Kind of an interesting juxtaposition, Violet, my atheist buddy, recently called me disgusting, my opinion, beliefs, etc, meaning my Christian beliefs, which compelled me to ask, by Whose standard? By what morality? Outside of an objective morality on which to base one’s opinions, you have nothing there on which to judge my alleged sinfulness, except your own subjective opinion.
In Violet’s opinion abortion is a moral thing, and near as I can tell, also moral, gay public relations should take precedent over the fact that the gay mayor of Seattle has now been accused of trolling young boys, pedophilia. Hence how my disagreement with her over her own subjective moral judgements rendered me “disgusting.” But what is it that allegedly makes her vast understanding of morality so far superior to mine? Nothing. It is based on nothing more than her own personal opinion, and somewhat limited understanding and experience of the world. Totally subjective, much like her opinion of me. Indoctrination really. Abortion-good. Homosexuality-good. Thou shall not contradict the established doctrine with any facts that may detract from the goodness of these things.
Ironically Tiribulus is also displeased with me, proving IB is just really good at building unity and consensus among diverse groups. The heart of Tiribulus’s post is that he objects to the idea that sin harms us and believes that no, sin is bad because it is offensive to God. Actually, the answer is both at the same time. He says, “To sum up. Does the LORD care about the deleterious effects of sin upon His people? Of course He does, but nothing has ever been, nor will anything ever be of greater priority and concern to Him than HIS GREAT AND HOLY NAME.”
That is theologically correct. That is not relationship correct however, human interactions correct, or logic correct, because while it makes perfect sense to me, I am often involved in discussions that amount to, it’s not harmful, therefore it’s not sin. I could run about bellowing at the top of my lungs, a sin is a sin because God says it is, but that does absolutely nothing to convince anyone who doesn’t already believe in God, that sin is actually harmful to us personally.
The debate I am often involved in amounts to, “God is a horrible dictator who makes arbitrary rules and doesn’t love us, therefore I don’t believe in God.”
I set out a number of years ago to prove they are not arbitrary rules at all. That every one of these “rules” serves a vital benefit to us personally. That they are for our own good and protection. I have not been wrong yet. All in grim humor here, but I’d like to pause and thank the US, the federal reserve, and the international monetary fund, for doing such an amazing job of displaying some of the potential hazards and pitfalls of the sin of usury. I’ve had to do almost no work proving the moral hazards of that one. They got it covered.
Sin harms us personally, even when we can’t see it, even when we don’t understand it, even when we aren’t aware of it. So sin is not just “arbitrary rules handed down by a dictator,” they are clearly designed to protect us, often from our own selves, our own lack of foresight. Do we not often think we know better than God? Do we often fail to see the consequences of our own actions? These so-called “arbitrary rules” are actually designed to prevent us from additional grief and suffering that sin causes.
The problem with subjective morality is that it is narrow in its focus, it relies on nothing more than the wisdom, bias, and personal experiences of a select group of people. The reason, feelings, and rationalizing of a tiny group of people is as inadequate and flawed an objective morality marker as empathy is. I am well aware of this. I am also well aware that the world we are living in has gone and made sin somewhat subjective, even many Christians, so we now believe we can judge right and wrong based on how much harm we perceive it as doing or not doing. Once we open that door we can now rationalize anything. Gossip…usury….homosexuality…abortion…pedophilia…selling baby body parts…
So, this all proves not only that God is good, that God loves us, and His rules are designed to protect us, it speaks to the fact that He is highly intelligent and has designed a system in which for humans to flourish and thrive. HIS GREAT AND HOLY NAME is elevated, praised, lifted on high, when we start reflecting Him and living as He has called us to live.