By Frank Jamerson
The following clipping was copied from the local newspaper of December 3, 1985. It is a summary of an article in the December 9, 1985 issue of U.S. News and World Report.
One in four Americans cheats on his tax returns, but most say it’s wrong to cheat on a husband or wife, a new poll indicates.
Marriage vows apparently make all the difference, since a clear majority says there’s nothing morally wrong with premarital sex.
The poll, conducted by the Roper Organization for this week’s issue of U.S. News & World Report, suggests laxness on some moral or ethical matters but also shows that Americans continue to hold clear views on other issues.
For those who see moral failings in the younger generation, the poll does show young people as more likely than their elders to tell lies or steal.
The survey said that twenty-four percent admitted to cheating on income tax returns, but seventy-two percent said that it is always wrong to cheat on your wife, or husband. The same report said that sixty-one percent believes that premarital s” is not wrong. In the younger ages (18-29), seventy-eight percent said that premarital sex is not wrong. On truthfulness, the report said that twenty-two percent admit to lying often or once in a while to family members; the same percentage as believed that under certain circumstances it is all right to steal from your employer. Thirty-three percent admitted to calling in sick when they were not.
Considering the propaganda that has been drilled into our heads through public education, TV and radio, and the words of songs, I suppose we should not be surprised at these statistics. For years our young people have been taught that we are just dignified apes and that the situation determines right or wrong.
Humanism has become the philosophy of the leaders in education. This system of religion denies the existence of God and an absolute standard of right and wrong. Each person is a “law unto himself,” and no one has the right to “moralize.”
Is this an excuse for Christians to cheat, lie, commit fornication, steal, etc.? Certainly not! But the sad fact is that too many church members would fit into these statistics. There is a lack of faith in God and His standard of right and wrong.
One who truly believes that God is all-knowing and everywhere present is not going to lie to his fellow man. Who would be willing to spend eternity in hell for telling a lie to make himself look better before men? Who is going to “save a few dollars” on income taxes if he really believes that stealing will cause him to lose his soul? The article in U.S. News & World Report said that one of the problems is that we “are less influenced today by authority figures. More and more, people seek guidance from one another.” Polster George Gallup, Jr., said, “Church attendance makes little difference in people’s ethical views and behavior with respect to lying, cheating, pilferage and not reporting theft.” I wonder how much difference “church attendance” makes among us!
When men turn from God’s standard and become “a law unto themselves” there is no real standard of right and wrong. When church members ignore God’s law, and feel somehow that their situation justifies disobedience to that law, they cannot be salt and light unto the world.
Brethren, there is a standard of right and wrong, and we should love God too much to wilfully disobey His word. And, if our love is not that strong, there needs to be a wholesome dread of eternal torment that would cause us to turn from evil.
Guardian of Truth XXX: 14, p. 435
July 17, 1986