News & Notes
Editor: Ed Barnes      ph 865-458-5043     

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Vol 4 No 23 September 19, 1999

The Definition of Is

Ed Barnes

Life is usually pretty simple. There are times when we face difficult and complicated decisions; such as when a young person must decide on college, marriage, and career, but for the most part, issues involving right and wrong, true and false, moral and immoral are usually pretty easy to discern and the right course of action usually pretty obvious. (This is not to say that making the right decision is always easy.) In recent years, however, evil forces have succeeded in complicating life. Our culture has been bombarded with language and actions that have confused that which used to be very simple. Things have become so bad it seems, that we are not even sure what the definition of "is" is anymore! As you recall, the difficulty of defining "is" was addressed in the recent grand jury testimony of President Clinton.

This is not the first time in history that such a phenomenon has taken place. As a matter of fact it has been quite common for mankind to muddy the waters of morality and common sense in a vain effort to hide and excuse sin. Listen to the words of Isaiah, the prophet of God, as he accurately describes deceivers of old: "Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit and wickedness as with cart ropes." "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." "Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and clever in their own sight." "Woe to those . . .who acquit the guilty for a bribe but deny justice to the innocent." (Isa 5:18-23).

Through the use of boldfaced lies, subtle craftiness, deceit, double standards, euphemisms, etc. evil is having a hey day in our culture at the expense of righteousness, innocence, common sense and simplicity; not to mention the souls of those who have been taken in by such craftiness. Why is it that so many people are being duped by the shallow and empty tactics and temptations of Satan?

Those of us who are familiar with God's word become very frustrated at the gullibility of the world around us. The general "goodness" and morality of our society can no longer be taken for granted. We must understand that we live in a Godless society.

Generally speaking, people do not know right from wrong or how simple it really is to discern the difference. Christians know that all one has to do is read the Bible and therein very plain guidelines are given that define right and wrong, true and false, moral and immoral, etc. The world, on the other hand, has thrown God out of the arena of relevancy and are blindly being led around by the only other alternative, Satan.

It is high time that we Christians wake up! Our society has experienced what is sometimes called a paradigm shift, i.e. a basic principle or belief has just been removed and replaced by something else. Most of us grew up in a culture that knew about God, believed in God and vowed allegiance to God. We now live in a culture that cares nothing about God or what the Bible says. The result of this paradigm shift is seen in the difficulty that our society is having in deciding not only the definition of "is", but more importantly, the definition of right and wrong, etc.

Our course of action is simple. We need to be busy learning God's word and teaching it to our family, friends and neighbors. Not only this, but we must live what we preach. In this way we can save ourselves and also those who respect us enough to listen to what we have to say.

God's word can remove the haze, clear out the confusion and make living simple again. Let us try to bring our generation back to God and the simplicity of Godly living!


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