Tag Archives: Morality

Does Your Life Have Meaning?

Here we are at another Easter.  April 16, 2017 is the 55th Easter I have encountered in my life.  Many of my early Easters were spent with family and friends hunting for Easter Eggs, trying to fill baskets with Easter candy, and having Easter Day meals.  All of these have been joyous occasions and comprise many happy memories.  But none of these ascribe meaning to my life, or meaning to my very existence.  However, the meaning of Easter, the true meaning of Easter, the Religious aspect of Easter does bring meaning and value to life and to my existence.

I had the great honor and privilege of attending a talk by Dr. Ravi Zacharias this past week.  I’ve mentioned Dr. Zacharias in my posts on occasions in the past and consider him the greatest Christian Apologist in the world, alive today.  In his talk this past week he talked about four elements to the ultimate pursuit of Truth in one’s life.  He stated that those four elements are ‘Origin, Meaning, Morality, and Destiny’.  These four elements are all met in the celebration that is Easter Sunday.

Today you really have but one question of existential relevance before you.  And that is “Do you believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead?”  Because how you answer that question will shape your world view and provide the foundation for how you conduct yourself in your life.

If you answer the question with a resounding “Yes” you should be compelled to believe that He is the only person in human history to ever do so of His own accord and that would lead you to find relevance in all His other claims – that He is who He said He was, the Son of the one true and living God.  That He came to die for our sins, and to bring life more abundantly.

If you answer the question with a flat “No” or a “maybe” or an “I don’t know” the rest of His claims are left in doubt and bring no relevance to your life.

But how you answer the question is how you will discover whether or not the four elements are met.

Science may claim to answer the question of ‘Origin’, where we came from, but it cannot answer the questions of ‘Meaning’ or ‘Morality’, or ‘Destiny’.  The answers to those question ring hollow and are without substance with the pursuit of Science.

Philosophy may claim to have the answers to ‘Meaning’ or ‘Morality’ or ‘Destiny’ but without an ‘Origin’ these answers do not provide purpose or relevance to one’s life.

However, there is one answer that provides all four.  If Jesus Christ did rise from the dead, as is recorded in history, then His claims of being the Son of God must also be true and that must mean there is a God.  And that answers the question of ‘Origin’.  If Jesus Christ did indeed rise from the dead, then we must be created beings, made by a living God.

If Jesus Christ is who He said He was, then the account of Genesis must be accurate and true and that answers the question of ‘Morality’ and gives meaning to right and wrong.

If Jesus Christ is who He said He was, then the purpose of His coming to earth, of dying for our sin, of providing us a path to a more abundant life, must also be true.  And that answers the question of ‘Meaning’.  It provides a purpose to our lives.  Not one that we invented or made up, but one that the One True God laid down from the foundation of time.

And if Jesus Christ rose from the dead, as history records, then the warning of a Heaven and a Hell must also be true.  And that answers the question of ‘Destiny’.  We can know why we are here and what our ultimate endpoint in all of eternity will be.

The reality of ‘Origin, Meaning. Morality, and Destiny’ are all met in the person and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  No other pursuit of Truth, relevance, or logical consistency are met anywhere else in life,  Only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ do we find answers to all four elements.

So the question is – “Do you believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead?”  But before you answer, let me pose another question to you, and that is “For how long have people been trying to get you to believe that the answer to the question is no?”  Would you believe me if I told you that the answer is “Since the day He died”?  Because on the day He died He was sealed in a tomb and a Roman Guard was placed to watch over it.  Why?  Why would a Roman Guard be placed to keep watch over a sealed tomb of a carpenter from Galilee who had been executed upon a cross?  If not to keep you from learning that He had risen from the dead?

Why were Christians persecuted from the earliest of times and sacrificed in the Roman Colosseum?  To keep you from learning that He had risen from the dead.

Why have governments for centuries tried to control and stamp out the Christian faith?  To keep you from learning He had risen from the dead.

Why does Science teach evolution and denounce the Bible?  Why is the world seemingly so threatened by the Christian faith?  To keep you from learning He had risen from the dead.  And what does it threaten them?  After 2,000 years, why is the world so consumed with you not knowing that He has risen from the dead?

The answer is because He is the TRUTH, the Life, and the Way.  And that TRUTH meets all four elements of ‘Origin, Meaning, Morality, and Destiny’.  And that threatens not the world, but rather the Prince of this world, Satan himself.  He does not want you to know the TRUTH.  And thus he does everything in his power to propagate the lies.

Does your life have meaning?  You can find new purpose and meaning in your life today by knowing the TRUTH, the Way, and the Life.  Purpose and meaning are found in the person of Jesus Christ.  But that truth starts at the foot of the cross and is found in an empty tomb.  And is obtained through belief in Him.

Where Is Your Moral Compass?

