Our world is currently in a moral revolution. We’ve watched as our society has radically redefined morals in the past 50 years. It has been something to watch, and I admit that often I have watched more in horror than in approval of where our world is headed. In the 1960’s this revolution began with the sexual revolution. This is when mindsets changed concerning the sexual activity outside of marriage. Before this time it was generally held that sex outside of marriage was wrong. It is not that immorality did not exist before this time – because it did. What changed was the public attitude toward it. Before the sexual revolution this kind of choice was frowned upon by the majority of society and heterosexual immorality was seen as sinful. This was not the mindset after the 1960’s. In the 1970’s we were confronted by abortion. It was made legal in the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision. Soon, this too, was generally accepted by society. The 80’s brought us the selfish “me” generation where greed became good. The 90’s introduced us to public officials like President Bill Clinton telling us that it did not matter that he was an adulterer, having sex in his office. That was his private life – and our leaders could be godless in private – but still be good leaders in public life. That divorced any discussion about a leader’s lifestyle and whether he was fit to lead or not. Toward the close of the 90’s the issue of homosexual marriage arose – first to be banned by a vote of the people – but eventually to be by courts that legislated it from the bench. Now, whether we are aware of it or not, the revolution continues as even the issue of our gender is open to debate. To say someone is male or female is now offensive as confused men call themselves female, even without a sex change operation. We are not even to critique someone who is male one month, female the next two, only to return to be male before the end of a year’s time.
This is what happens when morals become unmoored from God’s revelation of Himself and His will and purpose in the Bible. Moral truth, when relative and made subjective to the individual, sets society adrift into a moral morass. So where do we go to get clarity on these issues and hundreds of others? For the biblical Christian that question is very easy to answer. We go to God’s Word. Our third Core Value here at Calvary Chapel of Jonesboro is that we believe the Bible is the final authority when it comes to all matters of faith, morals, and practice as we walk with God in this world.
The Bible is very clear on moral matters. The 10 commandments have given a moral clarity to societies ever since they were first given to Moses on Mount Sinai. There really is no mistaking what God considers moral and immoral – godly or ungodly. That is something we hold as a core value. The morality of the Bible is not something that is up for public debate. It is not something that ebbs and flows with the general moral stance of society itself. It is something fixed by God. We can either surrender to Him and submit to His moral truth – or pay a very high price by rebelling against Him.
This means that regardless of what the Supreme Court or any other human court says, God’s Word is more authoritative in our lives. The morality of the Bible is not up for a vote – and neither does it need to be made “more relevant” to 21st century mankind. Murder is murder – whether in the 3rd century before Christ or the 2nd one after. Adultery is adultery regardless of whether you are King David over all Israel – or you are just a relatively unknown person living outside God’s will in 2014 in Northeast Arkansas.
Let me refer to the Word of God so that you get an idea of why this is a Core Value at this fellowship. I’ll begin by quoting 1 Peter in his letter to the churches.
For, "All flesh is like grass, and all its blory like the flower of grass. The grass
withers, and the flower falls off, but the Word of the Lord endures forever."
1 Peter 1:24 (NASB)
We are reminded by Peter (as he quotes from Isaiah 40) that the world around us and all its beauty will fade and be gone, but God’s Word will endure forever. His Word does not change and will stand for all time as the authority in all matters on which God speaks through it. David said this about God’s Word too as He was inspired to write,
Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 (NASB)
Follow my reasoning for a moment here. God tells us that His Word is forever settled in heaven. There is no debate – no opposing arguments that are of any value. He has spoken and it is settled on all issues on which He has spoken. Now grasp that judgment will not ultimately be that which is done in earthly courts by fallible human judges. The ultimate judgment will be before the throne of God.
What He has stated we believe is clear and not debatable. Sin is sin – no matter whether God is speaking to issues of sexual immorality, the words we speak, the attitudes that are in our hearts, the motives with which we do things, or even the way that we do business with others. These are all things about which God has spoken – and when He has spoken – it is final.
Some might wonder why we hold this as a “core value” at our fellowship? It is because the Bible teaches us in Romans 3:23 that, “. . . all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” If what is sin is debatable according to the current standards of society, how do we know whether anyone has sinned? If we are on the shifting sands of public opinion, how can we have any clarity on ANY matter of moral significance? We believe that the Bible speaks very clearly in regard to these matters. And where it speaks – it is authoritative – regardless of who questions it or what any human court, either governmental or societal, has to say about it. That may eventually get us in trouble in the courts of public opinion and even one day in the courts of our nation. But like the apostles before us, our stand will have to be that we choose to obey God rather than man.