I recently read a news article in which a former president of the United States, who calls himself a “born again Christian”, said that he believed that God was OK with same sex marriages. This is a stance that this same man would have had nothing to do with thirty years ago. Why has he changed his view on this subject? Was the “same sex marriages” not moral thirty years ago, but they are now? How does he determine when morals are not moral and when they become not moral?
Let me present some answers to all of these questions.
What are morals?
A simple explanation of what morals are would be that they are accepted standards by which any given society expects its’ citizens to live by. Most civilized societies would deem the act of one person taking the life of another in a premeditated act as “murder”. In many cases the punishment would be that the murderer would be put to death or put in prison for the rest of his or her life as payment for the crime.
Now, murder is an extreme example of morals that any society might install. But every civilization has its’ morals on which it will stand or fall. There are some morals that have been present in the beginning of every great civilization ever recorded in history. Among those morals are respect for individual persons, the foundation of the family unit, individual property rights, respect for those in authority and usually some type of religious authority recognized and reverenced.
The nature of morals
What determines if something can be defined as moral. Let us list a few things that a moral entity does.
- The end result produces good for all involved.
- It promotes the safety of all members of the society.
- It limits evil actions.
- It brings discipline for abusers of others
- It honors those who honor it.
- It brings harmony to the society.
- It gives direction
- It warns of evil.
Are morals fluid?
The answer to this question can be “Yes” and it can be “No”. How can that be? Let me take for example how a former president of the United States once said about the Constitution of the United States. He said that the Constitution was a “living document”. By that, he meant that it was fluid. What it meant to one group or time may not be what it means to another group or time. It might mean one thing to this generation and another thing to the next generation. He believes that morals are fluid.
Now, contrast that to an orthodox Jew who believes the Torah. The Jews have not changed what the Torah says for over three thousand years. What it said when Moses received it and wrote it down, it still says today. The morals of an orthodox Jewish community is the same today as they were three thousand years ago.
By comparing the two methods of determining morals, which method brings about the most good? The first, that of being fluid or changing with whatever is convenient, was the way morals were applied in all the great civilizations of recorded history. They all began with a rigid set of moral standards(whether we would call them moral or not, to them they were) by which their society would be governed. As time passed and success brought lax in the standards by which they governed, so came the demise of all the great civilizations; the Egyptian, the Assyrian, the Babylonian, the Persian, the Greeks and the Romans. Though each was in the end defeated, the real defeat came first with the decay of their morals.
Contrast those societies or civilizations with the group of peoples called the Jews. They have maintained the same moral standard for three thousand years. Of course, they have had those who have tried to change those morals, but they have not been able to do it. Why? It is because the Jews believe that those morals come from their God and He does not change. They are still and entity and a society in this world and all the so called great civilizations have disappeared.
We have looked at two approaches to morality for a society. One has a failing record every time it is used. That is the fluid approach to morality. It is the approach that the two presidents I have cited above are espousing. On the surface it appears harmless, but in the end it becomes part of what is described today as “a slippery slope” of degradation. Their morality is merely a convenient tool to manipulate people for their own purpose. People who have fluid morality are not interested in the good of anyone except themselves. They become mere pawns in the hands of forces which they themselves are probably not ever aware. If they are aware they have become diabolical in their intent. That means they really want to destroy you and your society. History proves that they can do it. It may take a couple of generations but it does happen.
When morals become fluid, they are no longer of value to a society. That is when morals are not moral. They have then become the tool by which a society is destroyed.
What is the answer, then? The moral standard must be anchored to something that does not change, but is proven to produce that list of good things that we mentioned above.
Psalm 119:89 (KJV)
For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
This a scripture from the Holy Bible. This verse was penned over 2500 years ago. It still carries its’ same force.
Psalm 119:160 (KJV)
Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one
of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
God’s word does not change.
The hope for any nation or people or society is not found in its’ ability to shift its’ morals to accommodate for sins of its’ people, but its’ hope is in its’ willingness to humble themselves before the Creator of all things and receive His wisdom and then to walk in that obedience.
We as individuals and a society must be willing to stand against such people who will speak against our Creator, even if at one time they were president of the United States. If they stand against the God of creation, they have come against the ultimate power.
Proverbs 3:5 (KJV)
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
This verse in Proverbs is followed with promises of blessing. If we wish for our nation and society to continue with the great blessings that we enjoy, then we must adopt true morality. That morality is found only in the Word of God.