2 Timothy 2:25–26, Grant them repentance.This verse indicates that sinful humans can’t even repent of sin properly on their own strength. Repentance is a gift that YHVH grants to those who have a heart for it—that they will come to their senses and turn from falling prey to the snares of the devil that have bound them in sin. Moreover, verse 25 indicates that YHVH may or may not grant people this gift.
Elsewhere we read that YHVH is not willing that anyone should perish, but desires that all men everywhere come to repentance (Acts 17:30; 2 Pet 3:9). From these scriptures, we may conclude that whether YHVH grants the gift of repentance or not depends on whether a person is sick enough of his sin to cry out to YHVH for help in desperation for deliverance.
This gift of repentance can occur at the beginning of one’s spiritual walk as they are coming to faith, or later down the road when one is repenting of reoccurring sin that, in their own strength, they feel powerless to overcome.
This gift comes as a result of trusting YHVH completely and not relying on one’s own strength to overcome sin. Faith in Elohim and humility on the part of the sinner is the key that unlocks access to the gift of repentance.
There is a time and season for everything. That sounds like an innocuously bland and self-evident statement, but not really.
There is a time do to things, as the wise preacher informs us in his famous Ecclesiastes three passage, which begins with the famous words, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die…” and so on.
But the more the years and decades slide past me and am not in the grandparenting season of my life, the more I realize that there is, perhaps, more importantly, a time not to do a lot of things that I might have done at an earlier time in my life. There are battles not to fight, things not to thing (for a Scripture declares elsewhere, “As a man thinketh, so is he”—a scary thought!) things not to do, and definitely things not to say. There are several reasons that immediately come to mind for not doing these things.
First, and, perhaps, most importantly, it’s about priorities. As one reaches the top of the hill of one’s life and begins the descent on the other side toward death, one can see more circumspectly one’s past life as well as that which remains whether it be a long or a short time. With the stark reality of one’s life in full view and the idealizations of past expectations unfulfilled gone like dust in the wind, that which remains in one’s life suddenly becomes as valued treasure. Add to this the unexpected deaths of loved ones and friends around you, which, to any young people reading this, occurs more frequently the older one gets, suddenly, every breath and heartbeat becomes a cherished gift from the Creator.
The second reason for not doing or saying many things that I might have in earlier years has to do with following the leading of the Set-Apart Spirit of Elohim more precisely instead of jumping unquestioningly in lockstep to the demanding impulses of my impatient, impetuous and sin-oriented flesh. This too has to do with priorities—desiring to be in the perfect will of the Almighty by seeking first the kingdom of Elohim as Yeshua instructed his disciples to do instead of seeking all those other carnal and earthly things.
The third reason for adding the negative adverb not to the statements in Solomon’s famous Ecclesiastes three passage is that the older one gets, one starts getting a little more tired if not physically, at least emotionally from chasing the wind and ending up with little or nothing to show for it. Many things become, as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes definitively declares repeatedly, is vanity of vanities. Suddenly one wakes up and discovers the wisdom of working smarter, instead of harder. This is wisdom, which only comes with age and perspective. It’s wise to conserve energy and to save it for those things that are worth the time and effort, and for which there is a payoff especially in the next life. All else is little more than emptiness and chasing the wind.
Fourth, so much of what we do and say is an expression of human pride and vanity. We are all guilty, so raise your hand. I’ve got mine up! As I get older, I agree with the preacher’s words in Ecclesiastes verse two of chapter one, “‘Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher; ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” When one gets brutally honest with oneself and analyses most of one’s words and actions, human pride and vanity is the pathetic though realistic label that must be applied to most of it. So what does the Almighty have to say about this? What reasons will we give to him on judgment day as to the motives behind most of what we have said and done? What legacy of value are we really leaving to the next generation? Will we be leaving behind a grandiose frozen-in-time, stone cold and lifeless monument to ourselves, or will we have sown seeds into the fertile ground of the lives of those around us that will hopefully bring forth fruit that will not only make the world a better place, but that will also serve to expand the kingdom of Elohim at the expense of the kingdom of darkness?
