Who gets to decide what is right and what is wrong?

It’s been the battle from the very beginning: good vs. evil, right vs. wrong.

In the garden of Eden, Satan only wanted to advance his purposes; God wanted to provide a path that would bring more joy and happiness than could be conceived.

And Adam and Eve were left to choose.

In the story of Cain and Abel, everyone knows that Cain chose evil and self-gratification while Abel simply wanted to do as he was commanded. The lesson from history would be that we are always better off doing what we are commanded by our loving Father in Heaven; harkening to Satan and his temptations will lead to loneliness and pain.

Fast forward the roughly 6000 years since then. The same battle is being waged.

But for some reason we can’t see it with the same clarity and simplicity.

I guess that many would say “it’s complicated.”

What complicated it?

The difference could be traced to a willingness to seek a constant and consistent God for the guidance and direction in the past; while today people seem to just go more with what feels good and, in many cases, what the popular crowd is doing.

This leads to a lot of inconsistency and confusion.

Who gets to decide what is right and what is wrong?

One example in the news currently is the controversy over the Beverly Hills Hotel. The owner is an incredibly wealthy and powerful sultan, who believes in Sharia law, or law that punishes, among other things, adultery and homosexual relations with stoning.

The side of right would seem obvious; such barbaric treatment is consistent with those who stole the Nigerian school girls, to sell them for $12 in U.S. currency.

We all stand on the same side of the line, together, outraged that a group of people would somehow think that behavior is not only acceptable, but enforceable.

All of us, except those who actually believe it to be the right thing to do. In their eyes, they are fighting for good and right; we are the barbarians choosing wrong and evil.

Let’s go a step further.

Those of us standing together, united on the same side of the line against this cruelty and forced submission of human beings all of a sudden find the line being drawn right between us when we are faced with the issue of, for example, same-sex marriage.

Now, from the point of view of the people I was just standing with, fighting side by side for truth and right, I am just as clearly on the barbarian side of the line as the others. In their view, I am just as wrong.

Yet in my view, I am clearly standing on the side of right.

And the yelling, insulting, jeering, anger, and fury continue. It’s mind boggling how quickly the tide turns and friend becomes foe.

Wouldn’t that, in itself, be what evil would want?

Is truth a malleable thing? Does evil evolve and change over time – what once was a bad thing is now a good thing, and vice versa?

Going back to the beginning, Adam and Eve had what would appear on the surface to be a simple choice: choose God or choose Satan. Everyone today may say that it was a no brainer, that it was an easy choice.

Of course you would choose God’s way because you would know that it would be the better way.

Duh.

Right?

But I would imagine that it wasn’t a simple or easy choice. It was incredibly difficult and took a lot of effort to work through and make their decision. Their choice.

And after choosing, life wasn’t immediately easy and clear. Another choice presented itself that needed to be worked through.

And another.

And another.

How are we working through our choices today? Would Adam and Eve and their family look down at us and feel that our choice was simple, choose God and his plan and stamp out evil?

Why is it not so simple?

Who gets to decide what is right and what is wrong?

If there are many different sources, then of course there will be many different interpretations and many different answers. We’ve kind of embraced that concept as a society. Do what feels good to you. All roads eventually lead to good, no matter how different. As long as we act in what we perceive to be love, then it will work out in the end.

I imagine that the sultan feels that, in his own way, he is showing tough love by enforcing Sharia law.

That’s kind of a sobering thought.

The simple truth is that there is good in the world. There is evil.

As in the garden of Eden, today Satan only wants to advance his purposes; God wants to provide a path that will bring more joy and happiness than can be conceived.

And we are left to choose.

Where we look for truth and light is critically important. It matters on what we build our foundation to stand tall and strong.

It matters on what side of the line we choose to be.

In the end, we don’t get to decide what is right and what is wrong. That has already been decided.

We get to decide who we will choose to follow.

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