|Tribune Content Agency
Dec 17, 2019
|From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: My pastor said that God understands our desires and that we should not take the Ten Commandments literally. While this helps in excusing my own behavior, somehow it doesn’t ring true. Can God defy His own word? — P.H.
A: People don’t like to think of God in terms of wrath, anger, and judgment. They prefer to fashion God after their own preferences and give God characteristics they want Him to have. People try to remake God to conform to their own wishful thinking to make them comfortable in their sins. This “god” has the attributes of love, mercy, and forgiveness without justice. This means an absence of judgment and punishment for sin. God is reconstructed along the lines of tolerance, all-embracing love, and universal goodwill. The Biblical view that righteousness is as ultimate as love in the divine nature is abandoned. In this view of God there are no laws that demand obedience and no standards to which man must adhere.
Years ago at Harvard Divinity School a group of clergy gathered to discuss God’s law. One professor said that premarital sex between engaged couples was all right, that God would understand. A professor at another theological school thought that no sexual relationship should be absolutely condemned by the church. Still today, many church leaders continue to reconstruct God according to the secular and humanistic trends of our time. But the church has not created God’s laws; it is to uphold them and abide by them.
The Bible warns that evil men understand not judgment. The Bible says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul” (Psalm 19:7). Jesus Himself put His stamp of approval on the law when He said: “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail” (Luke 16:17). No clergy has a right to lower God’s standards lest he become guilty of heresy. Receive God’s truth and walk in His ways to experience the abundant life.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
(c)2019 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.