Letter to the Editor: Is the Bible the Objective Standard of Morality?

letter to the editor

Letter submitted to the editor of the Defiance Crescent-News on April 11, 2016

Dear Editor,

Recently, Cal Thomas pontificated about the need for an objective standard of morality. Of course, Thomas, an Evangelical, believes the moral code found in the Bible is the true standard of morality. Thomas believes America is mired in a moral quagmire. Blaming liberals, secularists, and atheists, Thomas believes America’s only hope is for Americans to once again prostrate themselves before the Bible and promise resolute fealty to its author — God.

What exactly is the Bible’s objective moral standard? The Ten Commandments? Or is it the Nine, since most Christians no longer “remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy?” Or, as dispensational Evangelicals suggest, is just the New Testament the standard for morality? If it is just the New Testament, then why do Evangelicals continue to condemn homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and abortion — none of which is mentioned in the New Covenant? And why do Evangelical pastors continue to collect tithes and offering each Sunday, a practice not found anywhere in the New Testament?

While Evangelicals will point their peculiar interpretation of the Bible to justify the notion that they are the holders of God’s standard of morality, any careful examination of their churches shows that Evangelical moral beliefs are every bit as subjective as their atheist/agnostic/secularist neighbors. There are over one hundred churches in Defiance County, and not one of them agrees with another about what is considered moral behavior.

On matters of greater importance: salvation, baptism, and communion, local churches fight among themselves, each believing that it has the keys to the kingdom. One church has been running weekly ads in the Crescent-News to remind locals that their church — a Campbellite congregation — preaches the true gospel. Down the street Baptists preachers remind congregants that the heretical followers of Alexander and Thomas Campbell were thrown out the Baptist church mid-19th century. It is the Baptists who have the true gospel. And so the internecine wars continue unabated since the day Jesus was buried in a pauper’s grave.

Atheists such as myself laugh when Evangelicals suggest that the Bible is the standard for morality. Seeing the utter confusion and contradictory beliefs among the various Christian sects, how can anyone know for sure who is right? My money is on none of them being right. As a humanist, I believe it is up to people — not religions — to determine the standards by which we want to govern our lives.

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio

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4 Comments

  1. Connie

    Bruce,

    I would imagine you being correct absolutely sucks in your neck of the woods. I am so happy you and Polly are the best of friends.

    As always, brilliantly stated. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Thanks, Connie. Yeah…it would be quite lonely here without Polly and the kids. This is why I really appreciate my internet friends. They are often a lifeline in a sea of bat-shit crazy. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Elaine

    Just finished listening to Does God Exist? that I downloaded from my local library. I was surprised about how easily I followed Bart Ehrman’s arguments considering my preference for reading non-fiction, not listening to it.

    In the the latter part of the book, when Ehrman was discussing what the Jesus probably actually teaching, I was interested to see that Ehrman thought that the following passage from Matthew was probably close to authentic:

    “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

    A far different approach to morality than that found in current fundamental, Evangelical America.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: According to This Christian, Atheists Live Hopeless, Senseless Lives | The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser

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