Thursday, September 9, 2010


My mom had a question about "moralism".  This was my response. 

Moralism is making actions the most important thing.  God doesn’t love us or not love us because of our actions.  Sin is a battle that is fought because of our love for God and because we want to become more like him.  It has no affect on our relationship with or to God.  We ARE righteous.  We ARE saints.  Not because of anything that we have or have not done, but because of what Christ did on our behalf on the cross.  Moralism put s all of the focus on us and our actions. 

In this situation moralism leads to legalism.  For instance, when sin is the most important thing in the life of a body, then lots of rules are put in place to avoid sin or the appearance of sin at all costs.  These rules become what makes one a Christian.  A Christian is a person who goes to church, reads their Bible and prays, stays married, votes Republican.  A Christian is person who doesn’t drink, doesn’t cheat on their spouse, doesn’t wrestle with doubt.

When I read the Bible, a Christian is someone who believes the gospel (1 Cor. 15) and that is effective for him, loves God and wrestles with sin on a daily basis.  A Christian is a person who struggles with murder, drunkenness, adultery, gossip, and all other manor of sin.  Someone who is given over to these (Rom 1:18-32) is not a Christian.  But I don’t think that is most of the people that Bob referenced in the article, nor is it a judgment that I would like to make as to when someone has been given over to their sin by God.

Just some thoughts.


Andy Gammons said...

I think that my first paragraph may be a bit hyperbolic. Of course sin has an affect on our relationship with God. But it does not eliminate the saint from a relationship with God. It may call into question whether or not the person is a Christian, but for the Christian, it does not eliminate him/her from that status.

Shube said...

Some good (and heavy!) thoughts. As with so many things regarding our faith, we often must hold what might appear to be contradictory ideas in perpetual tension. We ARE saved solely by faith, but our faith is demonstrated (dare we say verified--as in the book of First John) by our good works. We are called to obey---but out of love and a desire to honor our Savior vs. out of fear of violating some man-generated list (which is where a lot of moralism comes in). I think the larger question is this: Does our sin break our hearts because of what we've done to the name of Christ and the offended party/parties, and do we earnestly persue repentance and restoration.

Now---enough heavy stuff. Let's talk about who cut off who on the go-kart track in Door County and if they are truely repentant! :)

Abigail said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Good stuff.