Without God, morality is just an arbitrary rule destined to change on whim and convenience. This doesn’t mean that Christians and other religious individuals don’t make the same moral concessions, but there are some among us who hold to doing what God has instructed us to do. Some probably thought that we could hold each other to a high moral standard. Considering the current state of our country’s political system, our ability to hold such a standard is incredibly limited. Morality does not overrule our fears and instincts to survive without a respect for a higher power and belief of consequences worse than what we expect through our actions or inactions. Humans naturally want control over their own future, so we make decisions to concede defeat on morale grounds if it improves our prospective futures.
True Christianity is about giving up control. It is about trusting completely in God and not being afraid. The world, the United States, and the greater Christian community is full of fear. We are so worried about right and wrong because we are afraid that the things we believe are wrong will happen to us. We fight so hard for different topics of morality because we fear punishment from God, ridicule from each other, and our own lack of self control. We believe God will punish us if we don’t fight against abortions, gay marriages, and sexual promiscuity. We fear that God will lose the battle to school districts across the country that don’t teach biblical topics. We fear losing our way of life, our freedom to believe what we want, and our ability to live free from things we believe are abominations and damaging to the society we want.
Much of sin comes from fear. The fear of losing control leads people to do things to harm others in order to retain that control. The fear of being weak leads people to seek power in any way they can get it. The fear of physical injury will keep us from putting ourselves in harms way for others. There are many other examples of fear that push us toward sin, fear of limited resources can make us unwilling to share with those in need. Fearing limited resources could also cause us to steal or lie in order to gain more. Even the fear of God can be enough to make us sin.
The fear of God spoken about in the bible was meant as respect. It requires a healthy level of fear, which is more an understanding and concession of who is in control, God. It requires that we believe that when we do wrong, there will be consequences for those actions. However, we are not responsible for the actions of others. We are responsible for what we do, say, and believe. God isn’t going to hold us accountable for others.
There are three things that a Christian needs to combat the fears that lead to sin; love, faith, and hope. Love for God and each other will prevent us from doing things that hurt our spirit and our neighbor. Faith that God will keep his promises allows us to fight through thoughts of weakness, limited resources, and death. Our hope in Jesus Christ and in the future he promised will allow us to persevere through tough times.
God never promised that only good things will happen to us if we believe. If we have love, faith, and hope we can endure anything life throws at us. We can share our love, our faith, and our hope with others. This is how we work for God to change others, not by aggressively trying to force change. We have to introduce people to the core of Christianity. First impressions cannot be our scolding judgment on the way they live their lives.
For Christians, right and wrong is meaningless. The law is built on love. Not love as in romantic love, but in unconditional enduring love. Fear might create quick knee jerk reactions, but hope builds a foundation of belief. We can’t allow ourselves to continue to be pushed around by the waves. The waves are the many fears in our lives. We must have faith in Jesus. We must believe that God is in control and that our job here is to love each other, build each other up, and spread hope to those who have no hope.
We can’t be the reason they have no hope. We are meant to be ridiculed and persecuted. Others are supposed to see the strength that our faith gives us to endure that ridicule and persecution. Our love is supposed to make them feel shame for doing it while being a peaceful example in a conflict oriented world. Our hope is meant to draw people in to the possibility that life is more than a temporary stay on a world full of both good and bad.
Stop concerning yourself with right and wrong. If we focus on love, faith, and hope; all of the other stuff will fall into place. God will keep his promises. We have to show that we can keep ours.
1 John 4:7-21
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.