"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:5
By What Standard?
. . .
Christians Have the Only True Moral Authority
This past week I had the chance to attend the Ashland Public Library meeting regarding the overly sexualized and perverted materials they have been making available to children. A handful of people supporting the the library and its materials were also in attendance.
So I figured I would try to engage in a little conversation and do some apologetics. Perhaps I would have an opportunity to point them to Christ. If not, at least I could expose the folly of their unbelief.
As Christians, we are called to cast down every lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ. Scripture also says we are to "rebuke a fool according to his folly." These passages remind us that no unbelieving worldview can stand when properly pressed. The unbeliever can be "rebuked" if we simply take his own worldview and expose its "folly" (i.e. lack of foundation and coherence).
The greatest part about it all is that it is not all that difficult to do.
The unbeliever will make various moral claims. He will say something like, "____ is wrong." He can fill in the blank with anything: abortion, fixed gender beliefs, etc. He can even fill in the blank with things with which we as Christians can agree: murder is wrong, stealing is wrong, etc.
The point is that the unbeliever makes moral claims. However, being that he rejects the Bible, he does not have an absolute basis for his claims. He cannot justify those claims because he does not recognize God's law as the foundation for his belief.
Let's be clear. It's not that the unbeliever cannot make moral decisions. Neither is it that he does not make some good moral choices. He most certainly can (and does). The fact under scrutiny is that he cannot give adequate justification for these claims. If he rejects God's law, he has no absolute standard upon which to found his beliefs.
If it is not based in God, his choices will somehow be based in man. As such, his morality will not be from an absolute, universal standard. Therefore, it will lack any kind of real authority.
It may seem a little childish, but it all comes down to one simple question: Says who?
At the library meeting I asked a young lady who was in favor of the books what the basis for her support for the books was. She initially pointed to the library staff. She said that they were highly educated and trained in child development. Since they had these qualifications, she said we could trust such people.
We might first question the consistency of this standard: Has not history shown us that "highly educated people" have banned lots of books (like Lord of the Flies). If highly educated people can be so fickle, why should we trust them?
Furthermore, we might also ask about what constitutes a highly educated person? Or, better yet, which highly educated people should we trust (conservatives with Ph.D.'s or liberals with Ph.D.'s)? This answer simply requires another standard to determine who might be a "highly educated person?"
But we might also ask a more specific question: Who says that we should trust highly educated people? Experts and educated people have been wrong innumerable times in the past. How can I trust them now? And who is to say that more simple, uneducated people are not more trustworthy?
After just a question or two, this woman with whom I spoke quickly saw that her standard was lacking. She began to shift gears and attempt to use a different standard. She said she as a parent could decide what was best for her children.
Unfortunately, the meeting began and I couldn't show her that her new standard was just as foolhardy. While I appreciate the role of parents, this woman now pointed to herself rather than educated people as her standard. To which we can say, "Is what is good defined by each individual?"
This standard quickly reduces to absurdity because no one really believes this. If Person A says murder is right and good, Person A can take Person B's life. But I'm betting Person B is not okay with that.
But who is to say that Person A is wrong? It's up to the individual now, right?
What is being illustrated is the simple fact that the only absolute standard for judging what is right and wrong is God's law. God alone is the Lawgiver and His standard is the only one which gives an adequate basis for determining right and wrong.
Best of all, we can use this fact to expose the folly of unbelief. We can show the world their need for Christ because he alone provides the adequate standard for life and faith.
Simply asking, with a spirit of kindness, "Who says?" or "What exactly is the basis for your making this moral claim?" can be all that is necessary.
One of the best possible ways to ensure that our church stays strong and is protected against the Evil one is through our combined prayers. Join us each week as we lift up our individual families, asking the Lord to protect, sanctify, and nurture each and every one.
THE ALEXANDER FAMILY
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A Reformed and family integrated Church in Ashland, Ohio.
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Ashland, OH 44805