Whose fault is it?
Rules or laws of social interaction and behavior did not develop in a vacuum or simply at a whim. The most basic standards and rules that develop into laws governing the activities and behaviors of a populace are not based on man’s opinions. They can actually trace their fundamental origins and their legal structure back to God’s Law that was given through Moses. The laws that God established are the underpinning of nearly all humanly established laws and govern most social conduct. However, each society seems to pick and choose which ones they wish to emphasize or diminish. As rules develop into codified laws, they are assigned consequences or punishments that are handed down when they are disobeyed.
Some questions come to mind in this discussion. “Who is at fault when a punishment is assigned to an individual for disobeying a particular law?” Are the police responsible because they arrest a person for breaking a law? Is the judge responsible because he or she presides over the determination of guilt or innocence and decides the punishment? Or perhaps the government is responsible because it enacted the law? Certainly, the individual cannot be held responsible because his circumstances made him do it! The only one that is left is God, so he must be responsible since He established the original law!
This type of reasoning is totally absurd, but this is the way that our western world is going. There is a growing tendency to be more and more politically correct, blaming the environment, circumstances, a lack of opportunity, education, etc. The net effect is the shifting of responsibility away from an individual and onto someone or something else. Parents, extended family, co-workers, employers, the government and who knows who or what else are blamed for an individual’s failings, rather than the individual being held accountable for his or her own choices. God created us with the freedom of choice. The individual chooses his or her course of action and is responsible for his or her own choices and their consequences. Impaired judgment based on upbringing, circumstance, ignorance, and other influences are factors, but they do not exonerate a person from responsibility. Freedom comes with responsibility. The two cannot be separated.
Another question is this, “Who allows bad things to happen?” This is probably one of the most important questions that any of us will ever ask. Many people end with the same answer. God must be responsible because He is in charge of everything. On the contrary, neither God nor anyone else is responsible for the actions of an individual who exercises his or her free will. Choices may indeed be limited by circumstance, but we still face daily decisions between good and bad. Therefore, since God does not make the choices, the answer to the question is that we allow bad things to happen by the choices we make. Lack of acceptance of this responsibility leads to denial and deflection. The Bible records the first and second instances in Genesis 3:12-13.
12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.
When Adam ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he basically said that he was just doing what his wife told him to do. However, Adam implied that it was God’s fault because He is the one who gave Eve to him. Then, Eve claimed that the devil made her do it. The third instance came in Genesis 4:8-9 when Cain was caught in his wrongdoing. He denied his responsibility for murdering Abel.
8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
There is always someone or something that you can point to so you can deflect blame away from yourself. However, “It’s not my fault” does not help you. Certain elements also seek to justify or excuse actions based on environmental conditions, circumstances, family, religious upbringing, peer influence, drug or alcohol influence, or a whole host of other factors. However, in the end, even if society chooses not to require it, the individual will be held accountable.
To learn more about the Character and Nature of the God of the Bible: