In the 1960s our society altered the concepts of sexual morality. The 1970s made living together while unmarried an acceptable lifestyle. The 1980s altered the basic concepts of integrity and character. The "political correctness" of the 1990s has erased the "archaic, meaningless" distinctions between "good" and "bad," "right" and "wrong," and "moral" and "immoral."

Many people who grew up with these altered concepts accept them as verified truths. Accountability has nothing to do with personal behavior. Personal choices should not produce consequences. "Fun" determines "right" and "good." Only irresponsible prejudice declares anything to be "wrong" or "evil." If the individual is valued, there can be no judgmental responses. Society is unimportant; the individual is all important.

The Monica view: catastrophic consequences do not result from the irresponsible conduct of "poor," "unwise," or "wrong" behavior. Catastrophic consequences are the result of getting caught. If a person is not caught, no problem exists. The "wrong" is not in the behavior; the "wrong" is in getting caught. The "real" problem is not about the person, or his/her choices, or his/her behavior. The "real" problem is about things "personal and private" becoming public. "It is so unjust and unfair! No one else should know! How can people be so mean to those who just had fun?"

Many who do and do not live by religious principles are astounded to hear such views freely embraced about personal decisions and actions that resulted in monumental national consequences. Why are those who are and are not religious astounded? We are seeing and hearing the end product of forty years of altered concepts.

Do we hear and see nothing else? How often are Christian teens and adults deeply concerned about the consequences of getting caught, but unconcerned about the consequences of what "my life" has become? How often are Christians embarrassed by "public knowledge" of happenings, but not concerned about "my life"? How often is the concern focused on justifying the occurrence instead of redirecting the life?

If we think that the tragedy of altered concepts is society's problem, we are deceived. Once, because of evil deeds, people loved darkness instead of the light. Those who practiced evil did not want the light to expose their deeds. Those who loved truth came to the light to expose their deeds (John 3:19-21). We need to be Christ's light of hope instead of blending into the darkness of despair.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 14 March 1999

 Link to next article

 Link to other Writings of David Chadwell