All drivers would be familiar with this example from their own experience: Driving at the speed limit, regularly being overtaken by speeding vehicles, but when a police car suddenly becomes visible, everyone immediately becomes a model citizen, obeying all the road rules.
Similarly individuals, communities and nations are more responsible when they are accountable to a higher authority. The purpose of this chapter is to show that the highest authority of all is God, who gave correct moral behaviour in His word, the Bible.
Morals, science and humanism
Morals are defined as, “concerned with character, or with right and wrong; good, virtuous…”24 and therefore involve those good virtues of honesty, integrity and right conduct, which are fast disappearing. The decline in morals began in earnest in the second half of the twentieth century for a number of reasons. First of all scientists and science became elevated in public esteem with the explosion of the first atom bomb in 1945. Instead of scientists recognizing the scientific fact that matter is pent-up energy, the source of which was God, they used their newly gained esteem to bolster their views about evolutionary science. Secondly, religious leaders were slow to challenge evolutionary ideas, finally compromising with evolutionary science. A former Brisbane Anglican Archbishop and Governor-General is a good spokesman for this truth-destroying compromise, under the headline,
‘Creation not serious’:
“A properly balanced faith should be based on Holy Scripture, the teaching tradition of the Church and the application of God-given reason… The Genesis stories in the first book of the Old Testament form part of an early, oral teaching tradition of an ancient people living in a pre-scientific age.” ref 25
The views of the former archbishop reflect the views of most mainstream churches. But ‘science’ is only one of the more recent agents attacking Bible authenticity and morality. For an explanation of the decline in morality we need to go back to the time of the French philosopher Rene Descartes, who put ‘reason’ above faith in the Bible.
He claimed that the Bible was irrelevant to philosophy. Philosophy, he claimed, is the love of wisdom or knowledge, and moral philosophy is the study of human actions and conduct. Whereas the Bible says that,
“fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psa. 111:10),
Descartes’ ideas put human wisdom above fear of the Lord, his ungodly reasoning becoming known as Rationalism and was used in framing the French Constitution after the French Revolution. Descartes’ Rationalism spread throughout Europe, setting the foundation for the movement known as the Enlightenment, which proceeded to darken men’s minds to the light and truth of God’s word. The Enlightenment led to the 19th century movement of Higher Criticism inside the established church, which attacked the historical truth and accuracy of the Bible. ref 26
Belief in evolution and decline in morals
The belief that we are responsible for our actions and accountable to our Creator for them declined rapidly, as the church embraced Higher Criticism and evolution. This accounts for the actions of those German people, who, under Hitler, carried out his policy of genocide of the Jews with general enthusiasm. Hitler was an evolutionist, albeit a Roman Catholic one, who taught survival of the fittest and elimination of the weak. In fact the bloodthirsty regimes of both Hitler and Stalin were based on evolutionary principles. ref 10
Further evidence of the link between belief in evolution and moral decline has come from a recent survey conducted by the Australian National University. The survey found for example that people who believe in evolution were more likely to favour pre-marital sex and abortion. ref 27
Morals and the Bible
“Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” so if we want to learn wisdom concerning our moral behaviour we must consult our Creator’s own hand book. The two parts of the Bible, the Old and New Testaments, are consistent in their teaching. The Old Testament laws are known as the Law of Moses and the New Testament laws are the commandments of Christ. Christ’s commandments are relative to our time period. Jesus summarized the laws of the Old Testament into two basic commandments:
“Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart” and “Love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt. 22:37,39).
Love of God is a fine concept, but how do we show our love for God? God’s word shows us :
“If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
Love of neighbour is encapsulated in the royal law, or golden rule:
“As ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matt. 7:12),
but both the Old and New Testaments leave us in no doubt regarding the love-of-neighbour elements of this moral behaviour.
“Thou shalt honour thy father and thy mother”
This commandment has been undermined by modern humanistic views of tolerance and children’s rights. The result has been a generation of young people, many of whom dishonour their parents, and also are disrespectful of anyone in authority. Young people who are unaware of, or ignore, this God-given law think it’s acceptable to show disrespect for their parents, but there is nothing as ugly as a disrespectful child and, more importantly, it’s abhorrent in the sight of God as well. Today, God’s law, if it is accepted at all, is modified so it reads,
“Honour your father and mother provided they have earned your respect first,” but God’s law is clear, and reads in full, “Honour thy father and thy mother… that thou mayest live long on the earth” (Eph. 6:2–3).
Hence God rules out modern humanistic modification of His law.
“Thou shalt not kill”
Darwinian evolutionism as already noted flies in the face of this law. It overrules the sanctity of human life, allowing the development of views such as involuntary euthanasia for disabled newborns. There are no exceptions with God’s commandment not to kill. The Greeks expressed amazement at this aspect of the Law of Moses.
Aristotle’s pupil Theophrastus commended the Jews for failing to expose newborn babies to the elements to kill off the weakest, a common practice in Greek and Roman societies. The Roman historian Tacitus expressed contempt for the fact that, “The Jews even consider it a crime to kill a newborn infant.”
“Thou shalt not commit adultery”
This requirement of our Maker applies to married couples. It shows that faithfulness in marriage is required when couples have committed to the marriage bond. In this age, however, such standards are either unknown or ignored, for adultery is a way of life for many, or marriage is now regarded as old fashioned and out of date. Many people no longer marry for life. Divorce rates have soared from virtually nil in the 19th century to almost 50 percent of all marriages throughout the English-speaking world; that is, if legal marriage is entered into at all. God expects high moral conduct from unmarried couples as well. Jesus said,
“For from within, out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications…” (Matt. 7:20).
