A story was told of some teenagers who mixed the price tags on items in a jewelry store window. The result was some very expensive pieces were tagged as very inexpensive, and the reverse with some very inexpensive pieces tagged with extraordinary high prices. Though this was a gag, and the story is probably apocryphal, it does illustrate both the biblical concept of iniquity and the irrationality of our modern society, especially among some evangelicals.
Iniquity in the Bible means “crooked thinking” – high price tags on cheap goods, reverse values and standards. The Old Testament minor prophets spilt a lot of ink condemning the twisted thinking of the people in their generation. It would be nice to say that with all of the scientific advances we enjoy and all of the information available for us that we would no longer have our values mixed up. We should be able to be consistent in our values. Unfortunately, that is not the case. None of us is capable of always having our values consistent with one another. That is because we are human.
So, while we think we are being very logical and that we are consistent, the opposite is often true. The problem with logic is the premise upon which we build our thinking. Logic does not prove or disprove the basic premise, so we can construct a very logical system built on an irrational premise, or a premise that does not conform to reality. We need to call time out from time to time to test the validity of our basic premises.
Current instances of irrational logic are evident in the reports of evangelical Christians refusing services for homosexual weddings. Their premise is: we are opposed to homosexual marriage because it is wrong and violates our conscience, so we will not show approval by providing services. It is their right to hold that belief. However, the premise is irrational because it is limited to homosexual marriage. If it were logical, that Christian conviction would need to be applied to those who are living together without marriage, those in an adulterous relationship, those who are sexually promiscuous, yea, and even to those who have lustful thoughts. It would mean checking the lifestyle of every potential customer to see if it matched their Christian convictions. To be completely logical, it would limit the customer base to Christians only, and further logic would require them to limit customers to Christians who believed exactly like they did. They might even discover that they don’t live up to their own convictions! Surely not!
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Yet, this is typical of a lot of evangelical thinking today. No thought is given to all the consequences of a particular idea, both good and bad. We need to take heed, though, for no one of us is immune to being caught up in an emotional issue, substituting the emotion for thoughtful conviction, and wearing our irrational logic as a badge of Christian witness.