I would like to introduce a series of articles concerned with living
morally in an increasingly immoral world. In the first few articles,
let us examine the logical relationships between morality, ethics,
law, society, and God. Certainly, we must first understand the meaning
of morality in order to discuss it in relation to God and his word.
Furthermore, without an understanding of morality and its link to
scriptures, we can not refute those who appeal to the adulterated
conscience of mankind, apart from God, to substantiate liberal views
of morality which seek to gratify the flesh in ungodliness.
As a freshman in college, I took a philosophy class. The professor
of this class told us to never bring up a discussion concerning
God and religion because he would unmercifully disprove our position.
Since we were all straight out of high school, we were afraid to
confront our older and apparently "wiser" professor. So,
no one ever brought up God or religion in class. Instead, we studied
the belief systems of Plato, Socrates, and others. Thankfully, we
finally studied some philosophers who believed in God.
Notice, I said the "belief systems" of philosophers.
Webster's new Collegiate Dictionary defines philosophy as: "1
a: pursuit of wisdom b: a search for a general understanding of
values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational
means c: an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental
beliefs ... all learning exclusive of technical precepts and practical
arts ... the sciences and liberal arts exclusive of medicine, law,
and theology". Now, my point is that morality as espoused by
mortal men who appeal to no higher form of thinking than mortality
itself is simply a value system concocted in their own earthly mind.
And, to put faith in the value systems of mortal men, based upon
speculative reasoning, is to trust in humanism.
Humanism is defined by Webster as: "a doctrine, attitude,
or way of life centered on human interests or values; esp: a philosophy
that asserts the dignity and worth of man and his capacity for self-realization
through reason and that often rejects supernaturalism." Notice
that humanism is centered on human interest instead of godly interests.
And, humanism is interested in self- realization instead of spiritual-realization
in Christ. So, each one of us must decide if we are going to embrace
humanism or God. We can not embrace both - one must be rejected.
Jesus says that: "No one can serve two masters; for either
he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal
to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon"
Humanistic philosophies and interests contradict the Bible and
therefore are contrary to godly living. Note these passages as Jesus
and Paul teach to deny, crucify, lose self; they do not teach to
seek human interests and values in obtaining self-realization as
taught by humanists
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires
to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross,
and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose
it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For
what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses
his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul.'"
"And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with
its passions and desires." Gal. 5:24
"For if you live according to the flesh you will die;
but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body,
you will live." Rom. 8:13
"I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ
our Lord, I die daily." I Cor. 15:31
So, we have the value systems (plural) of humanism opposed to the
value system (singular) of God. We must individually determine if
we are going to appeal to the ever changing standards of mankind,
or the ever constant standard of God. The Bible warns in Hebrews
13:8-9: " Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. ..."
Morality from God is not changing; it is constant from generation
to generation. Right and wrong has not changed; the seared conscience
of mankind has changed.
Watch for the next article in this series wherein we will explore
the definitions of morality and ethics. We will also examine morality
as it entered into the world with Adam and Eve, and we will investigate
the relationship between morality and law.