That’s the question everyone has to answer before they start arguing their worldview on moral issues.
For instance when someone claims that Christianity has committed many vast “evils” over the centuries, you would have to assume that they have some system of morality that they are basing it on.
Atheists can’t do anything good?
Let me clarify a point that is very easily and too often misconstrued and misquoted by atheists.
The idea is that Christians believe that people who are atheists can’t live moral lives.
What is Absolute or Objective Morality
Now it doesn’t take very much effort to see that this notion is absolutely wrong. Of course people who don’t believe in God can live in a “moral” way. There is nothing preventing them from choosing to do something good or evil. That’s not where the crux of the argument really lies. Even the most diehard atheist, like Sam Harris, will tell you that absolute morality exists. that is, to quote Dr. William Lane Craig:
“To say that there are objective values is too say that something is right or wrong independently of whether anybody believes it to be so.”
They see from looking around in the world that certain things are right and certain things are wrong regardless of what the regime or government or people in charge say. The idea of murder is wrong regardless of whether someone such as Hitler thinks it was right.
They go to great lengths to point out all of the “evils” that religion has caused over the years, but there is a fundamental problem with this argument that is touted in lockstep.
The problem is that on an atheistic or naturalistic (the view that there is nothing beyond the natural) worldview, there is no reason for absolute morality to exist.
What that basically means is that if there is no God to give us a moral law, then everything we know about morality, right and wrong, good and evil, is just subjective. Your view is no more important than anyone else’s. Your view is no more right than anyone else’s. What that basically boils down to is that if there is no absolute morality than we cannot call the actions of Hitler, Stalin, or anything else that seems evil or wrong in the world.
If morality is a subjective mindset, then there is no reason not to charge forward and do everything in your power to better yourself and only yourself, leaving everyone else in the dust behind you. Even talk atheist by Richard Dawkins and Bertrand Russell knew this to be the case.
So yes without God you can act and be moral, but there is no foundation for morality other than God.
What responses have you heard to the moral argument?
How would you respond?
But we knew that going in to it.
One thing that irks me more than anything, are blatant double standards…especially when I’m on the other side.
When it comes to Christianity and embracing the culture there is a clear double standard between reason and emotion. Christians are not allowed to argue anything except for concrete fact. In fact the standard for using the Bible is miles higher than any other ancient text. Secularists ask the impossible of the Bible, while taking Caesar or Josephus or even Homer as “gospel”.
Also don’t dare try to use a personal experience or even mention an emotion or you will be lambasted. But when the same accuser launches into a speech about how mean God is for pain in the world, what is he appealing to? That’s right emotion.
The secular world likes to take Christianity and poke fun at it and throw blanket statements around about how Christians overuse the word faith. The problem is though, that these same people don’t understand what it is to have faith, but even more glaring is how guilty they are of committing the same intellectual crimes they accuse us of.
For instance if you were to watch a debate between William Lane Craig and any atheist, what you find is not the “rational reasoned and open minded arguments” that Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, or the late Christopher Hitchens claim to use. What you find instead are insults and attacks at red herrings that sound great to college students for a good laughter inducing sound bite, but hold no substance on their own.
It’s easy to get angry and sink to a nasty level, but Christ has called us to live above that. He told us that following Him is no cake walk.
“Take up your cross and follow me” not “Sit in your recliner and watch it unfold”
Embrace the culture in love. Dislike the double standard, but rise above it.
What double standards do you see?
At the time, Harry Blackstone was considered the world’s greatest magician. To this day, his legacy lives on not only through his extended family in the business, but through his legendary effects like the one seen above. Blackstone was also one of the few magicians able to bridge the gap from the vaudeville stage to the tv camera.
However to an audience full of people in Decatur, Illinois in 1942, he not only became the greatest illusionist of the time, but saved their lives as well.
Blackstone got word that the theater had caught fire midway through the act. As you and I know the one counter to freedom of speech that people always mention is, “Yelling fire in a crowded theater.” Knowing the pandemonium and danger that this would have caused had he stopped the show to tell the audience, Blackstone came up with a plan on the spot.
He told the audience that the conclusion to his show was something brand new that. Something no one had ever seen before. He said that it was so large that it must be viewed from outside the theater. The people in the audience naturally excited to see something like this, filed out of the room in a neat and orderly fashion row by row, at Blackstone’s instruction. No one tripped or trampled like they would had they known it was a fire.
Blackstone used his platform and his position to save hundreds of lives that day.
If you think about that, what influence do you have that people heed your advice? Perhaps at work or school? Do you just relay information when it comes to the Gospel, or do you invest your talents and your platform wisely into a unique way that causes people to stop and really listen to what you have to say?
The Gospel speaks for itself. The Spirit is the one who changes, but if we just throw the message out there like a ton of bricks, people are going to want to run. They aren’t going to care if they aren’t engaged. This is a sad but true fact of our entitlement and instant gratification culture.
Use your gifts and abilities to reach people today. That may be music, speaking, athletics, the list goes on and one. It may be something that doesn’t appear to be a gift at all. Use whatever God has blessed you with to reach others for him. The focus is on Christ, the goal is to bring him glory through our gifts and abilities. Start today. Don’t be afraid to use what God has given you for him.
