|Vol. 14 No. 3 March 2012||
Donald R. Fox
Have you noticed the practice of spreading the guilt? When something happens in the business world, misdeeds, a leak of information, a scandal, etc., why is it necessary to place the blame on upper management and everyone up and down the ladder? Elected government officials love to spread the guilt, don’t they? Of course, sometimes there is blame throughout a system. We need to get to the point that we place blame on the guilty parties – not on the whole chain of management. It may be that our news media loves to spread the guilt, therefore, inventing a juicy piece of news. It could be and may not be. I must admit I am very censorious when it comes to our liberal news outlets.
The military system of justice is not perfect. However, they do not try to spread guilt if they can prove who the guilty party is. An example may be the My Lai Massacre, during the Viet Nam War. Second Lt. William Calley was found guilty of this crime because he was in command of his platoon. Why spread the guilt to those that were innocent? Many questions came up during the Court Marshal of 2nd Lt. Calley. A few innocent soldiers were treated very badly by some US Congressmen. Unfortunately, many times the whole truth is muffled and unknowable. When an ethical/moral occasion arises, and we are faced with a decision we must make, always remember, “…We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29 KJV). Side note: A basic truth in the military is that you are not under obligation to obey unlawful orders.
Two Biblical Examples of Placing
Sinful Behavior on the Guilty Party
Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. (Ezekiel 18:19-20 KJV)
And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, there were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul. (2 Samuel 12:1-7)
[Editor’s Note: Accountability is something that humans may often skirt in this life, but individual accountability before God has always been a durable tenet. “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin” (Deuteronomy 24:16 NKJV). See Ecclesiastes 12:1-14 and 2 Corinthians 5:10. ~ Louis Rushmore]
D. Gene West
If one had a dollar for every time he had heard someone say, “I can’t trust the Bible because it is filled with contradictions,” he could do his part to stimulate the economy! Today, we wish to examine that charge, although we will not delve deeply into scientific or linguistic matters. At the outset, we wish to emphasize that if one does not care how he uses the Bible, he can make it say anything, including making it contradict itself. For example, we can prove, if we use Scripture out of context and dishonestly, that it teaches us to commit suicide by hanging. The Bible plainly says of Judas, “Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:5). In Luke 10:37, Jesus said, “Go and do likewise,”and in John 13:27, Jesus commanded, “What you do, do quickly.” So, if one cares not how he uses the Word of God, he can make it teach whatever he likes, including that we should all quickly commit suicide by hanging. Someone will object, “That is ridiculous!” Yes, it is! However, it is no more ridiculous than the way many “prove” things from the Bible in other instances. Furthermore, it is no more ridiculous than the “evidences” some assert for the Bible’s contradicting itself! The point is that we must be honest in the way we use the Bible, or any other book, or we can make it prove anything we want it to prove. Here is another oddity; when it comes to secular books written by men, this kind of dishonesty will seldom, if ever, be used. Yet, when it comes to the Bible, this kind of “interpretation” is so common it is tiresome!
We must begin the study by asking the question, “What is a contradiction?” The dictionary defines it as follows: “something illogical: something that contains parts or elements that are illogical or inconsistent with each other" (Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2003). If someone were to say the sky is blue and someone else were to say that it is green, we have an apparent contradiction. This is the general definition of contradiction that needs to be expanded on by pointing out what a contradiction is in logic. It is something that cannot both be and not be at the same time. Copi in his Introduction to Logic, third edition, put it in these words, “the principle of contradiction asserts that no statement can be both true and false” (244). Hence, when one is presented with statements that seem to contradict one another, he must ask himself three questions: (1) Is the same thing, or the same person under consideration in both statements? (2) Is the same time period in view in both statements? (3) Is the language (words) that appear to be contradictory being used in the same sense in both statements? These are important questions and must be answered correctly in order to determine whether or not a contradiction exists. For example, if one were to come across the statements: Jay is rich. Jay is poor; he would ask, do these words contradict? The answer is — not necessarily, for the first statement may refer to Jay Rockefeller and the second to some other person having the same first name. We need to know that the writing we are accusing of being contradictory is speaking of the same thing, regarding the same time, using words in the same way. When we do that — we find none in the Bible!