500 Years after Luther
The Protestant Reformation is 500 years old now, but what has been the effect on Christian “morality?” Has the “faith once delivered” been restored, and have the ancient paths been re-established? God tells us that he acts on behalf of those who trust him and do good. But the reality of our Christian religious world does not seem to reflect the ideals of sola scriptura…living by every word of God. And many of our religious leaders, like those in the time of Jeremiah, or John, are merely interested in offering soothing platitudes. They deceitfully proclaim, “peace,” when there is no peace. So how can we expect God’s blessing?
Shared Moral Values
In the 1830’s, Toqueville, in writing of America, noted the shared moral values that influenced every aspect of a thriving society. These values were rooted in the biblical tradition. Yet today, even in the religious world, we see no such consensus. Some would say this is the result of the fragmentation that has occurred as a consequence of the Reformation. They point to a lack of “shared authority” as had been experienced in the era prior to the Reformation. But don’t Christians have an authority that should help us to arrive at a moral consensus? What is that authority?
Passionate about Biblical Values
Recently, the Christian Union Gospel Mission, a non-profit organization that helps the needy, has been under attack. They are refusing to hire someone who rejects biblical values. And why? Their spokesperson defended their position by saying they were “passionate about the Bible.” Are we, passionate about biblical values, too? Do we appreciate the power of the biblical message? Can we understand the transformative nature of its teachings? Do we believe that the bible provides the moral standard that should guide our thought and action? Many “Christians” fail to see the connection between being passionate about biblical values and living good lives, godly lives.
Life in the Post-Modern World
Since the Reformation the western world has been influenced by many philosophical traditions. These ideas have had a profound effect on biblical scholarship. The end result for many theologians was a rejection of biblical moral values. German rationalists, Darwinian evolutionists, and humanists all denied the power of biblical morality. They favoured human reason and rejected divine revelation.The consequences of their ideas are easily seen in western society and religion. But now we have entered a new era, one that rejects both divine revelation and human reason, in favour of “feeling.” Post-modernists believe in pluralism, improvisational living, and situational ethics. This has led to a pursuit of enjoyment and consumption of goods that has no place for biblical morality. The final consequences of these “Bad Ideas” have yet to come to their full fruition. But the bible offers a warning and a prediction. It also offers light in the darkness to those who know the scriptures and the power of God. Their is hope for those who are still passionate about biblical values.
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