I got an interesting letter from someone going by the name of Jack O’Scratch recently.
“I know you won’t reply because that is the way you people deal with criticism, but why can’t you just let people live their lives?” he asked rhetorically. “Why must you continue to PUSH your morality on the rest of the world? Do you honestly think your god is so intolerant that he will punish YOU because other people don’t follow YOUR god? Thanks again for reinforcing my belief that I did the right thing by renouncing your evil, pathetic religion.”
I’m going to surprise Jack by replying.
Jack begins by saying he doesn’t like the way “you people,” meaning me, I presume, deal with criticism.
That, of course, acknowledges that my views are often under criticism.
The way I respond, when I think I’m right, is to defend my views – something I would expect everyone to do.
He asserts that I am not letting people live their lives.
Let the record show I have never taken the life of anyone. Neither have I forcefully obstructed people from living their lives the way they want – unless they were threatening the lives of others. I believe in treating people the way I would like to be treated as Jesus said in Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
I have been in error at times in my life. I’m thankful to those who offered me correction. And I try to offer correction to those who are straying from the teachings of their Creator. That strikes me as the loving thing to do.
I don’t want to see people lost. I don’t want to see people miss out on the rewards of obedience to God. I don’t want to see people separated from the love of God for all eternity because of bad decisions they made.
That’s the spirit in which I approach what the Bible defines as “sin.”
I’m not pushing my morality on anyone. My morality is weak. But I do try to promote the morality of the One who defined right from wrong for us.
And make no mistake about it: Everyone involved and engaged in debating social issues is pushing some form of morality.
Every law passed in the history of the world, whether by king’s edict or through the votes of elected officials, is the reflection of someone’s morality – be it a highway speed limit, a seatbelt law, a law involving restrictions on firearms or the very definition of when life begins. Tax laws are reflections of morality. Deficit spending decisions are reflections of morality. There’s just no such thing as a law or regulation that is not a reflection of someone’s morality.
Take another look at Jack’s criticism with that in mind.
Who is pushing his morality?
He rejects God.
Atheists have their own morality, too – and they are among the most vociferous advocates of their view of right and wrong.
Do I push morality? Yes, I plead guilty as charged. But I don’t enforce it. I don’t coerce anyone to follow my view of morality.
Interestingly, I find the very people who attack me for advocating a certain moral worldview attempt to do just that – force their morality on everyone else.
They do it through legislation. They do it through court edicts. They do it through bullying. They do it through heavy-handed pressure tactics. They do it through violence. They do it through intimidation and coercion and name-calling.
So what I’m asking Jack to do today – along with all those who think like Jack – is to take a look in the mirror. He might also want to re-examine that Golden Rule found in Matthew 7:12: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
You might also want to contemplate Leviticus 19:18: “[T]hou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
What’s the best way to love your neighbor? Is it not to share the truth? Is it not to save them from death? Is it not to provide them with the key to everlasting life?