Monday, October 19, 2015

Source of Morality

Last week, following the Democrat presidential debate, Glenn Beck called in to his radio show (he was out that day) to comment. He opined that what Bernie Sanders is proclaiming is what is moral. It isn’t what is really moral, but what people with a totally skewed worldview might think is moral.

That got me thinking. I’ve noticed, among friends who are non-religious but still decent people, they seek morality. They try being vegan—to avoid eating what was alive as an animal. They might volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. While rejecting God’s word as a way to a moral life, they nevertheless seek to be moral, finding their own definitions—and sometimes proselytizing their “discovered morality” to others who don’t yet agree with them.

I propose that it is normal for people to want to be good, to think of themselves as good. They can define that according to what God has revealed as good. But if they reject that, they leave a vacuum they must fill with something. Sometimes what they fill it with will align with what God tells us is good, sometimes neutral. Sometimes they’re just plain wrong.

Another thing necessary for figuring out what is moral is a standard, or authority. If God is not the authority, then the vacuum left is filled by something else: the person’s own gut feelings, the popular culture—or the government.

What we saw at the Democrat debate was morality as defined by those who think the authority is government. And it’s circular; government must do what the people think is moral, and the people must agree with government’s definitions of moral.

I thought it might be useful to draw a comparison between God’s definition of morality and the counterfeit Government-is-god version of morality. If we can trust that those who disagree with us want to be good and right, and we can use language that recognizes the search for morality, we might persuade away from the big-government ideas that lead inevitably to tyranny, poverty, and savagery—which moral people do not want.

This thought exercise in the chart isn’t yet how to word things to the lost morality thinkers, but it is on the way. If we can see the real next to the counterfeit, then maybe we can think of ways to lead others to the real.

God’s Revealed Morality
Government-as-god Morality
God is the authority of what is moral and good. He lets us know what that is, in written word that has been used and handed down for millennia, and agreed upon by civilizations.
Government is the authority of what is moral and good. What government says is good is different now than it was a decade ago, and will likely be quite different a decade from now.

God grants human beings inalienable rights.
Government grants human beings what it chooses, and removes those “rights” and privileges as it sees fit.

God grants us life, and determines timing of birth and death. God prohibits us from taking innocent life.
Government decides whose life is or is not worth protecting. Government places greater value on criminal life and possibly animal life than it does innocent unborn human life or innocent elderly or infirm.

God is no respecter of persons; i.e., He invites all races and nations of people to come unto Him and follow His law in order to live their best life.

Government chooses whom to favor, and may favor one ethnicity or gender or class over another as it chooses.
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; God gives mankind the resources and responsibilities to live well on the earth, allowing His children to prosper from their work and effort.
Government insists that man is a danger to the earth, and should curtail any activities or enterprises that the government deems to be dangerous to the environment, even if those restrictions unduly harm the poor, or prevent inventions that could solve cleanliness issues.

God plans for each child to be raised by a loving mother and father, to teach the child God’s morality and bring him/her up to be productive and contributing to society, so parents have the sacred right and responsibility to see to the care and upbringing of their children.

Government claims to know what is best for children; it will insist on government institutions for inculcating government ideas, and will override parental rights as it chooses.
God is concerned about economic inequality if some of his children are starving and in need while others fail to care and offer help, because voluntary helping, individual to individual, can help both the giver and the receiver.
Government is concerned about economic inequality regardless of cause, and takes by force from some to give to others, as it sees fit, regardless of how this might harm both the giver and the receiver.

God allows, and considers it a responsibility, to defend self, family, and home. So good citizens have a right to arm themselves.
Government claims that citizens should not be allowed to own weapons, because some people might use them improperly.

God requires allegiance to Him first, followed by family, community, and government.
Government requires allegiance to government first, followed by community as higher government allows, then family as government dictates, and to religion as far as government is willing to tolerate.

God joined our first parents in marriage and commanded them to multiply and replenish the earth—to care for their offspring and bring them up to adulthood in love and security.
Government decides that marriage is a current agreement between any two people in a sexual relationship, without any connection to permanence, exclusivity, or parenting; and government may decide on a different definition at any time in the future, regardless of the effect on families and children.

God expects His children to respect property ownership, to care for what is theirs, but never to take what is not theirs.
Government decides who owns what, and whether to allow ownership to continue, or to confiscate from a current owner to claim for government or to bestow on a new owner.

When God asks for charity, it is one person freely giving something he has, or his time, attention, or work to benefit another of God’s children.

When government asks for charity, it is coerced by taxation, confiscation, or regulation and requirement.

God’s laws are short and simple: there are ten clearly worded basic requirements respecting God, family, life, honesty, and property ownership, plus some advisory details about how to implement them. He has made them relatively easy to understand and obey. He will judge fairly and mercifully.

Government’s laws are lengthy, complex, unintelligible, and often obscure, so as to make them almost impossible to obey, which gives government the power to prosecute at will almost anyone it might target. Government may judge arbitrarily and inconsistently.

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