This article tackles the question of defining morality based on one’s worldview. it provides polling data from Barna Research on America’s changing views on its application.
Defined from a Secular Perspective
Webster defines the word “moral” as, “expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior.. sanctioned by or operative on one’s conscience or ethical judgment”
Defined from a Biblical Christian Perspective
I would offer a Biblical Christian definition of morality as, “a set of moral standards derived from the Bible, in particular the New Testament.” One of the best sets of verses defining the specifics of a moral life can be found in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). In those verses, Christ establishes the moral high ground which no human has the ability to achieve. It is from this failure of man that God’s grace and the sacrifice of His Son for our sins becomes evident and necessary.
Secular vs. Biblical Morality
The difference between Webster’s definition and God’s definition of morality speaks to where each of us puts our faith and trust. Today’s changing moral climate and conditional ethics highlight in stark terms the differences between God’s perfect morality and man’s changing definition.
America’s Changing Views on Morality
George Barna and the Arizona Christian Cultural Research Center just completed an in-depth survey of morality in the United States. Summary bullet results follow:
- 71% “contend that human beings rather than God should be the judge of right and wrong.”
- 42% believe “what you feel in your heart” is the best determiner of morality.
- 29% believe morality should be determined by “majority rule”.
- 29% of Americans believed that the Bible should be mankind’s guide for our morality.
- 66% of Americans who claim to have a Biblical worldview stated that the Bible should be the main source of determining right from wrong.
What speaks loudest in America today is that over 70% desire to set their own standards by rejecting those offered by the Creator of the universe. And, 34% of those who say they have a Biblical worldview reject the Bible’s definition of morality. It is no wonder that we are a nation in decline. Two articles I wrote, “What Once Was Bad, is now Good” and “Reflections from a 70-year-old Biblical Christian” put this into perspective.
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