Values And Virtues

Values and virtues have been changing expeditiously. In effect they have been inverted within a generation. Our national moral standards have been likened to a store front window into which someone came in secretly and reversed the price tags on items making the valuable look cheep and the cheep more valuable.

This description is applicable of a number of societies over the ages.

The ancient prophet Isaiah (5:20) offers this caution: “Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitterness for sweet, and sweet for bitter!!”

Such is a description of a group of ancient “wise men,” sophists, who were making a case for their deviate actions.

Against Isaiah’s warning of “woe” we go our merry way as though the warning does not apply to us. The consequence has always been as natural as it is for one plus one to equal two. That conduct always naturally results in what is summed up in the word “woe.” It always has and always will.

The ancient Greek Thucydides described this spirit in the Peloponnesian war when rashness was called courage, prudence timidity, treachery cleverness, and honesty stupidity. He was describing a group of moral dissidents. Such distortion in all ages is the natural progression of a culture that doesn’t acknowledge God’s standards, and always ends in what is summed up in the little word “woe.” It is still part of the life equation.

There is a relevant agricultural application. You always reap what you sow, later than you sow, and more than you sow.

Today attitudes and actions that were broadly accepted as immoral in previous generations are accepted as the new norm. Today among progressives there is no shame in what was only a short time ago considered sensual and shameful. A strata of our society is not ashamed of sin, nor do they care for honesty, but are inclined to a desperate immorality.

You can call bitter sweet, but it is still bitter. You have changed its name but not its nature. Karl Menninger, founder of the renowned Menninger Clinic wrote a book entitled, “Whatever Became of Sin.” His thesis is we are inclined to call what has long been called sin by some other names. Thus we hear less of sin. It is not that there is less, but it has been given a more acceptable name. He concludes by what ever name it is know it still has its debilitating impact. You can call evil good, but it is still evil with its same influence. Conversely you can call good evil, but it retains its virtue.

You can call a lie a mis-spoken word, but it is still an deceptive untruth.

You can call socialism progressiveness, but it is still a flawed system of government and economy that has proven it doesn’t work every where it has been tried. Yet, socialism is being sold to an uninformed public as good.

This practice of calling evil good and good evil began in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. If evil were not postured as good and good as evil there would be no temptation.

As an individual we may not be able to change our total culture to choose good not evil, light not darkness, sweet not bitter, but we can determine by which we will live personally.