When it comes to the issue of morality, I will always reply with the ever-true statement that morality comes from God, as He was the one who created this planet and us, and thus decides what is considered morally righteous and morally bankrupt.
Of course, despite this, man is naturally evil. That is not to say we are horrible beings that always cause harm and do evil deeds no matter what, but we are totally depraved in as far as the original sin committed by Adam and Eve upon their disobedience to God lives within us all and we can only be forgiven by Jesus Christ. But of course, not everyone is forgiven by Him, so there are those who are often morally depraved but believe themselves to be morally in the right.
A recent Gallup poll shows this to some extent.
The poll covered a total of 21 topics relating to their moral acceptability; things like gambling, abortion, the death penalty, etc.
While the title focuses mostly on pre-marital sex and adultery, and while I will be covering those topics, I would like to explore as many of the 21 topics in the poll and talk in large about morality in general. I won’t get to every single one for the sake of time, just the ones that I believe I should talk about.
The topic that was viewed as most morally acceptable is birth control, with 92% of people saying they believe it is morally acceptable and only 6% saying it is morally wrong. Personally, I do not entirely disagree with this.
My biggest issue about birth control is that abortion is often considered to be a part of it. However, things like “the pill” or condoms I do not consider to be morally wrong, personally. That being said, of course, this issue is often at least somewhat tied to pre-marital sex, which I wholeheartedly disagree with (and we’ll get to that). However, I do not necessarily consider birth control options outside of abortion to be a bad thing. And as far as the Bible goes, well, you are not likely to find much about this at all. That is why I default to simply being against abortion under this circumstance because I know full-well that the Bible speaks often of the value of life and the love the Lord has for us on an individual basis.
Next came drinking alcohol, with 79% of people saying it is morally acceptable. This one I can bring the Bible to discuss. Obviously, getting drunk is a big no-no. Verses like Ephesians 5:18: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,” and Proverbs 20:1: “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise,” are only some that speak against drunkenness. However, particularly with verses like Proverbs, there appears to be at least some moral acceptance of alcohol, provided it does not lead someone to get drunk and debauch and to overall sin against the Lord, being led astray by it. Similar to how it is okay to seek wealth, as long as it does not lead you from the path of the Lord, I think drinking alcohol is okay so long as you are not led astray by it and it causes you to debauch yourself and others. And let us not forget that Jesus turned water into wine, so it is not morally wrong to consume alcohol. Personally, though, I would not drink alcohol because of the long-term effects it can cause to the body and its risk for addiction.
Then comes the issue of divorce, with 77% of people believing it to be morally acceptable and 20% saying it’s unacceptable. I know depending on the denomination, different Christians will hold different views on it. Personally, I think divorce is okay under the following circumstances:
1) The marriage is abusive to either partner. If someone is being verbally, mentally or physically abused, then divorce is okay especially because of the following point.
2) One or more of the partners is not a Christian. If someone is abusive of another person, the abuser is not really a Christian, even if they were to claim to be so. If the marriage is not a union under the Lord, it is not a true, Christian marriage. Receiving a marriage certificate may make you and your spouse legally married as far as the country’s laws go, but that does not necessarily mean you are married in God’s eyes. A marriage is a holy matrimony; a union not only between two people, but among two people and God, with God at the head of the marriage.
So when it comes to divorce, I believe it is okay under certain conditions, but I believe it should be avoided by two Christians if the reasons for them desiring to divorce are petty and fixable. Just saying “I don’t love him/her like I used to” is not a good enough reason.
Next comes sex between an unmarried man and woman, with 71% saying it’s acceptable and 28% saying it’s not. No doubt, the Bible speaks against this. This constitutes adultery. Having sex with anyone who is not your spouse is considered adultery, even if you do not have a spouse.
I am reminded of a twitter debate I have spoken of already around the time Alabama passed one of the most pro-life laws in the country, the topic of pre-marital sex came up (somewhat) and I was mocked for believing it to be good to not have sex until marriage and being darn proud of believing this. That only goes to show the kind of thinking the secular world has brought about.
Next comes gambling, with 68% saying it’s acceptable and 31% saying it’s not. Now, gambling is not explicitly covered in the Bible. It largely speaks about wealth and riches, with verses like Proverbs 13:11 saying: “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it,” and 1 Timothy 6:10 saying: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
Again, it’s the love of money, not necessarily the pursuit of it, that is sinful and evil. So I am not quite sure about this one. Personally, I don’t mind if people gamble, but wouldn’t do it myself because of the risk of addiction (and I consider it a massive waste of money anyway).
