Vol.XIV No.VII Pg.8
September 1977

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Some who are unaccustomed to high speed traffic are appalled at having to enter a five lane "race." They often cause accidents by stopping before entering the expressway, or by entering too slowly. The approach ramps are usually built so that a car may reach the speed of the main flow, and then merge into that stream with a minimum of friction. It is less than "cautious" or "careful driving" to do it otherwise. It may be fatal! As one trucker shouted at a hesitant driver, "Merge, man! You gotta merge! "

Our high-speed society has developed this into a philosophy of this age, with application in many fields. Conflict is generated, not only by differing highway speeds, but by differences in education, culture, race, and life goals. As the world "shrinks" crowded people become more dependent upon one another, and the cry "Merge, man!" becomes more insistent. There are valid reasons for adjustment to the ways of others — becoming a Jew, as under law, as weak, etc., "that we might gain" them to Christ (1 Cor. 9: 19-23). Selfish concern is to give way to concern for others (Phil. 2:4). This kind of merging is a denial of self interest in order that we might promote the well being of others. But merging is not an end in itself. A steady flow of traffic may assist us in reaching our destination but "everyone is doing it" does not establish the speed laws of our land. We may develop a "don't rock the boat" philosophy that is equivalent to situation ethics — ignoring our obligation to higher authority, and enthroning man as his own God. Merging may become our way of "copping out" — of failing to meet individual responsibilities. When this is the case, merging becomes self-serving rather than an unselfish regard for others.

Merging demands conformity. Individuality is sacrificed; and before we are "brought under the power" of the world flow we should make certain we are not placing our morals, our conscience, our obligation to God upon the altar. To what are we conforming? Is the true and ultimate good of others being served by our "going along," or, have we become partaker in their evil deeds'.

In things pertaining unto God (and that is a wide field indeed, Col. 3:17-25) the Christian marches to a different drum beat. He battles against the tides of this world, for he journeys toward a heavenly destination.