Moral law giver


(Tsilise) #1

Hello there. Am from Nagaland, India and am beginning to feel that my Christain doctrine and faith has all encompassing relevance and role to play in the arenas such as academia, culture and politics. And I seriously think that there could not any better community than RZIM which can I feel and believe provide well-informed answer to life’s deepest questions with Grace and all sincerity.

And am so grateful that RZIM has come up with this very innovate approach to engage with believers, non-believers and people like me who has many questions about my own faith.

I have struggle myself pertaining to my faith and its relevance in public square.

Whenever I try to have dialogue with my friends I often times try to sound politically correct for the sake of cordiality and civility however, I ended being feeling frustrated and disappointed for the reason I fail to communicate effectively the true essence about my Christian faith.
I would like get some inputs; as to how I can have a meaningful dialogue and at the same time communicate effectively about my faith with cordiality intact?

My another question is about the mortality:
In one particular instance I felt thoroughly defeated because I couldn’t provide logically sound explanation over the issue of Objective Moral Laws and its necessitated existence of a Moral laws giver.

Am not sure as to how I can logically navigate through this question many people ask. Many people would concede that fact that objective moral laws do seem to exist and plausibly so but it seem so not in tandem with logic and reason; that since objective moral law exist there has to be a moral law giver. I would love to hear more insighst into this too.
Thank you.


(Billie Corbett) #2

A warm welcome to you and I truly hope you find the support you are looking for.

It is interesting to learn from your introduction that your are experiencing the same social / political correctness around matters of faith and morality, that I am experiencing in Canada. It really seems this post modern, post truth liberalism has managed to become a global phenomenon.

Reading your introduction and your questions helped me see this isn’t just a western struggle for people of faith.
I had the sense that Canada, the US and European countries were pretty much sold down the river on this mind set…but, now I see it’s scope is broader than that.

In answer to part of your question, I would encourage you to do two things…continue to “seek, knock and ask”, the Lord of Heaven and earth for Divine wisdom regarding what you are experiencing.
I view this as a two fold Christian calling…to search for truth and a call to be steadfast in prayer.

We know from Jesus’s own words…that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. So all you can do to abide in Him and to let His words abide in you… this will enable you to navigate these treacherous modern philosophical waters.

Something for you to consider…
This is something I ask myself when in a context of trying to engage with other people who lack the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus…
Are they really interested in understanding what I might have to contribute, or in what I believe? Sometimes I even ask that question of them. Asking this requires them have to search themselves…to ask themselves…are they being honest relationally with me?
They have to question their integrity, their intentions first.
I believe this is a fair question to ask them, since if their intentions are to ridicule, mock or to be condescending toward me (as somehow inferior to them because I have found struggling with the “BIG” questions of life…existence, morality etc…as important)…then, I don’t believe I owe them an answer.
Jesus often, answered a question with a question…and I believe this is the reason why…He saw the motivation, the intention of the questioner was insincere and dishonest…He chose to expose this to them. Which often made them very angry. People do not like the corruption of their their intentions exposed.
Of course, Jesus knew perfectly what was going on in people’s hearts. We don’t! So, this is a fair and just way of engaging … by asking questions of the questioner, to see if they are seeking truth. If they are, you can be assured that God is at work to reveal Himself. If there is no “soundness” in the person enquiring…you can see more clearly if they are just attempting to set you up…to tear you down. People of this mindset, are not wanting or willing to have a conversation.
Two scripture references to support what I have attempted to express…

Matthew 7:6 “Give not that which is hold unto dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them, under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”
Matthew 10: 16 “ Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be yyou therefore wise as serpents and as harmless as doves.”

I hope my response is helpful in some some measure…
I face the very same struggles in abiding in the faith.

Blessings…


(Tsilise) #3

In our modern times our struggles in pursuit for truth has seriously been muddied by the phenomenon so called globalization; its not just confined to economy but has very pervasive implications. Therefore, I believe our kind of struggle is not endemic to particular geography or culture but it rather a global one.
And I find your thought to be helpful and made me think and dig for more.
Thank you, dear friend and God bless.


(SeanO) #4

@Tsilise I’ve provided some resources below that help to reason through the idea of a moral law and how it necessitates a moral lawgiver. I’ve also linked a thread on how to share Christ.

I think part of sharing our Christian faith is knowing a few things:

  • where the other person is at in their own spiritual walk - sometimes we need to ask them open ended questions and listen carefully just to understand where they are at
  • if the other person is genuinely interested in learning about Jesus - are they seeking? Or is this a time in their life when their heart is closed?
  • how can we share something about our faith that might be meaningful to them given where they are at in their own spiritual journey? Sometimes if we are going out with unsaved friends we might jot down a few questions we think that could move the person one step forward or make them think about a spiritual truth in a way they’ve never considered before
  • standing by your convictions does not imply rudeness, but speaking truth with gentleness and respect. For example, when my coworkers, who are not Christian, as my opinion on an issue over which there is large disagreement between the secular world and Christ - like sexuality - I answer their question truthfully, sharing that Christ taught that sex is temporary and only beneficial in the context of marriage between a man and woman. But then I try to get behind the issue and talk about identity - as a Christian my core identity is not in my sexuality, but in Christ (if they are willing to listen or interested). Then I try to listen to their opinion. I do not push the topic on them, but I am always ready to give an answer to anyone who asks me for a reason for the hope that is in me (or at least try to be).

