...The bible’s response to issues involving human behaviour starts in a very different place. At the heart of the bible’s understanding of the human predicament is that we are enslaved to our own desires and that these desires lead us away from God to worship anything but the one true God. So gripped are we by this slavery it is impossible to release ourselves from it. It is only by God’s gift of grace though faith that we can be released from the slavery of our desires.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph 2:8-10
For the moralist this is shocking and frightening news:
• Since we are all slaves to our own corrupted desires the implication is that our determination of good or bad behaviour will be flawed. In fact so flawed that the bible tells us that God is the determiner of good and bad. There is no moral high ground to look down at others from and no invitation to self hatred merely an invitation, with good reason, to trust God’s judgment.
• Identity is not to be found in being better than others because we are not better than others. Once again there is no moral high ground from which to look down at others or invitation to self hatred just a recognition that we are all profoundly flawed.
• It means that God can ask anything he wants of us and still be in the right...(to be continued)