What is the big deal about the concept of vicarious atonement, that is, someone dying in another person’s place to repair a wrong or an injury? Does there really need to be the shedding of blood for the atonement of sin? This is a concept shared only by Christianity and no other major religions in the world including Judaism. The Christians are always making a big deal about “the cross” and “Jesus dying for our sins,” or “Jesus paying for our sins.” Is this a biblical concept or just some idea of man to put people under bondage to some ancient religious and irrational superstition? Knowing the answer to this question is a matter of life and death.
In Numbers 31:50 we read, “We have therefore brought an oblation for YHVH, what every man has gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before YHVH.” In a similar passage in Exodus 30:15–16, we read, “The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto YHVH, to make an atonement for your souls. And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before YHVH, to make an atonement for your souls” (emphasis added). The question before us is this: Do these passages in the Torah imply that YHVH grants man absolution from sin based something other than the shedding of blood, and by logical extension, does this call into question our redemption from sin through our faith in Yeshua the Messiah’s blood atonement death on the cross?
The concept of atonement can be a confusing one. Some scholars in rabbinic Jewish circles teach that the Torah (i.e. the first five books of the Bible) does not require the shedding of blood for atonement of one’s sin to occur. According to the above scripture, this could appear to be the case. Before briefly discussing the subject of atonement, let us not forget the stern warnings of the Peter the apostle when he warned end-time saints against false teachers who would lure people away from the simple truth of the gospel:
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not….But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceiving while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children, which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Yeshua Messiah, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2 Peter 2)
In the Testimony of Yeshua (New Testament), there is no question that when the concept of atonement (i.e. to make ransom for or to cover over man’s sins) is presented, it is related to the blood of Yeshua, the Lamb of YHVH, being shed for the remission of man’s sins, which is the means through which reconciliation between Elohim and man occurs. In the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), however, the idea of atonement is somewhat broader and at times more generalized in scope. Herein lies the confusion and the misconceived disparity between the Former (Old) and Latter (New) Testaments or Covenants. Are they in opposition to one another, or is the latter the logical outgrowth of the former and compliments or elucidates the former?
The Hebrew word for atonement is kapar. A verb, it means “to make an atonement, make reconciliation, purge. In its noun form, kapar means a ransom, gift, to secure favor”(see Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament [or TWOT], word 1023). Kapar also means “to cover over”and is the same Hebrew word meaning “to cover or smear with pitch”as in caulking the seams of a wooden ship so that it becomes waterproof (see Brown-Driver-Briggs H3722). Our English words cap (as well as the Hebrew kipah, which is a small hemispherical hat that many religious Jewish men wear)and cover are related etymologically to kapar (see The Word—The Dictionary That Reveals the Hebrew Source of Our English, by Isaac E. Mozeson).
What can we learn from all this? Kapar means “to cover” that which is bare, such as the human head. It also means “to smear (or cover) with pitch”so that your ship will not sink drowning all aboard. For example, YHVH instructed Noah to “pitch/kopar [Strong’s H3722] [the ark] within and without with pitch/koper [Strong’s H3724].” Furthermore, kapar means “to ransom” someone that would otherwise be a prisoner of one’s enemy and without the ransom being paid one would probably be killed. Kapar also means “to reconcile”with someone who has the power of life and death over you (e.g. Elohim) and to pacify someone who has the power to do you harm.
Phinehas was no temperamental, mealy-mouthed snowflake, soy-boy in confronting evil! What are YOU doing to confront the those things that YHVH calls evil? Let the example of Phinehas and the other righteous warrior-saints of Scripture inspire you to take stand for Truth and righteousness in these dark and evil times.
Numbers 25:1, Commit harlotry. Sexual immorality has the downfall of many a saint who considers themselves to be strong, righteous and impervious to sinful temptation. There is a terrible price to pay for falling to sexual immorality as the Israelites found out.
