True Morality Has But One Arbiter
The Supreme Court of the United States recently issued a ruling interpreting employment protections based on “sex” in the 1964 Title VII to include, not only male or female, but LGBT as well. This development highlights some important principles regarding the standard of morality for Christians and how Christ expects us to respond to those in the world in which we live. I would like to focus on three of these principles in the short amount of space allotted here.
Government often condones things God condemns. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 provides a list of behaviors that will keep a person out of the kingdom of God. Other than thieving and swindling, our culture has decided to regard the rest of the list as irrelevant. That should come as no real surprise to disciples of Christ. Over 2,700 years ago, Isaiah wrote, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21)
Christians must never compromise divine revelation. Hebrews 5:13-14 makes it clear that the only way to discern good and evil is to exercise our senses in the proper use of the word of righteousness. When Christians find their view of morality at odds with societal norms (and they will), we should keep two passages of Scripture in mind. “Let God be found true, though every man be found a liar” (Romans 3:4). “Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
We need to understand our responsibility before God. The Christian’s task is not to eliminate sin from the world, it is to rescue others from sin, one soul at a time. That is why Paul wrote that we are not to judge the world (1 Corinthians 5:12-13) of particular sins, yet he diligently persuaded men to seek God’s forgiveness for all of their sins in light of the severity of His coming judgment (2 Corinthians 5:11). Peter wrote, “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15).
Christians should pray for government “that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:2), then exert the influence we have as citizens toward that end. But regardless of the outcome, we stand resolute in our devotion to Christ and His message of righteousness, redemption and love.