Thus far in this series, I have suggested that the first step in
answering questions concerning morality is to begin with a humble
and honest heart. Only those who are humble and honest with themselves
and God are willing to obey another - namely God. The second step
is to believe in God and pray to Him for wisdom and strength. Unless
we believe in God, we will not obey Him. And, without prayer, we
will not have the wisdom to make moral decisions nor strength to
live morally in an immoral world.
In this article, I would like to suggest that the third step in
answering questions concerning morality is to appeal to the word
of God. There are many authorities to which men appeal. Some appeal
to themselves, some appeal to other men such as philosophers, and
others appeal to God. Of course, Christians must appeal to the word
of God which is able to make us wise for salvation through faith
which is in Christ Jesus (II Tim. 2:15).
Jesus makes this point clear when He says: "If you love Me,
keep My commandments." (John 14:15) And John says of our relationship
to God: "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.
And His commandments are not burdensome." (I John 5:3) Therefore,
if we love God and Jesus to obey their commands, we must first consider
their commands above all else in determining morality - we must
first appeal to the word of God.
After considering the word of God as our first source of authority,
Christians may appeal to other sources of authority as allowed by
God. For example, God established governments to dictate morality
in certain respects. But in other respects, God dictates moral behavior
apart from government. God has ordained governments to rule over
men, and Christians are to obey those who rule over them as long
as the ruling authority does not establish laws contrary to God
(Rom. 13:1-7; I Pet. 2:13-25; Acts 5:29)
Daniel and his companions exemplify God's requirement for moral
men to appeal to God in making decisions. In Daniel chapter three,
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego made a moral decision based upon
the word of God. The Israelites were not to worship any other gods.
So, when King Nebuchadnezzar commanded them to fall down and worship
the idol he had built, the men determined to obey God above the
king. They appealed to God's law, obeyed God, and disobeyed the
Similarly in Daniel chapter six, Daniel faced a question concerning
morality. The king had decreed that no one was to petition (pray)
to another God or person other than King Darius. This meant that
Daniel could not pray to God during the designated thirty-day period.
What did Daniel do? He appealed to God's law, obeyed God, and disobeyed
Christians must appeal to God's word in answering questions concerning
morality. The Bible is the most credible source in arguing moral
issues, but is often left out of debates. Many think the Bible weakens
an argument evidenced by the multitude of opinions stated on radio,
television, and in print. How often does an "intellectual"
appeal to the word of God in moral debates and opinions? And, if
an "intellectual" appeals to God, how often does he substantiate
his position with Scripture? Unfortunately, the appearance of God's
word in "intellectual opinions" is less than seldom. Why?
Because the Bible is not thought to be a credible source in "intellectual
This should be of no surprise. Paul addressed this very thing in
I Corinthians 1:18-21 and says: "For the message of the cross
is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being
saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy
the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of
the prudent." Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where
is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom
of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through
wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness
of the message preached to save those who believe.
During the time of Paul, wisdom in Christ was thought foolish by
intellectuals. Why? Because God chose the foolish things of the
world to save those who believe. You see, intellect is a blessing
from God, but when used improperly it leads one away from the "simplicity
that is in Christ" (II Cor. 11:3). God has not chosen the intelligent
nor required a certain IQ to be saved, but He has chosen those who
believe; therefore, the message in the word of God is foolish to
Now, it is for each individual to determine within his heart whether
to appeal to God or mankind in deciding if a thing is moral. Do
you have the humility to appeal to God apart from consequence? Are
you satisfied with the simplicity in Christ? Do you believe and
trust God above men? Do you pray to God for wisdom and strength?
Do you turn to God's word concerning moral issues? The decision
is yours. The responsibility is yours.