Tag Archives: morality

A Nation Needs a Moral Compass

You probably know what a compass is. People use it to figure out how to reach a known destination. When they are not sure of the destination, they use it to avoid wandering in circles.

Every human being needs a moral compass—a means of determining the right path to take in order to do what is right instead of what is wrong, and also to avoid going in moral circles.

A nation needs a moral compass, too. Nations work toward various objectives, and they need to find the right way to reach their objectives. A moral compass is required. Something other than the “It makes me feel good” standard is necessary for both nations and individuals.

There was a time when the USA had a moral compass that grew out of people’s respect for and sometimes even their worship and obedience to Almighty God. Now, when the Red Cross feels free to tell volunteers they are forbidden to pray with or give Bibles to flood victims, one wonders if our nation has any moral compass at all? Would a nation with a moral compass tell little children that they must “discover” their gender identity? Would a nation with a moral compass make the union of two homosexuality equal to marriage?

Does the USA have a moral compass?

This question is very important in today’s world, because in the public forum—Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and so forth—it is not uncommon to read a complaint that Christians are trying to “force their views” on non-Christians when Christians advocate for laws, policies and regulations that protect the right of Christians to live and act according to their moral compass. When Christians declare that the law of the land should define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, people who argue that the union of two men ought to be a marriage do not see that the conversation is an ordinary disagreement. The advocates for same-sex marriage declare that Christians advocating that marriage be defined as the union of one man and one woman are trying to “force their views” while the advocates for same-sex marriage are supposedly advocating for “equality.”

The definition of “equality” as applied to marriage is actually an argument over a moral compass. Advocates for same-sex marriage argue that “marriage” is a universal human right and therefore nobody can be denied the right to get “married.” However in their private glossary, the word “marriage” is whatever somebody wants to call it. Advocates for same-sex marriage do not argue that the union of two people of the same gender is a marriage. They argue that marriage is the union of two beings who “love” each other.

In an environment where the words “equality,” “marriage,” and even “gender” no longer have specific meanings, it is impossible to have a discussion about morality. The reason a magnetic compass works for navigation on land and sea is that the needle always points in one direction only. The needle of a magnetic compass points north, no matter where you are on earth, no matter if it is hot, cold, wet, or dry. In the desert, on top of a mountain, in a tree or on the deck of a boat. No matter where you are, the compass points in only one direction: north. If you know which way is north, it is easy to know which way is east or south. You can go northeast for a while using your compass to be sure you continue to travel in a single direction without wandering. Then, when you want to go back where you came from, you can turn around and travel southwest. Using the compass, you always know where you are relative to north. The magnetic compass helps you not to get lost when traveling.

A moral compass serves the same purpose. A moral compass always tells you which way is right and which way is wrong. The Bible is a moral compass. It is an unchanging revelation of truth as revealed to humans by God himself. If you want to know if it is right for a man to marry a woman, you can read the Bible and learn that God himself created humans to live in the relationship of marriage, a relationship defined by God himself to be the union of a man and a woman. That is God’s definition, and his definition is consistent from the start of the Bible to the end of it. His definition, like the magnetic field that pulls the needle of a magnet to the north, is consistent and sure. Christians, who believe the truth of the Bible, believe that this definition is the right definition of marriage. Christians accept the Bible as a moral compass.

There have been people who reject the Bible as a moral compass as long as there have been people. The Bible itself describes that situation at the time of Noah, and many times since. The same problem has surfaced in many places when people reject the Bible. Today, even though the history of the USA is that most people accept the Bible as their moral compass, the number who reject it varies from time to time. At the moment, the number who reject the Bible is increasing.

They are not, however, the majority. Nevertheless, they want to be the majority, and failing the attainment of a majority, they want to prevent the majority from establishing a moral compass.

