By Pat Higgins
If you can not meet the standard, then lower the standard! This seems to be the idea prevalent in all facets of life these days. If a large segment of society can not meet the qualifications for college entrance, the qualifications are simply brought down to their level. If the majority of the people can not live up to the standard of the Word of God, the less stringent standard of men is substituted. The thoughtful person can see that anything less than compliance with the standard of God will not make man guiltless any more than watered down entrance exams will make a man more intelligent.
In an article written by a husband-and-wife counseling team, advice was given to a woman who had guilt feelings as a result of engaging in something that went against her religious upbringing. The counselors suggested she find someone who would change the rules for her and give her permission to abandon her guilt. The counselor said, “And if the first minister you talk to is not a permission giver, call a second or a third.” His wife continued, “Shop around if you have to. If you believe the action is neither immoral, unethical, nor illegal, but you still can’t get rid of the guilt because of your past conditioning, find a permission-giver.” Can you believe that? If you believe the action is neither immoral, unethical, nor illegal . . .”; in other words, what you believe sets the standards and gives you the right to disregard the established rules.
This is why we have so many people going from church to church, denomination to denomination; they are in search of someone to approve of what they have already decided to believe. There was a king of Israel, Ahab, who searched for a prophet to confirm what he wanted to believe. Out of about 400 prophets who told him falsely what he wanted to hear, there was just one man, Micaiah, the true prophet of God, who stedfastly proclaimed the truth in spite of the king’s displeasure. Stubbornly, the king refused Micaiah’s counsel, finding more comfort in the lies of the false prophets. As a result his army was defeated and he died ignominiously (1 Kings 22:1-40).
Far too many want to hear right (fair) things, smooth things, deceitful things (Isa. 30:10), because deceit is often more comforting than the truth, at least temporarily. How many times have you heard, “But that’s not fair,” after having told someone the Bible teaching on a subject in question? The problem is that man’s notion of fairness is on a lower plane than the fairness of God (Isa. 5:8-9). How dare man to say to the Gad of all creation, “You are not fair”?
He who chooses to follow the false prophets in order to alleviate his guilt feelings had best be comforted now, because he will find no comfort in eternity (Mt. 7:21-23; Rev. 21:8).
Truth Magazine XXIII: 34, p. 556
August 31, 1979