Honest Answers – Isn’t morality relative?
View our short video asking the question "Isn’t morality relative?" below or on our Trinity Grace Church Youtube channel
Never has our world been in such a confused state about morality as it is today.
Fundamentally morality is an issue of right and wrong, good and bad, but it’s more than that.
Morality is a social thing, morality is something that you build a society on, it’s something that everyone has to agree it’s a norm of life which enables us to live together as human beings successfully. Professors of ethics have all had their two penneth – that trying to undermine the moral code that is written throughout the human conscience, you can be ‘frowned upon’ very easily if you say that there is not automatically a moral code that you must adhere to.
Indeed if you were to say that something is a sin, well, then you’ve actually committed the ultimate sin. In fact the conscience of society has become very dulled as to what is right and wrong, what it perceives to be good or bad, indeed what is indecent and what is decent.
The line between personal preference and what is considered morally wrong has become very blurred.
The mantra of today is that ‘morality is relative’.
Why does morality matter?
It sounds cool and tolerant to say that morality doesn’t matter – to just let people live their lives and behave as they want to. Quite simply morality matters, because without it we can’t live together as human beings.
If we are to argue that morality is of no consequence, then to be consistent we must accept all forms of moral code even those we find abhorrent.
So one person says murder is good, and another person says adultery is good, and another person says theft is good, and another person says lying is good – of course many of us and most of us would say ‘no no it’s wrong’, these moral codes are wrong, but how far you go do you go down the line?
Who’s to say ‘this’ moral code is right or ‘that’ moral code is right – At it’s very root we see that if we dispel or get rid of morality we end up with the wars that we’ve got we end up with power struggles we end up with broken families, we end up with overpopulated prisons, we don’t know what to do with the people we’ve got in there and it goes on and on and he saw because we have strayed from the human law that he’s written inside us.
Eventually, if we live that way, society will break down.
Morality really matters because we can only build happy stable social order on proper morality.
- So who actually makes the rules?
- who put this law inside us?
- Where did it come from?
Morality must measure up to a standard to a rule to a norm – whatsoever that may be in actually asking the question who makes the rules?
I can imagine lots of people putting their hands up like a school child keen to give the answer saying ‘pick me, pick me, pick me, I want to make the rules’. Unfortunately today when people talk about morality being relative, that’s not what they mean at all.
What they mean is, and I think some of my colleagues using determine this way even in this film what they mean is no rules no standard relative in the sense of I make the rules I decide and to be honest. I can change my mind anytime as well.
As we’ve seen that’s no way to live. Well what about government, then how we elect the government, and we can lobby government and we can seek to work out with government what is right and wrong. Surely they should set the moral code – but again we have a massive problem:
How can the government choose what is right and wrong? And if in fact if a government does do that then probably five years along the line another government will come and change it.
So we will not know where we are. Will it be down to experts?
We hear a lot about them today. Are they going to decide is it down to philosophers? Is it down to academics? Is it is it down to the important people in society? Who’s going to decide?
We’ve tried to reason this out for centuries. The truth is, it’s always been there right from Adam.
- We’ve always known that it is wrong to murder.
- We’ve always known that it is wrong to commit adultery.
- We’ve always known that it is wrong to lie, to cheat, to defraud.
This is written in us, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
The only logical answer for all of this is that God put it there.
The truth is in God, who makes the rules. He is the Almighty Creator the all-wise, good kind and righteous God – and despite what many people think, God wants us to have pleasure, God wants us to have happiness, God wants us to be stable and secure, God wants society to work, God wants us to be creative, God wants us to enjoy the world he has made for us, and he’s given us morality he’s given us his standard so that we can be safe and secure and stable in this world.
The fact that we have rejected his standard the standard that is laid down for us in the Bible is the reason why we have all the trouble. God makes the rules and we break them.
So is there anyone who is perfect?
Has anybody been able to maintain this moral law? Has anybody been able to do what we ought to do every time?
I think we all know we have all failed. I mean the Bible says for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We all have fallen short of God’s standards, and God’s laws. None of us is exempt from that, and if we’re honest with ourselves, we have to admit that.
Therefore we need someone to rescue us, someone to save us. The man Christ Jesus.
The reality of being real human, and yet real God – in the one person
Jesus Christ came to save us. He kept God’s moral code perfectly – you never have, I never have. None of us ever have, ever could or ever will, but the Lord Jesus Christ has. And if you doubt that, read the account of his life in the Gospels see how he loved his enemies, did good to those who hated him, prayed for those who treated him badly – see what a friend he was, what a colleague he was what a co-worker he was, what a genuinely good creative man he was.
Yes he faced temptation like we do. Yes he faced hardship and difficulty and suffering and opposition and all manner of things, but in all this he remained absolutely without sin.
He lived a totally perfect life – and that is something magnificent, that is something life-changing.
For Jesus is not only a perfect man that we can see perfect morality in, and follow as an example, but because he’s perfect and without sin he is able to save people from their sin and to deliver them from its consequences. If only everyone lived the way.
Jesus lived and he empowers us to do that by his spirit – Then what kind of a society would we live in today? Certainly not one dominated by all the troubles we have – because we have embraced immorality instead of God’s morality.