Moral Authority

Yesterday in Bible class, we started watching TIME CHANGERS. This is a movie with a Christian theme that had played at our local theater, although it was not very well attended. In the movie, a seminary professor from the 1890s is trying to publish a book in which he says that we can and should teach about morals without using the name of Christ, as His name may offend some people.

An older professor in the movie makes the point that Satan himself is not against good morals. He is against the name of Jesus Christ, which is exactly why we have to tie Biblical teaching to the Bible, giving credit where credit is due like you do when you cite sources.

I have been thinking about this in terms of the Howard Dean flap over the GOP. Haven’t you wondered how Christianity became a dirty word in our society? Seems like the movie gives a possible answer for the objection to the name of Christ.

I don’t mean to oversimplify this, but there has to be a reason that, when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, He responded with Scripture. Of course, to live out our lives this way requires that we know the Word, and at least in my case, I am finding that to be a life-long process. But I can’t think of a better way to answer when the world questions. I’m not saying, either, that you won’t be persecuted if you answer someone this way, but evidently as Christians we have to be prepared for persecution. We just have to trust the Holy Spirit, I think, to do His thing. As it says in Hebrews 4:12 (New International Version)

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.


2 Responses to “Moral Authority”

  1. 1 Ron June 13, 2005 at 5:43 pm

    With God as our father, I can liken this to raising children (something I think that I am pretty good at, but something that I also know I need a lot of work.

    How long can you tell a child, “Because I said so!” and have them listen.

  2. 2 Becky June 14, 2005 at 8:20 am

    I remember hating the “because I said so” moments in my life, so I concede that you do have a point.

    Maybe in order to concede the need to cite God as the authority, you have to recognize Him as the ultimate authority. That is not something that humanity does well. And I think that is why we encounter such hostility when we do attribute the things of God to Him: mankind, like Adam and Eve, tend to think they know better.

    Same with the kids. You wouldn’t have to resort to “because I said so” if they weren’t challenging your authority. And in order for the statement to end discussion, they have to accept your authority. I don’t think redeemed human beings do that well, so think how hard it is for those who do not know Jesus as their Savior.

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