Absolute moral truth is the “ethical belief that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are right or wrong, regardless of the context of the act.” Do you have a list of absolutes? Are there any values that are universally true for all people, in all circumstances? Is anything truly black and white? Are you absolutely sure?
My beliefs, from parents, church, experiences, and friends, have shaped me into who I am and influenced much of what I believe. So when it comes to a discussion about ‘absolutes’, I’m biased. After some research, I found that three things are required for a moral truth to be absolute.
- It needs a source whose authority is agreed upon by everyone,
- it has to be universally accepted, and
- it must be interpreted the same, everywhere.
Now, this is a big problem. With all the different cultures and societies, it might be an impossible problem. But I choose to believe that God is the source, the authority and that his standards are communicated in his word, the Bible. If there is no God, then everything is relative to the society or culture one is part of. Without him, there is no moral law. No right and wrong.
If you disagree with me about who God is, we probably won’t agree on anything else I say. As I said, my source of truth is what’s written in the Bible. Some say it’s an old, outdated book that’s unreadable and talks about people who rode camels, wore long robes and sandals, and witnessed a bunch of supernatural miracles that definitely don’t happen today. I imagine many of the people who say that haven’t read it. And in our fast-paced, technology-driven society, many rush through life with little time to contemplate what they believe and why. But the Bible is eternal and it talks about things that will never change. It is the word of God, written for us to learn about him.
Within the last few years, several prominent Christian leaders have changed their message and now say that both the church and the Bible are irrelevant. In order to attract and retain congregants, some churches are giving in to the pressures of liberal thinking and diluting what they teach. But God, not public opinion or false clergy or church teaching is the ultimate judge for sin. Changing times, a new morality, societies, they don’t set the standards. God does. He is sovereign and he makes the rules. Sometimes Christians and non-Christians alike lose sight of that.
The Bible is very clear about some highly controversial issues. Personally, I believe that every word in it is inspired by God. It is without error, highly relevant, and the best guidebook you’ll ever read on how to live your life. But without a doubt, its teachings contain absolutes, and if your life contradicts those teachings, whether for personal pleasure or gain, you probably won’t agree with what follows.
Let’s start with an easy one*. Most of us agree it’s wrong to lie. The Bible says so too. But what about a righteous lie? What if during World War 2 I’m hiding Jews in my house and the Nazis come to the door. When they ask me if I’m protecting Jews, do I lie and if so, is that ok?
Sexual orientation, LGBTQ, is a real hot spot in the Christian community today. Many say we need to be tolerant of what others believe. After all, it’s their life and as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, leave it alone. The Bible says homosexual behavior is wrong. Sexual promiscuity is prohibited, whether heterosexual or homosexual. Those opposed to the gay lifestyle say it’s wrong to be homosexual. Gays or those in support of the gay community say it’s fine. Is it okay for two people of the same sex to have sexual relations with each other?
ABC News lists 58 genders. That’s a very long list. I prefer two. Male and female. Man and woman. God created man and woman in his image. Each is equally valued by God. But he created one man and one woman. Your gender was determined at birth. God does not make mistakes. Are there more than two genders?
The Bible says that marriage is heterosexual, intended for a man and a woman. Supporters of same-sex marriage say as long as two people are in love they should be allowed to marry. Is same-sex marriage okay?
What about living together before marriage? Is it OK for a Christian couple to live together before they marry? After all, what if they aren’t compatible?
Since 1973 when Roe v. Wade was passed, there have been more than 60 million abortions in the US. Is it okay to terminate the life of a child still in the womb? Norma McCorvey, aka Roe, later worked for the pro-life movement and attempted to get Roe v. Wade overturned.
I don’t know what your pastor, partner, church, small group leader, or friends say but according to the Bible, which is the unimpeachable source of truth for the Christian, each of the above is wrong. If you disagree, I’m sorry but God would tell you that he views each of these as sin.
A quick comment about Heaven and Hell. Even in the church there is disagreement about whether these are real places. How does someone get to heaven? Does everyone go there when they die? Do all roads lead to God? Will God allow really good people to go to hell? I firmly believe there is a Heaven where believers in Christ will spend eternity and I think there is a horrible place called hell where those who do not follow Jesus will spend eternity. But God doesn’t send people to hell. They make the choice to go there by rejecting him.
There’s so much controversy here. I almost wish I’d never started this article. You might not believe me but I’m not a bigot. Each of you is certainly allowed your own views on these subjects and I respect those views. But I hope you understand it’s got nothing to do with me…