Morality play

If you haven’t been keeping up with the interesting and constantly evolving debate on morality occuring on this post… then perhaps you should be.

After our Westminster Confession session finished last night conversation turned to this same topic – a discussion of morality, with particular reference to gay marriage.

I suggested that, consistent with my stance in that other thread, Christians shouldn’t be imposing our moral standards on others – and that in fact this is a strategically bad idea because the greater the gap between Christian behaviour and social standards the more powerful the witness of our difference becomes – which I see as one of the essential roles the Old Testament Law played (it marked Israel as different).

One of the counterpoints to that argument was that God’s judgment against nations follows immorality (eg Sodom and Gomorrah). While this can, taken to extremes, lead to church groups picketing soldier’s funerals – there may be a point.

Though I wonder if the lack of general morality is in fact part of the judgment – rather than there being cataclysmic consequences there are societal consequences where we pay the price for our actions.

I also wonder why those Christians who believe that the “judgment against the nations” means hastening the rapture, tribulation and judgment day aren’t arguing for the sort of behaviour that would bring things to a hasty end. It seems inconsistent.

However, this is essentially an incredibly long preamble to today’s slightly crass XKCD comic – which perhaps makes the point… morality is a slippery slope.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

8 thoughts on “Morality play”

  1. Hmmm I think it’s different for different things. Like yeah there are some things we shouldn’t “impose” on others but I think other things like gay marriage are important. Studies have shown (and I mean non-Christian studies) that households with gay parents turn out worse for the kid than households with heteosexual parents. Yeah people say “but isn’t a household with loving gay parents better than a household with an alcoholic mother/abusive father”… but wouldn’t it be better again for that child to be adopted by loving heterosexual parents?

    Anyway my point is that it’s more than just a Christian value.

  2. Adoption was one of the issues raised – I guess it follows that if you allow gay marriage you allow gay adoption – but I don’t think gay parenting is limited as it is, I think in some states one parent can adopt, and in most a “surrogate” father can be found…

    I agree that it’s problematic – but I’m not sure how pragmatic the opposition is, and from a pragmatic point I’d suggest we’re better to keep our powder dry for fights that do matter (say abortion) lest we run out of ammunition when it’s really needed.

  3. Yes. That’s why I warned that it was crass. But I thought it was on point enough for it to be excusable.

  4. I quite often flinch before typing some things and then continue to write them anyway. I was edited on the sola panel from “bloody well” to “jolly well”.

    1. Yeah, I’ve decided it’s my blog so I’ll offend who I want to. Maybe I should reverse censor your comment… I have that power.

  5. Marriage is not soley a Christian concept – it happens in other religions and between people of no religion as well. So I don’t think Christians have a monopoly on it, or should claim one. And I don’t see that allowing other groups to get married in any way changes what a Christian marriage means to you or me.

    And second that the children issue really isn’t that relevant given people already have children in or outside of marriage one way or another, and there are already plenty of children with 2 mums or 2 dads. Whether or not gay marriage is allowed doesn’t change that. (Leah – do you have more info on the research you mention – ie what publications/if available online etc?)

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