“Everything Is Permitted, If . . .”
The world envisioned by many is one where every person has the right to do whatever he likes. The philosophy is summed up in these words, “What right does anyone have to tell me what is right or wrong? What right do you have to judge my behavior?” As we look at the world around us, we see the world buying into the view of life where I can do anything I want to do and no one has any right to judge me or set standards of actions which I must follow.
Without thinking this through, one might think that the philosophy might be right. However, stop long enough to see the fruit of such an idea. Does anyone have the right tell others that robbery is wrong? Does not the thief have the right to say, “I can do anything I want to and no one has any right to judge me or set standards of actions which I must follow”? What about murderers, rapists, scam operators, liars or a host of other lifestyles one might choose?
One of the most renowned philosophers of the twentieth century was the Frenchman, Jean-Paul Sartre. He was an atheist when he died in 1980 (ever consider that after death no man is an atheist), but his words actually help us understand just why everything is not permitted. He said, “Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist.”
If God does not exist, what gives any individual, group of individuals, culture, society or government the right to set standards of actions for me? My view of right and wrong has just as much merit as the view of others! There is no absolute truth. There is no eternal truth. There is no universal truth. Because morality is constantly changing, there is no morality! Who decides what is right and wrong?
Perhaps this is why society often tries to remove God from our lives. Why were copies of the Ten Commandments removed from the classroom and from public display? Why were prayer and Bible reading removed from our schools? Why are some trying to remove “In God We Trust” from our currency? Why is prayer forbidden at high school football games? Why is there an ever increasing mockery of Christians on TV and in movies? Remove God, and everything is permitted!
Now, think of the implication of Mr. Sartre’s words. If God does exist, everything is not permitted! However, if there is a Creator, then He has a right to govern me. He determines what behavior He expects of me. Neither I nor any group of individuals on this earth determines morality. He governs morality! I seek to mirror in my life the holiness He has shown in the life of Jesus. Think of the moral struggle facing our nation. It is God who judges. This land is not my land, it is His! He is the sovereign Creator of each of us!