If Anything Can Go Wrong ... It Will

Have you ever heard of Murphy’s Law? You probably have but didn’t know where it came from. Basically an engineer named Murphy had an important experiment go royally whacked, and in a fit of frustration coined the phrase – “if anything can go wrong…it will.”

So then people came along after Murphy and started applying his law to everyday situations. See if you agree with these examples:

Murphy’s Love Laws:

• Brains x Beauty x Availability = Constant.
This constant is always zero.
• If you believe a relationship can't work, but feel the need to try, it won't.
• When she says: "Don't buy me anything expensive" and you listen, expect to be single.

Then there are Murphy’s Gravity Laws:

• A falling object will always land where it can do the most damage.
• A shatterproof object will always fall on the only surface hard enough to crack or break it.
• A slice of buttered bread, when dropped, will always land butter-side down. Which reminds me of the whole “dropped kitty will always land on its feet” which then leads to my all time favorite

Murphy’s law of paradox:
• if you strap a piece of buttered toast to the back of a cat, butter side up, and drop the cat out a window, it will fall to approximately a foot above the street, and hover there, spinning.

The one that I looked for but wasn’t able to find was a Murphy’s Law of absolute truth. So here’s my shot at it:

If someone claims to know or have absolute truth, it will be absolutely denied by other people.

In other words, most people just don’t want to believe that there are absolutes – especially when it comes to moral absolutes. I read one survey that reported 80% of teenagers do not believe in absolute truth in areas of what is right and wrong.

Why? Because people want options, and they definitely don’t want to face up to the fact that there exists absolute truths that apply to all people everywhere. So they put their fingers in their ears when they sense God trying to communicate statements like these:
• Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
• Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32)
• Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. (John 17:17)

What did He say was truth? Our feelings? Our philosophies? Nope…Jesus said He was the truth, His teachings are the truth, and God’s word is truth.

And that’s the truth. Absolutely.

So what’s the big deal about believing or not believing in absolutes? A lot, actually. In fact, more of a big deal than I can put in this Soul Fuel. But I will leave you with an *example that demonstrates how denying absolute truth and embracing moral wishy-washy wiggleness can have devastating consequences:

A thief is casing a jewelry store so he can rob it. He has entered it to check out any visible alarm settings, locks, layout, etc. In the process, he has unexpectedly gotten involved in a discussion with the owner of the jewelry store whose hobby is the study of philosophy and believes that truth and morals are relative.

"So," says the owner, "everything is relative. That is why I believe that all morals are not absolute and that right and wrong is up to the individual to determine within the confines of society. But there is no absolute right and wrong."

"That is a very interesting perspective," says the thief. "I was brought up believing that there was a God and that there was right and wrong. But I abandoned all of that and I agree with you that there is no absolute right and wrong and that we are free to do what we want."

The thief leaves the store and returns that evening and breaks in. He has disabled all the alarms and locks and is in the process of robbing the store. That is when the owner of the store enters through a side door. The thief pulls out a gun. The owner cannot see the man’s face because he is wearing a ski mask.

"Don’t shoot me," says the owner. "Please take whatever you want and leave me alone."

"That is exactly what I plan to do," says the thief.

"Wait a minute. I know you. You are the man that was in the store earlier today. I recognize your voice."

"That is very unfortunate for you," says the thief. "Because now you also know what I look like. And since I do not want to go to jail I am forced to kill you."

"You cannot do that," says the owner.

"Why not?"

"Because it is not right," pleads the desperate man.

"But did you not tell me today that there is no right and wrong?"

"Yes, but I have a family, children, that need me, and a wife."

"So? I am sure that you are insured and that they will get a lot of money. But since there is no right and wrong it makes no difference whether or not I kill you. And since if I let you live you will turn me in and I will go to prison. Sorry , but that will not do."

"But it is a crime against society to kill me. It is wrong because society says so."

"As you can see, I don’t recognize society’s claim to impose morals on me. It’s all relative. Remember?"

"Please don’t shoot me. I beg you. I promise not to tell anyone what you look like. I swear it!"

"I do not believe you and I cannot take that chance."

"But it is true!" I swear I’ll tell no one."

"Sorry, but it cannot be true because there is no absolute truth, no right and wrong, no error, remember? If I let you live and then I left, you will break your so-called promise because it is all relative. There is no way I could trust you.”

"But it is wrong to kill me. It isn’t right!"

"It is neither right or wrong for me to kill you. Since truth is relative to the individual, if I kill you, that is my truth. And, it is obviously true that if I let you live I will go to prison. Sorry, but you have killed yourself."

"No. Please do not shoot me. I beg you."

"Begging makes no difference."

.... Bang....

Looks like Murphy’s Law applies again. If you deny absolute truth, it just one day might deny you right back.

*(source: Pastor Don Jaques - www.sermoncentral.com)


Lane Palmer is the Youth Ministries Specialist for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with to provide resources for youth leaders and students. Dare 2 Share exists to energize and equip teens to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries or the GameDay youth conference tour, please visit www.dare2share.org. Send feedback to lane@dare2share.org.