God's Law is Obvious
by Fr. Robert D Smith
In the secular media, people are often put before us who are boasting of
their irreligion, boasting of their past abortions, of their divorce and re-marriage,
of their homosexuality. Such people are invariably not merely claiming that the
rest of their behavior is so honorable that it excuses, cancels out, this one thing.
They are claiming that the irreligion itself, the abortion, divorce and re-marriage,
are good things in themselves; that engaging in them is proof of their own charity
and considerateness, and the people who see anything wrong with any of these
things are the immoral people in this world.
First of all, we can notice that the people who advocate such things are
not really claiming intrinsic rightness for what they do. They all see something
awry, something less than honorable, about it. What they are really saying is
that the reasons that they have for what they do, the excuses, cancel out whatever there is of incorrectness in their behavior. The reasons, the excuses, make
what they do into ennobling acts of virtue, fit to be highly admired by all.
But, even allowing for this back-door approach to honor, they have a
second problem. Is this really a key to honorable behavior; the fact that one is
boasting about it? They forget to notice what to them would be an appalling and
disabling fact. Do people who are really doing what is right boast about it? The
answer is: very generally, not at all. Those who keep holy the Sabbath Day, who
go regularly to church to feed on the word of God, unlike those who are irreligious,
will go to great lengths not to speak publicly about what they do. Similiarly, the
mother who has a child, avoided an abortion, will never, generally, in public, speak
about this avoidance. She is too horrified even at the thought. The spouse who is
faithful to marriage vows will generally never speak about that fact, even when
divorced and re-married acquaintances are boasting all the time about the nobility
of their divorce. The non-sodomite will never dream of boasting of this status.
What is going on here? By boasting of their breaches of the Commandments
as truly signs of virtue, people are admitting their own knowledge of their own guilt.
Because they too know that if they really thought that they were truly innocent, they
would not boast of it, nor announce it to acquaintances or to strangers unasked. The
part of the world which has rejected all commitment to obedience to God's laws of
honor, to the Ten Commandments, likes to think that the whole thing is so complex
anyway, that, as a last resort, if there should be a Judgment Day, and that Christ
and those who followed Him turned out to be right on this teaching after all-that
repentance is required for salvation-that they will still be excused by the very
complexity of it all.
God's law is not complex or obscure. It is obvious to everyone, as obvious
to those who break it in cold blood as it is to those who obey it.
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