Genesis 1: 1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Our culture has fully bought in to the idea of moral relativity. Which means that it is up to each person to decide what is morally right for them. Usually it is subtle, “Well, I wouldn’t do that, but he needs to make his own choices and I can’t judge him.” Like me, not everyone has bought into the idea of relative morality. They believe there are moral absolutes; things that are right and wrong regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.
Folks who believe in relative morality get along pretty well with all the other moral relativists, but they butt heads with the moral absolutists. Because, the moral relativists hold back one absolute, which is, the people who believe in moral absolutes are always wrong. You don’t need to follow the argument very far before it begins to unravel. If I don’t believe in moral absolutes, I cannot believe that moral absolutes are wrong. (The best I can say is that I have not chosen to accept moral absolutes.) To believe there are no moral absolutes is, itself, a moral absolute, and my position collapses.
What the moral relativists are really saying to the moral absolutists is, “In my universe, I have the moral authority to condemn you for holding moral absolutes that disagree with my moral decisions. But, you don’t have the moral authority to disagree with my moral decisions.”
That’s where today’s verse comes in. God’s response to the moral relativist is, “It’s not your universe. I made the universe and I included physical and moral laws. You can’t change the moral laws any more that you can change the physical laws.” If we believe Genesis 1, one of the conclusions that follows is that God is the self-existent first cause of the universe. Which means that a thing is good if God has made it and it is right is God has said it is right.
With the heady introduction invoking God’s moral authority, this is where you expect me to give you God’s big moral “don’t” list. You can take the list into the morally relative world and club it into submission by pointing out the logical inconsistencies with its position. The problem is, that doesn’t work. Following a big “don’t” list may make us feel morally superior, but it won’t change the world.
Instead, let me kick off your week with a short moral “do” list. The great thing about this list is that they will change the world and most moral relativists won’t condemn you for doing them. Do these things and see how they change your life and the lives of those around you:
- Love God with everything you have;
- Love your neighbor as yourself;
- Feed and clothe the poor;
- Visit those in prison;
- Care for windows and orphans,
- Go into the world and make disciples.
OK, you’d feel better if I also gave you a couple “don’t” ideas:
- Don’t worry about what you will wear and what you will eat, God takes care of the birds and flowers and He will take care of you.
- Don’t grow weary of doing good.
As you read the Bible, you can develop your own moral “do” list. Pick one or two at a time and focus on them until they become habits. Then move on to something else.
Make 2018 the year of the “do.”