a loss of direction. Joshua knew that in order for the people to get to their destination safely, God must have His proper place in their lives. There was just enough space for them to have their free will, yet remain accountable for their actions.
If our nation has any hope of healing at all, we would do well to listen to the words of Joshua and remember to keep God in his proper place. We do not know where we are going, but we have a trustworthy Guide who wants to lead us. If He disappears from view altogether, what happens then? Is it really safe to rely on self will or science to lead us in a positive direction? God forbid. I would rather be called an outdated puritan.