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Do God’s Moral Laws Make Him a Spoil-Sport?
Our society is governed today by more laws than ever, but continues to experience increasing crime. It appears that no number of laws will make people law-abiding.

Do God's moral laws make Him a spoil-sport? Do a mother's warnings to her children to not play out on the street in the traffic make her a tyrant? Yet more and more in our society we are disregarding God's loving concern for our well-being.

When I was young, morality and legality were almost synonymous.

Bit by bit we are passing laws that make legal what the Bible, tradition and common sense itself, once considered immoral and we are suffering the consequences.

If you are looking for a close-to-home example of the way we're heading just tune in on the TV programme "Super Nanny" some evening – Chaos!   Disobedience and disrespect for parents, foul language, selfishness, violence, destruction of property, you name it!

When I was young, morality and legality were almost synonymous. To put it another way, what was considered moral was generally legal and what was considered immoral was generally illegal. Now of course that did not stop people from acting immorally but at least most everyone knew what was right and wrong.

As I was scanning the ten commandments recently, I was shocked to realize how few of them are really taken seriously any more. Let's look at this abbreviated version:

1. There is only one God. Worship Him alone.

2. Don't make an image of any god to bow down to. 

3. Don't use God's name as a cuss word.

4. Keep His day holy.

5. Children, honor and obey your father and mother. 

6. Don't murder 

7. Don't steal. 

8. Don't commit adultery. 

9 Don't lie 

10. Don't covet (cast greedy eyes upon) your neighbour's wife or any of his possessions. 

Even the sanctions against murder have been diluted. Murder used to be a capital crime. We believed human life was sacred, that man was created in the image and likeness of God and whoever murdered must forfeit his own life.

Whenever society opts to be guided in its behaviours only by what is legal rather than what is moral, that society is in trouble. Eventually, when the critical mass of a society becomes so estranged from the transcendent moral principles of God that it must depend solely on law enforcement to maintain its orderly functioning, that society is on the verge of anarchy.

Moral principles are eternal and transcendent. Laws are enacted by humans and are changeable. Many moral principles are all but universal – not murdering, not raping, not stealing, not lying, and so on.

We have more laws on our books today than ever in our history and more crime than ever. No amount of laws will make people law-abiding. Law abiding is governed by the conscience, and the conscience by an innate sense of what is right and what is wrong.

Let's face it. We are not a law abiding people. We constantly and consistently break speed limits. Our streets are not safe at nights anymore. Shoplifting is endemic. Street crime and home invasions continue to increase. "Road rage," unheard of until recent years, is common.

It is obvious that stealing is wrong, and lying, as well as rape, murder and other violent crimes. If everybody was free to do these things we would have anarchy. No one would feel safe. We wouldn't be able to trust anyone. So we accept God's commandments as true and just in such cases.

But our increasing disregard of God's other transcendent moral principles is constantly harming our society in many ways:

1. Marriage and having children were once synonymous. ("Be fruitful and multiply"). No longer. Result – the depopulation of nations, especially Europe.

2. Sex outside of marriage used to be considered immoral. No longer. Result – spread of sexually transmitted diseases, resulting in sterility or even death.

3. Marriage used to be for life. No longer. Adultery is common, divorce is rampant (even among Christians) giving us generations of children deprived of proper family upbringing and preparation for adulthood.

4. Gambling was once considered a vice and was discouraged. No longer. Result – it has been legalized by governments as a money making scheme, truly "a tax on the poor," bringing untold misery to its many addicts and their families.

The complexity yet perfect order of the universe, the wisdom of God's laws for living and the correspondence we find within ourselves to that wisdom as we see it played out in real life should convince us of His solicitude towards us. Take God into account in your life. You will never be sorry.

Bert Warden is a freelance writer and retired Christian & Missionary Alliance pastor. He is a member of Sevenoaks Alliance Church. E-mail:

Originally published in the Abbotsford Times, October 24, 2008.




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