Christian ethics is often dismissed as primitive in popular culture and in the liberal media. It is seen as outdated and not applicable today. However, most advocates of secular morality actually borrow from the Christian worldview without realizing it. We should determine which ethical system is best based on how practical and consistent it is. It should also be logical and reflect our conscience. Only Christian ethics provides any objective foundation for morality.
Christian ethics, or ethical objectivism, states that morality is objective, unchanging, and comes from an external source, God. A common objection to Christian objectivism is the Euthyphro dilemma, which asks, “Does God will something because it is good, or is something good because it is willed by God?” This is actually based on a gross misunderstanding of God’s nature. Something is good because God is good, or something is bad because it is contrary to God’s nature.
Let’s look by example. Stealing is not bad because God says it is, but because God is not a thief. Similarly, lying is wrong because God is perfectly truthful. God proceeds to issue the divine command based off of his immutable nature. All humans have a built- in moral compass, called a conscience, which alerts us when we do wrong. This universal conscience comes from God who made us in His image. Therefore, we intrinsically know what is morally right and wrong, and our conscience tells us when we sin and act contrary to God’s nature.
Christian objectivism produces similar results as morality is not contingent on what one person or group says, but rather what God commands based on his unchanging nature. It is also easily applicable in everyday life, in fact, most people act as if morality is objective. No one can get away with murder by saying, “I felt it was ok.” No successful society has progressed without accepting moral objective values.
Often times Christian ethics is presupposed without one realizing it. It is especially ironic when one criticizes God using moral language when He is the standard of right and wrong! All moral language become meaningless when it is subjective, as it is just an opinion and not enduring truth.
God has made His presence known in the hearts and minds of every person. It is impossible to escape the fact that God exists as the standard of morality since He has implanted a conscience within each and every one of us. To deny that moral objective values and duties exist would cause one’s worldview to fall into absurdity.
In our next post we will explore the fallacies of secular ethics and how atheists “steal’’ from the Christian worldview.