I used to think that we could not legislate morality, but then someone with a lot clearer thinking then mine set me straight.
If it is wrong to legislate morality then what do we do about laws that protect life? Thou shalt not murder is a moral principle that many of our laws are built around. Why is it illegal to speed? It isn’t because politicians are party poopers (well many are but that is beside the point). It is illegal to drive 100 miles an hour in a residential area because your chances of murdering an innocent person go way up when there are no traffic laws. We have laws that say you must go to school for a certain amount of years before you can practice medicine. The reason for these laws isn’t without reason. It is because when idiots practice medicine the chances of people dying go way up.
Thou shalt not steal is a moral principle, is it wrong to create laws to protect private property?
It turns out that most if not all good laws have a basis in someone’s morality. I am not saying that all Biblical laws should be made into secular law, a law forcing people to worship God would be a bad idea, because forced worship isn’t worship at all, it is acting. The trick is to recognize that personal freedom is a moral principle as well. While we can not divorce morality from the law, we do have to balance the idea of personal freedom, with the protection of others. One can not be free to murder, without taking away an innocent person’s right to live. One can not be free to steal without taking away another person’s right to private property. One can have the freedom not to worship, but they can not have the right of freedom from religion without taking away another person’s right to freedom of religion.
Reading the Bible in context is extremely important. Bible verses are easily twisted when taken out of context.
The following passage has been taken out of context so much that it has ended up on greeting cards, pillows, wall plaques, and so much more.
“Gen. 31;49 And Mizpah; for he said, The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.”
It sounds so sweet, but actually it is anything but. Laban wanted to kill Jacob. While it isn’t theologically devastating if you get this passage wrong, think about how many good relationships were tarnished with the misuse of this verse. Please, until you become really familiar with the Bible it is best not to read just one verse of the Bible. At least read the verse before and the verse after, but the entire chapter is even better.
About Noah entering the ark.
Some non-Christians have brought up the fact that many cultures have a story about a flood that wiped out most of mankind, as if this disproves anything. If it really happened (and I believe it did) at one point in time the world had 8 people in it. Those eight people would tell their children about the most significant part of their lives, and their children would tell their children. Occasionally the details would get clouded by people who could not remember the details correctly, or did not want to confess the details properly to their kids, but every culture would have some sort of version of the most significant thing to happen to their ancestors. So we should expect other cultures to have stories about the flood.
World renowned philosopher William Lane Craig says that,
“It’s not just Christian scholars and pastors who need to be intellectually engaged with the issues. Christian laymen, too, need to be intellectually engaged. Our churches are filled with Christians who are idling in intellectual neutral. As Christians, their minds are going to waste. One result of this is an immature, superficial faith. People who simply ride the roller coaster of emotional experience are cheating themselves out of a deeper and richer Christian faith by neglecting the intellectual side of that faith. They know little of the riches of deep understanding of Christian truth, of the confidence inspired by the discovery that one’s faith is logical and fits the facts of experience, of the stability brought to one’s life by the conviction that one’s faith is objectively true.”
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