MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

The Christian Worldview

April 21st, 2008 Visited 2260 times, 2 so far today
This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Comments on Atheism

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The more I’ve talked online about Creation vs. Evolution or Atheism vs. Christianity the more it confirms to me that these two worldviews are very difficult to reconcile because of their nature. Both believe that they reflect truth, and that the other reflects nonsense. Both strongly hold their opinions, and the longer that they debate them online (or in other places) the more hardened their opinions become. It gets to the point where one begins to wonder if there’s even a benefit to debate the topic simply because of the way that one side looks at the other side.

Nothing demonstrates this as well as the recent conversation that’s been on this blog regarding the movie Expelled that opened yesterday in theaters. If you read through the comments, you’ll see a common theme: One explanation of the facts is nonsense, the other is truth. The charge that has been leveled against Christians in the past is that they blindly follow a book, but Evolutionists are the same way– blindly following The Origin of the Species regardless of whether there is a better or easier explanation.

So, with all the “meta” out of the way, let’s get to the topic at hand.

Morality

At its core, morality (or ethics) tries to answer the question of whether a given activity is right or wrong. Moral codes have been formed around different sets of beliefs, but one thing that is common about moral codes is that they usually hold a high standard (often higher than a person can hold throughout a lifetime). That and the fact they are often bent in order to justify one’s actions.

From a Christian perspective, morality came from God. When God told Adam not to eat of the fruit, God laid out the first moral code: Obey God and do not eat is right, eat and disobey and you’re doing wrong. At its core, Christian morality boils down to obeying God vs. disobeying God.

To take care of the tangent that could arise here, I’m going to say that morality does not exist outside of God. Morality is God’s rules– He created, His rules. Therefore, had he made any current “wrong” thing “right” then He would have been just doing that and that would be right.

So, what is that code?

There are a lot of commands in the Bible. Some are given to individuals, some are covenants given to people, some are laws given to the Israelite people, and some are summed up commands.

When Jesus asked to boil down the law (because the Pharisees had added so many more rules that it was practically a full time job to remember all the rules (reminds me of the United States)) he boiled it down to two principles: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.

What about the Old Testament Law?

About this time, someone will start asking about killing the rebellious child, wearing clothing with two forms of material, and all sorts of unclean questions. This is easily answered, however, in that a moral code does not dictate a punishment. See, according to the Bible all sin deserves death and separation from God– and ultimately we will answer for our sin, or have it covered by the blood of Christ. Therefore, all sin is equal. It all deserves death and separation. There’s no degree of sin before God– it’s all sin, all serious, and all equal.

Simply put, being rebellious as a child is wrong. What should be done about it is up to a government or parent to decide. In the Israelite government, God decided it was worth death. Should we do this today? That’s outside of the scope of this post, but if you’re open minded it’s an interesting question.

Back on topic– the answer is you should look at what is being said about “right and wrong” and not at what the punishment was declared to be.

Can You Be More Concrete?

Consider this a introductory post on the topic. To list all components of what I believe to be the Christian moral code would take many more posts (which I can do if there is interest). The point here was to paint the broad brushstrokes.

We are seeing Christian morality fade in this Post-Christian culture we are finding ourselves in. It is important to know what is and what is not what God has to say about right and wrong, and for Christians it’s even moreso.

A confession: I believe that all too often I paint the light of truth on the culture as if I will make an impact on the culture by what I have to say. God clearly states in the Scripture that this is mostly in vain. For those of you that are Christian, I will attempt to focus more on you and your needs in combating the culture– trying to focus on what is right and what is wrong.

For those of you that are not Christian, please understand that I don’t expect you to follow a Christian moral standard. However, I do believe that you have an innate knowledge of right and wrong, and that you also are well aware that you fail to even keep that internal standard you have. For that, I recommend Jesus Christ as the salvation that you need to right that wrong. He is the only way. You may continue to debate with me, we can keep having discussion, but ultimately my goal is to be a beacon for believers to see the culture and to know what’s sin in God’s eyes and how to live for Him, and to show those that are in sin that there’s a way to get out of the guilt– through Jesus shed blood on the cross.

Series Navigation<< Why We Do What We DoLoose Morality >>

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  • onein6billion says on: June 14, 2008 at 10:09 pm

     

    “blindly following The Origin of the Species regardless of whether there is a better or easier explanation”

    Silly strawman from 150 years ago.

    “At its core, Christian morality boils down to obeying God vs. disobeying God.”

    And who gets to decide how to “obey God”? And what is the punishment for disobedience?

    “I’m going to say that morality does not exist outside of God.”

