Sub-Standard Standards

“I the LORD do not change…Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 3:6–7, NIV 1984). 

My Musings – A recent review of the 1987 movie “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” starring Steve Marin and John Candy, caught my eye.  The critic referred to it as possibly the best Thanksgiving movie ever, as well as commenting on its “R” rating.  The critic suggested that if released today, the movie would not receive such a rating due to how the culture has changed since then.

Gets you thinking, doesn’t it?  If standards change with the times can they really be a standard?  In the above example, the implication is that the “standard” is being lowered or loosened.  Of course it sometimes work the other way too.  For example, our “forefathers” who adhered to the “standards” of their day are being cancelled by today’s culture because the “standards” have been raised or tightened.

My point is not to agree or disagree with either of these examples.  Rather it is to point out that if standards are variable, who’s to say what is right or wrong?  Who is in a position to judge anyone else who lived by a different “standard?”  Only one — the LORD who does not change.  By his “decrees,” if it was wrong (“R” rated) in 1987, it is wrong today.  If by His “decrees,” it is wrong today, it was wrong in days gone by.  To paraphrase a portion of the above Scripture — “I the LORD do not change…you have.”  No matter which time-period we are critiquing, the world always opts for sub-standard standards.

My Advice – In my view, a standard that does not change as the culture (or situation) changes (which by definition it should not), is preferable to one that shifts as popular sentiments shift.  A world without such a constant, a fixed point of reference, is a world that is nearly impossible to navigate.  Do not turn away from the moral compass that our Creator has provided.  If you have, “return to [Him], and [He] will return to you.”