How Right is Right?


Leaving dinner tonight, I spotted two guys in the parking lot talking. God impressed upon my heart to go over and talk with them.

One guy was named Miguel; the other was Aiden. I asked them was their personal beliefs were for entering Heaven. Aiden answered first and talked about how he believed being a good person was the answer. Miguel simply replied, “Jesus.” I responded that Jesus was rather a loaded word, and I asked Miguel to clarify. He did, and it was evident that he understood. Aiden, on the other hand, was a different story.

We talked a bit about sin, righteousness, and the need for Jesus. Then, Aiden shared a bit more about his beliefs.

Aiden grew up religious; his parents are religious, but, according to him, he no longer believes definitively in God. Instead, he believes in a higher power. Aiden shared that, at the end of the day, each person had to do what was right by them, and that was all that was necessary. To this end, I challenged him with two things to think about.

“First, if you believe you are right, and I think I am right, how do we know which person is truly right? Or, how do we know if either of us is right–we could both be wrong? Furthermore, how right is right? Is one person’s version of right “righter” than another’s? What moral standard are we using to determine right or wrong? Every person–spiritual or non-spiritual, Christian, atheist, or somewhere in the middle–has a standard for what they believe is right. Arguing for an individualistic moral standard is self-defeating. In fact, if our standard was the right one, most of the time, we don’t even live up to our own standard–we’re guilty of breaking our own moral code.”

“The Bible says that God’s standard for us is perfection. If I was sinless from this point forward, would I be perfect?”

Aiden responded, “No, because of all the sins you had committed previously.”

I then asked, “If a passing grade is 60, and you made a 40 and I a 20 on the test, does it matter that your score is better than mine?”

Aiden, again with the correct response, “No, we both failed.”

I told him that he was exactly right. It doesn’t matter how much better one person is than another. The passing grade is perfection, and we’ve both failed.

“Second, you’ve talked about Jesus and some about the Ten Commandments. I’ve shared with you about the same and how God’s moral law is the ultimate standard. Let’s say for a second that I’m wrong and God doesn’t require perfection, and he doesn’t determine the moral standard. If that were the case, then what would be the point of Jesus? Why did he have to die?”

Miguel responded, “Love.”

“I agree,” I said. “However, honestly, I don’t think I love myself enough to endure that much torture and pain on a cross. I definitely wouldn’t do it for someone else.”

At that point, I thanked them for talking with me and encouraged Aiden to think about the two final things I shared.


Will You Pray for Us?

Church had concluded for the morning, and my family and I only had an hour to eat lunch…

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