Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Cleansing the Church
Deut. 6. 4- 15
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (4,5)
Everything in the world changes with time. Sometimes the changes are good. There are other times when the changes are not so good. For example, over the last century Europe has abandoned its traditional Christian faith and has become largely atheistic. There is a parallel drift seen in the United States also. Ethics and morality are no longer the central dogmas of social or private life. Traditional norms are replaced with ideas of moral relativism. Moral relativism is the thinking that there is no absolute good or evil; the definition of good and evil changes with context and social circumstances. In an effort to cope with the pressures of a changing society, many traditional churches have departed from the fundamentals of Biblical faith and embraced moral relativism. They have retrofitted contemporary morality into Biblical teaching and conveniently abandoned much of the central teachings of the Bible in the process. This is often done under the pretense to make the church more relevant to the contemporary culture.
Interestingly, moral relativism is not a modern phenomenon. In the passage noted above from Deuteronomy, Moses warns Israel about the trap of moral relativism. Israel had the habit of losing their spiritual identity while dealings with the surrounding nations and cultures. God gave Israel the Ten Commandments as their moral law. The Ten Commandments teach us two things: how we should worship God and how we should live a moral life as God requires. The Ten Commandments provide the undergirding principles of Christian morality. After giving the Ten Commandments, Moses gave Israel a stern warning not to disobey God’s commands (see the above passage). Moses knew all too well that Israel’s peril would come if they departed from God’s commandments (and they often did).
Moral relativism is a pernicious trap for Christians. Bible does not endorse moral relativism. The God of Christianity is absolute; his attributes are absolute, and his moral laws are absolute. The fundamentals of our faith must not change, irrespective of social contexts. The corruption in churches occurs when God’s laws are neglected. The way to cleanse a church is to restore the core teachings of the Bible. We cannot talk about morality without a moral law; without a moral law giver there cannot be a moral law. Anyone who denies God or God’s laws has no real basis for being moral. We worship a holy God. As holy, God expects his people to follow his moral laws. The death of Jesus on the cross was the ultimate example of God’s moral requirement-sin cannot be condoned; it must be paid for.
Prayer: Gracious God, help us to be obedient to your commandments. Please equip us to resist the temptations we face in everyday life and help us do your will. Amen.
Though for the day: In a morally deprived world, we should guard our faith by aligning with the fundamental teachings of the Bible.
Dr. Sam Chackalamannil, NJMTC, Randolph