Laws That Last
Sabrina Erdely’s Rollingstone article in December 2014, “A Rape on Campus,” based on “Jackie’s” account of being repeatedly raped at a fraternity initiation at the University of Virginia generated a national debate about rape. Then the story began to fall apart. Charlottesville, VA police chased down all the leads, examined the evidence, and found that there was “no substantive basis” for the claims made in the article. Columbia University examined the journalism behind theRollingstone story and concluded that basic, routine rules of journalism were ignored. Now Phi Kappa Psi is considering pressing legal charges against the magazine. Why do we know in our souls that rape, when it actually does occur, is horribly wrong? Why do we also know that it’s wrong to make false accusations, and finally, why do we passionately call for both a rapist when proven guilty and a journalist who failed to investigate to pay the price for what they did?
Recently, as I listen to lawyers presenting their cases before judges and judges examining and cross-examining, what fascinates me is this. A lawyer can mention tradition, common human values, a new majority opinion that alters past “moral” viewpoints, anecdotal stories about life experience, but they cannot base their argument on the source of all moral laws that endure. Who created the life giving rules about human sexuality, about telling the truth, and about not bearing false witness against your neighbor? An Old Israelite knew far better than a lot of legal professionals in our culture when he presented an alphabet of praise to the LORD in Psalm 111. This is what h had to say about the source of moral laws that will last:
“All of His instructions are permanent and dependable; Firmly established forever and ever in truth and right.” - Psalm 111:7-8
God’s Word has been giving us the right stuff about how to live sexually, about the need to tell the truth, and most of all about our absolute allegiance to the source of all dependable Law and Order. Psalm 111 concludes with this challenge about living wisely.
“A reverence and awe of the LORD—that’s the first thing when it comes to wisdom. Actually do what He tells you and you will find that you’ve discovered good understanding—an understanding that generates good results in life. So His praise endures forever!” - Psalm 111:10
LORD, many in our culture follow the commands of their own internal passions. Others follow tradition, and I guess the majority simply change with the latest Gallup Poll supposedly revealing what the new majority vote is. I pray that You will help me not only to know the instructions about life that this Psalm talks about, but to actually follow Your instructions so that my unbelieving friends will see in my life that your standards are true, enduring, and life giving.
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