Therefore the modern practice of unmarried couples co-habitating before marriage is an infraction of this law of Christ. “Christian” leaders turn a blind eye to the practice, explaining it away as lack of commitment, whereas they should discourage and condemn it for what it really is—fornication and morally wrong.
God provided marriage as a lifelong relationship for a man and a woman, for men and women are clearly made for each other (Gen. 2:18–19). For that reason, homosexuality is abhorrent in the sight of God. Homosexuals claim that society is intolerant towards them, for they are merely exercising their human rights of equality with others of “different orientation”. Yet these same people show their own intolerance towards the majority, with words like this:
“From my point of view, I would ban religion completely. Organized religion doesn’t seem to work. It turns people into really hateful lemmings and it’s not really compassionate.” ref 28
God’s word is clear and concise on homosexuality: it is wrong. Sodom and Gomorrah were both destroyed because of rampant homosexuality (Gen. 19:1–25).
“Thou shalt not steal”
The rapid expansion of police forces and the increasing use of a variety of security devices bear testimony to the problem of theft across communities world-wide. Clearly, social morals have declined as achievements in science and technology have increased.
Stealing, in whatever form it takes, is directed against our neighbour and does not manifest the love Christ spoke of. Citizens can steal from the government with a false tax return. They can steal from the shop assistant if they don’t speak up when given too much change. Stealing in any form is morally wrong and directly or indirectly affects our neighbour.
“Thou shalt not bear false witness”
Bearing false witness can be neatly summarized as telling lies, which is roundly condemned throughout scripture. Many people tell lies today without even blushing because they’re so used to doing it.
Bearing false witness, whether it is in personal matters or a court of law, is morally wrong, and does not show love for our neighbour.
“Thou shalt not covet”
Coveting is a way of life for most members of society and it keeps a great many extremely poor. Coveting riches is the motive behind participation in lotto, gambling and raffles. It is an infringement of the commandment of Christ:
“But… covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints” (Eph. 5:3).
Whatever form the coveting takes it demonstrates lack of faith in God to provide for all our needs. Jesus said:
“And seek not ye what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather, seek ye the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Luke 12:29–31).
Needless to say, Bible morals have only been superficially examined so far, but it can be seen that the Bible is the most morally correct book ever written. That is because, “…holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21) and so wrote of the high moral standards our Creator expects from us. Many of those who live by the high standards of the Bible are happier, healthier and generally live longer than those who do not. If all people lived by these same high standards, how much better this world would be!
Laws are needed
It is not exaggeration or self-aggrandizement to say that true Christians have higher moral standards than the rest of the community. Gibbon the historian noted as much when he wrote about the zeal of the early Christians. He wrote of:
“…the pure and austere morals of the Christians … (their) humility, meekness and patience. The more they were persecuted, the more closely they adhered to one another. Their mutual charity and unsuspecting confidence has been remarked by infidels and was too often abused by perfidious friends.” ref 7
Wherever true Christianity is practised today these virtues may be seen in abundance, for an assembly of believers endeavours to heed the advice of the apostle Peter:
“Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge and to knowledge temperance and to temperance patience and to patience godliness and to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness charity (love). For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:5–8).
Modern criticism of God’s laws
Unable to deny that Bible morality is the highest form there is, critics resort to the ruse of claiming that the Law of Moses was copied from an ancient source, namely the code of Hammurabi. The Babylonian king Hammurabi lived approximately 17 centuries before Christ and his laws were found inscribed on a stone plaque in Susa, now in modern Iran.
Hammurabi certainly lived before Moses but his 282 laws dealt mainly with the protection of property. Moses’ laws dealt mainly with the welfare of people, who were of more value than property. In Hammurabi’s time the people were strictly divided into three classes: nobility, commoners and slaves. If a nobleman killed or injured a commoner or slave his punishment would have been paltry compared with what he might have received had he killed or injured one of his own class. The Law of Moses stated, “Thou shalt not kill,” with no distinction as to class of any kind.
The Law of Moses, in the form of the Ten Commandments, was given to Moses directly by God on Mt. Sinai. These laws, known as the Decalogue to the Jews, have influenced civilized societies down through the ages, but hundreds of other commandments covering all aspects of human life were also given to the Jews. They comprised issues such as sexual morality, rules for good hygiene, responsibility for the welfare of the poor and disadvantaged, compensation for injury and conservation of nature. The Mosaic realization of possible contamination by vermin, excrement and corpses, was thousands of years ahead of its time. The Jews protected themselves by various techniques outlined in the Law (e.g. Deut. 23–24).
Confirmation of these aspects of the law in relation to good health came only in the 18th century AD with the discovery of microbes. God also forbad his people from eating easily contaminated food such as shellfish and pork. It must be asked: How did the Jews get it so right? The simple answer is that God, as Creator, knew about microbes and their deleterious effects on health long before man invented the microscope. It is undeniable that countless non-Jewish medical sources have noted that whenever people have been forced to live in adverse conditions the Jewish communities have stayed the healthiest. ref 8
Rather than acknowledge the superiority of the Jewish laws men remained ignorant for centuries because of their indifference to, or outright hatred of, the Jews. It is the same with those who reject the Bible. They cannot admit that its superior morals came from God Himself so they would rather invent ways and means to discredit God’s word. Try as they might they fight a losing battle for, without doubt, Bible morality has no equal in any other book on earth.
Bible morality is another good reason to believe the Bible.