Making the right choices

Making the right choices

Making the right choices

"Everything is permissible for me"--but not
everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I
will not be mastered by anything." 1 Corinthians 6:12

At the end of May, six senior students of Napier's,
Taradale High will be sentenced, for the sexual violation of a fellow student.
The ringleader, Andrew Castles had earlier pleaded guilty and turned crown
evidence against his schoolmates. A self proclaimed Christian, Castles had not
taken part in the drinking that had led to the rape but was instrumental in
leading the attack. All the students claimed that the assault was a prank that
had got out of hand. In the condemning light of societal abhorrence, the
forcible insertion of a Vicks smeared broom handle into a teenager's anal
cavity can only be viewed as an act of pure malevolence.

News reports on the incident, relate a story of a drinking
party arranged at a students home to celebrate the 18th birthday of
the schools deputy head boy. All the elements of a "good time" were in
place, the parents were away, a keg of beer ordered and invitations had been
made to most of the senior school. The victim was a late invitee, who during the
course of the night consumed too much alcohol and suffered the indignity of
having his eyebrows shaved. In the early hours of the morning as the party wound
down, the victim fell asleep in one of the bedrooms but his slumber was
shattered by his tormentors. The attack that followed left the young man barely
able to walk.

The convicted are reputedly good students who ostensibly had
wonderful futures. They will, in all likelihood go to prison. Society will exact
its punishment but all those involved will be asking how did this ever come to
pass. The presence of alcohol and the lack of adult supervision at the party are
two obvious factors that contributed to the night's events. We have as a
society permitted the reduction of our legal drinking age, under the mistaken
belief that 18 year olds have the maturity to control their behaviour. The young
men involved in this incident were part of the schools student elite; they were
the head boy and his deputy, various members of representative sports teams,
active members in the school choirs and drama productions. These were the very
type of young people who proponents of reducing the drinking age felt could
handle themselves with maturity and responsibility.

The simple remedy would be to raise the drinking age and
ensure adequate supervision is always on hand at teenage gatherings. However
what happened in Napier is symptomatic of a greater collapse in the moral ethic
of our society. We are, in this country held captive by a political correctness
driven by the secular permissive values of "situational ethics". Proponents
of this code state there is no ethical standard that can be uniformly or
consistently applied, for each situation demands its own standard of ethics.
Hence, you may commit adultery provided it is done in love and no one is hurt.
You can even lie, steal and kill if it is done in love. Lying is acceptable to
spare the feelings of someone, or to be socially acceptable. Stealing to help
the poor or the starving can be rationalised as being good. Ultimately you can
take a life, to save the future of a young woman or end the suffering of a
terminally ill patient. In fact, there is no action you cannot perform if, in
your judgment, the action is for a good cause, and if you have the proper motive
in performing it. In such an environment it easily becomes permissible to commit
a fraud by signing your name to artworks created by another person provided it
was for a good cause.

To our detriment we have moved away from those values that
uphold the sanctity of life, respect the rule of law and have a clear definition
between right and wrong. It matters not what laws we have in place, if we do not
have the right values embedded within in our society, we will never "Know how
to refuse evil and choose what is good" Isaiah 7:15-16.

The laws and policy directions that our government expound
are at times the consequence of our apathy as opposed to the will of the
constituency. Special interest groups lobby our lawmakers and critical debate is
at times stymied by accusations from the politically correct of sexism, racism,
homophobia, prejudice, Maori bashing and even Christian fundamentalism. In an
ANZAC day speech, Mr. John Taylor the principal of Kings College in Auckland
admonished the silent majority for not speaking up for the freedom of
expression, the exercise of common sense and respecting the rule of law.

Notably in his speech Mr. Taylor urged shoring up support of
the family as the fundamental basis of all values. In this there can be no
question, the place for building the right values is in our homes. We are
responsible for instilling the Christian values upon which the right choices can
be made into our families. This is not the role of the state, our schools, or
our churches by relinquishing this responsibility to any other person we risk
the future of our children. Sexual violation could never be funny but on that
terrible night those seven Taradale High students failed to see the horror of
their choice.

For the ear tests words as the tongue tastes food. Let us
discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good. Job 34:3-4