The enemy (the world, the flesh and the devil) knows our weaknesses and will do its best to capitalize on them for our destruction. Romans 13:14 says, “But put on the Master Yeshua Messiah, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”
What doors of immorality have you kept open in your life to gratify the immoral cravings of the flesh? What spiritual stronghold exists in your life that the enemy can use to keep you under its thumb and from walking in the joy and freedom of the will of YHVH? It is time to cry out to YHVH for help and deliverance and to repent.
Setting immovable boundaries in one’s heart and mind ahead of time is a major key to resisting sexual temptation successfully. It’s important to decide how far we can go without violating the spiritual guidelines the Scriptures lay out for us to stay righteous sexually, and then not allow ourself too get too close to those limits. For example, if you find yourself in a potentially compromising situation, flee that situation to alleviate the possibility of falling prey to moral compromise (2 Tim 2:22).
Young people who are naturally endowed with strong sexual urges need to bathe their minds in the godly admonitions found in Proverbs chapters one through nine (also note Eccl 11:9–10 and 12:1–14). Learning the ways of wisdom and the fear of Elohim as revealed in these chapters in Proverbs is a vital component to staying strong morally and being triumphant over the wicked temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil.
Numbers 25:7, Phinehas…took a javelin. Phinehas, the priest, rose up against evil—in this case, sexual immorality—and took a stand for righteousness, and YHVH commended him for it. Who are the Phinehases of today?
In standing against sin, Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron the high priest, was not acting as a self-appointed vigilante as it may appear. Rather, YHVH had given the priests, of which Phinehas was one, the authority to act as judges in Israel and to pronounce sentence in criminal matters (Deut 17:9–11). Additionally, Phinehas was doubly justified in his action against the fornicators, since he was an eyewitness of these sexual crimes, and the Torah teaches that the hand of the eyewitness was to be the first to rise up in executing judgment against the criminals (Deut 17:6; Ezek 44:24). So as an eyewitness and as a priest, he was legally justified in his actions. The priests and Levites were to act as Israel’s legal experts (Lev 10:10–11; Deut 24:8; 33:10; 2 Chron 17:9; 30:22; Neh 8:2, 8; Hag 2:11; Ezek 44:23; Mal 2:7) and to make determinations between the holy and the profane (Ezek 22:26; 44:23).
Who are YHVH’s priest on the earth today? According to Peter, and John the saints are those priests (1 Pet 2:7; Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6). As such, the saints presently possess the divinely mandated legal authority to fulfill the responsibilities of the priesthood of old when it comes to teaching the laws of Elohim to the nations in which they live (Lev 10:10–11). Moreover, Yeshua, our Great High Priest, has tasked his disciples with the responsibility and authority to judge righteously (i.e. to make judgments according to YHVH’s standards of righteousness, John 7:24), and to be spiritual fruit inspectors (Matt 7:15–20). Today, this responsibility is primarily exercised within the congregation of the righteous (1 Cor 5:12; 6:1–6). However, besides this, the righteous saints are to act as spiritual salt in this world and to be like a spiritual light on a hill for the world to see (Matt 5:13–16). This means that they are to preach the gospel to the world, to make disciples and to teach those around them all that Yeshua has commanded them (Matt 28:18–20; Mark 16:15–16). This means that the saints have heaven’s authority and commission to act as the spiritual and moral compass and conscience for the nations in which they live. This means that they will be standing against evil wherever and however they can as directed by the Spirit of Elohim, even as Phinehas did.
It is time that the righteous servants of YHVH Elohim begin to stand up in a more vocal and demonstrative way against the evil that is being foisted upon our society by those who are bent upon destroying the family, morality, and any vestiges of biblical standards of righteousness that may still exist around us. In Psalm 94:16, YHVH asks the question of his servants, “Who will rise up for me against the evildoers or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” With this in mind, the question we need to ask ourselves is this: If not me, who; if not now, when? If you have something worth living for, then do you have something worth giving your life for? If those who are caught up in demonically inspired religious systems are willing to die for their faith calling it “a holy war” and “martyrdom for their [demon] god,” can the saints of YHVH at least not take a verbal stand against the tide of evil that is sweeping our society?
