March 1, 2012

The Moral Failure To Engage In Moral Teaching

"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." --Deuteronomy 11:18 & 19.

In this passage, God is telling His people not to abandon the pursuit of moral teaching, or teaching what is right and honorable and honest and necessary.

How often I have heard teachers and coaches and mentors tell young people: "Do what is right, so that you will stay out of trouble!" That is not the imperative of true moral teaching. And that is why the message of loving God and loving what is right has been so badly damaged and displaced.

Do what is right because rightness is good and you will become what you practice. Do what is right because that is the only real path to purpose and power and spiritual joy. But who is to say what is right?

The God of the Bible is the only One Who Has The Authority To Say What Is Right. With all of the competing voices out there--including voices saying no one can know what is right--our mission as Christians is to continually proclaim that the God of the Bible is the only one who can set us on the right path and keep us there.

It is not a matter of arguing about absolutes and human knowledge and history and psychology. It is a matter of saying: "I say what God says. I represent His word and His will in the world. I point you to Him for questions I cannot answer. If you are a true seeker, He will hear and respond to you in a clear way you will understand."

How often have we been silent because we did not want to appear "unintelligent", "out of date", or "intolerant"? It is never a matter of intelligence or intolerance. Some of the best and worst people in history have affiliated themselves (often dishonestly and for evil motives) with Christianity. No one who knows history can dispute this. But also, no one who knows God can dispute that He continually calls people to speak for Him in their time and place and for those people to leave the final results to Him.

God told His people in the Deuteronomy passage above to continually speak His will and way to their children and to those in their care. If we fail here, we cannot claim innocence for whatever sad and painful outcomes may follow. God does not make us responsible for results. He makes us responsible for obedience.


Steve Finnell said...

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deborah evans said...

Thank you. I will take a look at it.