Everybody is Doing It
Monday, May 31, 2010

1 Peter 2:21  To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.            

 Everybody is doing it.  Why can’t I?  If you are a parent, you have heard these words far more than you want to hear them.  Our children want the crowd to set the moral codes of the day.  “Everybody” has become our new standard for what is right and wrong.  When a critical mass does something that is wrong, then wrong becomes right (at least in our children’s minds), and you wonder, where on earth did they get this kind of thinking.  Well, if you allow your children to watch the evening news, you can see clearly where they get it.  They learn this from us.           

          Hardly an evening goes by when some gaff is not discovered by the media of our political leaders.  Some down play it and the political response to those who try to whitewash the gaff is “you would have crucified the former regime if they had done that.”  And other hype these gaffs up and the response it, “why were you silent when the other regime did the same thing.”  And always the implication is that our sins are okay because that is politics as usual.  Most recently we have seen this during the Sestak scandal.  He was asked to step out of a political race and was offered a job to do just that.  From a moral perspective, that is called bribery.  But in politics it is dubbed politics as usual.  But this is not an isolated incident.  When health care was unethically crammed down the American people’s throats, those in power merely pointed to other regimes that did the same thing.  In other words, it is not a question of right or wrong, but merely a question of “everybody is doing it, why can’t I?”  

          If only these were isolated incidents of politics maybe it might be livable.  But it is not.  The politicians learn it from their constituents.  Our standard of morality is the herd mentality.  “If everybody is doing something, and the law is okay with it, then it must be okay if I do it.”  We learned that in the justification of the Wall Street bankers who sold stocks they knew were bad, and sold them as good.  This was okay because “the stock market thrives on selling short.”  And that may indeed be true.  I am not an economist, but I can tell you I know enough about “selling short” that the profiteers rely upon the misery and failure of someone else.  Legal – yes.  Moral, you shouldn’t even have to ask.  And our businesses have good teachers – us.  

          I am always taken aback when Christians use the same sort of justification in what they uphold as their standard of moral conduct.  Statements such as, “Well, I may not be perfect, but I treat my wife better than those hypocrites who are always in church.”  Or, “I may not tithe my income, but I know for a fact that I give more than Joe who is an elder.”  Or, “I may have an occasional drink, but you should see how the pastor drinks when no one is watching.”  You see, these are the very same comments that the politicians make; that corrupt businesses make; and that our teenagers, wanting to do what they cannot do, make.  They are based on the principle that morality is established by the crowds, not by Jesus Christ. 

           You see, our standard is never the crowd.  Our standard of behavior and life is the life of Jesus Christ.  We are called to be imitators of Him – as Peter said, “follow in His steps.”  Christ is our standard – not former regimes, not other bankers, not the crowd, not even other Christians.  We are called individually to imitate the life and teachings of our Lord – to obey His commands.  That is our ethical standard, our thought process for determining whether we should or shouldn’t do something.  We may have different interpretations of how Jesus would approach an issue, but if He is our template, you can be assured that neither party will be too far off the mark (assuming the biblical Jesus is the template). 

             As imitators of Christ, we are to love God with all our hearts.  That in itself will cure a multitude of societal ills.  For loving God with all our hearts means we are living for the glory of God.  And God is glorified when we love one another as Christ loved us.  That means we live sacrificially for those around us (our neighbors, our families, and people around the world).  It means not profiting on the misery of others.  It means doing what is right regardless of what others have done or are doing.  Christ loved us to the cross and our challenge is to pick up our crosses every day and follow Him. 

            We will never have a political system that is for the people, by the people, and of the people as long as our standards are based on what others have done in the past or the present.  We will never have a financial system void of corruption as long as corruption is in the heart of the financial gurus.  We will never have a culture that is marching toward righteousness as long as the herd mentality dictates our actions.  We are people of Christ, called to follow Him, in His steps.  And when we walk in His steps it will clearly be walking toward the Kingdom of God.

Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455

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