American society has become obsessed with the idea of “rights.” Everybody is always talking about their right to this or that. We hear of everything from human rights to animal rights, the right to health care to the right to broadband internet access. We talk about our “rights” in such broad terms that most people do not even know what the word means anymore, much less the far greater underlying admission of such a declaration.
Consider the meaning of the word “right.” If you were to look in a recent edition of Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, you would find 62 different definitions for the word. Some of them are old definitions not commonly used today; some are specific to certain fields of study or practice. However, in our discussion, the 20th of these definitions is the pertinent one; there the term is defined as, “that which is due to anyone by just claim, legal guarantees, moral principles, etc.” The definition continues with the example of freedom of speech in America being a right. A right is something that is due someone, something they are owed for any number of reasons.
When most people talk about a right, they mean that they are owed or deserve whatever is under discussion because of whom and what they are. But have you ever considered the declaration that is being made with such an argument?
On one hand we are being taught and force-fed the idea that there is no God, we are simply the product of billions of years of evolution. As such there are no moral or ethical standards to be upheld; mankind, as simply another animal, is left to his own devices to decide and determine what is right and wrong and the guidelines of the species.
On the other hand, the same people will then argue for their rights of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and their rights to pursue any lifestyle, philosophy, and course of action they desire. Nevertheless, something is missing: if all they are is another form of animal – they have no rights! A right is something that is due, owed, or deserved; yet, as nothing more than an animal, one would not deserve any more than they could take or another chose to give them. The “rights” of this country would be nothing more than the thoughts and ideals of other men and therefore can be removed at any time, by anyone who exerts the power and authority to do so. If evolution is true, I have no rights; there is no standard of right and wrong, or good and evil; and all the “rights” in the world are nothing but the useless prattle of previous generations and controlling interests that have no bearing on the direction taken from this day forward. Laws are meaningless and the only thing that matters is who has the power to dictate their will upon others.
But if there is a God and he is greater than I, with full authority and power; and he has made available to man certain rights, privileges, and a standard of law and righteousness, then by what means can I argue he does not exist? I could ignore him, as men did in the days of the judges when every man did what was right to him (Jud. 17:6); I could show disrespect for him as the Israelites did on the numerous occasions they went after other gods; but I could never deny him; because without him I have no rights, no guarantees, no protection, no guidance, and no hope. Give thanks to God that this nation was founded upon principles of belief in God, and the recognition of his Word. It is that foundation that has made this nation so much better than most in the world for the last 229 years.
So the next time someone comes up to you declaring their rights thank them for the admission of Divine authority and seek to show them what else that authority means for their life.