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Thursday, July 14, 2011

LXIV. The State of Morality

When a Christian tries to talk about morality the question always comes up, "what makes your morality system better than others?".  Or at least something close to that.  Usually the answer, by the Christian, given is "we were founded upon Christianity and those are the morals that made this country".  Whether one believes it or not, does not matter.  Whether this is factually correct or not, does not matter.  Although, one would be wrong to not believe those things, but that is a different argument.

The real question should be, "why does having a moral system be important?".

There was a radio broadcast that was asking its viewers why things were getting so bad.  No one had a real answer.  Most answers conflicted with the ones before it.  The reason why is because we have all strayed from a central morality system and have branched off into other directions to the point that no one can see eye to eye anymore.  Even Christians who say that have a morality system do not follow it like they should or churches have watered down the importance of Biblical teaching so much that Christians have become lackadaisical in their lifestyles.

Anyway, the radio topic opens a whole world that needs to be explored.  Why is the culture of America breaking down?  Why is the view that most Americans have on their own country is that we are going in the wrong direction?  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/direction_of_country-902.html  Politicians can't help.  Ideologies can't solve anything.  "Religious" experiences, like Madonna's or Tom Cruise's, aren't for real.  They are placing band-aids on wide open wounds.

The real problem is that we have a morality crisis in this country.  It has been in Europe for decades.  But many will agree with these statements because their morality system is being questioned.

The answer to why have a morality system is easy to give.  It sets standards for people to live by.  If there are no standards, there is no order.  If there is no order, there is chaos.  If there is chaos, there is no purpose in life.  So people understand that morality systems are needed.  One reason why we all argue is that we have our own morality standards.  But these standards are coming from the flawed minds of men.  This cause too many differences thereby causing too many arguments. 

Now, comes back the question everyone turns this into, what makes Christian morality system "better"?  Do not get Christianity and Christians mixed up.  Although they should be the same, they are not.  Christianity was founded up the actions and mind of Christ.  Christians are imperfect and based their lives on actions and minds of men.  Before you read this list below, read the following post  http://ideasoftimreligion.blogspot.com/2008/08/perfection-of-christians.html.  Anyway, Christianity is a morality system that is needed and best because:
  1. It is based in love for God and people.
  2. It supplies wisdom to live a life that is beneficial for the one living the life and for those that life is surrounded by.
  3. It supplies guidelines to keep society moving forward in a positive direction.
  4. It allows for unity.
  5. It calls for peace.
  6. It supplies a pathway to a higher power.
  7. It leads to discipline that helps one deal with problems.
Now some people would say that this could be said about all or at least other religions, even non-religious thinking.  But that is not true.  They may fulfill 6 of these points.  But nothing else can fill all 7.  Some would say that not all 7 are needed.  But that is rationalization for people to keep living their lives the way they want to.  And that leads to no consequences which of course leads to the way society is today.  No morals.

10 comments:

hawkssong68 said...

Just curious...hee-hee....You say some morality systems have 6 of those 7...

Which one is left out?

Hugs!

Gozreht said...

Well, that would be putting words into my mouth or having me presume more than I would like. Depends on the person and/or "religion".

Some are not loyal to God (Yahweh, HaShem) so they are cults and therefore do not lead to a higher power. That is where the argument will start I will imagine. Saying a prayer to "someone" like the guy did in the movie The Mummy just won't cut it. This will cut every religion from having the perfect moral system. Here come the boos...

Some are not for peace. And that is not talking about individuals who are not living the way they should, it describes a whole system of belief. Again that will start another argument. "Oh but what about the Crusades?". Well, read up on the Crusades and find out who really started it...(ahem...Turks). Heard it all before. The argument is not valid. Were the Christians right for doing what they did? Not completely but Christianity did not call for it. Kings did, in the name of Christ. Christianity---Christians? NOT the same. Bombing the Trade Centers---a certain other religion? Well??? I will leave that up to each reader to make their own mind.

hawkssong68 said...

You said, "Now some people would say that this could be said about all or at least other religions, even non-religious thinking. But that is not true. They may fulfill 6 of these points. But nothing else can fill all 7."

How did I put words in your mouth? LOL! I just wanted to know which of the seven gets left out of other religions.

You hate me, don't you... :)

I agree. True Christianity is about peace. And inclusion. That whosoever believes shall not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus was peaceful.

But so was Buddha. The Buddhist "morality" system is pretty much live, love and help others. That's a pretty good system, if you ask me.

Oh, I know..."Buddhists don't believe in God" Horse radish! Some do. Some don't. Some don't know.

Here's link: http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma3/budgod.html

Again, I'm not Buddhist. I'm just sayin...

And curious...have you ever read the Koran? Or spoken with a true Muslim (non Jihadist)? There are extremely peaceful Muslims who would give Christians and Buddhists a run for the money in the ways of discipline and faith!

LOL! My captcha is "uraling"!

Hugs!

Gozreht said...

All I can say to that is it is in the way that one perceives what peace and stuff is.

Can Buddhists have a high moral system? Yes. Do they believe in God? I would venture to say that they believe in a god. But to believe in God means to believe in His teachings. One of the teachings if that Jesus is His son. I do not think Buddhists, Moslems, even most Jews, believe in that. Thereby making their morality system always one step away from being perfect.

If you can't start at the beginning, the end of the story will never make sense.

To answer the other question, I have seen Moslems, but do not know them personally. So, that statemtn I made was a presumption. BUT...find a Moslem who denounces the terrorist activities and you have found a very unique person, and one that will be shortly on a hit list. The term Islam means peace, just like Shalom, since they have the same triconsantal of s-l-m.

Anonymous said...

