I had the privilege of teaching a basics of physics course for Rivendell Sanctuary this winter. It was great fun to again journey through the fundamental laws that stand behind the phenomena of nature. But, as I was teaching Newton's laws and the principles of gravity, motion, and heat, it occurred to me that these truths stand as a meta-narrative that describes the physical world. We rely on these "truths" every day of our lives as we fly on airplanes, drive our cars, use our computers, and just generally go about our lives. Our safety and survival, in fact, depends upon an implicit understanding and utilization of the principles that govern the physical world.. In fact, these regulations have been confirmed so many times and in so many ways that they are deemed to be "laws" of nature; that is they always operate at every time and place on this planet.
No one would dare jump off a ten story building, thinking that gravity is just a convention invented by old white men to keep us from experiencing the joy of flying. And just as these laws govern nature so there is a set of moral principles that govern the human experience. These principles have also been confirmed countless times in human experience. And in like manner, only the foolish set them aside as mere conventions of culture or society.
With all the talk about marriage today, let us look at its "evolution" and the impact these changes have had upon our society. Marriage was one of the first targets of the enlightenment and its attack upon traditional values. Going all the way back to Freud, sexual repression was seen as one of the worst impediments to human happiness. And, restricting sex to marriage only was the first thing that had to go, in the pursuit of "freedom."
But where has this taken us? And, are we better off as a society as a result? The obvious answer is, "no." We see the carnage all around us of broken marriages, single-parent households that produce children living in poverty, failing in school, and experiencing the horrors of drugs, gangs, and crime. The problem will only get worse as fewer and fewer young people choose marriage as an important stage in their lives. We are already seeing the dramatic increase in percentages of births among unmarried women and in the declining numbers of young couples that are choosing to marry, particularly among the non-college educated. We are looking at a disaster in the making as this generation, led by the pied pipers of the enlightenment, jump off buildings under the delusion that they can fly.
As much as the Bible is discredited and ignored in our culture, its principles have stood the test of time and of life. Contrary to what our culture tells us, traditional morals are the path to contentment, freedom, and happiness. As Proverbs 10:16 tells us, "The wages of the righteous is life." This is not just a life in the here-after, it is life here and now. Just as their are physical laws that govern the natural order, so there are moral laws the \govern the human experience. We would do well to pay attention to the principles of life that God has given us in His word.