Righteousness in Application
Though it would be convenient to test the physical creation, we find that an impossibility for certain reasons. The first of which is our inability to accurately document anything from the moment of creation. Rather, we must rely on the testimony of Scripture, which for our test, we cannot do. Second, man has yet to find the end of all that is created. And, third, it is patently obvious that disease and corruption are present in the materials of this universe. If we are to test for righteousness using those materials, the conditions required are not present. Thus, for the foregoing three reasons, we cannot use the formation and constitution of the physical universe to determine anything about righteousness and its existence. However, there are two environments which do present themselves suitable for testing:
Relationships between men and between man and the LORD God.
The physical laws which govern the universe. This is not the material of which it consists, but the principles which make it function, and by which the physical processes operate.
It is generally accepted that righteousness consists of the things you do or refrain from doing, or of being born again in Christ, making one righteous inwardly. However those things relate to righteousness, they do not convey in any comprehensive sense, a practical expression of the effect of righteousness. Rather, those things are either impossible to perceive, or are scattered, incidental happenings that someone would have to be present to observe. This does not give us any assurance of the existence of righteousness, as random acts prove nothing concerning righteousness. The fact that it is manifestly impossible to observe the heart, which is spiritual, assists us in no way in determining the existence of righteousness either. However, it is not so with the following, which is the second commandment:
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Mark 12:30)
How is it that we can say this commandment is the basis of righteousness in application? It is quite simple: Righteousness is the quality of being equal in all one’s ways. Hence, the outworking of that is treating everyone equally – that is, treating everyone like you would like to be treated. It truly is this simple.
The Everyone Test
At this point we will play on the field of the opponents of the LORD God, which is the ground of the flesh. The reason it is the ground of the opponents of the LORD God is due to the focus of both man and Satan on things of the flesh and the fact that they are enamored of them. If on this ground they are proven wrong, then it is unquestionably and undeniably true that neither man nor Satan have anything to offer in the way of understanding or justification.
It is the issue of behavior which we must address here, as there is an unwillingness by man to confront certain behaviors as inherently destructive. Rather than call those behaviors out and ensure that everyone knows those particular behaviors are wrong, many 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 there are behaviors which are always evil in their consequence. These behaviors 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 are realized much later than the consequences of others, it appears (especially to those who deliberately blind themselves) that certain actions have no real consequence. Due to this, the belief is that those actions can be engaged in with impunity. However, this does appear to conflict with the above observed principle, giving rise to a couple of questions worthy of consideration:
How can we determine or know if a way of thinking and its consequent behavior is right and proper to do (hence righteous), and some other way of thinking and behavior is wrong and destructive in its end (hence, wicked and evil)?
Can we establish by proving out and weighing the ends of actions, whether the system we live in is 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, which is the system described in Scripture. Thus, the following questions also arise:
Can we actually design 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, can the test prove or disprove 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 are evident 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:” By this he defines “love” as a characteristic which is beneficial to everyone. Which, in turn, fulfills the law. Since it is clear and plain that Scripture declares the LORD God created man, it consequently declares that man should love his Creator. Since one can do nothing to either benefit or harm the LORD God, it becomes obvious that love expressed toward the LORD is seen in obedience, and hatred for the LORD in disobedience.1
In further explaining what behaviors are and are not acceptable, the apostle Paul set forth two lists in his epistle to the church at Galatia. In these lists, he states that those who engage in the behaviors of one “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” meaning they are against the law of God, and contrary to righteousness. But in the second list, there is another set of behaviors that he sets forth as “against such there is no law” thus declaring these are thoughts and actions which accord with righteousness:
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 major things which are apparent here:
- The “love” defined by the Apostle 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 in which we exist was indeed set up by the LORD God, it is testable and will yield a consistent result. By reason we understand that if everyone engages in a certain behavior it will yield predicable results regardless of whether that behavior is proper or improper.
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, and 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 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 am 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?
At this point it is necessary to address an issue which the advocates of homosexual behavior have broached – which is artificial insemination. They believe this offsets the natural consequences of their behavior with regard to the survival of the race. However, by their very argument they contradict themselves by the admission that such a process is not natural. It is entirely true that artificial insemination is not available naturally and does not naturally occur. They forget that no other behavior would have this advantage. This would be like everyone killing everyone else, yet no one dying. We could call such a process “artificial death.” This is of course, manifestly impossible. Rather, for the test of righteousness to be applied correctly and 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 all children honored their parents?
- 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 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 clearly destructive to the entire human race. This speaks volumes about the shortsightedness 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?
The test also speaks volumes about the existence of righteousness and whether this physical realm was created by a righteous and holy God. Without doubt, the test would fail if righteousness did not exist, as it is righteous to apply the exact same conditions to everyone and obtain a result consistent with the conditions applied.
This also demonstrates in a comprehensive way what would happen if everyone abided by those things the LORD God declares are righteous. If in fact we all simply abided by the second commandment, the world would be a much better and more livable place. It would certainly be far more peaceful.
What we are left with at this point are two questions which appear to be unanswerable.
|The Scriptural Case Against Abortion – Table of Contents||Appendix A: Righteousness – Table of Contents||Answering Our “unanswerable” Questions|
- It should be implicitly understood that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent LORD and God cannot be added to, detracted from, or affected in any way by the His creatures. After all, how do you benefit or add to that which is infinite?↩