Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Legislating Morality

If you have been around Christendom any length of time, I am sure that you have heard the phrase, "You can't legislate morality!". I will even admit that I have made the remark a time or two or three. I will toss it up to either zeal or youthful exuberance because even though I know what we mean, we really do not mean what we said. Morality is legislated ALL of the time. Laws too numerous to mention fill the pages of our law books which do indeed intend to legislate morality. What we really mean to say is this, "Even though we can legislate moral law, it does not mean we can change peoples hearts towards the morality we have sought to legislate".

But the flaw in our logic of the first statement, "you can't legislate morality", has led some to totally remove themselves from our voting system. Why pass laws that uphold morality if you cannot change the heart? The simple answer is this. Laws are passed to uphold morality for order in society. No laws or order in society or enforcement of laws and order in society leads to anarchy or the proverbial statement from the book of Judges, "each man did that which was right in his own eyes". I will be completely honest. I really do not want to be a part of ANY society where any person can do anything that he wants to do.

Our system of government, at least at present, allows for the input and voice of its constituents. As Christians, we should not refrain from governmental or legal interaction because laws do not change hearts. We should, as Christians, be involved in all forums of government precisely so that peace and order can be upheld in our society. We should try to have laws passed that not only protect others from physical harm, but those that would protect others from spiritual harm as well. God has granted us a country in which we have been able and still are able to have our voices heard. In fact, I will go so far as to say that we have a God-given responsibility to let our voices be heard simply because He has given us that freedom. Rather than patsy other people and just try and get along, our first duty is to serve God through Jesus Christ. Our second duty, to love our neighbor as ourselves does include at times, protecting our neighbor from that which will harm him, even though he does not see the harm.

Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

Have a grace filled day...


peter lumpkins said...


At moments in my life, I have felt the urge to completely pull away from the political process due to discouragement I possessed toward politicians. I am glad I resisted it.

As you well state, government, as weakened as we have made it, is for our protection, as the Inspired Apostle instructs in Rm. 13.

And, consequently, a part of loving others is loving them enough to protect them and us from harm through common law we legislate.

Norm Geisler co-authored a book I read a few years back entitled "Legislating Morality." Are you familiar with it?

Peace this morning and
Faith this evening. With that, I am...


Luke said...

Thanks for stopping by. Let me say first I did not know about the book you've recommended. I do have some of Geisler's books but not all of them yet. I don't know how I could have missed that one! I hope that isn't the unpardonable sin! :)

At times, I still feel the urge to pull away completely, but I do feel the same way about ministry as well. Those times remind me that I must trust in God's power to enlighten my mind and abilities and not trust my own cogitations.

Have a grace filled day...