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So WHY Is It Wrong To Hit Your Wife?

Written By Wade Mobley on 09/11/2014 | Posted in Current EventsDaily Christian Thinking

Several years ago I preached a sanctity of human life message that got me into a bit of trouble. I asked our congregation, which is predominantly pro-life to the point that it would be very hard to disagree publicly, "Is abortion right or wrong?" I asked for a verbal answer, and got it, correctly.

Then I asked a follow up question: "Why?" Not everyone appreciated that part.

In the case of abortion the answer is obvious: Abortion ends the life of a human baby, and human life is worthy of protection because of God's special creation of man in His own image. I wanted them to explore the commandment about life to such an extent that they would apply it to their own disregard of human life and not just that of others. If something is right or wrong, then there is a reason that that something is right or wrong. If you trace that reason back far enough you get to the good and right character of the Living God.

Side note: Asking "why" can protect your flock from self-righteousness. Nothing produces a flock of Pharisees faster than bold preaching on a topic about which we all agree.

You Can't Get To Good Without Going Through God

From our previous post, Situational Ethics ("SE") clings to such an obviously flawed idea because it is absolutely necessary in order to support a flawed (godless) worldview. Simply put, everyone hates evil, but you can't get to evil without going through "good," and you can't get to "good" without going through God:

  • It is wrong to torture babies for fun because they bear intrinsic value related to identity of their creator.
  • It is wrong to cut in line because God has provided for them in a certain manner and we should seek our provision, not theirs (the root of all theft is taking for yourself what you think God should have given you in the first place).
  • It is wrong to hit your mom with a shovel because she is a) a precious, eternal, human soul created in the image of God and thus worthy of esteem, and b) your mother, whom you shall honor as one of God's appointed authorities in your life.
  • It is wrong to hit your wife for similar reasons, including the potential (with intent or not) to take human life, which is not man's job, but God's.

The existence of absolute ethical standards (as opposed to situationally expedient or culturally acceptable actions) is one of the strongest indicators of:

  • The existence of an infinite, personal, good God
  • The mark of such a God on mankind, His special creation
  • Our guilt before this good God, and thus our need for redemption, not just improvement or opportunity

Why enter into such an over-the-top conversation? Because our culture constantly denies the existence of absolute ethical standards while simultaneously shouting "that's wrong!" when they see absolute ethical standards being transgressed. Note that I had to add "for fun" to the torturing babies example. This is because our culture routinely affirms the taking of unborn human life even after the point of fetal pain sensation, arguing that the presence of genetically human life is not sufficient to establish "personhood," with all of its ethical protections.

No Ethical Standards, But...

This kind of public denial of reality is played out in the media every couple months:

This public inconsistency is a great opportunity to proclaim the character and work of the Living God. God is good. God exists. God created man in His image, and thus we have His law written on our hearts. We can fight against that natural law with all our might, but when confronted with such evil that we cannot do otherwise, we cry out against it. The follower of Christ can then firmly, consistently affirm the rightness of the outrage while graciously exposing the lack of basis for such outrage.

Reduction to Absurdity

What I have demonstrated to you is something called, in Latin, reductio ad absurdum, or "Reduction to absurdity." Reductio (for short- pronounced like "reduction" without the "n") is a powerful, necessary tool for engaging the postmodern culture in which we live, and I will look at this more tomorrow.

Our goal, though, goes far beyond ethics- or even the existence of God. We desire what God desires- that the wicked repent of their sins and not perish (Ezekiel 18:32). God is not a mere system of ethics. He is a God of rescue for unethical people like Kermit Gosnell, Ray Rice, Richard Dawkins, and Wade Mobley. God "saw that there was no interceded" (Isaiah 59:16), so His own arm brought salvation through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. The one who believes in Him will not be put to shame (1 Peter 2:6).

- Pastor Wade

(Editor's Note: Photo featured on this blog post provided by Dan Mason under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License)

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Thankful to the Living God for life, redemption and His many blessings. Doing my best to reflect His character in all I do.

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