A number of contemporary notions reflect a shift away from America's traditionally Christian values. A few punchy phrases epitomize these concepts, which have become widely accepted. The imaginary exchanges and comments that follow take a brief, open-minded look at these ideas and their implications.
"YOU CAN'T LEGISLATE MORALITY."
Ok, then I can kill you! "No!" Why? "Because killing is wrong!" Oh, I thought you said that morality couldn't be legislated?
In fact, all legislation is based on moral values. The real questions are, which values are being proposed, and are they truly just?
"THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTE VALUES."
Do you mean that absolutely?
Think about it. Regardless if the first person answers "yes" or "no," the contradiction in their belief is revealed. People who hold to this false notion ironically deny the existence of absolutes, absolutely!
"IF IT FEELS GOOD, DO IT."
Ok, then I'll take all of your possessions and money. "No!" Why not? Having all of your things without working for them would feel good to me.
The "feel good" philosophy reveals a user mentality. It's an excuse to do things that are harmful to individuals and society. Self control and personal discipline may be out of fashion, but those values are still at the core of any healthy society.
"WE MUST BE TOLERANT OF EVERYONE'S BELIEFS."
Ok, I believe you should sacrifice yourself on a burning fire. "No, wait!" Why? "That would be wrong!" I thought you said we must be tolerant of all beliefs?
A Christian is taught to love the sinner, but hate the sin. We can be accepting of a person, listen to their thinking, but still recognize errors (see Mt. 12:33-37)
and point them out when they surface. To practice total tolerance would lead to total anarchy, and the end of civilization.
"YOU CAN'T TRUST AUTHORITY."
Whose authority do you base that statement on? Your own, or someone else's?
Again, what can the first person say? We all accept the idea of authority, the real issue is whose authority do we accept? If the authority is honest, fair and just, then it is an authority which deserves adherence.
"THERE IS NO GOD!" OK, prove it!
In fact, the atheist or doubter can't prove there isn't a Creator, they can only make unsupported claims which rely on their personal faith! Often, doubters have trouble reconciling problems in the world with the belief in a loving God. Others are simply rebelling against the obedience due to God by denying the Creator's existence. By denying God, they can easily deny right and wrong, heaven and hell, the reality of moral choices and the consequences of their actions.
By contrast, Aristotle and other ancient, medieval and modern thinkers have demonstrated through reason that God exists. For example, the Big Bang Theory doesn't explain how matter came into being, and there are serious gaps in evolutionary theories too. These theories only make sense if we accept the existence of an all-powerful Creator. Scriptural prophecies fulfilled centuries later are powerful testimony to God and His Word.
Take God out of the equation of life, and what is left for man? The only purpose for life would be to see how much a person can accumulate, what distractions, passing pleasures and entertainment could be had. Know God, know peace. No God, no peace.
In many ways, the decline of modern society mirrors the moral decay that preceded the collapse of the pagan Roman Empire. But the early Christians, through their faith and example, changed hearts, converted lives and eventually tamed the marauders who sacked Rome. Jesus truly is the "Way, the Truth and the Life." (Jn. 14:6)
, and only by following His message faithfully, can we once again have a safer and more just society. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Rom. 12:21; see also Ex. 23:2a; Is. 5:20-21; Prv. 14:12)