Christianity and Social Issues

Please tell me why Christians feel the need to be the world’s conscience.

NO ONE has the right to tell anyone else how to live their lives. And to pass laws that do so is reprehensible!

I lived in the Christian world for many years so I’m intimately familiar with the believer’s point of view on such contentious issues as abortion, the gay and lesbian lifestyle, same-sex marriage, etc. However, as a Christian, I never felt it was my place to force my beliefs on others.

From time to time, I did quote select scriptures to defend my convictions, but this was because I had been taught that God’s word is “living and active” and “sharper than a two-edged sword.” I just knew in my heart of hearts that when non-believers heard words from the bible, they would immediately see the error of their ways.

I found out later that the problem with this thinking, which I didn’t understand until I left the faith, is that not everyone believes the bible has ‘divine’ value. In other words, the ‘holy words’ I used to ‘prove my point’ provided no particular incentive for people to change their ways.

Today, I agree with many others that the bible was written in a different age with different views on social justice; thus, it cannot (and should not) be used as a source to set the standards for contemporary living.

And I strongly feel that no laws should be passed that are based on the moral biases of others.

In one of my other websites, I provide this quote by Friedrich Nietzsche: “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”

‘Nuf said.

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3 thoughts on “Christianity and Social Issues

  1. G’day Nan, I am a christian, but I tend to agree with you here. I believe God’s ways are best (by definition), but I don’t always know God’s ways (an understatement!) and I certainly don’t think I have the right to try to force them on others.

    Things can become complicated when dealing with social ethics, but the principle seems to me to be clear – when other people are affected, then it is legitimate to make laws to protect them, but when the effect is not significant, everyone should be free to choose their own path.

    I always think we should take our lead from God – he allows all sorts of opinions and behaviours to exist, even if he doesn’t like them, so we should do likewise.

    Best wishes.

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    • unklee,

      Thank you so much for stopping by! It’s always rewarding to have someone comment. Makes the writing effort worthwhile. 🙂

      You wrote: “I always think we should take our lead from God …” The problem with this statement is that many of those who are trying to pass laws related to moral and ethical issues believe they ARE taking their lead from God. So the question becomes, how does one really know what God’s lead is? From personal communication? The bible? Church leaders? A still small voice?

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  2. Hi Nan, good questions.

    I think we should take our lead in both what God thinks is right and wrong and how he deals with it when people don’t follow that.

    The main problem is Biblical interpretation. Many christians, wrongly I feel, take the Old Testament as their guide (which they can only do inconsistently anyway), when Jesus quite specifically said that he came to clarify, complete and supersede the OT.

    So in the NT, Jesus said in various ways that (1) the behaviour he required comes from a heart of love and compassion, and (2) we shouldn’t be dividing up people into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and discriminating, but accept that God allows both the thrive for the moment. Christians should be trying to do the same.

    As for how we know what is right and wrong, all those methods may be helpful. But christianity is not a religion of rules, but of faith and love. Jesus said morality was of the heart, not of rules and that all morality could be distilled down to love of God and love of people, and Paul said anything not done in faith is sin.

    So while we will always disagree, if we all acted out of faith and love the disagreements wouldn’t matter all that much.

    Of course we will always need laws in our broken societies, but they should be formulated for the good of all citizens, and other nations, and the environment, and the whole planet. And they are not the same as morality.

    Best wishes.

    Like

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