Thursday, April 17, 2008

Right or Wrong?

How do we decide what is right and what is wrong? Is there such a thing as black and white when it comes to morals? How do we know if Biblical commands are applicable to us, have figurative meanings or were meant solely for the person to whom the command was written?

There are basically 3 main groups when it comes to right and wrong. There are the people who say that right and wrong are determined by situations. There are the people who think that what's right and wrong changes with the person - that everyone has their own truth and what's true for them may or may not be true for everyone else. For these people, there is no such thing as absolute truth and there is no "black or white." Lastly, there are people who believe that everything is either right or wrong, no matter what. For this last group of people, there is no "gray area" in morality, everything is morally absolute.

I tend to lean more towards the view of a moral absolutist. I cannot Biblically say that there is no such thing as absolute truth because that would mean that I was saying that the Bible isn't absolutely true and that would be discrediting it's inerrancy. I do not like situational ethics, because they are wishy washy. God is a God who stands strong on the laws that He has placed in order to govern man. He does not waver in His character. I believe that situational ethics go against the very nature of God.

In any case, this was the topic of discussion last night at church. Eric C (the youth/associate pastor at my church) preached on this issue. His text was Matthew chapter 5, and he summed it up in 7 points.
  • Christ didn't come to get rid of the Law. (The Law is the Old Testament_
  • Christ did come to teach the TRUE application of the Law.
  • The Law will last until the end of time.
  • Those who practice and teach the Law incorrectly are least in God's kingdom.
  • Christ was specifically speaking to the Pharisees when He said this, but it still applies to those who misinterpret the Law today.
  • Those who practice and teach the Law correctly will be great in the kingdom of God.
  • Unless a person is more righteous than the Law, there is no way he will make it into Heaven on his own. (FYI: It is impossible to be more righteous than the Law, if you don't believe me, go read Exodus - Deuteronomy and check out some of the Laws the Jews were expected to follow.)

Eric then presented us with "6 Things to Consider When Asking About the Universal Application of a Biblical Teaching" I've listed them and my own notes.

  1. Consider God's Nature as it is Revealed to us in the Bible and Creation.
    • Look at those things which stirred the wrath of God.
    • Idolatry and a lack of respect, fear and awe of God are 2 that are HUGE.
    • God is a jealous God! This DOES NOT mean that He is jealous of us!!! It means that God desires and deserves all of hearts, worship and adoration.
    • In order to know what God has revealed, we have to read His Word - we must know the Bible.
    • We cannot just assume that we know God without taking the time to get to know Him and to LEARN!!!
  2. Consider God's created order. (The way He made things to be: Genesis 1, check it out yo.)
    • In order for this to be operational in one's heart, one must first believe that God created.
    • Anything that goes against the natural order of things is immoral, things like homosexuality, adultery, fornication, abortion, murder, cloning, lying, etc.
  3. Consider the situation in which the command was given.
    • The passage about the rich young ruler, for example. In this case, Christ was specifically speaking to that man, not to humanity in general.
  4. Consider what the rest of the Bible says about the issue.
  5. Consider what Jesus says or emphasizes about the issue.
  6. Consider whether or not the command affects people being SAVED.
    • Sometimes things can really be a matter of spiritual life and death, don't risk ruining some one's eternal future just because you think that it's wrong to wear a hat in the sanctuary, have more than your ears pierced, listen to certain kinds of music, etc.
    • As followers of Christ, we should be as He is, loving and compassionate. In this way, our witness will be good.

I just thought this was interesting and, as you can see, I got a TON of notes out of a one hour session or so.

Thanks for reading, here's a tiny update about GO TELL.

I'm still going. Still have no where near the amount of money I need to be able to do this. But I KNOW that God is faithful, and will continue to be. Please pray with me for God's provision and preparation, His protection and His direction. Thanks!!!

PS. You can still go to, click on the "Support Your Intern" link and support me monetarily with a tax deductible donation. :-)

Until next time, God bless!!


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