As Christians, how ought we to deal with today’s society’s moral decline?

March 14, 2018

As Christians, how ought we to deal with today’s society’s moral decline?

What is morality? What makes an action “moral”? Who defines right from wrong? What should be our Christian stance on abortion, euthanasia and similarly debated social topics?

For example, the Canadian Government, recently stated that Anti-Abortion groups are not in-line with Canadian Society. Essentially, they are saying that Canadian society is the standard and that anti-abortion or pro-life groups should conform to that standard.

Is this how it ought to be?

Today, there is an urgent need to understand the difference between ethics and morality. Although there is an inconsistency in defining those terms, terminology is not our concern here but the concept itself. For the sake of this video, we will use Ethics as the God-given law and Morality as the human law dictated by cultural societal patterns.

Let me give you an example! If we take the concept of sexual intercourse outside of marriage. Culturally speaking, it is a common thing in the Western secular world. However, Middle Eastern countries would strongly reject such a concept. Lying can also be used as an example. In Middle Eastern cultures, lying is very common and much more acceptable than in the West.

These are examples of a change in morality within different cultures. However, both fornication and lying are against the ethics of God. We already clarified in another video why is fornication considered a sin according to God’s ethics which you can find on our YouTube page or website if you are interested.

The problem with developing a moral code that ignores God’s ethics is that whatever a cultural group accepts becomes what is right. In the Canadian government’s example, Canadian society is the cultural group that dictates that killing children in the mother’s womb is right. But did Canadian society always agree to that? Actually prior to 1969 (not even 50 years ago) all abortion was illegal in Canada!

What changed? The morality of Canadian Society changed. Did it change for the better? No, it did not. Some will argue yes because the mother is free to choose. But do we understand that she is free to choose whether to kill or not? Do we understand the implications of such a decision? Does the child have a say in this? Can we give him or her a choice to live?

The problem with this cultural shift in morality is that there are no fixed principles. Every culture develops its own standards and is not allowed to judge one another. Biblically, this reminds us of the time of Judges in the Old Testament when the Israelites were not seeking God, and everyone did what was right in his own eyes. It was a period of great trouble.

The problem with such cultural morality or cultural relativism is that we, as humans, will eventually totally lose sight of right and wrong. Let’s take the example of Hitler. Hitler wanted

to establish an Aryan race, a perfect race in his own understanding, smart people with blond hair and blue eyes. To him, the Jews were a threat to his objective. The man was able to convince many and he was able to establish this ideology in the mind of the Nazis. This became their morality.

What is the problem in what Hitler did? Well, based on cultural relativism, he did nothing wrong. He simply followed what the German culture agreed to at the time. But what he did was horrific according to God’s ethics!

Therefore, if people in the West believe that a secular society should choose what is right from wrong then humanity is in deep trouble. For the sake of stressing the danger behind this ideology, allow me to push this idea of cultural relativism some more.

If the idea of killing a human being inside the body is acceptable by today’s society’s standards because the mother supposedly is free to choose whatever she does with her body, how long before humanity allows killing of babies outside the womb? Let me give an example. The child inside the womb is, in a sense, the property of the mother and is dependent on her. A week later, after birth, she is outside but is also dependent on the mother and under her responsibility. The mother is still responsible to clean, feed, protect the child. If the mother is tired, like all new moms are, is she entitled to kill the baby? What if she is depressed, which is common among new mothers, should she kill? Well, it’s her body that is tired after all! What is it that makes the killing of the child one week prior to birth perfectly legal while the same action a week later a homicide? Before birth, the mother is innocent; but after birth she is in prison and called a killer and looked down upon by society because she killed her baby! Is the fact that the baby is inside the mother give the right to kill?

Western social standards have changed to tell us today that this is ok but, as Christians, we follow God’s ethics regardless of the state of moral decline around us.

This idea of relativism is found everywhere.

Recently, Oprah also encouraged people to find their own truth. What does that even mean? The core idea of truth is that it sheds light on what is false.

Imagine a grade 5 student writing his math exam and finds the question 16 + 16. So, as he is used to, he answers 32. He receives his exam back and to his surprise he is told the answer is wrong. He asks the teacher and he responds “sorry, in my class, 16 + 16 = 35.” You would think that this example is so farfetched, but it is the same concept as saying everyone should find his own truth.

The difference is that no one wants to change the sum of 16 + 16 because it is clearly a fact but also because it doesn’t affect people’s lives. It doesn’t require them to change their lifestyles. However, God does request a certain ethical behavior from us and these ethics dictate right from wrong.

Essentially, people are rejecting God’s ethics for their own morality because it suits them. What is striking is that this mentality of cultural relativism is not only found in politics or with celebrities, but it is also found inside the Church.

How many people think about a certain sin and tell themselves “it’s not a big deal, everyone does it.” As if the fact that everyone does it justifies my action. I surely see it often in confessions. But, do we realize that this is an effect of cultural relativism? Sometimes, we hold people’s morality higher than God’s ethics. But we don’t realize that people’s morality level is declining rapidly. This issue is one that we suffer from on a daily basis and it influences our daily decisions. We need to start thinking critically and the first step in doing so is to expose the problem which I am attempting to do right now with you.

St. Justin Martyr in his first apology says: “He [Christ] never wanted us to imitate the wicked. Rather, He challenged us to lead everyone away from shamefulness and pleasure in evil by patience and kindness. We can in fact show that many who were once among you have been transformed in this way. They gave up their violent and domineering ways. Either they were conquered by the sight of their neighbors’ patient life, or they were convinced by noticing the extraordinary kindness and patience of some defrauded traveling companions, or they were overcome by encountering and testing this attitude in people with whom they had business dealings. Anyone who is not found living in accordance with His teachings should not be regarded as a Christian even if he confesses to Christ’s teaching with his lips. For He said that only those shall be saved who do not just talk, but who also do the corresponding works.”

He says that those that are not found living according to God’s teaching (His Ethics) are not Christians. But he also says that many found Christianity through righteous Christians living God’s word. Let us be of that latter type.

Remember know your faith, live your faith and teach your faith

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