NOTE: This article stems from the Wednesday night lesson on 2 May, 2012. The audio of that lesson can be found here, on Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Audio: Messages and Lessons; The Everyone Test page.
When it comes to the issue of behavior, there seems to be an unwillingness to confront certain behaviors as inherently destructive. Rather than call those behaviors out, and ensure that everyone knows those particular behaviors are wrong, many leaders opt out of responding, leaving such behaviors unchallenged. In fact, there is a general attitude in this generation that all behaviors, unless they are immediately dangerous to life and health, are essentially equal and there is no real consequence for engaging in one particular behavior over another.
This thinking comes about because the moral absolutes have been generally discarded in favor of a subjective approach that inherently denies that there are behaviors which are always evil in their consequence. Behaviors which could not come about except the persons which engage in them, abandon reason and consideration for others, in favor of self and the immediate gratification of self. They do so because it appears to them that such actions are without consequence.
Naturally, this would seem to violate a principle which everyone observes from their earliest age:
That every action, no matter how minor and insignificant it may appear, has at least one consequence.
However, because the consequences of some actions take much longer to be realized than others, it appears (especially to those who deliberately blind themselves) that certain actions have no real consequence. Hence, they can be engaged in with impunity
However, this does appear to conflict with the above observed principle, which then, gives rise to a couple of questions worthy of consideration:
How can we determine (or know) if a way of thinking, and the behavior which arises from that thinking, is right and proper to do (or righteous), and another way of thinking and behavior is wrong and destructive in its end (hence, wicked and evil)?
Can we prove, by proving out and weighing the ends of actions, whether or not the system we live in, is a system borne out of random chance, or was indeed created by a righteous God?
A corollary to that is the proof that righteousness either exists, or it doesn’t. If we truly live in a designed system in which certain thoughts and actions are classed as righteous, and others not, then we should see a pattern in the system and be able to determine the laws for that system.
If, on the other hand, the entirety of this creation came about by chance, then the very nature of chance dictates that there can be no set laws to govern the outcomes of thoughts and behaviors. This is due to the very nature of chance – that it is random in both cause and effect. Hence, an action which yields a certain outcome one time, may not yield that same outcome another time. The reason for this is chance or randomness in application of existent conditions.
Since it is obvious that proving something which occurred by chance, cannot be done with any degree of certainty, we must test that which claims to be reliable: The system described in Scripture.
The question also arises:
Can we actually determine a test wherein the existence, or lack thereof, of the system described in Scripture, which is a system originally formed in righteousness, is proved or disproved? And, proving or disproving whether the governing laws of that system are also righteous?
Since we cannot prove or disprove – or even design a test for the evolutionary/atheistic model, as it is based upon a world formed by chance, we now turn to the Scriptural model:
The supposition is:
If the LORD God did not design the system we live in, and there is no such thing as righteousness, this test will fail. If he does exist, and righteousness is indeed operative, then the test will succeed. Success and failure of the test are defined by the standards the LORD set in the Scripture, and can be seen in the commandments.
But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.(Matthew 22:34-40)
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)
According to the statement of the Lord Jesus Christ, there are two preeminent commandments, which everything else in the system is dependent upon. They are:
- Love the LORD God with all your being.
- Love your neighbor as yourself
In the passage from Romans, the apostle Paul explains that “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour:” Thence defining “love” as a characteristic which is beneficial to everyone. Which, in turn, fulfills the law. Since it is clear and plain that Scripture declares that the LORD God created man, it consequently declares that man should love his Creator. Since one cannot “harm” the LORD God, it is clear that “love” expressed toward the LORD, will be seen in obedience.
In further explaining what behaviors are, and are not acceptable, the apostle Paul set forth a list in his epistle to the church in Galatia, in which he states “against such there is no law.” concerning one set of behaviors, but the other set he declares “shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:19-23)
Hence, there are two things which are apparent here:
- The “love” defined by the apsotle Paul in Romans 13, is expressed in those actions set forth in the epistle to the Galatians, of which it is stated “against such there is no law.”
- The system set up in the Scripture is such that when we engage in the right behaviors it is beneficial to everyone, and when we engage in the wrong behaviors it is a detriment to everyone.
Given the consistency of the assertions concerning our behavior, we are confident that if the system we exist in was indeed set up by the LORD God, that for everyone to engage in a certain behavior will yield a predicable result, and is hence testable.
Plainly, since the Scripture makes such declaration, we set the test parameter thus:
If an action or behavior is proper and right to do, and everyone does it, then it will have a positive effect upon everyone and benefit mankind as a whole.
If the action or behavior is evil and wicked, then when everyone does it, it will have a destructive effect.
Thus, all we have to do is think:
“What would happen if everyone on the earth did “xyz?” What would be the result, or outcome of that?
Additionally, we could apply it to our own thinking and behavior:
“If everyone on the earth thought like I think, what would the outcome of that be?”
“If everyone had the thoughts I am having right now, what would the outcome be?”
If everyone on the earth did what I am going to do, or are doing right now, what would the outcome of that be?”
If everyone lied (and did nothing but lie) to everyone else, what would the outcome of that be?
- You take your car in to have the brakes repaired – and you don’t tell the truth about the brakes and what you have experienced with the car. Will that help or hinder the repair of your vehicle?
- The shop quotes you a price for the repair, but they lie and deliberately do not give you an accurate quote. Will it help or hinder you and your finances?
- When you get the vehicle back, the shop lies about an unsafe problem, declaring they “fixed it” when in actuality they did nothing. Would that help you or be detrimental to you?
Again, if we take another behavior for an example, such as homosexuality, and apply the test to it:
If everyone engaged in homosexual behavior to the exclusion of heterosexual behavior, what would be the result?
Now, the point was raised in a discussion of this and a claim was made concerning artificial insemination. However, artificial insemination cannot be used as it is not available naturally and does not naturally occur. No other behavior would have this advantage. This would be like everyone killing everyone else, yet no one dying. A bit impossible. Rather, for the test to be valid, we must let the naturally occurring outcome take place.
In the case of homosexual behavior, it should take about 100 years and the human race will be extinct.
- What if every woman aborted her child? What would the outcome of that be?
- What if everyone stole to get what they wanted or needed: No one labored to produce anything, they simply stole it from someone else? How well would that work out?
- What if everyone exercised wrath and stayed angry all the time?
Conversely, ask the “What if everyone…” question about the following behaviors:
- What if every child honored their father and mother?
- What if everyone told the truth all the time?
- What if everyone honored their commitments all the time?
Interesting how it works out, isn’t it? All the behaviors the LORD states are good for us, benefit everyone – even when everyone engages in them. Conversely, when the LORD states a behavior is bad, we can see that it would be very detrimental to everyone if everyone engaged in it.
What does this prove?
That we live in a system that is designed to work a certain way – and no other. The system we live in does indeed work the way the Scripture states it works. And will not work any other way.
We are created beings, not evolved through time and chance. The system we live in was created to function a certain specific way – it did not come about as a result of chance. If it did, then you would not be able to reason out the outcomes of the behaviors listed above – which we all can certainly do.
Further, this also proves that all behaviors are not equal, and there are behaviors that no one should ever engage in as they are demonstrably destructive to the entire human race. This speaks volumes about the short-sightedness and selfishness of certain individuals in this world. After all, why would you engage in a behavior that we all can easily reason out and determine to be ultimately destructive to mankind?