One of the challenges that guys like me have in the current world is to communicate the importance of ethics and morality without sounding prudish, self-righteous, or condemning.
We live in a time I can best describe as the March of the Morally Moronic. Now I know that sounds like a put-down, but it really isn’t. It seems there are enough people heading this direction that you can call it a march. It is always about morality. Every choice is a moral choice based on an ethical foundation or the lack thereof. And it is indeed moronic.
Maybe that’s the problem you’ll have with this little rant. Why do we want to call anything moronic? Well, moronic is a word used to describe behavior that is not based on intelligence, reality, the information, scientific investigation, or observation.
The reason it’s so difficult in a society of shifting and drifting values to teach morality without coming off sounding like a cartoon, is that the big moral decisions have consequences that are not immediate.
If you, for example veer out of your lane which is a moral choice, and hit someone else, the damage, the price, the mayhem is immediate.
But if you have sex with a person you’re not married to, the feeling is, “Who does it harm?” And we’ve satisfied an urge that we both have. Again, morality, particularly the big rock of morality, the big issues have consequences but don’t show up until much, much, much later.
The standard of ethics has been revealed to us in the Scripture, at least that’s my conviction. If that’s not yours, I can understand why this discussion is not as convincing as I hoped it would be. But if you do start with that foundation, that the ethics of our lives have been revealed, the rightness of the way life is and should be lived has been given to us by God, then the application of those ethics is what we call our morals. And the Scriptures tell us very clearly about how our moral behavior not only says something about our relationship with God and our willingness or defiance to submit to His wisdom, but it also says a lot about what we’re capable or able to do if indeed we do obey God’s ethical teachings and our moral behavior, or disobey.
Here’s a quick example. To smoke a cigarette is a moral decision based on a certain set of ethics. You may like them or you may not. You may agree with them or you may not. But it is a moral choice. But what we’re told about smoking cigarettes is if you smoke a cigarette it will kill you. So a person smokes a cigarette and nothing happens; a pack of cigarettes and nothing happens; a pack a day for a week and nothing happens; a pack a day for a year and nothing happens; a pack a day over two or three or four years and something begins to happen. Much longer, and all of a sudden the consequences of your moral choice back years and years ago now come due. And the price is heavy. The same thing is true with our moral behavior when it comes to sex or relationships, money, honesty and a thousand other small choices.
The question I have is this: Are you in the march of the morally moronic; those who just simply stick their finger up into the air and follow the crowd? Or are you willing to stand, sometimes alone, viewed as odd or maybe even prudish, and say, “The ethics given to me by God will define the values and the morality that I practice every day.” The consequence, or the pay-off of my choice may not be immediate or obvious, but it is indeed, nonetheless sure.