In politics, everything revolves around the positioning of right, left, and center. You’re either rightwing, leftwing, or a centrist. Politicians and non-politicians alike employ all three terms as if there’s a consensus on the parameters for those designations. Even if this were true, who gets to determine what’s right, left, and center, and how are those determinations made? Over time, the parameters shift (always further to the left), so how is someone on the right to know he’s now a centrist or a centrist to know he’s now on the left?
No Standard=No Answers
There are no answers to these questions because there is no standard for these terms. The terms are completely arbitrary, defined at any given time by finite man and his fickle ethics rather than by Yahweh1 and His immutable morals. Although the following example doesn’t specifically address right and left, it illustrates the disparity between man’s ever-changing standard and Yahweh’s never-changing standard:
Two people could have walked down any U.S. street in 1930 – one with a bottle of whiskey under his arm and one with a bar of gold in his pocket, and the one with the whiskey would have been a criminal whereas the one with the bar of gold would have been considered a good law abiding citizen. If the same thing happened in any U.S. city in 1970, the one with the whiskey would be the law abiding citizen and the one with the gold bar would be the criminal.2
In a mere forty-year period, man’s standard had completely reversed itself. The same transposition of ethics has occurred innumerable times under all governments based upon the traditions of man.
Isaiah 33:22 and James 4:12 declare that Yahweh is the exclusive legislator. There are no others, period! Anyone who claims the title of legislator (particularly when his “laws”—whether commandments, statutes, or judgments—are inconsonant with Yahweh’s) is a usurper and is perpetuating the sin begun by Adam and Eve. The same is true for any one of us who would modify Yahweh’s triune law.
Making Lawful Illegal . . .
Any legislation antithetical to Yahweh’s turns evil to good and good to evil (Isaiah 5:20). When man rejects Yahweh’s standard of morality, it is inevitable he will make legal what Yahweh has made unlawful (e.g., infanticide and sodomy) and make illegal what Yahweh has made lawful (e.g., monotheistic Christianity outside the four walls of church buildings).
Yahweh is the only lawgiver because as Creator He’s the only one with the authority to determine what is good and evil. His morals as codified in His commandments, statutes, and judgments determine what is right and left. Anything left of His right(eousness) is left, liberal, and ungodly.
A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left. (Ecclesiastes 10:2)
While foolishness has its inherent liabilities, our right/left positioning has even more serious consequences:
And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels….” (Matthew 25:32-34, 41)
Unless your right is God’s right, your right is left. More to the point, unless your righteousness is God’s righteousness, your righteousness is wickedness. This is reminiscent of the days of the Judges, a time when most people rejected Yahweh as their king, and “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 16:25)
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but Yahweh pondereth the hearts. (Proverbs 21:2)
It should be clear that we the people, individually and collectively, have no answers for what’s right and what’s left—that is, what’s righteous and what’s unrighteous. We the people are the problem, and left to ourselves, we only make matters worse. We certainly do not have the wherewithal to “establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility” and “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
We might try to blame the politicians. But the politicians are a part of we the people, and the people are responsible for voting the politicians into office. We cannot escape our culpability. Our only solution is Christ’s righteousness, secured individually by His blood and exercised communally through His law.
When today’s politicians (Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, etc.), churches, preachers, and most people claiming to be Christians are measured against Yahweh’s standard, they are found to be merely left- or right-leaning liberals. We must abandon these counterfeit qualifiers, provided by who knows whom, and endeavor to point people back to Yahweh and His immutable standard for right and left.
For more regarding this standard and how it applies today, see Law and Kingdom: Their Relevance Under the New Covenant.
1. YHWH, the English transliteration of the Tetragrammaton, is most often pronounced Yahweh. It is the principal Hebrew name of the God of the Bible and was inspired to appear nearly 7,000 times in the Old Testament. In obedience to the Third Commandment and in honor of His memorial name (Exodus 3:15), and the multitudes of Scriptures that charge us to proclaim, swear by, praise, extol, call upon, bless, glorify, and hold fast to His name, I have chosen to use His name throughout this blog. For a more thorough explanation concerning important reasons for using the sacred name of God, see “The Third Commandment.”
2. W.W. Turner, The Amazing Story of the British Sovereign (Nashville, TN: 1970) p. 4.