Posts Tagged ‘morality’

FORCING YOUR MORALITY Part 2

FORCING OUR BELIEFS?

What do people, objecting to a Christian expressing his disapproval of behavior that the Bible calls into question, mean when they say that we are forcing our beliefs on others?

Let’s look at this idea of forcing our morality, beliefs or values on others a bit closer. When non-Christians object to our forcing our beliefs on others, what do they really mean? They are basically saying that we are trying to compel others to act in a way that we think is right. But since we have already determined that everyone has some moral point of view, we must seek to understand how we all, in some form or another, attempt to compel others to our moral viewpoint.


Forcing Our View

There are basically two ways that a moral point of view can be “forced” upon another. One is the strong way and the other is the weak way. A strong way of forcing morality would be law enforcement: laws that are enforced by threat of punishment. The second way, a weak way, would be by compelling people to act in the way that you think is right (your moral point of view) in a less forceful way. We often do this by encouraging or discouraging certain patterns of behavior through the means of social approval or disapproval.

How do we force our view? We could use the strong arm of the law to force our view on others. We could frown at behavior we disapprove of in order to get people to reconsider it. Now there may be things that we don’t think are morally weighty enough to deserve jail time but which we would consider valuable enough to frown upon or even exert peer pressure on people in order to get them to comply with our wishes (moral point of view). Call it peer pressure, social approval or social disapproval. Do you see the difference? We use both of these things in our society today.

Since we have two different strengths of enforcement, we have to make a decision in our culture which strength we will use to enforce a moral point of view; it all depends on the moral weight. What’s curious about the nature of the moral climate today is the kinds of things that are enforced and the kinds of things in which people are allowed to have liberty.


High Morality

In the context of our culture, there are some things I would define as falling into the category of high morality and others that would fall into, what we would call, low morality. High morality is those kinds of things that are so critical to the common good, to the notion of fundamental rights – like life, liberty and property – that society must demand their adherence under penalty of severe punishment. For example, it is absolutely critical that property be protected. Therefore, if someone steals someone else’s property, we use the law to punish them. If someone takes another’s life, we use the law to punish them. Sometimes, we even put the guilty to death (extreme force). There are issues related to the common good of society that are so morally weighty that we have to use the force of law in order to get compliance. This is what I would call high morality.

There are a whole lot of other things that relate to the common good on a lower order of morality of sorts: things that are not so critical to the common good that the society must demand their adherence under penalty of severe punishment. Yet at the same time, there are still things that are morally good and good for society. In these cases, we don’t use the force of law. We generally use a different force – the force of social approval and disapproval.

’til next time

Danny

Next: Immoral, Illegal

Advertisements

NO PROBLEM TOO BIG

We don’t have to look too far to know that our nation is in trouble today.  We are facing more troubles today than I’ve seen in my lifetime.  We face issues that are causing the very foundation of our country to crumble.  Our moral and spiritual roots are further decaying and drying up; the economy is devastated, family life is disintegrating, and political forces are at savage odds and almost totally distrusted by the people.

In these anxious times, it can be tempting to believe that America has reached a point of no return.  And while this can cause despair, we are reminded in God’s Holy Word that with Him, nothing is impossible and that there is an antidote for this anxious age.  It connects us to the greatest source of peace, hope, and security that we could ever imagine.  The cure is the remarkable gift from our loving and merciful God.  It’s called prayer.  Through our faithfulness in prayer, there is no problem too big, no hardship too great, and no nation too powerful for Him to handle.  And because we serve a God of great mercy and compassion, we know that He stands ready to respond to our cries out of the abundance of His divine wisdom.

President Lincoln once proclaimed that our nation should set apart a day for national prayer to confess our sins and transgression in sorrow,

yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon … announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

His concern for the nation’s spiritual well-being led him to say,

We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.  But we have forgotten God; and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our own hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.  Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us!  It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Mankind’s future has always been uncertain.  Since the days of Noah and his family, Moses and the nation of Israel, the persecuted early Church, the Pilgrims, and America’s founding fathers, the answer for people facing adversity has always been the same:  Almighty God.

Our founding fathers were not perfect men, but many of them did have one thing in common, they acknowledged God and His role in the affairs of men.  Benjamin Franklin at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 said,

I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of men.  And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His [God’s] notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?

If an empire cannot rise without God’s aid, can it continue without it?  Simply put, there is no security apart from Him.  Ben Franklin went on to say,

I, therefore, … move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business ….

Are you ready to renew or increase your commitment to prayer?  Do you want contentment in your heart and peace in your world?  God’s call to the prophet Jeremiah, is our call today:

Call to me and I will answer you.  (Jer. 33:3)

Prayer will change your life, the lives around you, and even the course of history.
Remember, the National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 6, 2010.  Join believer’s all over this great nation in praying that we, as a nation, would return to God.  Let us do so in genuine faith, believing that He hears our prayers.  God can heal this great land, for which our forefathers fought and died.  We need a spiritual renewal, we need a spiritual revival in America, and we need each and everyone to pray.

’til next time,

Danny

SHOCKED?

 

 

“We scoff at virtue and are shocked to find traitors in our midst”


With those words, C.S. Lewis, perfectly describes America in the present time.

If all political parties regarded truth, honesty and integrity as values to be highly esteemed, we would have a very different political landscape. America would once again begin to really believe in her political leaders.

As we have found recently in Republican and Democratic politicians alike, far too many of them seem to prefer to have a highly regarded reputation in the eyes of men than character in their own eyes and, unfortunately, in the eyes of their families whom they hurt when their rottenness comes to the fore. Reputation is what people think you are; character is who you know you really are.

We need a standard of equality in accountability for all political leaders regardless of political affiliation, rank or reputation. When all men are equally held accountable for their moral lapses, deceit and self-serving lives, leaders would once again find that the people could begin again to trust them and maybe even begin to view them in the caliber of our nation’s founding Fathers: “statesmen” and not “ninnies” worthy only of distrust, scoff and derision.

But all of this wishing will be in vain if the source problem continues: “WE, the people.” Today, we have the kind of government and politicians that we deserve. Yes, we might squirm and balk at that truth, but it is the truth. We have the kind of politicians that we have today, because we have been self-serving. We have sought our own benefit. We have reveal openly for all to see, our despicable character as a people who relinquish personal responsibility to care for our own and have sleazily handed it to the government (“Get as much cheese as you can, get all the food stamps you can, get all the grants and loans from the federal government you can and don’t have to pay back, get in line to get your government bailout, ad infinitum, ad nauseum). More and more we show our depravity as a lustful people who feed at the federal trough without regard for the future of our children and grandchildren. Shame on us. We have turned into prime specimens worthy, not of liberty, but of slavery. Such is the destiny of a people who cannot, or will not, control themselves.

We have become impotent because we have seen the deceitful, self-serving attitudes of our politicians in our own lives and have done nothing. We have done nothing to correct ourselves and return to what is right and honest. We have refused to face the truth in ourselves and preferred to cast blame on everyone and everything but our own pathetic apathy. We are a nation of people ready for judgment – romantic hopefuls, well-wishers, and positive thinkers notwithstanding. The Good Book says that “the God of peace” will be with those who think, not on things that are positive, but on things that are “true”. It takes an encounter with the truth and an acceptance of truth to reverse the course. Our politicians and people need a good dose of truth. And that Truth is only found in Him who said, “I am the way, and the truth….”

This is the time to stand up and be counted. But better still, it’s the time to live the Truth.

May God be justified in continuing to bless America.