1 Peter 3:15-16 - But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

When you say there is evil, aren’t you admitting there is good? When you accept the existence of goodness, you must affirm a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil. But when you admit to a moral law, you must posit a moral lawgiver. Ravi Zacharias


(Kenny) #5

Hi again Tsilise,

I think @SeanO has addressed the first question really well already, so I’ll just touch on the 2nd question if you don’t mind.

This question was actually posed to Ravi Zacharias in quite a few of his talks, where the questioner is agreeable up to the fact that moral law exists, but questions about the link or the person behind the moral law (giver). Here is the latest one that was just uploaded onto Youtube by RZIM:

To summarise it a little, Ravi Zacharias mentioned that:

Every time you raise the question of evil, it is either raised by a person or about a person. An animal’s instinct is to slaughter and kill (they will not question about whether what they are doing or not is evil). We as human beings will raise the question of evil and injustice and the reason is that we are assuming intrinsic worth either by the questioner or the person that they are raising the question about. And you cannot afford the luxury of intrinsic worth in a naturalistic framework. It has to be a theistic framework in which to assume intrinsic worth for every individual. By raising such a question, you actually establish purpose and value, which cannot be done without a designer.


(Stephen Wuest) #6

In philosophy, whatever a person thinks of as “right” or “wrong” is put under the label of morality-ethics (there is no distinction between “morality” and “ethics” in modern philosophy).

Appealing to a person’s sense of “moral law” is good, because even people who deny that there is such a thing as morality/ethics, still behave as if there are propositions that they believe are right and wrong.

In philosophical moral theory, there are multiple historical models of what moral-ethical systems should look like. It would be very helpful for Christians to read over a number of different historical models, so that they would be familiar with these very different models, through the centuries. (Christians who have never done this, often assume that biblical teaching is “moral,” and everything else is nonauthoritative. This leads to a very relative and logic-free approach to moral/ethical systems. I say this, just to point out that many Christians are not ready to enter a full philosophical discussion in moral theory.)

There are other very interesting points that Christians need to be aware of. I mention just a few…

Causality, can be seen as a different presentation of truth. “What causes a statement to be true?” Causality can be examined in very physical ways (such as the applied sciences), or in very abstract ways (such as asking the question, “what is it that makes an action moral/ethical?”).

But the kinds of causality recognized in the hard sciences, are very narrow, and not at all complete. This is a basic point made in The Oxford Handbook of Causation, Beebee. And concepts of causation in the hard sciences, cannot express moral/ethical right and wrong. The hard sciences do not have the working variables, to express moral/ethical right and wrong. You cannot derive the Ten Commandments, from physics, or chemistry, or biology, or finite math. There is no way, from the hard sciences, to describe “moral law” (that is the basis of the argument presented in comments on this site, that there is a moral law giver).

A lot of Christians have embraced a very anti-intellectual approach to truth, and morality/ethics, that is really not the biblical approach. This anti-intellectual approach really does not understand “Christ, the reason/logic of God.” And avoiding the topic of what serious reasoning is, undercuts both the logical arguments in the Bible, and apologetics.

I would suggest a much, more historical, and intellectual approach.

— The hard sciences reason about a subset of reality (which excludes morality/ethics)
— The hard sciences are unable to express moral/ethical concepts
— Christians need to recognize our shared reality of valid reasoning methods
(these are the basis of both hard scientific proofs, and moral/ethical reasoning)
— Christians need to affirm that the moral/ethical “consciousness” of mankind is based on universal revelation by God, as to what is basically “right” and “wrong” (this is a much more basic argument, than “whatever is asserted in the Bible, is true.” This is Paul’s argument for the universal “conscience” of mankind. (On this point, you will find language in the New Testament referring to people who live not according to this universal morality, as people who are “living the lie.” The NT writers are appealing to a type of shared moral/ethical reality, that defines moral/ethical truth.)
— the Bible presents a type of moral/ethical “causality”: if we behave in certain ways, then God will respond to us in certain ways. The ultimate closure to this interaction, is the final judgment.
— the Bible presents “truth” as what is real, both with regard to the physical universe (here, truths agree with the results of the hard sciences, observations and experiments), and with regard to morality/ethics (here truths must agree with the universal revelation of the “conscience” and the rigors of formal logic).

If a Christian just thinks through these core ideas, they will be much further along. And they will have bridges of apologetics to the hard sciences, and formal logic, and to our shared moral/ethical reality.

I would like to see a much fuller discussion among Christians, of this shared reality that we live in.


(gerhard NvC) #7

I thought the problem of moral judgement is the central message of the bible referred to as sin. After all, the fall is exactly that problem of sin, e,g, the rejection of the authority of God with eating from the tree of realisation of good and evil, thus making up moral rules as if we were God by the realisation/manifestation of our self. This in turn sets humans in conflict with all other self’s particularly God, the ultimate self of the system.


(Tsilise) #8

Thanks Kyrie. God bless


(Stephen Wuest) #9

Gerhard,

Sin, in the Bible , has a very fixed definition.

I was making the point that historic philosophy recognizes many different kinds of moral/ethical systems.

And it is a good think for a Christian to recognize moral/ethical systems that are not the same as the

Bible’s.

Stephen