DO WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE WRONG?
T. PIERCE BROWN
Years ago I wrote an article dealing with the question of whether we have a right to do wrong. Today I wrote a letter to the editor of some area newspapers suggesting some of the same thoughts. I send this one in the form of an article for two reasons: 1. Everyone needs to understand the facts mentioned in the letter. 2. Every Christian needs to be aware of the tremendous opportunities available to you to write to the editor of your local paper and express some eternal truth. Many editors will not publish anything that seems to have Biblical origin, but many will. If enough Christians would speak out when/if/as they have the opportunity on issues that are significant, we could be the kind of salt and light in the world Jesus desires. Remember that it is better to light one candle than merely to curse the darkness. If you are not willing to do that now, when will you?
I have had over three dozen letters published in various papers, most of them calling attention to some Biblical principle, some mentioning such projects as ONE NATION UNDER GOD which deserves nation wide attention. This is one reason I sent the last update to every member of Congress, every major newspaper and many radio and TV stations in theUnited States. How much good it will do, we do not know, but that is God’s business. Ours is to sow the seed; His is to give the increase. He will if you will. Here follows my last letter to the editor:
One reason for our social problems is our failure to distinguish between right and rights. That is, one may have the right to stand on the street corner and shout that 2 x 2= 5 or that the earth is flat, but he is wrong.
Today many seem to think that the Supreme Court can give us the right to practice abortion, or take away our right to pray. They can declare the legality of any activity, but they cannot give rights. Our founding fathers properly state: “We are endowed by our CREATOR with certain unalienable rights.” Only our Creator can properly give us rights, or remove them.
Having a “right” may only mean the freedom to choose, but not that the thing is right of itself. God gave Adam and Eve the right (freedom) to disobey, but not the moral right. In that sense, we all have the right to be wrong. One may have a moral right (even a responsibility) to do a thing for which he has no legal right. Civil disobedience is only morally right when the law prohibits our doing something which God demands (not merely what He permits), or commands us to do something which God prohibits.
For example, we have the God given right (and responsibility) to protest the killing of unborn babies. That does not give us the moral or legal right to burn down an abortion clinic or kill the doctor who does the immoral act. If the law banned the use of a Christmas tree in any public place, we have the right to protest, but we have no right to disobey, for God did not command the use of a Christmas tree anywhere.
Failure of theologians, politicians and the media to emphasize these truths has done great damage to the moral fibers of our nation.