Back in the 1960s, the band The Monkees sang about how no one seemed to believe in absolute morals anymore. In *Shades of Gray* they sang: ||When the world and I were young, ||Just yesterday. ||Life was such a simple game… ||It was easy then to tell right from wrong… ||Today there is no black or white, ||Only *shades of gray*.
Now the expression ‘*shades of grey*’ has come to be associated with the notorious and controversial books and films with that name. Many today no longer believe there is such a thing as absolute right or absolute wrong. Stark contrasts and black-and-white distinctions are not always easy to swallow in a society in which relativism is the order of the day. Everything is relative – a matter of degrees.
As followers of Jesus we cannot give in to these relativistic ideas. We must be open to the prophetic voice of Scripture, which often traces stark contrasts, urgent ethical choices and diverging paths in the midst of complex problems and situations.
And that’s the memo.
By Nicky Gumbel