Skip to content

From the Newsletter of Messiah Lutheran Church, Eau Claire, Wisconsin–


And what do you think?

What bothers me is that I must be a veritable nincompoop! I can’t open my mouth, but that someone is saying to me: “Who are you that I should listen to you?” Here I stand and nobody seems to know me. You too, dear reader, may have had that same experience. For the discussion has to do with morality. Imagine that such a creature should exist! And imagine that the voice of this dragon should be heard out of my own mouth. And is it not this cloud of smoke and fire that makes me a nincompoop? For everyone is asking me: “WHO ARE YOU TO TELL ME WHAT’S RIGHT OR WRONG?” And being the fool that I am, I look inward and ask: “Well, who am I, really, to tell someone else what’s right or wrong?”

I have heard it said, as an excuse for not entering into a discussion of morality: “Who am I to tell you what’s right or wrong?” And you, O reader, have heard it too. We hope that you have, rather, proved to be such an unwelcome nincompoop. But why, oh why, should there be those who see red and snort: “I can’t be what I want? I can’t live as it suits me? I am surrounded by all these rules and regulations, laws of right living and ethics of proper conduct? I don’t want it! I won’t have it! And who are you, anyway, to tell me what’s right or wrong?”

As Christians, having that wonderful Book in our possession, we are fully aware of what is going on. And because of the Book, we know how to stand our ground. We know what to say, however unwelcome. For the Devil is truly abroad in the land. And he has successfully used the weapons at his disposal. Near the top is the teaching of organic evolution. Truly a nifty weapon in evil hands. For if I am convinced that I am but an animal–if I am convinced that I have no soul with which to enter an afterlife–if I am convinced that I have no more responsibility to mankind than a lion has to an antelope–if I am convinced that I do not have to give answer to a high Being (called GOD)–then who should care what I do or say or think? As with the animal, my own survival comes first. As with the animal, I am number one. The only “right conduct” is that which pleases me. “And who are you, anyway, to tell me what’s right or wrong?” One lion does not tell another lion: “Naughty! Naughty!”

If you have ever said, “It’s a jungle out there,” you have reason to consider yourself right. It is a jungle. A wilderness of immorality. A humanity overgrown with corruption. A confused mass of wrong ideas, empty philosophies, wrecked lives; persons with no conscience, ruthless beyond what we expect of wild animals. To such you and I are simpletons, fools with our heads in the sand and our ideas no better than that of a nincompoop. “Who are you to tell me what’s right or wrong?”

First of all, we had better be right when we do speak. We are the fools if we do not know God’s Word as we should. Even the simpleton (nincompoop) armed with God’s Word is wiser than the king. Be encouraged to know God’s Word, the sword of the Spirit. When you know whereof you speak, then speak. For there IS a right; there IS a wrong. Our God tells us both. And when we speak, let us speak for God. There are those who condemn the teaching of Divine Creation in six days. Indeed, think through the Ten Commandments, and there are many who would condemn, many times over, the contents of each one. You know such people; so do I.

The bottom line is finally this: Don’t be discouraged! After all, we are not alone. And the words we use are not ours. The power we employ is not of our manufacture. It seems to be a losing battle. And day after day, we may seem to lose this skirmish and that confrontation. But we do not lose the war! Know the right. Perform it yourself. Pass it on to your children. Be patient. Be persistent. Be clear. Be firm. Be God’s messenger.

“Who are you to tell me what’s right or wrong?”

“I am just the right person to do so because I am Christ’s.”

–Jonathan P. Schaller