This is the real issue between Christians and non-Christians in today’s public forum on the subject of morality. Christians want to comply with the teachings of a moral compass, and non-Christians do not want to acknowledge that any moral compass has any authority over them. When non-Christians accuse Christians of trying to “push their views on other people,” that is not really what upsets them. After all, they are the minority in numbers, but they do want the right to advocate for their views and to get their views into legislation. So they cannot really complain and object when Christians advocate for their own views.

Clearly, what the non-Christians really want is for Christians to be forbidden to speak of and act on their own moral compass. What non-Christians really want is for Christians to be required to live by the non-Christian lack of moral compass. The non-Christians in today’s culture want Christians to be required to speak and act as if they agree with the non-Christians that there is no such thing as a moral compass.

Non-Christians want Christians to be required to appear to agree with the non-Christians. They want Christians to be required to self-criticize in public and acknowledge that the Christian advocacy for morality consistent with the revealed moral standards in the Bible is immoral in itself. They want Christians to be humbled and humiliated and punished for even suggesting that the nation should live by biblical moral standards.

The nation needs a moral compass. Non-Christians do not want the nation to have a moral compass. That is the real battle Christians must pray about.

Pray for America. Pray that God will forgive our sins for the sake of his Son. Pray for our nation to adopt and cling to a biblical moral compass. Pray for our leaders, the president, the president-elect, and all citizens, those who voted for Hillary, those who voted for Donald Trump, those who voted for anyone else, and those who did not vote at all. Pray that each of us will see God’s clear revelation of right and wrong, and that each of us will have the courage to live by God’s moral standards. Pray today and every day that our nation will do what is right and good in the world. Pray for America every day.

 

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Discussing the Bill of Rights is not an Argument about Politics

In a recent Facebook discussion I was admonished by someone for bringing up politics. The discussion was about the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. The Bill of Rights, like many other elements in the Constitution, is not a political subject; the Bill of Rights is a moral statement.

The statement certainly was crafted in the body of a political discussion. The political issue arose, because citizens of the nation defined by the Constitution were understandably concerned about the way the new government would treat them. They looked at the Constitution and asked, “What restrains the government defined here from stepping outside the defined limitations and wreaking havoc with human rights?” The answer from the men who wrote the document was that their intention was for the government to receive only the powers specifically listed in the Constitution. The writers of that document expected its limits to be the limits of the government.

The Bill of Rights is a moral statement.

Many people, very thoughtful people, considered human history and believed that it would be difficult to restrain government by saying, “If it isn’t in the powers enumerated in the Constitution, it is not part of the federal government.” History has proved them to be correct. In fact, the federal government can scarcely restrain itself when exercising an enumerated power; it always wants “just a little bit more,” and always “for the good of the people.”

People who foresaw that very problem were adamant about establishing serious, powerful limits on the exercise of power by the central government defined in the Constitution of the USA. Those people who were vocal during the process of ratifying the Constitution. They complained long and loudly. They exacted promises from those who promoted ratification, promises to protect the rights God had given people at the moment of creation.

God Does Not Ignore Those Who Ignore Him

I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other.
Isaiah 42:8

Whether people love God, hate him, or deny his very existence, they should be aware of this fact: God does not ignore attempts to usurp his place.

The number of people who choose to deny that God exists grows daily. Likewise, the number who so trivialize God’s role in their lives that he might as well not exist. God is out of fashion Continue reading God Does Not Ignore Those Who Ignore Him

Freedom–What is it?

Samuel West, in a sermon delivered to the Massachusetts legislature in 1776, the same year that we declared our independence by appealing to our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness:

The most perfect freedom consists in obeying the dictates of right reason, and submitting to natural law. When a man goes beyond or contrary to the law of nature and reason, he becomes the slave of base passions and vile lusts; he introduces confusion and disorder into society, and brings misery and destruction upon himself. This, therefore, cannot be called a state of freedom, but a state of the vilest slavery and the most dreadful bondage. The servants of sin and corruption are subjected to the worst kind of tyranny in the universe. Hence we conclude that where licentiousness begins, liberty ends.

When it comes to declaring that a same-sex union is a marriage, that is a prime example of appealing to the concept of liberty as permission for licentiousness.

