Editorial: Moral Authority

The Lord Jesus taught that in the end time, the breaking of the moral dam, will cause “the love of many to wax cold” (Matt 24:12). Evil is bursting out and some believers are discouraged, while others are defiled. The first is bad, the second is worse.

The Lord Jesus likens the character of this age to the days of Noah and the days of Sodom (Luke 17:26-29). The parallels are frightening, but there are ways in which the immoral worlds of Noah and Lot were not as confusing as these “latter days”. Wrong was wrong and right was right. It was a world of absolutes. Ours is a world of relativity in moral attitudes. The new ingredient of this age is not so much its immorality, as its amorality Through the ages, sin has been excused as human foibles and failures, but to deny that it is wrong at all is the darkest blot on this modern age.

A parable of my own making has helped me to understand this relativistic moral climate. I have pictured a car that needs repair. The owner takes it to a mechanic who works on it and tells the owner that it is repaired. When he picks up his car, he is disgusted to find that it has not been fixed, so he returns it to the mechanic. The owner says, “I want it fixed right.” The mechanic retorts, “What is right?” The owner responds, “Well I want it fixed as it should be – or as it is supposed to be.” The mechanic asks, “And who is there to say how it is supposed to be?” There is a solution to this debate. The owner can say, “Well the manufacturer who made this car has written a manual, and it will tell you how it should be fixed. I want it like that.” Modern society has thrown away the Manual, God’s Word.

Even world leaders, forsaking the authority of Holy Scripture, flounder hopelessly when they are demanded to give authority for what they say is “right”. They have tried to appeal to “traditional or family values” only to be mocked. The scoffers have said, “Who has the authority to tell us what is right behavior? We are free to make our own choices about what is right or wrong.” Standards of righteousness are even further eroded when many people claim that personal behavior is irrelevant to public image or official effectiveness. The wise king wrote, “It is abomination to (rulers) kings to commit wickedness for the throne is established by righteousness” (Prov 16:12).

Nowhere is the dilemma of modern society more confusing than when a young mother is charged with murdering her newborn infant while society condones the murder of millions of babies by abortion when they are a few weeks younger. This dehumanizing of unborn infants is the same philosophy by which Nazis dehumanized Jews and killed millions of them.

In all this strange mixture of moral values, we need to constantly come back to the Word of God to have our thinking adjusted. Our God is unchanging and absolute in all His judgments (Mal 3:6). The Saviour we own as our Lord is “Jesus Christ the Same” (Heb 13:8). Who could never love sinners more than He, yet, He “loved righteousness, and hated iniquity” (Heb 1:9). We should not be ashamed when the world says we are intolerant because we condemn such acts as are described in Romans 1:26-32. True morality is the answer to both immorality and amorality.