From Jim O'Brien
September 07, 2018

Hi Friend,

No Substitute for God

David Rahpael Klein is a writer who compared the dilemma America now faces to that faced by immigrants a few generations ago. Families moved to America from the "old country" maintaining the old customs and continuing to speak the old language. They passed on customs that had no meaning in the new country. The result was that children grew up doing things for which they have no foundation.

That thought came to mind when Donna and I attended a backyard cookout with several young couples recently, one of which was newly engaged. They were all bright, articulate and rising on the ladder of success. They were also likable people with definite opinions on life.

As the conversation became lively I was interested to hear the newly engaged young lady say she did not believe in absolutes. Surprisingly she is an intelligent college graduate from a family with religious underpinnings.

"Okay," I replied, "is it okay to molest children? Or to kill them?"

"No!" came the quick reply. "People who do that are the lowest form of humanity!"

"So," I answered, "you believe that the sanctity of life is absolute."

She smiled sheepishly, blushed and said, "Well, yes, I guess that's an absolute."

Impressed with her honestly I pushed on. "What about your fiancé? What if he were unfaithful to you?" She bristled at this and described the horrible fate he would suffer. "That's an absolute too!" she said.

"And your house," I asked, "what if a shyster lawyer found an unethical means to steal it from you?" She was laughing now, "That would be wrong," she admitted.

"Okay" I persisted, "let's say you purchased something, maybe an expensive car, which turned out to be a lemon. On top of that the salesperson had lied to you. He knew the car was defective when he sold it to you."

"Lying is also an absolute," she replied.

"Well," I responded, "you told me you don't believe in absolutes and we've found four in less than a minute. You believe that murder, stealing, infidelity and bearing false witness are all absolutely wrong. Given a few minutes you might be convinced of the absolute nature of all the Ten Commandments."

David Klein saw the problem correctly. America is raising children who believe the values of the Ten Commandments without believing the Ten Commandments are valid.

Religious pollster David Barna has lamented that the majority of those who call themselves Christian do not believe at least four of the fundamental teachings of Jesus.

There is a great danger in not knowing the source of your values. God warned our ancestors, Adam and Eve, not to make up their own laws. He created a perfect world for them and commanded the man, "You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die." (Gen 2:16-17)

Adam and Eve had direct access to God, the greatest resource of knowledge ever available to any humans. He had existed for eternity and they were just starting life. They had only lived a day and already they were rejecting the source of truth and making their own laws.

Staying connected to the source is the key to a good life.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien