FORCING YOUR MORALITY

Have you ever given your Christian opinion on questions of morality to a friend, relative or even a stranger, only to be challenged in return by an intimidating counter-question? As Christians, when our biblical viewpoint goes against the grain (which much of Christian morality does – sexual morality, the morality that relates to the rights of unborn children, same-sex marriage, those kinds of things), frequently we are going to be challenged with the question, “Who are you to force your morality on someone else?”

The first thing you should know is that this challenge is offered in a self-refuting way. It is self-defeating and refutes itself because it is a challenge to you that you ought not force others or ask others to live according to your moral point of view. Yet, that challenge itself is a moral point of view that someone else believes in and is asking you to live by. To put it simply, they’re forcing their morality on you when they say that you shouldn’t force your morality on someone else.

When someone brings up this objection to our Christian moral value we must be ready to help them see the self-refuting nature of their question. I think first of all, we must help them face, honestly, the truth that all of us have a moral point of view that we are seeking to have believed and acted upon in society, and we are seeking to do that by some measure. It may be through very forceful means – the force of law – or it may be through less forceful measures. But one way or another, we all have our moral point of view. Once we can honestly agree with that, there is no escaping the conclusion: we all have a moral viewpoint that we seek to have enforced in some fashion in society, and we are seeking to compel other people to adopt.

Given the fact that we all have a moral point of view that we are seeking to impact society with, the real question then becomes, “Is our moral point of view legitimate? Is it appropriate to have it forced? And beyond that, even if it is legitimate, we have to ask, “How weighty is the moral concept?”, before we can know how much force we need to apply in enforcing this moral concept.

’til next time

Danny

(next time: What do we mean “forcing our beliefs”?)

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