It "supplies a pathway to a higher power" is where the rest fall short. They may have a "god" but they all lead to a false god with false teaching. But as you (gozreht) were saying that might lead to the arguments, which is where I am assuming that hawksong is also having problems.

Preacher Phil said...

Christianity, correctly understood gives clear guidance as to how to keep ourselves in good working order, clear instructions on how we should relate to one another and why, and a clear purpose for making the journey in the first place. A purpose that reaches well beyond the confines of this brief earthly life by teaching us how to obtain salvation, how to deal with calamities along the way, and the motivating power to see the journey through to the end, an end which is only a greater beginning.

hawkssong68 said...

Anon,

Where do I have problems? Even the bible quotes God as saying, "I have many names". My problem is when Christians insist their version is the one true God.

Preacher Phil...All religions do that. All give their followers clear cut instructions to their defined pathway into their definition of heaven.

Goz...I have read the Koran. I am friends with a couple of Muslims. Did you know...they bleed red? Amazing! The Koran is no more violent than the Old Testament. Try reading it with an open mind once. It's actually very interesting!

A university student while visiting Gasan Joeski (Japanese Zen Master) asked him: "Have you read the Christian Bible?"

"No, read it to me," said Gasan.

"The student opened the Bible and read from St Mathew: "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow shall worry about itself".

Gasan said: "Whoever uttered those words I consider an enlightened man."

The student continued reading: "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asks receives, and he that seeks finds, and to him that knocks, it shall be opened."

Gasan remarked: "That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood."

LOL!

Hugs!

Gozreht said...

Well, I kind of agree with Anon. It sounds like they were right with your view. Most people if they are not believers in any faith have a perception that all religions are the same. And on the surface, they are.

They all have a higher power (personified or locational) to believe in. They all have a set of moral standards to follow. They all have practices/ceremonies. And they all have teachers and/or messengers to bring the news. And they all have some positive teachings. That is why there are many similarities. But one difference that sets them all apart is that Jesus claimed to be the path, not just lead to a path. And this is what Anon was probably meaning. The pathway of other religions to THEE higher being is obstructed. Even Gandhi, a man of peace, had obstruction. Just as Gasan thought, Jesus was a good teacher, but if they do not believe He was more than that, they may have a problem in the end.

Oddly enough it's the belief in the end that sets them in the right path in the beginning. Why? Because Jesus said He was the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. No one else can claim that and mean it.

To answer the situation about the OT being violent. Yes. In a span of about 200 years God had Israel wipe out those living in the Promise Land. And it does sound like Islam today, except that this was temporary. I won't even try to distinguish them at this point for lack of studying and comprehension on my part.

All I know is that Islam teaches to slay/fight those that are against you and you only have to make peace if they offer it to you. Al-Nisa' 4:89-91. I don't know the whole context, so I can only say what I feel. There is no time limit like the OT.

I do not hate Moslems. I do not turn them away. I know they bleed red. I feel sorry for them. But I do not trust the morality system.

hawkssong68 said...

See...here's the problem.

Even Christians can't agree about "morality". That's why there are Catholics and Baptists and Pentecostals and Methodists and Episcopalians and my favorites...NON-Denominational! Unitarians and Universal-Unitarians. Church of Christ and Church of God. Gospel Churches and Apostolic Churches. End of Times and New Beginnings...

And of course, the Mormons. Okay, maybe not the Mormons :)

I had a professor at Cincinnati Bible Seminary tell me Grandma Jane was going to hell because she was Catholic and Catholics worship Mary...

Sorry. Most Christians I've met and known over the span of 40ish years believe their version of Christianity is the correct one.

Same is true for other religions. Each religion HAS to believe their way is the right way. Who purposely chooses the losing side?

I just believe God is bigger than all that...

From what I've heard, His mansion has many rooms...

Hugs!

Gozreht said...

Even Christians can't agree about "morality". That's why there are Catholics and Baptists and Pentecostals and Methodists and Episcopalians and my favorites...NON-Denominational! Unitarians and Universal-Unitarians. Church of Christ and Church of God. Gospel Churches and Apostolic Churches. End of Times and New Beginnings...

Horrible reality. But the difference between these groups is more based on ceremonial practices and not moral systems. However, individually speaking no two people can walk the same the road without arguing. Same with Christians. If this is confusing read my very first thought. They will all believe that
1) Jesus is God
2) Jesus died for us
3) Jesus rose again
4) Those who ACCEPT this will gain eternal life

Everything else from there starts to spread out among the spectrum. But again the individual IF STUDIED the whole Word and not just what they can twist into their own lifestyles then the truth will come out and ... well...set you free.

I had a professor at Cincinnati Bible Seminary tell me Grandma Jane was going to hell because she was Catholic and Catholics worship Mary...

They were wrong to say that. That is not Christianity. That is a few ignorant people's opinions. Only God can say who goes with Him or not.

Sorry. Most Christians I've met and known over the span of 40ish years believe their version of Christianity is the correct one.

Same is true for other religions. Each religion HAS to believe their way is the right way. Who purposely chooses the losing side?


Big mistake here. Just because other religions do it too, does not mean that Christianity is like them. Sure, the definition of religion means to have a set of beliefs which usually infer a Higher Power. But there are false religions. And religion that says any of the list above is inaccurate is a false religion.

I just believe God is bigger than all that...

From what I've heard, His mansion has many rooms...


And, I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME. There may be many rooms but for only those who accept Christ. That is the horrible reality of another truth. As I tell my students, there are many ways to tell a lie but only one to tell the truth and that way will set you free. It would be great if all religions got along. If all religions would lead to THE higher power. But they don't. They can't. It's not Rome.

Real Christians won't stray from Biblical teaching and add their own individual ideas into theological truth. But...we do.

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