What is at the root of our shifting moral landscape? Why do we need more than just a mere moral shift in society? In this video, John Stonestreet provides a Biblical response to the growing moral decline within society today. American culture has become increasingly tolerant of immoral behaviors within the past few decades. This tolerance is rooted in far more than the surface-level acceptance of lewd behavior. The world around us has had a shift in understanding right from wrong. As Christians, Stonestreet points us back to Scripture as the source from which we derive all thinking and all behaviors. We can propose an answer of identity and dignity to a world full of shifting morals.
- Shift in Culture
- Shift in Metaphysical Questions
- Shift in Identity
- An Answer to Culture
I think a lot of Christians look at the what’s happened in the United States, and I think we can look specifically on particular issues, and we see the dramatic shift that’s taken place in the last 5, 10, 20 years. And it’s easy to see these things as a moral slip. I mean, we’ve tolerated more things morally, particularly in the areas of sexuality, obviously, than we did in the past. And that would be true, but I don’t think it would be deep enough.
We’ve Had a Worldview Shift
I agree with what a blogger named Rod Drayer wrote about a year ago or so, that what we have dealt with is not a moral slip, but he called it a cosmological shift. And the language that we use around the kind of the Colson Center and us worldview advocates is that we’ve had a worldview shift. In other words, it’s not just that we’ve shifted in our understanding about what’s right and wrong, we’ve shifted in our understanding about the entire nature of reality, and in particular about the identity of the human person.
Throughout the history of Western civilization, without getting kind of too esoteric here, we’ve kind of seen the human person to be someone who has to wrestle with those big metaphysical questions about life in the world and figure out how to behave in light of their answers. That doesn’t mean they answer questions about God and truth and morality in a Christian way, or even in a theistic way, maybe it was an epicurean or a hedonistic way that allowed all kinds of moral behavior.
But our culture now says that those metaphysical questions, those big ultimate questions have been answered by science, and they need to be kept on the side because then what it means to be human, and the new definition is sex. It’s we are our sexual identity. Now, to me, this is a huge opportunity for the church, because looking at someone and saying to them, “You’re nothing more than your inclinations or your behavior.” What a small, dehumanizing, shriveled-up view of the human person.
The Great Answer of Scripture
And what answer does scripture give us to bring to the world, this good gift that Christians have brought to cultures throughout history? You have inherent human dignity from the moment of birth to the moment of death, because you’re made in the image and in the likeness of God. That is a great, what Chuck Colson would’ve called a great proposal. We can propose this great answer to our culture.