Hello, Scott! Thank you for your thoughts and for responding. Sorry for the trickery with the picture of the couple in my profile pic , but I am actually a sister . I’m not fond of taking selfies or just having pictures of just me lying around, so pictures of my husband and me and pictures of my kids are all I have available for profile pictures right now.
I was hoping someone would speak up about this, so thank you for doing so. As I was writing my response, the question came up in my mind about the how holiness and morality are related. I know they have a relationship…and I guess I always just assumed I knew how they are related, but to tell you the truth, I have never really thought about it, so thank you for responding to my little “bone” I threw in.
With respect to this argument that Ravi gives, it is an argument given to someone who agrees that there is good and evil and yet tries explaining that sense of morality we have by some other means than a good God that gave it. So, here, I am not saying that there isn’t an objective moral law or that God doesn’t exist or that God doesn’t at all give moral law.
Though God certainly gives moral law, it does not logically follow that all God’s laws are moral. I am not sure about all of God’s laws necessarily having a component of morality, because some of them are practical, and some of them serve sanctification purposes, and saying that it’s just because we can’t understand or comprehend really isn’t an argument that grounds the claim “all God’s laws must be moral,” because if we cannot comprehend or fully grasp the purpose of all the laws, then we would not be able to make a claim, either way, as to whether all of the laws have a moral component or not–because we don’t have the understanding to say so.
We know that some of the laws did not necessarily have a moral component, but they were, rather, put in place as a foreshadowing of Christ and what he would accomplish (also to teach us what is necessary for reconciliation with God: the shedding of blood). For instance, some of the laws concerning the appointed feasts the Israelites were to observe have been fulfilled in Christ. Though related to morality, these did not necessarily have a moral component. These point to a greater reality of sanctification in Christ. To use another of Ravi’s quotes, which very much fits this conversation, “Christ did not die to make bad people good but to make dead people live” (a paraphrase, I think, as I don’t remember the exact wording). So if that is the case, then some of the laws having to do with sanctification have nothing to do with good and bad (morality) and everything to do with holiness and sanctification, which are related to, but not synonymous with, morality. What do you think?
Either way, there are indeed moral components in God’s laws, and my question was why would he say that embracing a covenant with those laws that have moral components the same thing as embracing moral relativism? That is what I was not sure I was understanding correctly. The only way I know how to make that make sense is if he is thinking God is assigning these moral codes/standards to just the people who enter into covenant with God, implying that those moral codes/standards do not apply to people outside the covenant. My problem with that is that God doesn’t make one law for some and another for others (the talk about OT vs. NT may come in here, but I’m going to stay away from that for a bit, because I think it will convolute the point I am trying to get to); every person is held accountable for violation of God’s law, so none of the morality embedded in any of God’s laws would be relative. It applies to everyone. The difference is that the people entering into the covenant agree to obey the law, and God says He will dwell with them and be their God and that they will be His people. The covenant signifies that free will is involved, that in order to receive God’s blessings and the atonement we need to be reconciled to God, we have to freely enter into that covenant relationship with Him and be obedient out of faith. The surrounding peoples were still judged under God’s law with the same moral components (why else would God have the right to enact His judgment upon them?), but they did not enter into covenant with Him.
This is how I have it worked out in my mind . , but I really am not sure I am understanding accurately why he drew the conclusion he did about the embracing of the covenant equaling the embracing of moral relativism. Please let me know your thoughts! Loving this conversation!