Here is part 2 of a transcribed sermon on the issues of Christianity and politics. What makes anything right or wrong?
2.) “The Foundation of Morality”, OR what makes anything right or wrong? My favorite question to ask people is: “When is it O.K. to lie”? Well – I think probably most of us would say “never”, but try asking people and see what kind of answers you get. “Well – ya know that depends – – well I’m not really sure, let me think about that…” Well, to us we might say there is no question about that. “Never” is the answer to that question. So what makes anything right or wrong? Deuteronomy chapter 4, verses 1 and 2; God addressing Israel; “Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you. You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”
What makes anything right or wrong is because God says so. God is the One that gets to define right and wrong. That’s why Christians believe that things like homosexuality or abortion are wrong. God commands certain things about these issues and more. So then, God’s Word is our standard, our baseline for deciding what is right and what is wrong. The real issue these days has become the fact that many people simply reject the Bible as that standard. For them it is not the standard for determining what is right or what is wrong. Some wish to establish an alternative to base their morality on. That’s also a very good philosophical question for somebody, what is the basis for your morality or your ethics?
Now when man chooses any other basis for morality, apart from the Word of God, it is merely subjective, and man goes adrift. When the purpose and the meaning that God gives to life is rejected, man seeks to create his own purpose and meaning. God’s Word alone is the solid rock that is immovable and it is true. As Christians then, how do we influence the world around us to reflect the standard of morality that we believe in? Can we make a nation, any nation, a Christian nation?
As you well know, Christians are laboring daily to change the laws of this country, some more specific, and some general. The fact is that there are other groups of people with their standards and agendas that are trying to do the exact same thing. These world views are often in conflict. There are many laws in this country that we, as Christians, object to, and many that we think should be on the books, and they are not. So, maybe the question to ask is this: Can the world be changed by changing or establishing laws? The answer to that question is, “No”, it cannot be. There has never been a time in history where we have so many laws on the books as we do in this country right now. Those who would practice what God calls sin never have been changed by changing laws. They can be restrained, and they can be punished, but they can not be changed by a change in laws.
Here is an important distinction, and I want to make this distinction right here; the world that we live in today was created by God and given to man, Genesis chapter 1, verse 28, but man freely gave up the Lordship that God had given to him in the Garden of Eden. So when satan tempts Jesus in Matthew chapter 4, verses 8 and 9 – and offers to Jesus all the kingdoms in the world and their glory it was because he could! It was because satan himself is currently holding the title deed to the earth, He doesn’t hold the pink slip, but he holds he holds the title deed. He is called in Ephesians chapter 2, verse 2, “the prince of the power of the air”. Satan and his demons are called collectively “…principalities, powers, or rulers of the darkness of this age, spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places…” in Ephesians 6:12; and in 2Corinthians 4:4, he is referred to as “the God of this age.”
As Christians we know, and we see the struggle of one kingdom, the kingdom of satan that knows it’s dying, over against the kingdom of God, that we know will ultimately be victorious. Do you think that satan doesn’t know the Word of God? Let me tell you something; satan is an orthodox believer in what the Word of God has to say. He knows his end is coming and he has a plan to bring about as much death and destruction as possible before that day.
So what is the basis for your morality? Does it stand up to the scrutiny of competing world views? The foundation of morality for us as Christians is the Word of God. God determines what is right and what is wrong. When we take a position on an issue, it must be derived from the Word of God, anything else is simply “relative” or “relativism”. How do we get people to agree? Can we force people into following God’s rules? That comes up in the next point…