It IS a nice thought but so far from the world we live in, a utopian world would need to be a reality not just a figment of imagination. I share this to set a bit of foundation for next week which is a reply/addition to Fr. David Mumford’s thought from September 20.
As too usual my thoughts come as I read other peoples writings and one that caught my attention this week was one credited to the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. “Any religion-based answer to the problem of our neglect of inner values can never be universal answer so will be inadequate. What we need today is an approach to ethics which makes no recourse to religion and can be equally acceptable to those with faith and those without: A Secular Ethics.”
This led to a conversation along the lines of - Jon: “Without the person of Christ all philosophy and moral reason will ultimately fall short. The reason is guilt... Only Christ answers that because the guilt of sin is paid at cross.”
The friend’s reply was: “I do think when it comes to politics however Christianity should have no say whatsoever.”
Well as you can imagine if you know me at all this line of reason doesn’t work for me at all.
So my reply back: ‘To a degree you are right. Perhaps what you mean is Christianity should not be the sole source of the say...”
But in biblical Christianity, it is a part of our world view overall so it has to shape our politics. If it doesn’t what does that say about what we believe. Now on the other hand within the political arena we must face that we are in a broadly secular society and must find ways to work within that broader framework. But our core values have to still be our core values. Honesty, integrity, value of human life, the values expressed in the last six of the 10 commandments are, or should be universal values and if not are principles that we must still try to achieve as political principles.
The bigger challenge is without religious values there is no moral ground in the first place. The secular humanist lives by the Darwinian philosophy which boiled down to the lowest denominator says we are nothing but glorified apes that have happened by survival of the fittest. Not sure I want ‘survival of the fittest’ to be the rule of law as guys like us, you and I, don’t survive by that. That was Hitler’s basis of Jewish genocide and several other dictators that are part of modern history and usually means might makes right.
God’s law and value says we are image bearers of our creator no matter how gifted or talented or lacking there of... so respect for God’s creation/creatures is important. Thus a rule of law can be established. As you can see this is just barely an introduction to the topic really, an opening salvo if you will.
Rev. Jon Bergen
Brechin Baptist Fellowship