What gifts do you have?
How many times have you had that feeling? Maybe you feel less than useful, or worthless? You look around at the rest of the world and they seem to be happy, but you are sitting in brokenness.
The beautiful thing about being broken though is letting God put the pieces back in the way he planned on. God’s plan for you is so incredible that if you just listen to him, it will be like you were never broken to start with. We despair and think there is no way that our situation can get any darker, until we let go and let God do amazing things.
The most evident way to see God is when we allow ourselves to get out of the way and see the amazing things he can do, but sometimes it takes us being broken to do that, but hold on. It’s always darkest before the dawn, and Joy comes in the morning.
You can’t win
This is a classic example of one of the oldest scams around. The idea is seen in many forms from cups and balls to nutshells and peas to three cards. The idea never changes though. The person controlling the items makes it seem as if you have a chance to win, but you don’t.
The idea is the same with any deception. You feel like you are doing right. You feel on top of the world, until the rug is pulled out from under you. Your walk with Christ can be the same way. If we take our eyes off of Jesus, we begin to fall. We begin to put our faith and trust in other things that will guarantee us failure. Satan would like nothing more than for you to feel like you are on top of the world only to be completely away from God.
This is sad, but this is how Christians wake up one day and can all of the sudden “justify” leaving or cheating on their spouse. The same way that any sin can be justified. We believe that it’s right, we believe that if it feels right than it must be right. That is a very dangerous mindset that only leads to bad.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
Don’t be fooled, keep your eyes on truth. The truth of Jesus Christ as mentioned in Hebrews 12.
How have you been fooled?
You climb out the window safe and sound, maybe a few bruises or scratches, but other than that you are just fine.
It’s no joke that the choices you make today will affect you for the rest of your life. It’s not just about making choices between where you will go to college, or if you will study hard or who you will hang out with.
…Because on the other side of street from where you just climbed out of your car, there sits the end of an entire families world. The idea of drunk driving looks so glorified in movies and tv, but truth be told when you make a choice like that, you are basically saying that your “night of fun” is more important than anyone else’s life.
I’m not trying to scare you, I’m just being real.
It’s not just about drunk driving. We talk about the fact that “It’s my life and my choices and it doesn’t affect anyone else.” That’s the problem with our world. We have this me-centric view about everything that we don’t even take time to stop and think how our choices can affect others. Drugs, alcohol, sex, all of these choices can seem totally harmless, but the consequences can change your life or the lives of complete strangers.
Put that on its side for just a second. Not only do those choices affect your life, but when it all comes down to it, there is really only one choice that carries the most weight of anything. It’s the choice between Christ and the world. Jesus came to this earth and died for us so that we can be forgiven for the choices that we have made. We tend to think that no one loves us in this world, but God loves you so much that he sent his son Jesus to die and rise from the dead because he loves you. No other reason. You are joy when it comes to Christ according to Hebrews 12.
This is the greatest choice you can make in your life. Not only will it change your life, but it changes eternity.
Understand something very important. The choices you make affect you and perhaps others for the rest of your life. Take a second today to make good choices. Tell others about the freedom that’s in Christ, and the choice they have to follow him.
What choices have you made?
When she landed that last move in her routine, Gabby Douglas knew she would be taking home the gold in gymnastics from the London Olympics. You could see the confidence beaming from her face as she graciously waited for her scores. After receiving the medal though, she made a statement that defined her. She said,
I give all the glory to God. It’s kind of a win win situation. The glory goes up to Him, and all the blessings fall down on me.
But I’m just a kid…
One of the things that I hear a lot about is, “how can I make an impact if I’m only a teenager?” Our culture has perpetuated a mindset of continued adolescence and the helplessness of teens to think and make decisions on their own. Paul clearly dispels this notion in 1 Timothy 4:12
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
I think Gabby really exemplifies this verse at age 16. You can do the same thing. It doesn’t matter if you are 6 or 60, God can use you if you are willing to give him your everything. A few blogs back I mentioned how the boy with the 5 loaves and 2 fish didn’t hold back from Jesus, but gave him his everything, and thousands were blessed because of it. You may think that there is no way to make an impact, but there is. You can start today.
It’s Up to You
It starts with your heart. With your attitude. To some, you may be the only encounter anyone ever has with a Christian. They can very well make up their minds about what a Christian is based solely on your life. Now that’s not necessarily the most fair thing, but it’s reality. Which is why at all times, we have to be wiling to give God our everything and hold nothing back. We have to shine in all situations so bright that people notice that there is something different about us. Matthew 5:14, Jesus says you are the light of the world. That’s no joke. This world is full of darkness. Your schools are full of darkness, and if you wait for someone else to shine, then you better be prepared to wait a long time.
It’s up to you. What are people going to think about Jesus based on your life? The time is now. You have to be willing to give God 100% and hold nothing back if you want to change this world. The world needs what you have, the world needs Jesus. You have the cure, why would you hold it back from a dying world?
Purpose in your Heart
Maker the choice today like Daniel. He was young a teen, when he made up his mind and purposed in his heart that he wouldn’t defile himself with what the world had to offer.
Make that purpose in your heart today to shine, and to use your platform whether that’s school, sports, Facebook, or whatever to tell the world about Jesus.