I was attending a conference years ago when I heard one of its leaders share a story called, "The Land of Chaos". It struck me…it did for many reasons one of which is that in my conversations and relationships with people, I often find that many people hold on to a worldview that denies the existence of God. I find that puzzling most of the time…especially when it comes to the issue of laws, moral clarity, the differentiation between right/wrong. It doesn't take much examination to discern that "nature" if left to its own devices is cruel and amoral. Nature is dictated by the survival of the fittest, strongest, the superior…so when someone argues that there is an "innate" sense of right/wrong that emerges from a worldview in which humanity evolves from the stuff of accident, chance and mutation, I find myself vehemently disagreeing with their premise.
Here's something to try on for size – in the bible (Romans 2 specifically), Paul writes that the "law is written on our hearts"…all I can say is "of
course it is!" A sense and perspective of right and wrong, wholeness
and brokenness, health and disease was implanted in our lives when God
formed us in love. To try to illustrate this point, spend a few moments reflecting on what our world would look like if it were not created by a holy God…in other words,
can you imagine what the world would look like if the law wasn't "written on our hearts"? Below is an article that I adapted as I frantically took notes during this speaker's presentation – I think it is worth a few moments of your time for a number of reasons:
The Land of Chaos – To picture such a
place, you would have to begin to do radical surgery on your
assumptions of all that is good and acceptable and normal. Our holy
God has laid down laws that benefit all of us by His common grace.
Just as the sun shines on believers and nonbelievers alike, the basic
laws of right and wrong positively protect everyone. The God who wrote
those laws also instilled in every man and woman some basic natural
inclinations of right and wrong. That is true in even the most
primitive of cultures around the globe thus proving a universal sense
of justice. Imagine – a world where the following laws of God and
instincts of human beings do not exist: Let’s call this land CHAOS, for surely that would describe such a place:
– In the land of CHAOS, there is no law against lying. There is no
value placed upon truth telling. Thus people speak only that which is
in their best interests. It’s my word against yours, but both of us
are probably lying. Eyewitness accounts, oaths in a courtroom, vows on
a wedding day, commitments shared between parent and child -all mean
absolutely nothing. Newspapers, book, TV shows, research, and polls –
all may or may not present truth. And no one stops them if they are
false. This is a society where no one – no one can be trusted.
– In the land of CHAOS, there is no concept of “Sabbath”. The words,
“rest”, “vacation”, “peace”, “well-being”, and “downtime” do not
exist. No one gets a weekend off, and employees are expected to
perform at high standards of excellence over excessive hours
routinely. Instead of working 8 hours, employees labor from sunrise to
midnight. Everyone must be a workaholic because there is no value in
play. Family life consists of brief meals and sleeping in the same
house. Stress is a way of life and is an epidemic. No one takes time
to smell the flowers. We all die young and unhappy.
– In the land of CHAOS, there is no law against stealing. Everything
is fair game – there is no such thing as rightful ownership. Fences,
locks, security systems are nonexistent. If I want your DVD player,
the answers to your exam, or your wife, I just reach out and grab. No
one stops me.
– In the land of CHAOS, there are no commandments or inner instincts of
honoring parents. Children rule the home. There is no respect for the
wisdom and experience of those who are older. Families are
dysfunctional because no framework for authority and discipline has
been established. All children grow up without the benefit of shared
values and traditions because they were never first trained to honor
and obey their parents.
– In the land of CHAOS, there is no law to treasure and protect
children. Little ones are not viewed as precious gifts from God, but
only as more workers for the business, or as tools for the interests
and whims of adults. Child abuse is rampant and no one lifts a finger
to stop it. Children are not nurtured and allowed to develop slowly.
They quickly learn that in the land of CHAOS, everyone cares only for
his or her own needs.
– In the land of CHAOS, there is no law against killing. No real value
is placed on human life. If someone bothers you, snuff him or her
out. No one is shocked by murder – it happens all the time. Unborn
children, the handicapped, the elderly, the unlovely, or untalented are
all considered expendable. No judge will ever punish you for killing,
so why not resort to murder to make your life a little easier. Of
course, you never know in CHAOS who may be after your own life, so
everyone lives in constant paranoia and fear. Even children carry guns
and knives. No one is safe anywhere.
– In the land of CHAOS, people are encouraged to be envious and
covetous. The slogan that everyone abides by is, “he or she with the
most toys wins”. There are advertisements everywhere for goods and
material possessions. Ads are placed on everything from diapers, to
school notebooks, to jerseys of sports teams, and to the transportation
vehicles that are used throughout society. People are told to want
more and more. There are wars that develop because people don’t have
enough. Everyone is told to do whatever is necessary to get exactly
what you want in life. People are never happy or content.
you may be thinking – wait a minute…the land of CHAOS is a lot like
the world is now. And yes, there is a lot of sin and wrongdoing. But
herein lies the difference – most people are still outraged by the
violation of these laws. And when anyone of us becomes a victim of
lawbreaking, we have a place to turn. As imperfect as it may be, there
is a system of justice in place. In the land of CHAOS, might and
privilege are the only rulers. That place lacks courtrooms prisons,
fines, stoplights, speed limits, drug laws, abuse restrictions, oaths
or any other foundation for justice. Who would want to spend a single
moment in the land of CHAOS? Don’t you want to worship God for His
absolute holiness and for how His laws protect you?