The decision between what is right or wrong and what is good or bad is always based on the opinion of an individual or group. When these moral codes are manifested through thoughts and actions, chaos occurs. An example of this dichotomy is pornography: Some see pornography as a way to explore their sexuality whereas others believe it to be toxic to society. Since there are many different views on how the world ought to be, a natural conflict arises when discussing human morality. As a Christian, my morality is not based upon my opinion of how the world should operate; it is based on God’s truth according to the Bible. I often hear from others, “Christianity is a way of life based on morals aimed to do what is good.” In reality, I did not choose to abide by God’s moral code because it was a nice list of laws; I chose to follow it based on God’s truth found in the Bible. God became a part of me and His moral code was engraved on my heart which now affects every part of my daily life. Isaiah 55:9 says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” The reliability of the Bible and the accuracy of its prophecy lead me to trust in God’s view of the world and submit to its authority rather than live my own ethical standards. Therefore, my moral code is not dependent upon my feelings (they are deceptive) or my personal perception (it is too small) but on God’s understanding and love for the world and humanity.
Danae Damron is a fourth-year biochemistry major.
Morals and religion seem to be tightly interconnected. Most religions have some sort of defined moral code that is meant to be followed in order to achieve some sort of salvation. Some people would say that religion is good for the world because it gives the world some sort of general moral code to operate under. Others believe that all human beings have some sort of innate moral code that they are born with that tells them not to murder, steal or sleep with another man’s wife. These people would say, “Everyone knows those things are wrong; they don’t have to learn that from a defined moral code.” To those people, I would say “What about Hitler and the Nazis? What about Stalin, Lenin and the members of the Russian communist party? What about the rebels that are currently wreaking havoc in Uganda and kidnapping young boys in order to turn them into soldiers?” While we view these events to be obviously morally corrupt through an American filter, I think that all of these parties believed they were doing what was right for their nation at the time. It would be difficult to look at all of the terrible things that man has done in just the last 100 years and make an argument for a universal human moral code.
Since I do not believe that humanity abides by a universal moral code that transcends time and social contexts, I have to look to something else for a moral code. So for me as a Christian, I naturally look to the Bible for my moral code. If most people were asked to find a moral code in the Bible, they would first turn to the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20, but I begin to define my moral code from something else in Scripture: Jesus. When asked about the laws from the Old Testament, Jesus says that there are two commands which all other commands are dependent upon: 1) wholeheartedly love the Lord your God; 2) love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-31). Since all other commands hang on these two, this is where I derive my moral code. What I find to be true in my own life is this: When I wholeheartedly love the Lord my God, I also wholeheartedly love all of the things that He stands for: justice, peace, salvation, goodness, kindness, hope, joy. When I love all humans as if they were my neighbor, I do not need to worry about a list of laws that would keep me from being morally corrupt; loving my fellow man encompasses all of those laws. By no means do I keep to my moral code perfectly, but Jesus provides me a moral code that can be summed up in one word: love.
Robby Vaughn is a third-year economics major.