Excerpt from the blog of Pastor Mark Shaw, Calvary Baptist Church, Greenville, Michigan.
The grandchildren like to play Chutes and Ladders, Trouble, Don’t Break the Ice and other games that I haven’t played in a long time. One thing I have to be aware of is their tendency to change the rules of the game. I’m generally the learner in these situations and they are teaching me to play. Their position of power is an occasion to demonstrate their depravity. They state the rules but when the roll of the dice causes difficulty for them they often try to change the rules.
This is the problem of autonomy.
Francis Schaeffer (explaining Rutherford, 1640) would have said this was the difference between Rex/Lex and Lex/Rex. In Rex/Lex, the king makes the rules and can therefore change them when they don’t suit him. In Lex/Rex, the rules govern the king; he is subject to them in spite of his place of power. Our culture was rooted in Lex/Rex for many years. We believed there were certain moral absolutes that were not to be changed at the whim of the “prince or the people.”
We have, in recent years, been drifting toward Rex/Lex. Believing mankind to “be the measure of all things,” we believe we can make the rules. We have not embraced complete anarchy where we all do what we please but we have embraced (as a culture) the idea that either the elite or the popular vote can adjust the rules to suit our situations.
In 1973, the Supreme Court made the taking of preborn human life legal. More recently, they changed the definition of marriage and even allow the individual (regardless of science) to pick their gender. Of course this has no end. Once we abandon moral absolutes and transcendent values we are on a crash course of self-destruction. Make no mistake, science is no longer king, and law and absolutes were jettisoned years ago; autonomy is king today.
The mantra of this worldview is “my body my choice.” I still believe this is my Father’s world and though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet. Humbling ourselves under His mighty hand leads to freedom and life that the proponents of autonomy only dream about. Peter said it well, “Save yourselves from this wayward generation.” And, choosing to apprentice with Jesus is still the way, the truth and the life!