“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”Matthew chapter 7, verses 24 thru 27; from The Message (Msg)
Think about this: We Get To Choose Our Own Morality! This is important; very important. We get to determine what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is bad; what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable behavior. Now, there are some who declare that you cannot legislate morality! But yes you can! In fact, it has been happening for eons and it will continue to happen until time ends. Legislation, or the term laws if you prefer, is by definition establishing morality. Someone may disagree with me here, but they would be wrong. Every law enacted is a declaration of what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is bad; what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable behavior.
And now this question demands to be asked: Who or what determines morality? And this is where the problem began. Everyone has an opinion about this. And those opinions are as varied and different as the people who form them. Quite the conundrum, wouldn’t you say? Many want us to accept that everyone should be free and allowed to form their own morality. Yet society cannot exist unless there is a single source that is consistent throughout for determining what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is bad; what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable behavior. Without that single source, the guaranteed result is chaos, hate, anger, and all of their cousins and in-laws. Look no further than the United Methodist Institution, or Washington D.C.
Progressive (or as I call them: Pro-Aggressive) theologians and thinkers want to dismantle the tried and proven true morality of The Bible. Just flush it all down the toilet. Well, all except that part about love. They see love as God giving us permission and the empowerment to determine our own morality and call it good–as long as you love. They tell us that Jesus came to show us how to love. Well, I can’t dispute that. But that’s not all He came to show. Case in point: this parable about house builders.
This particular lesson is best presented in the rawness and bluntness of The Message translation. The very idea, and then acting upon it, that God has given us limited in thinking human beings the power and authority to determine what’s right and what’s not right in The Bible is. . .is. . .is. . . like building a house of cards. Listen again to what Jesus said: “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on.“ And at this point I must add this thought: Those of you who can quote and throw Bible verses out like throwing rocks, you haven’t reached the standard that Jesus set. We have to work these words into our thoughts, attitudes, words, AND actions. Listen again to the rest of His words: But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach.
And for those who have flushed down the toilet the Morality of the Bible for a more pleasing-to-you form of Morality, you are building that proverbial house of cards. All it takes is a good sneeze to blow it down. And the problems of life are much more than a sneeze. But we, the followers of Jesus, cannot change others view about Morality by our words. They must see it in our day-in-day-out life. Denominations that have adapted to the world’s Morality continue to be in decline. The solution to this morass we are in will not be found by hanging the 10 Commandments in government buildings, putting Bibles back into classrooms, and opening each school day with prayer, and having prayers to Jesus in public events. This is akin to using watered-down paint to cover over graffiti. No–we need to build the Morality of the Bible into our day-to-day life. After all, that’s what Jesus did!