The Bible is full of examples of YHVH’s servants standing against unrighteousness in their day and their receiving YHVH’s blessing for it. Several examples include the Hebrew midwives disobeying the edict of Pharaoh to commit infanticide (Exod 1:15–22), Phinehas executing judgment against the fornicators (Num 25:7–8), the three Hebrew children refusing to worship the golden image (Dan 3:8–18), Daniel violating the king’s edicts by praying to YHVH (Dan 6:10–12), John the Baptist criticizing Herod for his adultery (Mark 6:18), Yeshua turning over the money changers’ tables in the temple (Matt 21:12), and Peter and John for disobeying the Jewish leaders’ command to not preach the gospel (Acts 4:18–20). Many more examples could be given. Remember all the biblical prophets?
Numbers 25:11, Has turned back my wrath…because he was zealous. Read Psalm 94:16. What are some other examples of righteous men and women in the Bible who stood up against evil in their day whom YHVH praised for doing so? Did Phinehas rise up against evil in his own carnally-minded, emotionally-based zeal? If not, then whose zeal was he full of? (Read verse 11 again.) When we take a stand against evil as led by the Word and Spirit of the YHVH Elohim, can it ever be wrong to do so, even though the world may not agree with us and may even criticize or persecute us for doing so? Not only that, Phinehas placed his life on the line between the righteous judgment of Elohim and those who were sinning. Many times, the servants of YHVH actually have to leave their comfort zones and place themselves in harm’s way on the ragged edge between good and evil to take a stand for YHVH Elohim. (Note Aaron’s actions in Num 16:46–50.) The examples of such actions from the pages of the Scriptures are too numerous to list. Some notable examples include:
In this brief study, we will examine the characteristics of a society that is spiritually backslidden. Jeremiah the biblical prophet more than 2500 years ago talked about such society (Jer 2:19) that had forsaken YHVH Elohim, the God of the Bible (Jer 1:16; 2:3, 19), and turned, from one degree or another, to Baal worship (Jer 1:16; 2:8, 23, 28; 5:19; 7:8, 17; 9:14; 11:13, 17; 12:16; 23:13). What does this have to with those living in the twenty-first century and what can we learn from this?
Though the prophet Jeremiah is specifically addressing societal conditions of ancient Israel who had turned away from fully following YHVH Elohim, the main issues still apply to any society, ancient or modern, that forsakes biblical spiritual values for secular and materialistic ones. Down through the ages humans are still driven by the same fleshly passions. Although the theater, costumes and actors may have changed, it is still the same play. Human nature has never changed! When a society fails to learn the lessons of history, it will repeat the same mistakes of the past again and again.
While the name Baal — one of the gods of the ancient biblical Canaanites — may mean nothing to modern people, the Hebrew word baal simply means “lord” or “master.” In modern terms, whatever mores, principles or ideals a society has given itself over to and therefore dominates that society become de facto the lord, master (or Baal) or god of that society.
Human history tends to repeat itself over and over again. What has happened before will happen again, because human nature remains the same. We can learn many valuable lessons from mistakes of those who have preceded us. If we don’t, we will make the same mistakes and suffer the same consequences (judgments) as our forefathers.
YHVH Elohim is every-loving and gracious and he constantly warned his people in biblical times to repent of their sins and turn back to him. He is doing the same thing in our day if we will admit our stubborn pride, humble ourselves, and turn back to obeying his ways that bring healing, peace and eternal life.
In the past, the ancients worshiped concrete images that represented the depraved and dark side of man where physical idols represented the ideas behind Baal worship. Today’s Baal worshipers are more sophisticated. They don’t need the physical idols. They have simply bypassed the idols representing the ideas, and worship the ideas themselves. Just because the concrete images (or literal idols) may have gone by the wayside doesn’t mean the concepts don’t still exist.
Baal worship simply represents the dark and depraved side of human nature. For example, Baal Peor was the god of sexual license, and represented the sexually depraved inclinations of man’s nature. Molech was the Baal of child sacrifice. There’s a Baal for every depravity of man. In America, the sexualization of everything, including the premature sexualization of children, which leads to the act of child sacrifice called abortion is an aspect of Baal Peor, which is perhaps the grossest aspect of society’s bent toward the dark side and depraved side of human nature.
