11 “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.”
Herein lies the problem: what is sin? Moral relativism has made significant inroads in western culture where morals are relative. This argument falls flat in its face if any pressure is applied to it. Pure moral relativism says if you think it’s ok, then it’s ok; theoretically then 9.11, San Bernardino, Auschwitz, etc. are all ok because the perpetrators thought it was ok. To some groups these actions are high water marks. Yet most of the world is rightfully horrified.
Why do some cultures embrace these horrors? Why do we think they are horrors?
Our morals say it’s wrong to take a life. We judge the cultures that embrace violence harshly, yet they judge us harshly right back. Who’s right?
It’s hard to say unless we agree upon a source of truth.
Which leads me back to today’s scripture. In this world sin is allowed to wage war against our soul. What is sin? If we follow moral relativism sin is self defined and who are we to judge? Who are we to restrain the desires of anyone? There is theoretically no war, yet we see the results and it is war against humanity.
Ultimately we need a common moral authority and ultimately that’s God – He defines what’s right and wrong whether we like it or not. Just like we judge the people who slaughtered innocents by our moral standards in San Bernardino, God will judge us by His.
The bible shows us a God of love, mercy, grace and justice. God is perfect love AND perfect justice. His justice is based on His morals, not ours. What does He expect? Read Matthew 5, 6, 7 (as paraphrased in The Message) to start. There is a true God and a single source of truth just like there are false god’s and false truths.
At the end of the day we have to land somewhere. We can create or own morals or embrace those given to us. It really doesn’t matter how much we rail against His morals because at the end of the day it’s totally His call, so abstain from sinful desires which wage war on our souls. Having lived in horrific sin for most of my life, I’ll share that it’s been very good wisdom for me.
(For more insight, try Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise)