It is an impossibility to play any game without knowledge of the rules. After the rules are known it is folly for one to play the game without adhering to given rules. So too, it is impossible for anyone to go through the experience called Life without any rules. The situations and circumstances which confront a person are often extremely complex and paradoxical. Yet they all demand from the same person a response. Everyone must adopt a standard by which he judges how he is to react to Life. There is a standard, typified by Ernest Hemingway of facing Life, especially its bitter aspects, with one’s chip up, ready to meet its cruel attacks without flinching, never compromising the dignity of man. There is another standard which advocates enduring hard knocks as best one can but which urges one to get as much pleasure and enjoyment out of this life as possible. The most prevalent modern standard is that of doing everything with one eye cocked on the “good of humanity.” Do all for the glory of humanity.
Christian young people adopt standards for life also. Here lies the entire issue for by virtue of the name Christian is implied reliance upon The Standard, in conjunction with which all other standards are seen to be rebellions. There may not be standards ( in the plural) for life, and the fact that men do adopt standards does not negate their subjection to the only rightful One. Continually, the Almighty God reveals to man one measure with which every deed and every speech must be judged. This mighty measure has been mouthed by so many that it is now expressed in a tired, old cliché, the glory of God. But it’s tiredness is due only to the meaningless way in which men have verbally tacked it on to empty statements. This Standard has infinite depth and power, and its power, brought to bear on all other standards, show in glaring contrast their hideous worthlessness. The “ dignity of man” and the “good for humanity” are rebellious, but they are pathetic rebellious. Then to say that Christian young people adopt standards for their lives is to speak in contradictions. To speak of Christian young people is to speak of young people who are committed to The Standard. To them, the glory of God is a living, potent force. It is exclusive, that is, it allows no companion standards. Possessors of the The Standard are possessed by The Standard. Now it may be that what the majority of men hold as their goals is included under the Christian’s ,yet the common standards never exist as co-equal with the Glory of God. A Christian seeks pleasure, but not as an end in itself. A Christian deals with men in a manner that results in their good but only as such dealing follows from the principle of the glory of God.
The Proposer of all other standards is a favorable position today. He has no trouble in getting his children to accept his standards, and because the lines between his children and God’s children are so hazy (there is no persecution to delineate them), Satan feverishly waves his standards before God’s children.
And Christian young people adopt standards for life.
Of course, Satan hides the either-orness of choosing a guiding principle. That one lives by God’s Standard or by a God-less standard is minimized by the Salesman as he presents in Christian young people a great stock of possibilities. Won’t you take Pleasure? Or perhaps Fame? The merchandise is alluring, but remember the price. The price is high. The price is The Glory of God.
The first step in Satan’s procedure is to get the attention. Necessarily, their eyes must be turned from God before they can mull over Satan’s warehouse of Guides for Life. There has to be boredom stimulated in young people’s society. Criticism must be aroused against the always susceptible minister. The Bible has to be shown to be unintellectual and sissified for young people. Then the standards of the Deceiver can be appreciated. Pleasure and enjoyment become the criteria, one must have a good time you know. The consciousness of God’s complete ownership over life itself disappears, and young people begin choosing vocations where the most money and most prestige reside. They are made to feel that their lives are their own and that they must do the best for themselves. Teaching in Christian schools should be avoided since incompatible with high finances, but if chosen for a vocation, it is chosen because of the high prestige value within the Christian community.
However, God’s demand upon the life that for some amazing reason He has given you is not satisfied with pat answers. If His demand upon your life is that you teach in a Christian school, His demand also includes that you do it for His glory, and not your glory. The fact of being a good member within a church or a member with a good church, as such means nothing. Certainly, compliance with The Standard demands both, but only as ablaze with the Glory of God. His Rule for our life know no holidays. There is no New Year’s Eve that permits discarding His Rule and putting on Satan’s of pleasure in drunken revelry. Such a thing as claiming exemption from “doing all to the glory of God” until one becomes twenty-one or thirty is impossible. The Standard of God is ablsolute; it is relevant to every person at every age in every situation. Yet only by a few is it admitted and only by a few is it grasped with grasp of love.
For you see, to speak of a Christian of The Standard being only a duty or obligation is to present but a part of the total picture. Eating and drinking are duties but whoever concentrates on that aspect alone does injustice to the complete view of eating and drinking. To victims of the Deceiver, The Standard is an obligation and a real one. For those , in whom God has imbedded His Standard, the duty is one of desire and love. The glory of God is the measure of all they do because they with it to be. Their eyes have been made capable of seeking that only this guide solves all problems. In the very presence of death, where every God-less assurance is laid bare in it puniness, the Christian’s confession has a confident ring.
Inevitably, there will be a distinctiveness about Christians. The Christian young person, although no beatni, will be a nonconformist. The things he will not do and the reason why he does what he does, mark off aChristian young person as clearly as a snowball in a coal bin. C.S. Lewis in his symbolic novel, Perelandra, tells about spiritual beings who, having come to earth, were conspicuous in that they were not “ straight up and down.” They walked at an angle as if the earth’s center of gravity were not their center of gravity. They were drawn by a heavenly “gravity.” In some such way the Christian’s walk in life must be. It must be apparent to all the world that the Christian is not “ walking straight” but is walking at that true angle determined by God’s gravity.