Following Baal is very tempting and seductive, since it appeals to the baser inclinations of men’s depraved nature. Men are naturally attracted to Baal worship. This is why the Bible warns us against it.
What is the appeal of Baal worship? Simply this, it takes a lot of energy to move upward, against the force of gravity. Conversely, it takes no effort to slide downward, since gravity naturally pulls us downward. Baal is like a spiritual gravity that pulls us downward effortlessly. Baal is like descending into the dark and dingy basement of a high-rise apartment building, while the penthouse in the same building is like following the path of God, which leads men upwards. It takes more effort to ascend upward than to descend. In fact, descending requires no effort. One doesn’t have to do anything to descend into the darker abysses of man’s baser nature. It takes a lot of energy, however, to move upward to a place of light and hope. In the Bible, Elohim is leading men upward against his base nature. The worship of Baal is everything that leads men downward against his better nature to fulfill his bodily appetites.
As we watch the rise of violent rebellion and civil disobedience in western—formerly Christian—nations (and elsewhere), it would behoove us to determine what is at the root and core of this movement, so that we can determine its source and what our response should be.
Human nature has never changed from the beginning of human history to the present. What is happening today has happened before. Only the actors, costumes and theater venues have changed, but the story’s plot is the same from the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden until now.
This ever-repeating and sad never-ending story goes like this: Elohim the Creator laid down certain rules and guidelines for humans to follow for their own blessing and well-being. Along came a snake in a tree to dissuade humans to rebel against Elohim’s rule of law, and rebellious and malcontented humans egged on by the same God-hating snake (that is, Satan the arch-rebel) have been marching to the same drum beat ever since.
We see the modern manifestations of this same satanic rebellion in the various current leftist movements that like the many-headed Hydra of ancient Greek mythology have many faces: leftism, atheism, secular humanism, moral relativism, socialism, the rise of the nanny-state, the rise in democratic mob rule, race wars, the attack on Judea-Christians values, the rise of false and Antichrist religious systems, evolution, rebellion against western culture and history and so on.
This is not to say that western culture is perfect and that there aren’t systemic problems that need fixing and that some of the issues of the leftist malcontents aren’t legitimate. There are problems that need fixing, but left’s solution of destroying the biblical foundations of the west is not the answer to the problem. The problem is that the left generally wants to kill, steal and destroy in its effort to supposedly correct the problems in western societies that despite their weaknesses have generally done more good than harm in improving the human condition when held up against the backdrop of human history. And the left has no solutions to the problems of western civilization. Their only solutions is societal upheaval—to kill, steal and destroy. They can’t point to one example past or present where their ideologies have worked. In the wake of leftist ideals there as always been mass bloodshed, anarchy, mayhem, repression, loss of freedom, enslavement and loss of social liberties. Always!
To understand the evil spirit that is behind modern leftism, let’s go back to the Bible to one of the earliest leftists—Korah the malcontent. When we study his character, life and methods of operation, we will see many parallels between him and and the modern rabble rousers who are trying to turn society on its head and usurp authority for themselves.
The Spirit of Korah
The spirit of Korah is currently alive and well on planet earth. The righteous must discern, identify and then oppose this evil spirit. Everywhere in every way, this demonic spirit of rebellion is attempting to destroy the work of YHVH Elohim on earth.
The spirit of Korah is the spirit of rebellion against YHVH and his divine authority and biblical truth. In our society, it is manifested in the philosophies of secular humanism, atheism, the New Age Movement, radical environmentalism, earth worship, progressivism, socialism, Marxism, evolution, which are all aspects of the Babylon the Great, New World Order political-religious system that will oppose the saints of Yeshua and Yeshua himself at this second coming. We also see this spirit at work, supported and encouraged in international politics, in our own government, in our educational systems, in the media, in the false religions of the world, and in the apostate church where foundational Judeo-Christian biblical values are being rejected and even demonized.
