Hath God Said? (PDF)

pcahistory.org
  • No tags were found...

Hath God Said? (PDF)

Hath God Said?(jo."do.u !}l" eewtli(~r rn-an '.I .lirst disobedience and thefruitqr that forbidden tree, whose mortaltasteBrought Death into the world, and allour woe,,Sing heavenly Muse . . ."WITH .these SOllorow; phr~ses,the Ilnmortal poet Miltonbegan his great work, ParadiseLost. It was from the openingchapters of the Bible that Miltontook his theme.God had created Adam and Eveperfectly righteous and had giventhem the well-watered garden ofEden for their enjoyment. Thedeliciolls fruits of all the trees weretheirs to eat, with but one exception.God commanded them not to eat ofthat one tree.Then Satan in the form of a serpen tcame to tempt Eve. He began byasking her this question: "Hath Godsaid?"Of course if God had not said, ifGod had given no commandment toAdam and Eve, then there wouldhave been no reason to abstain fromeating of that tree. What Adam andEve were to do and what they werenot to do, depended on what God hadsaid.Later on in the Bible we read howGod spoke to the children of IsraelfrOl11 the thundering crags of MountSinai. There God said: "Thou shaltnot take the name of the Lord thyGod in vain . . . Remember theSabbath day to keep it holy .Thou shalt not steal . . ."Considering the disobedience of theIsraelites on many occasions, we mayimagine that Satan came to them alsoand asked, "Hath God said?" Ofcourse, if God had not said, Rememberthe Sabbath day; if God had notcommanded, Thou shalt not steal;there would have been no reason toobey. What the Israelites were todo and what they were not to do,depended on what God said.Today there are multitudes ofpeople who care nothing for thesecommandments. During the war theMAY, 1948arllled forces were incredibly profane.In this era of so-called peace, fewpeople remember the Sabbath day to,keep it holy. Juvenile delinquencyshows that one, or more likely two,generations have not honored theirfathers and mothers. The world hasseen not only murders but massacres.Unfortunately, adultery and divorceare so common as to have eaten awaythe moral fiber of ollr nation. Andstealing goes on, if not in one form,then in another.But, after all, why should one keepthe Sabbath? \Vhy shouldn't oneenjoy adultery and profanity onoccasion? \Vhy not get what you canwhile the getting is good? Ha thGod said?Our conduct, so many people affirm,is not to be hampered by ancienttraditions. The Ten Commandmentsmay have been good enough for abygone age; but today we haveevolved a new code of ethics and wemust conform to the morals of ourage and our society.Maybe there is a God, and maybethere isn't. It is hard to say. Buteven if there is a God, he is not thetribal deity of the ancient Jews. TheOld Testament is folk lore and superstition.We live today and we mustfollow the ways of the socie.ty inwhich we live.This is the teaching that has permeatedthe educated classes of ourcountry. The sociology departmentsin our colleges, the psychologists, thephilosophers, and the schools ofeducation insist that it is the societyin which one Jives that sets thestandards of conduct.The aborigines of Australia havetheir code of ethics. The tribes ofcentral Africa have another code.American society requires its typeof conduct ancl Chinese society setsdifferen t norms. No society canimpose its mores on another. Whenin Rome, do as the Romans do. Theparticular society is the supremejudge.Message delivered over WL W, Cincinnati,on the "Church by the Side of the Road" program,Sunday, November 2, 1947.Now, it happens that societychanges. In fact, American societyhas changed considerably in the lastcentury.vVhen our grandparents were alive,an accusation of immorality was aserious charge. Later on it becamesmart to be immoral. Today, however,immorality is too common evento be smart. People no longer usethe idea of immorality to indicateblame or the idea of morality toindicate praise. Morality is oldfashioned. Instead of these ideas, ifa serious accusation is to be madeagainst someone, he is called antisocial.The worst thing to say of aman today is to say that he is antisocial.We no longer listen for thevoice of God; we pay attention to thedemands of society. Society, thesociety in which we live, is thesupreme judge of our conduct.But if this modern humanistictheory is true, several interestingconclusions follow. When in Rome doas the Romans do, they say. Conformto the society in which you live.If this be good advice, then was it notright and good for Germans underHitler to massacre the Jews? Ifsociety establishes the rules of conduct,an anti-semitic society justifiesanti-semitic conduct. It was notHitler's lieutenants, it was not Goeringand Goebels who were antisocial;it was Pastor Niemoeller whowas anti-social. That was why· hf'was put into a concentration camp.He did not conform to the code ofsociety. Similarly, just before theProtestant Reformation the city ofFlorence was licentious and gay.Savonarola appeared and rebukedthem for their sins. Savonarola wasanti-social, and they burned him atthe stake. Society was the judge.And why should not society be thejudge, if God has not spoken? Whyisn't anti-semitism right and good,if God has not said, Thou shalt notkill? If God has not spoken, whyshould not society murder those whodisagree with it?Niemoeller was anti-social because(Continued on page 1~)7


HA TH GOD SAID?«'ulltinlledfrum I,age 7)he believed Cod had C()llIlIlalldl'(1,The Apostle Paul was killed becausehe believed that God was superior tosociety. And Jesus Christ wasperhaps the most anti-social persollwho ever lived.Hath God said? If God has notsaid, then profanity, murdcr,

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines