A Distinct Line of Argumentation
A task assigned to those following Christ is the defense of the faith against error. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, we must conceive there are a plentitude of errors in modernity! This reality means the individual defending the faith must be able to weave across a wide spectrum of topics with skill and proficient ability. Oftentimes, when pondering that fact, we think about factual argumentation in terms of evidence and logical thought processes as being the heartbeat of the disputes we will face. An atheist will make the claim, “I don’t believe in Christianity because I believe _____ evidence disproves it.” Or a Jew might try to say, “Jesus is not the Messiah because of _____ details according to the Old Testament.” These types of arguments are one thing, but we have to leap forward and realize there is a “moral” line of attack against Christianity in our day as well.
The more secular our culture becomes only adds fuel to the fire of its disdain for Christian morality. Secularism operates on a different standard than that to which believers in the Lord hold. As the secularists continue to fall further and further down the abyss of unbelief, they also will continue to charge biblical teaching with being “unloving.” Think about it for a second, if you do not believe homosexual “marriage” is legitimate, according to our culture, you are not only incorrect, but also a hateful bigot. If you oppose abortion, then you are not merely someone they believe should be reasoned with, you are seen as an individual who stands in hateful opposition against women. Do you believe in the doctrine of substitutionary atonement whereby Christ pays for the sins of His people by taking on Himself the wrath of God in their place? Progressivists would accuse you of believing in a bloodthirsty God who is intolerable and not worth serving. These charges brought against the faith are not strictly factual in the sense of dealing with specific lines of evidence, they are moral. Someone is actually claiming Christianity is an unethical belief system. Which brings us back to the foundational question of this article . . . who defines what is loving?
The Stable Foundation
When an individual says that something is unloving, that claim is based upon a particular foundation from which they base their judgment. The atheist might ground his claim in his own opinion, the ideas of popular society, or what beliefs are held over the history of a specific tradition of thought. Whatever the case, his view will only be grounded in human opinion. Certainly, religions may claim different texts that they view as sacred in order to make their moral judgments as to what is loving. Here is the point where we as Christians must be grounded against the attacks that will come our way, we must base our living and thinking upon the solid moral foundation of Christ and His Word. Jesus defined love in this way:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” -John 14:15
The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit likewise wrote in Scripture:
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” -Romans 13:10
The definition of love is found in God’s revelation, His Law/Word which reveals His will to us. It is our standard for all of life. Thus, what is loving must be defined by that which is in accordance with the Scripture. Abortion is not only evil, it is unloving because to murder your unborn child (or any other human) is a sin before the sight of God (Genesis 9:6). Therefore, it is not the Christian standing in opposition to abortion who is unloving, rather the pro-aborts are demonstrating their lack of love by advocating for murder. This point is where we can show the inconsistencies in the ethical standard of the unbeliever thereby demonstrating the faulty nature of their worldview. Someone who advocates for abortion in the case of a 2-month-old in the womb, but would stand against a mother killing her 2-year-old son is simply demonstrating their inconsistency in terms of a moral standard. By spotting these inconsistencies, we can highlight them and then humbly point the unbeliever to the truth of Christ by calling them to repent, place faith in the Lord, and then seek to obey Him.
We as Christians will not be prepared to deal with this line of moral argumentation unless we are ourselves firmly built upon the rock of Scripture in terms of our ethical judgments. The more we buy into the lies of our secular society pertaining to morality, the more we oppose the very Word of God itself. It is the only basis and standard for morality because it alone is the special revelation of God. We must cleanse ourselves in Scripture allowing it to wash the false ideas of the world off our garments. The postmodern goo that is on our clothes must be rinsed by the Word. Mud splashed by the waters of atheistic secularism must be cleansed by the power of God working through His Holy Revelation. This means we must grow deep roots in the Bible itself so that we will know what is right, from what is wrong, and be able to explain that reality as we go forward engaging unbelievers with the hope of the Gospel.
I think it is shocking for many believers that those in the culture would charge Scripture with being immoral. Such accusations are the obvious impact of said culture drifting further from Christianity. Until that train is stopped and turned in the other direction, we can expect it will only worsen in the short-term. Therefore, instead of being caught off-guard, we must seek to be well-prepared. Doing so will assist us greatly in not only living faithfully ourselves, but also testifying to the greatness and glory of Christ our Lord. May we be encouraged and spurred on to study His Word so that we might live out His truth and teach others to do the same!