By Roland Worth, Jr.
There is nothing in the world that an excuse cannot be invented to defend. So it is not surprising that in our world of casual morals that there are a number of excuses made for ignoring the plain statements of Scripture. In some cases a little common sense will explode the argument; in other cases the Bible has already anticipated such arguments and attacked them.
“Everybody Is Doing It”
That is about as truthful as the myth of a generation or two ago that “Nobody does it.” The truth of the matter is that the standard of right and wrong is not found in a majority decision. Because an overwhelming majority of Germans hated Jews was it right for Hitler to murder six million of them? Though “everybody” was not personally involved in the crime, practically “everybody” thought nothing of being anti-Semitic.
The Bible expressly warns us against justifying our conduct by a corrupt majority. “You shall not follow a multitude to do evil . . . ” (Exodus 23:2). Christ warned us that because there is a great deal of evil in the world, love for Divine truth will tend to diminish, “And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:11-12).
“If You Haven’t Tried It, Don’t Knock It”
Life is far too short to do everything. We learn (if we are half as smart as we think we are) from the experiences of others!
The person who presents this kind of argument to us will seldom want to go out and see what it’s like to kill someone in the heat of war. Nor is he likely to want to go out and let someone shoot at him for the pleasure of seeing what it’s like. Yet Winston Churchill once remarked that there is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at and be missed! A truly unique thrill! But not one that we would recommend to others on the grounds that “If you haven’t tried it, don’t knock it!”
If this kind of reasoning were true a man being tried for murder could say: “You have no business being on my jury because you’ve never killed a person.” Would his objection be valid? Why then should a person be considered right when he makes the same argument concerning morals? In one case a person has violated human law and in the other divine law. If we would not tolerate such reasoning in regard to human offenses how much less we should tolerate it as an excuse for violating the law of God!
“It’s None of Your Business”
First, it is God’s business by right of His creation of mankind.
Second, it is your parent’s business by right of the fact that they gave birth to you.
Third, it is a preacher’s concern because it affects your relationship to God.
So let’s not talk about whether it is someone else’s business. Instead, let us address the real issue: Whether you are doing the right thing in God’s sight.
“It Doesn’t Hurt Anyone”
I suppose that Adam could have said the same thing in the Garden. Yet because of his sin death entered the world and plagues us to this very day. So stop and think for a minute: Your action may set in motion a chain of circumstances far beyond your ability to imagine.
Furthermore, it does hurt someone: You! Sin separates from God (Isa. 59:2) and any immorality you commit places that much more distance between you and Him.
“I Love The Person”
Nothing derogatory is intended but I can’t help but recall the worldly-wise words of the lady I once knew who had been through three marriages: “There is no such thing as love at first sight; there is only lust at first sight.” If you stop to think about it that statement has a lot of truth in it. You may be sensually attracted to a person by their looks but to call that love is a wee bit misleading!
Furthermore, the question is not so much whether you love the person. The more important question is do you love Christ more? “If ye love me keep my commandments” (John 14:15) and among the commandments He taught was abstention from sexual immorality (Matt. 15: 15-20).
Don’t be conned by a smooth talker. You can put a beautiful label on a bottle of cyanide but it will kill you just the same when you drink it. The same it true of sin.
Truth Magazine, XX:16, p. 13-14
April 15, 1976