I have previously mentioned the book The Word of God: A Logical and Moral Dilemma written by an acquaintance of mine.  The title of the book implies a puzzle exists in the book of the Bible (here, The Word of God is a direct reference to the Bible).  That puzzle (dilemma) is manifest by the belief that the author holds, that the Bible is illogical and does not agree with the scientific basis of the natural world (as he understands it), and yet (one would presume here) the Bible seems to be the definitive authority for those values we hold as Moral.  Oddly enough, nowhere in the book is this dilemma ever resolved.  The reason the author never resolves the dilemma is because he eliminates the source of the answer.  By discrediting the Bible, through science (once again, as he understands it), he can no longer turn to it for answers even when it holds the truths to the questions he is asking.

The logic aside however, the Moral Dilemma is a most interesting study.  Because it begs the question of what Morals one really holds.  Each of us has a Moral compass if you will, a compass that we might say points true North (absolute Morality), or possibly true South (absolute Amorality), or at some point in between.  And wherever your Moral compass points, is where you become comfortable with your own actions, and where you build your basis for judging others.

Amazingly enough, we all believe our own Moral compass is just about right.  And, amazingly enough, we all get it just about wrong.  This is one area that is a huge dilemma for the Atheist (not just the author of the aforementioned book).  The Atheist, devoid of a God or any other outside influence to the system, is left to believe that any type of Moral reference is simply one derived from the majority of the people within the system.  Those Morals that fall underneath the middle of the bell curve as it were.  This is a fallacy however since we all accept some set of Moral code that is a predisposition in us from the time of birth.  Who had to teach a young child that it was wrong to steal?  The child knows, even before they are corrected.  As further evidence that Morals derived from within the system are a fallacy, consider the vast debate upon the Moral issues of our day.  Neither side giving, and neither side willing to compromise.  But in the Atheistic view of the world, what does it matter?  Neither side can be either right or wrong.  Each side is simply playing out the results of the physical laws of the Universe.  Morals, strictly speaking, have no say here.  And while the Science of Morals more or less falls under Philosophy, could someone please point me to one credible discipline that actually studies and shapes the derivatives of Morals?  At least one that a majority of people give any credence to.

For the Theist though, Morals are an easier matter.  For the Theist Morals are not defined within the system, but rather are stipulated from outside the system.  They are (usually) specified by a God.  In the case of the Bible they are embodied within the Ten Commandments, but are sometimes added to with other Scripture depending upon interpretations.

For Christians, the Bible then becomes the basis for defining their Moral compass and they go about their lives decrying one thing or another, or praising this thing, or lifting up that.  And these actions then become Salt (see my previous Blog post) in the wounds of hurting people around them.

When it comes to our Moral compass, I have witnessed those from my closest and dearest friends, to those I hardly even know, get it completely and utterly wrong.  Oh, they may not live with the dilemma alluded to by the author of the previously referenced book, but they exhibit such a complete misunderstanding of the application of their own Moral compass, one simply has to believe there is a misunderstanding of exactly where their Moral compass should be pointing.

When it comes to Biblical Morals, God’s mark is perfect, never changing, and has always been the same.  Mankind may move its own Moral mark about God’s absolute reference point, but God’s reference does not change.  A graphical representation of God’s Moral reference point with Mankind’s Moral reference point superimposed on top of it might look like this:

Moral Line

When people takes God’s law, and define it as something more strict than what it is, they stray into the area of Legalism, this is what the Sadducees and Pharisees were accused of.  When people become legalistic in their point of view, they become condemning of others and they become self righteous in their own views.  They become the keepers of God’s law and they (and they alone) are the only ones worthy of its correct interpretation and application.

Oddly enough, I have heard people say that the opposite of Legalism is Grace (although in this sense we should define Grace as God’s unmerited favor towards sinners).  I was even able to Google it as found here (see Amy’s answer from 5 years ago about the third one down).  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The opposite of Legalism is not Grace!  The opposite of Legalism might more appropriately be HedonismHedonism is when man tramples upon God’s law.  It is when we throw Morals to the wind and have no inhibitions other than that which pleases us.

Grace on the other hand, is the ANSWER to both mankind’s Legalism and Hedonism (and all of our other ‘isms as well).  God’s Grace is what allows him to remember our sins no more.  It is what allowed him to send his Son to take my place on the Cross.  It is God’s Grace that allows him to pay the debt for my transgressions and to redeem me to his own family.  Grace, God’s Grace, is what tempers God’s Moral code.

So where is your Moral compass pointing today?  If you tell me it is pointing towards God’s absolute Moral code, or the absolute immorality of the world, or anywhere in between, I might suggest your Moral compass is pointing in the wrong direction.  If ALL of our Moral compasses where pointing directly at God’s Grace, we might just find the world to be a much more Moral place.