Friday, September 17, 2010
Faith vs Morality
It is difficult to break through the trap of thinking that Christianity and being a good person serves the same cause. Many people will say that it is not necessary to go to church to be a good person. Others, who go to church will say that going makes them a good person. Both sentiments are true but are in error for their focus regarding faith. If I were to say to you that I married my wife so that I could be a kinder person, more loyal, more compassionate, more gentle, etc, you would think that I missed the point of marriage, which is to GIVE yourself to love of another person. The pursuit of the marriage is the surrendered love to the other. How do I know that that is happening? because when one loves the other completely it is revealed in loyalty, kindness, gentleness, compassion, etc. The richness of virtues are the evidence of the love of the other, rather than the goal. The pursuit of the 'morals' misses the mark. Our pursuit in faith, must be the love of God. LORD, help me to love you more. The fruit of the Spirit will be the evidence of the love, not the goal of the love. This is why worship cannot be separated from the goal of pursuing God and His love. See my note of some time ago on Worship.
I can across this note from a site recently:
If you make morality an end in itself, rather than a means to an end, you’ll be worse off than if you hadn’t even tried to do the right thing.
Or, to quote C. S. Lewis (**):
Mere morality is not the end of life. You were made for something quite different from that. … The people who go on asking if they can’t lead a decent life without Christ don’t know what life is about; if they did they would know that ‘a decent life’ is mere machinery compared with the thing we men are really made for. Morality is indispensable; but the Divine Life, which gives itself to us and which calls us to be gods, intends for us something in which morality will be swallowed up. We are to be re-made.
If you know that the ‘Divine Life’ is the ultimate goal and act accordingly, you become more moral in the bargain. If you aim only at being moral, you become the caricature of Christianity that secularists rightly despise: self-righteous, legalistic, judgmental and hypocritical.
From This Side of Glory
LORD have mercy,