    I’m going to say you’re an idiot.

    “I do believe that you have an innate knowledge of right and wrong.”

    What does “innate” really mean? I recommend teaching a child instead of trusting to “innate” knowledge.

    “show those that are in sin that there’s a way to get out of the guilt– through Jesus shed blood on the cross.”

    Yes, this is the fundamental irrationality of Christianity. Commit the sin and avoid the guilt.

  • MInTheGap says on: June 16, 2008 at 9:32 am

     

    @onein6billion: Strawman or accurate? Simply stating that something is a strawman does not a strawman make. True, I know that TENS has evolved past The Origin of Species, and yet it remains true to the basic tenet: Life came upon this planet through “natural means” via natural selection over the process of billions of years. The details are irrelevant since it was the concept that I was appealing to, not the literal document.

    Actually, I’m glad you asked the question about obedience to God. In most areas, there are clear guidelines to obeying God. There are abundant lists of the things that God likes and dislikes. But Romans 14 has an interesting discussion as well, where the Apostle Paul talks about how it’s a heart attitude that’s important rather than the details.

    As for the punishment, it’s clear: All sin requires death and separation from God, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ. Now, that does not mean that you disobey God right now and you die instantly– though that has happened on occasion. God, in His mercy, recognizes that we all sin, and gives us the ability to come into a relationship with Him. This opportunity is not indefinite, however, and there will be eventual punishment for sin.

    Innate knowledge of right and wrong does not mean that we want to choose right– which is the point of child training. Ask a child (or a politician for that matter) whether it is right or wrong to lie, he’ll say it’s wrong– but he still lies. There are virtues that everyone believes is right and things that everyone believes is wrong. (Valor, Courage, Kindness, Love, Patience being things everyone agrees is right. Traitor, Not keeping promises, murder are things everyone agrees is wrong.)

    Actually, Romans 6 directly addresses your last comment:

    Should we sin that grace may abound? God forbid that you should even think that!

    That there is grace to pardon sin is not a blank check to commit sin, but a result of the relationship that has been entered with God. A love relationship that should make us want to sin less and become more like Him.

    Same as a relationship with a spouse– A husband loves his wife, but he’s not always going to do things that show that love. He may goof up from time to time, but the loving wife will forgive. It’s not a blank check for him to abuse her (that she will forgive him), but a byproduct of his desire to show his love.

  • onein6billion says on: July 24, 2008 at 9:17 pm

     

    “This opportunity is not indefinite, however, and there will be eventual punishment for sin.”

    Ahh, there’s the rub. Your religious assertion is that there will be “eventual” punishment for sin. Well, it’s obvious that “eventual” might be a long time in the future and there’s really no “proof” that your assertion is true. So you want people to be good by love or fear.

    I think that fear of the long arm of the law is a better motivator than “love your neighbor” or “eventual” (after death is awfully eventual) punishment.

  • MInTheGap says on: July 25, 2008 at 3:14 pm

     

    @onein6billion: Eventual may be at death, but it may be before then. The reality is that much of the time sin will reward itself sooner rather than later. The person engaged in extra marital sex will be found out, or will contract disease. The person that stole will be caught. The murderer will be found and executed.

    And yet in my specific context, there’s an opportunity to have the sin forgiven– an ultimate punishment.

    As for “proof”– I won’t even go into the “near death experiences” to say that the one person that came back from the dead can state what happens at death.

    I don’t want people to be good– being good is worthless. The problem is systemic. No matter how hard you or I or anyone tries to be good, we will fail. So, asking or expecting people to “be good” is just setting yourself up for disappointment.

    What I’m encouraging people to do is to establish a relationship with the Creator of the Universe– as crazy to you as it sounds– such that He will change us into the image of His Son.

    I want people to be good because it will help them, it is in their best interests, etc. but I’m a realist and understand that people fail. You can’t trust them. They will let you down. But there is one that never will, and to Him I will cling.

  • onein6billion says on: January 17, 2011 at 9:57 pm

     

    “I won’t even go into the “near death experiences” to say that the one person that came back from the dead can state what happens at death.”

    I’m glad that you did not “go into” such silly anecdotal non-evidence.

    “I don’t want people to be good”

    I want people to avoid jail. It’s very expensive to incarcerate people. Even being rejected by friends is painful. It’s so easy to be “good”.

    “What I’m encouraging people to do is to establish a relationship with the Creator of the Universe”

    Hilarious nonsense. My cellphone doesn’t know his number. And my emails to god@god.org bounce.

    “I want people to be good because it will help them, it is in their best interests, etc.”

    Fine. I agree. That is a very secular wish.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

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