Friday, July 10, 2015

Legislating Morality

The common cliché that, “You can’t legislate morality,” has a strong basis in truth; so much so that it even begs the question about the possibility. I sometimes ask people, (using the acronym, AYSOW) “Are you stupid or what?” Ok, that’s not polite, but it is a valid question.
We continue to attempt to pass laws that will supposedly instill morality relative to violence, racism, bigotry, and such into the world view of Americans. Ignorant people sing the praises of gun control, gay “marriage” (which is an oxymoron in itself), tolerance for anything, etc. Laws have never been totally successful in shaping the boundaries of appropriate behavior for people. Laws never have and never will as long as mankind remains out of fellowship with God.
The apostle Paul wrote in the first century to warn his disciple, Timothy, that:
. . . There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God —  having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV)
The Holy Spirit must have whispered that prediction in Paul’s ear. We are seeing these very things being fully realized today. Someone just posted on Facebook that racism was almost eradicated in America until Obama came along. Christians are being accused of bigotry for taking stands on moral issues like baking cakes for homosexuals. Strange that Muslim bakeries are being given a pass while Christians are subjected to lawsuits, harassment, and worse.
Morality comes from training from caring family units involved in regular attendance and participation in spiritual programs. In previous decades, society itself participated in the shaping of youth attitudes and moral values. Since the outbreak of rampant immorality in the 1960s and 70s, moral values have declined to the point of almost being non-existent.
The answer lies in a yet-to-happen spiritual revival akin to the revivals of the early and mid- 20th century. People’s lives were impacted positively by simply receiving Jesus Christ as their savior and making Him Lord of their lives.
The process is simple;
  • Repent of sins
  • Commit one’s life to Christ
  • Walk in the fullness of a new life in Christ
  • Share your decision with others.

There is a special blessing for those who enter into this relationship with Jesus. The apostle John wrote this:
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.  (John 1:12-13 NIV)
On the down side, failure to accept the free offer of salvation can have life shattering results. In my end-times novel, Eye of the Storm, several of the characters had relied on just trying to live lives substantially moral, but failed to find a personal relationship with Jesus and were left behind when the Rapture occurred. For these individuals, church had become a social club, not a place for the church to gather to worship their Lord. Church was a place, not an assembly of believers. On any given Sunday, over 40% of the typical congregation was unsaved. The less faithful appeared mostly on the C & E religious holidays; Christmas and Easter.
For such people, morality became whatever they felt it was, and often it would be warped to whatever purpose they felt was necessary to achieve their best advantage. Morality, in their view, became relative and unlike the absolute morality demanded of believers by the Bible.
For some, often times many, morality would be demanded of the general populous via legislation. Despite their assertion that true morality could not be legislated, they still attempted to legislate it into existence.
Today, gun grabbers and gun control advocates attempt to legislate morality by denying law-abiding citizens their Second Amendment rights to own and bear arms. This demonstrates the ignorance of the ones in power and reveals their agenda to disarm law-abiding citizens and retain control through tyrannical actions. It is clearly the morally weak striving to control and defeat the morally strong.
Truly, “all we, like sheep, have gone astray” when we fail to stand up to such tyranny. We are like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew’s gospel records:
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Matt. 9:35-38 NIV)
 The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus to make them aware that they have a responsibility to stand up to tyranny:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"-- which is the first commandment with a promise-- "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 1and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (Eph. 6:1-18 NIV)
Paul wrote clearly that, no matter what your station in life, God will guard you against the forces of evil in the world, but you also have a responsibility to take part in resisting the evil.
In his letter to the church in Thessalonica, Paul also laid down the behaviors that are pleasing to the Lord:
Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. (1 Thess. 4:1-12 NIV)
As I portrayed a possible scenario in Eye of the Storm for a pre-tribulation Rapture event, the reason that some, who thought they were Christians, got left behind at the Rapture.
True moral living issues forth from a life transformed by a genuine, heart-felt conversion experience and an active spiritual life conforming to the standards articulated by Paul in his letter to the believers in Rome:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2 NIV)

 Check out Eye of the Storm on Amazon.