10-01-2017 There Still is an Absolute


October 1, 2017


Well, jury duty is complete. This was my third term in 15 years so that isn’t so bad. And yes, I was called to a case. However, because of my honesty I was dismissed by the judge with his thanks. Not sure whether he meant it though because I was the first to be dismissed and it happen pretty quickly. Let me explain…


On Tuesday I reported to 9th District Court in Kalamazoo as summoned. There were 200 of us assigned to 10 groups. The room was as pleasant as could be, given the setting. From the guards at the metal detector to those who oversaw the process, I found each professional and very courteous. I appreciated that. In fact, everything was really calm until two of the prospective jurors began to verbally argue. If the Bailiff had not been in the room to break them up I honestly believe they would have come to blows. No, it was not me and no, that’s not why I was dismissed… let me finish…


We sat patiently for about an hour until finally our group was called. Collectively we walked down from the 4th floor to the 2nd. Upon entering the court room, we were instructed to set in the pews until the clerk called off names of the first selected 12. I was the 8th juror called and took my seat in the jury box… seat 8, front row, eye to eye with the judge. After the remaining 4 were selected the judge followed by the attorneys began to ask each juror questions.


The judge began with explaining that the case involved a young man caught with cocaine exceeding more than 25 grams. He then began to ask questions. No surprising questions. But I was still taken back by the hesitation some had in answering them. In fact, I could immediately sense the issue was not in the answering… the hesitation was an internal struggle concerning how to answer with political correctness.


Finally, the prosecuting attorney began to question each juror. In fact, he asked 3 rounds of questions of each juror. At the very end he asked, “Does anyone have a major issue with drug use in general within our society? Please raise your hand” That may not have been his exact words but, its close enough. Of the 12, I was the only one to raise a hand. I told him that as a Pastor I had dealt with the effects of drug use on numerous families and that concerned me very much.” He then asked if I thought it would affect my decision. My answer was “yes, I am afraid it would”. Thirty seconds later I was leaving the court room having been dismissed by the judge.


Here is my concern. I used to say that society is forgetting that there are absolutes in this world. I honestly believe that I need to rephrase that statement to say, that society is no longer being taught that absolutes exist. Situational ethics has taken such a firm foothold in our society that right and wrong are no longer fore-runners in the decision process for a major portion of society. The decision process is now contingent on ‘what were the circumstances leading to the decision’ not whether the decision has a morally absolute foundation or not.


You see, the world says, ‘morality is no longer absolute’. Situational ethics took on a life of its own when God’s Word was replaced with psychology and Dr. Spock convincing the world that discipline is harmful. The consequence is that ‘truth’ became defined by man’s ethics rather than by God’s Word. Resulting in society doing what is right in its own eyes and their moto became, “That may be your truth, but this is mine”. The world calls that wisdom. Here is what God says about that through Isaiah…


Isaiah 5:21 (NASB)
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight!


I was removed from the juror’s box because I took an oath at the beginning of the process to be truthful… absolutely truthful. You see, I still believe James…


James 5:12 (NASB)
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.


Ginny Bilbrey recently shared during our Wednesday study about a priest she once invited to speak to her students. In that discussion the priest stated, “God has given us free-will, that is, the ability to make any choice. What God has not given us, is the ability to avoid the consequences of that choice.” I pray that the world will once again come to an understanding that ‘there is an absolute… His name is God’.


Thank You for your faithfulness! Pastor Larry