The spirit Korah, the rebel, has even worked its way into the modern church system where it is attempting to subvert and pervert the truth of Elohim as revealed in the Bible, and to undermine legitimate, YHVH-ordained authority. Every man becomes his own spiritual leader, refuses the accountability afforded by authentic godly spiritual leadership, and basically chooses to do what is right in his own eyes. Many modern churches are going so far as to water down or reject core biblical truths and values and instead emphasize ecumenism, New Age thought, one-world spirituality and a social activist paradigm. Ultimately, this is a rejection of the divine truth of YHVH Elohim as revealed in the Scriptures.
The rebellion of Korah and his comrades against Moses and Aaron and Elohim’s resulting judgment against them is a prophetic picture of what will happen in the end times against all modern Korah-like rebels. In fact, it is a picture of the judgment of Elohim that will happen to ALL sinners who choose to rebel against YHVH, his will, his Word and truth, his plans and purposes and those on this earth who are carrying out his will.
The spirit of Korah continues to manifest itself in uprisings against godly authority both within the church, and globally as the New World Order, which the Book of Revelation calls Babylon the Great, takes a more strident and virulent stand against Elohim, the Bible and the saints.
The fate of Korah and his band of rebellious malcontents is a prophetic picture of YHVH’s end time judgments against all those who dare to stand against him. The second chapter of Psalm speaks about this:
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against YHVH, and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: Adonai shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.… Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
The Spirit of Korah Under a Microscope
Although Korah was a Levite, the grandson of Levi, and therefore a cousin to Moses and Aaron, he was not a priest, but he coveted the priesthood given to Aaron and his sons.
Dathan, Abiram and On were sons Reuben who was the disinherited firstborn son of Jacob and coveted the leadership role over Israel that YHVH had given to Moses and Aaron.
In their minds, this group of men had legitimate and legally based grounds for being discontent. Korah was a Levite and Dathan and his friends were leaders of the firstborn tribe of Israel.
In their minds, they had legitimate gripes against Moses and Aaron. On that basis, they
When confronted with some facts based information, how many times do you hear people say, “…but I feel” this or that, as if their feelings were the basis for everything they do, say or think? Should we make major life decisions based on our feelings? Is it wise to come a conclusion about a matter based on our feelings about it? Should we make moral choices that determine what is right and wrong based on our feelings? To what degree can we trust our feelings? How reliable are they? If we cannot trust our feelings, then what can we trust? These are the questions we will answer below.
In our modern culture, it is becoming more common for people to act or speak based largely, if not totally, on their feelings. Facts and truth are becoming more and more irrelevant. After all, what is truth and who can know it?
For many people, whether they know it or not, feelings have become their “moral compass” determining what is right and wrong and thus their actions. Is this a reliable standard to follow? If everyone is following their feelings, does this promote and insure peace and stability in a society over the long haul? Whose feelings are right and whose are wrong? What happens when what you feel is right conflicts with what I feel is wrong? Who resolves the conflict? Other people making decisions based on their feelings? If feelings are the yardstick by which we measure things, then whose yardstick to we use? These all may seem like difficult questions to answer, but truth is that there is a bottom line to this issue, and it is really quite simple. Let us now discover what that bottom line is and how we can know what is right or wrong, and when and when not to trust our feelings or those of others.
First, what are feelings? The dictionary defines feelings as “an emotional state or reaction; the emotional side of someone’s character; emotional responses or tendencies to respond; a belief, especially a vague or irrational one.” In short, feelings are our emotions as opposed to our rational mind or intellect.
Here are some important questions we need to ask ourselves about feelings:
Aren’t feelings nothing more than subjective emotions? Emotions may be influenced by a person’s biases and prejudices, their base passions, their environment, the culture around them, the environment in which they were raised (family, friends, school, church) or genetics. Are all these things trustworthy and reliable factors for determining the validity of one’s feelings or emotions? If feelings are to be the determiner of what is right or wrong, then who determines whose and which feelings are valid or not?
Can you trust your feelings? Will they always lead you to do the right thing? What is “the right thing” and who determines what is right or wrong and on what basis is such a determination made?