After this comes smoking marijuana, with 65% deeming it morally acceptable and 33% disagreeing. As with other things, drugs are not explicitly mentioned in the Bible. However, one verse in particular ought to stand out: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
This verse speaks highly of our own bodies. But beyond that, it speaks largely to Christians. The part about being bought with a price does not apply to non-Christians – to those whom God has not elected to be saved. If anything, the verse speaks about Christians not doing anything to their own bodies, for it is God’s. So if God decries doing such things to our bodies, the conclusion one must reach is that any intake of things that mess with it in such a way is morally wrong (yes, I know alcohol could technically count here too, but it largely becomes a problem for your body when you have too much alcohol in your system and when you have been drinking alcohol for a long time, leading to your bodily systems and organs to decay as a result. Drugs have a more immediate negative effect on your body, particularly the brain, and it’s more severe).
Afterwards comes stem cell research, with 64% finding it acceptable and 31% disagreeing. Obviously, this one falls in a similar category as abortion does in general (speaking of which, it is at an interesting 42% finding it acceptable and 50% finding it unacceptable, mirroring a recent poll from Harvard/Harris). Stem cell research stems (pun intended) from fetal tissue – more specifically, from a dead fetus. More often than not, aborted fetuses are used for this type of research, so don’t be surprised if the Bible deems this to be immoral.
Next is having a baby outside of marriage, with 64% saying it is morally acceptable and 34% disagreeing. Similar to pre-marital sex and extra-marital sex, considering the act of having a baby results on having sex, this is also morally wrong. That’s not to deem the baby to be less than human – he or she is still loved by the Lord – but having a child outside of marriage is not morally right.
In Genesis 38, we learn of Judah and Tamar. Tamar was Judah’s daughter-in-law, though a widow. At one point, Tamar went to Timnah, where Judah was also going to shear his sheep. While she was wearing her widow’s garments at the time, she had taken them off because her groom-to-be, whom she was promised by Judah, Shelah, Judah’s other son, was grown up and she desired to be ready for him. However, in taking off those widows’ garments and putting on a veil, covering her face, she made herself look like a prostitute of the time. Judah saw her, thought she was a prostitute, and slept with her, even conceiving with her (like I’ve said multiple times, the Bible is filled with sinners). When it was found out she was pregnant, Genesis 38:24 says: “About three months later Judah was told, ‘Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral. Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.’ And Judah said, ‘Bring her out, and let her be burned.’”
Yes, Judah is a hypocrite here, something he himself acknowledges later in that chapter when they discover the baby is his and they don’t burn her, but we can see clearly that child-conception outside of marriage is deemed to be morally unacceptable. Judah is a sinner here, as is Tamar, who accepted to lay with her father-in-law, and their child-making (though I doubt they intended to do it) was marred in immorality and unrighteousness.
Next comes gay or lesbian relations, with 63% believing it is morally acceptable and 35% disagreeing. This is the easiest one to make a case against. Leviticus 18:22: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Leviticus 20:13: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”
Suffice to say that same-sex relations are not morally acceptable by any means. Now, while I would not wish to put to death people who do this, I understand that what they do is, indeed, an abomination that would lead them to the ultimate death, the second death, should they not repent of their sins. As I’ve said time and time again, homosexuality is a sin. All sins lead to death if not repented for and forgiven by Christ.
Now, while there are other topics that I would like to cover more, like doctor-assisted suicide, suicide in general, sex between teenagers, etc., the last item I will talk about is extra-marital affairs, with only 9% believing it to be morally acceptable and 89% saying it is not morally acceptable.
This, as with pre-marital sex, is morally unacceptable according to God. But all things considered, I’m not really all that surprised to see that people think pre-marital sex is fine but extra-marital sex is not. Extra-marital sex is a betrayal from one of the partners. No one wants to be betrayed like this. It’s more of an emotional issue to most people than necessarily a moral one.
But then again, many of these answers can be answered in a similar, emotional manner. Those who say things like pre-marital sex and same-sex relationships are okay do so with emotions in mind, be it their own or someone else's. Sex feels good and people don’t like it when you point out that it’s wrong to do so outside of marriage.
But this is why morality has to have an absolute source. Morality cannot be dictated by society, else morality fails to be morality and becomes normality – what is considered normal. In this day and age, pre-marital sex is considered normal, but that doesn’t make it moral. 71% of people deeming pre-marital sex to be moral does not actually make it moral.
Often times, people deem moral what is immoral and immoral what is moral. I know perfectly well that Hitler viewed his actions to be perfectly moral and acceptable. To him, he was getting rid of people who were holding humanity back. The search for the ubermench was seen as perfectly moral. But what he did was entirely immoral. It’s not simply that people would agree today that that was immoral, but that speaking in absolute moral terms, according to God’s morality, what Hitler did was abhorrent.
So that is why morality cannot be determined by society. What is moral today may not be tomorrow and vice versa. But that’s not absolute morality. Morality, as I’ve repeated countless times, comes from God.
As the Ruler of the Universe, as King, God is the one who determines what is moral and immoral. Man has absolutely no right to determine morality given our original sin. We sinned against God. We are God’s creatures. Who are we to determine what is right and wrong when we are NATURALLY EVIL!?
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who turn darkness to light and light to darkness, who replace bitter with sweet and sweet for bitter.”
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