What is Becoming of our Culture?

In Psalm 10, the writer describes evil and the way it works in a culture. We all know that human beings are born with sinful human nature, and this passage describes a fully matured sinful nature that works destructively in the culture. Read it slowly and attentively.

    He sits in ambush in the villages;
in hiding places he murders the innocent.
       His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
        he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket;
       he lurks that he may seize the poor;
he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.
10    The helpless are crushed, sink down,
and fall by his might.
11    He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,
he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”
Psalm 10:8-11

This text sounds so primitive and vulgar that it is hard to believe this is biblical text. It is ugly. It is vicious. It is simply impossible to believe that any human being could be so vile. Yet if you consider this description to be without precedent in reality, just discover how Planned Parenthood is selling the body parts of aborted babies. I’m not going to use the euphemisms. I’m going to use the word: baby. Planned Parenthood treats the body parts of aborted babies as the elements of a crass marketing plan.

In ancient times an ancient god named Moloch came to be the name we all associate with child sacrifice. People sacrificed children to Moloch in order that things might be better for themselves. The point of the sacrifice was to feed the god so he would provide well for the villagers. It sounds a lot like the logic that a woman has a “right to choose” if the death of the baby is advantageous to her. Women who have exercised their “right to choose” are encouraged to salve their consciences suffering (surely they suffer) pangs for condemning a baby to death by asking them to consent to the “harvest” of “tissue” for “life-saving” scientific research. So, just like babies sacrificed to Moloch, those babies sacrificed to personal convenience save the village by becoming research projects.

For all the public rhetoric on the subject of abortion in today’s culture, the rhetoric always carefully avoids talking about babies. Even the language used by the so-called doctor on the video linked above avoids words that might evoke thoughts of an actual baby. She calls the head a calverium. Not a baby’s head. A calverium. She speaks of harvesting an intact calverium as if she were harvesting a tomato, yet the process is no less a beheading than the gruesome executions of Egyptian Christians by ISIS in Libya. When a human being’s head is removed, it is a beheading, decapitation, not the act of harvesting fruits for human blessing and benefit.

The Psalmist reminds us that the vile behavior of Planned Parenthood is not a product of human evolution into beings far more intelligent and inclusively moral than those ancient, primitive scribes that wrote the Bible. As you read the words of the psalm, you see that humans have not apparently changed at all. Yet we are told that humans no longer need God, because we know science. We no longer need our morality to be imposed by ancient, dusty books, because we have evolved into creatures with superior intellect who can evaluate issues and reach logical conclusions that are more fulfilling and desirable than the restrictive hatefulness of ancient primitive people who listened to voices in their heads. According to Planned Parenthood, humans have come a long way from the ancient Levant.

In fact, humans have apparently evolved so thoroughly that Planned Parenthood is not even the only place where babies are treated like trash. Read an excerpt from Mortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery  by Richard Selzer. In this excerpt, babies ripped untimely from their mother’s protective wombs are treated like trash bagged up and thrown into rows of trash cans behind a hospital, ready for disposal in a local landfill.

When Christians contemplate such things, they feel defeated. They wonder what to do to turn things around. If you feel this way, then you will understand the distress expressed by Leon Wolf whose post “Our Broken Country” gives words to the grief we all feel about these problems.

There certainly are things we can do in this world to resist and reject wickedness. We can speak. We can act. We can vote. But, unless we act out of a deep and intimate relationship with Christ that motivates and shapes our acts, we risk becoming more like our adversaries than like Christ.

The Psalmist knew about that problem. He wrote:

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
    How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
    Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
    lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
    But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
    I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
Psalm 13

Pray this prayer. Put your own name in the prayer, and pray it all the way through. Put “the USA” in the prayer and pray it all the way through. “How long, O Lord? Will you forget the USA forever?” Pray intensely. Pray repeatedly. Keep praying. This is the way we prepare ourselves to be part of God’s solution to what is becoming of our culture.