What ought to be and what is

This is going to be a long one.

What ought to be and what is. Interesting statement. What I’m refering to here is a situation called the ‘divergence of morality and ethics’. This might get extremely controversial for some people. This is after all a Christian worldview so some people might feel irked. But I am utterly convinced that this is the truth and I do not intend to offend anyone; hence I apologise right here and right now.

Morality is what ought to be. For example, God detests homosexuality, not because of some sadistic toss of the coin but because it is a true reflection of His nature. Ethics is what is. Our culture today tolerates homosexuality because it is apparently a ‘norm’, a statistical majority. Might makes right. In America, 51% of the votes made this right.

A saddening fact of today’s world is that instead of looking for what is in what ought to be, people have turned to find what ought to be from what is. To clarify that statement, let me introduce two more concepts, called the universals and particulars. The universals are governing laws, for example in football, one of the universal laws is that you’re not allowed to touch the ball with your hand. But to a complete amateur, who just sees the person touching the ball with every other part of the body, he may not make the connection. He sees the particulars – a player controlling the ball with his feet, heading the ball, chesting the ball. But can he necessarily figure out the universal law from the particulars that he is observing?

The answer is yes, because a bit of observation is what it takes to realise that you can’t touch the ball with your hand. But things aren’t as clear cut in the world of ethics, when people cannot find the true universals.

And so they turn to other means. They attempt to construct them from the particulars. Pre-marital sex is accepted by the majority of the population, therefore it is correct. Homosexuality is accepted therefore it is correct. Divorce is accepted therefore it is correct. Vulgarity is accepted therefore it is correct.

A more common approach is to find it through spirituality. But this still leads to the question of “What is truth?” Sure, there are plenty of universals. But which is the true one?

This age old question was once asked by a Roman governer by the name of Pilate. “What is truth”, he scoffed to the man before him, the man who had just seconds earlier answered him, “For this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth”. Pilate then turned his back on the man and made the gravest error of his life. There before him laid the greatest authority of truth, and he failed to listen for the answer that could have changed his life.

What is truth? God is truth. And Jesus came into this world to testify to that truth. But today’s world doesnt like God in the picture. We like to pretend He does not exist. It’s scary isn’t it, that God does exist and that He takes note of everything we do. That at the end of our life, we’ll stand before Him and be judged. That all our actions are accountable. It’s such a life changing thought, that many choose to look past it and pretend God doesn’t exists.

So that is the prevalent culture of today, the problem of today. We choose to omit God from our lives, from our existence. We’re just a product of the stuff in the box, merely a product of evolutionary forces. Or we opt for a smaller god, one that we can bend to our own liking. If we really believed in God. The God who created the universe. The God who created you and me. The holy and perfect God. The unchangeable God. The one and only God. The God who loves you and me. We would stop all our detestable acts, because we know that God is present and watching. Our lives would be lived to reflect what God desires.

But God gave us free will to choose. And we chose poorly – we chose to not choose Him. And the implications of a God-less world are huge. If there is no God or purposive force in the universe, that you’re merely a link in the evolutionary chain, then there’s no ultimate meaning in life. We substitute it with proximate meaning, a self created purpose. Because there is nothing outside your physical body, there is no free will, because you will be acting on human impulse, on instinct. There is no right and wrong, because that would again be determined by human nature. And it’s a horrible world. Survival of the fittest. Where the strong survive and the weak die.

It sounds all so dark and gloomy. And indeed it is. Man is fallen. Man has a great capacity for evil, because we chose to kick God out of our lives. Except for one thing.

“For this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” When Jesus said this, the truth He was referring to was not only the truth of God’s word, but that God had given us a second chance at life. A second chance with Him. Jesus testified to the truth, right on the cross on which He hung for the sins of the world. And it was a testimony of truth, for He conquered death, the eternal damnation of hell, which Satan had cursed us with through his lies. And so we are redeemed, paid for, given a second lease at life. Free from the chains of the devil if we would only accept God’s free gift of grace.

And we are now confronted with a second choice. In our first choice, we chose to kick God out of our lives. And what has this brought onto the world? In our second choice, God hopes that we choose wiser.

So choose wisely. And live out your choice.

Arguments adapted from “The Truth Project” by Dr Del Tackett


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One response to “What ought to be and what is

  1. Truth Project -Awesome stuff!!!!! We just completed Week 2.

    I see you are also a fan of Piper. We had the privilege of hearing him preach at Bethlehem. Wow! If only we all were so in The Word.

    Grace and Peace

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