Would you do evil as long as the outcome benefits others? Would you lie as long as it protects someone you love? Are some actions only wrong if there is a bad outcome or are they always wrong regardless of the outcome?
Christianity is based on principles found in Scripture. To be Christ-like is to have or pursue the character of Christ and follow His Word. In other words, if the bible says it, that settles it.
Is there anything wrong with doing whatever, even bad, as long as the end result is good? There is a problem with morality or ethics based on the outcome. Who determines what is good or bad? What seems good or right to one may seem evil or wrong to another.
Is morality subjective? Do ethics change based on the situation at hand? Is something wrong one day and right another? Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
Doing whatever one wants as long as their interpretation of a good end result is achieved is a dangerous slippery slope. It is basically a feel good approach to life. If killing innocent people, let’s say unborn babies, makes one feel good in the end, reducing stress, easing pressure, and eliminating worries, then it’s OK, right?
He’s rich! I know he cheated his way there, but look at all that money he makes and he even gives some away to charitable causes. They provided for their family all they needed, but stole from others to do it. That’s OK, right?
Would it be “more right” if they stole from bad people? Can you lie on your taxes to increase wealth or lie on your resume as long as you get a good job with the excuse of bettering your family? Do the means justify the end?
Think about it this way. If you could save the world by killing one person, would you do it? According to Scripture, murder is sin (Exodus 20:13, Romans 13:9). Now, the world will be saved…but what kind of world is it when murderers decide who gets to live or die? One may say, well, it’s a bad person anyway.
Are they not a life created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27)? Murder, lying, stealing, or whatever God calls sin can never be justified as a means if God has deemed those actions sinful. Some would say that morality is subjective, meaning it is in the eye of the beholder.
If so, then how can any of our laws be right if someone thinks them to be wrong? What if a child molester says that’s how they view love? Should we be OK with that? Absolutely not! Now, you say, we would all agree with that one, right? Surely that’s common sense. Then why are there so many convicted (and un-convicted) child molesters out there?
Business, education, government, family, and sometimes even church takes the approach of using whatever methods necessary to achieve good. So what if we break some of God’s moral laws as long as we uphold others? What a dangerous position it is to pick and choose God’s standards.
God is more interested in our motives rather than our results (1 Samuel 16:7). We are created foremost to bring Him pleasure, not ourselves (1 Corinthians 1:29). He alone is Judge, determining sin and righteousness (Isaiah 45:21, Deuteronomy 32:4). He alone determines what is holy, right, and just because he alone is holy, right, and just (1 Samuel 2:2).
Morality was not invented by humanity but originated with God. God’s Word is and must be the absolute standard for truth, ethics, and morality (John 17:17), not the opinions of sinful man (Romans 3:10-12). God must be the standard of holiness, morality, and perfection (Psalm 18:30, 92:15). While we all fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23), He alone is good (Luke 18:19). He does not change (Malachi 3:6). We must base everything on the solid Rock that is Christ and His Word, not the shifting sands of this world (Matthew 7:24-27).
Stephen Harrison is the lead pastor of Family Church at White Hall.
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