One of the nation’s biggest news stories last week involved a college admissions scam that included several high-profile people, including at least two Hollywood actresses. A California man, Rick Singer, spearheaded a scheme to bribe coaches and administrators at such colleges as Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, USC, and other prestigious universities. The bribes bought these privileged High School students extra time to take the SAT and ACT, make fake athletic profiles, and substitutes to take their entrance exams for them. This has proven embarrassing for both the colleges and those breaching this most basic of ethical codes (via Foxnews.com, Madeline Farber).
Someone observed that there is a bit of irony and hypocrisy in all of this. We feel outraged at this glaring lack of honesty and ethics, but students who attend these (and other) universities have been taught for decades that there is no such thing as absolute truth and an objective standard of right and wrong. Should we really be surprised when people live out the implications of their world view? Remove a measurable, immutable standard, and anything goes!
Then there's the Bible, which lays down an ethical code that is universal and logical. Its rules are blind to nationality, economic status, gender, or age. And it shows no favoritism, leveling the playing field by placing greater expectations on those who have more (see Luke 12:48).
Our challenge is to live lives of consistency, showing forth the benefits that come from respecting and adhering to God’s standards. Jesus calls such modeling “salt” and “light" (Matthew 5:13-16).
We cannot keep others from being cheaters and liars, but we can show them a powerful alternative!