Not Free to Choose Consequences

Our culture and courts have willfully cut loose from biblical moorings that historically provided stability and an agreed-upon reference point. Now we are adrift in a vast sea of nihilism where “everyone does what is right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). For our nation there is no longer a solid rock where we anchor. There is very little sense of any moral compass. Please note these prophetic words of Elisabeth Elliot, written in 1982: “Where there is no ‘moral gravity’ – that is, no force that draws us to the center – there is spiritual weightlessness. We float on feelings that will carry us where we never meant to go; we bubble with emotional experiences that we often take for spiritual ones; and we are puffed up with pride. Instead of seriousness, there is foolishness. Instead of gravity, flippancy. Sentimentality takes the place of theology.” (From Discipline: The Glad Surrender).

I would only add these 33 years later that not only has sentimentality taken the place of theology, sentimentality has also taken the place of jurisprudence and the historical precedent of law.

So where does such lawless drifting take a nation? Here is the tragic destination: “Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies” (Proverbs 1:29-31).

The apostle Paul echoed the same verdict on cultures that defy God’s ways. “Just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper” (Romans 1:28, NASB). The God who protects, provides, and blesses simply backs away, leaving people to their “freedom.” As a young libertine proudly told me, “I’m free live any way I choose.” I replied, “You’re right. You are free to live any way you choose, but you are not free to choose the consequences.”

Yet in the midst of this drifting, decomposing culture there remains a sure anchor and reference point for those who would honor God and His ways. “But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil” (Proverbs 1:33). Thank God, there remains a Rock of safety for those who align with Jesus Christ and His eternal kingdom.

“When darkness seems to hide His face

I rest on His unchanging grace;

In every high and stormy gale

My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.”

– Edward Mote