Tuesday, August 7, 2007

“Whatever is Right,” Part II

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right…think about such things.” Philippians 4:8, NIV

Three weeks ago we covered the definition of this third standard of Philippians 4:8, right or righteous. We ultimately defined it as conformity to three things: God’s standards (e.g. the 10 Commandments), God’s will (e.g. giving thanks in all circumstances), and God’s character. (For further review, check out Part I.)

Now how this applies to living may seem obvious, even if it’s difficult to carry out, but what does “righteous” fiction look like?

In many ways, this expands on our first standard, “whatever is true.” But where that dealt with facts/laws—things written into the world or which we know innately (historical fact, scientific law, moral truth)—this third standard speaks to those truths specifically revealed in Scripture.

Maybe it’d be wise to define a couple terms. Moral truth/law, as I’ve been using it, is those spiritual truths written into the world much like scientific laws and which we know innately, whether we want to admit it or not. We drink poison and we will die—that’s scientific law. We sin; we will die—that’s moral law.

But the truth that the third standard refers to is Scriptural or revealed truth. We do not know this innately, so God reveals it to us through His word, the Bible. For example, Jesus is the son of God (Matthew 16:15-17).

Therefore, not only is fiction to conform to moral law, but also to revealed truth: If a novel or movie declares Jesus is merely a man, it defies the revealed truth of God’s character. If a theme promotes revenge over forgiveness, it violates the revealed truth of God’s will (Romans 12:17, 19-21). If a story shows that adultery okay, it disregards the revealed truth of God’s standards.

So does your reading line up with the Word of God?

Feet on the ground, head in the clouds,
Chawna Schroeder

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