This year, between May and September, I have had no less than four couples already living together ask me to officiate at their wedding. Two of the four had a child. I decided it was time to launch a little first-hand study on the personal moral views of the contemporary cohabiting couple. Did they ever feel even a tiny bit guilty about 'living in sin'? "No, not really." "Well then, why did you decide to get married- if you think there is nothing morally wrong with just continuing to live together?" "Well, we're not sure. We wanted it to be somehow more...complete...and right." "But what meaning can 'right' have if there is no 'wrong' to begin with? And do you accept that there really even is such a thing as Right & Wrong-in any area of life?" One young man said no. So I asked him if he thought there was any such thing as absolute truth. "I kind of doubt it." "Are you telling me, then, that you believe that A could conceivably = non-A?" "Probably." I asked him for an example. He said he'd get back to me. I saw him a month later. He told me he was still checking. Dr. Armand M. Nicholi, Jr., psychiatrist, Harvard University, in a paper entitled Hope: "...in our society, moral and ethical guidelines have become less and less clear and one's conscience less and less discerning. People nevertheless feel guilty about their behavior. Regardless of unclear external and blunted internal moral guidelines, there appears to be a persistent inner moral sense, a kind of universal law or right and wrong that makes one feel guilty and worthless whenever this law is transgressed. I have observed among college students many who express surprise that their actions produce feelings of guilt. They say they have thought clearly about what they are doing and can give good reasons why they think it is not wrong. Yet for reasons they don't understand, they feel guilty and worthless when they break the traditional moral code." C. S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, ©1943, 1945, 1952, Macmillan Publishing Company: "Human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it." "Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining 'It's not fair' before you can say Jack Robinson." "It seems, then, we are forced to believe in a real Right and Wrong." "My argument against God (before becoming a Christian) was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?" "Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist-in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless-I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality-namely my idea of justice-was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple." Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, in The God Who Is There, ©1968, Inter-Varsity Press: "Nobody has ever discovered a way of having real morals without a moral absolute. If there is no moral absolute we are left with hedonism (doing what I like) or some form of social contract theory (what is best for society as a whole is right). However, neither of these alternatives corresponds to the moral notions that men have, nor to what men mean when they speak of morals. Without absolutes, morals as morals cease to exist, and humanistic man starting from himself has failed to find the absolute. But because the God of the Bible is there, real morals exist. Within this framework I can say one action is right and another wrong, without talking nonsense." John M. Frame, in Apologetics to the Glory of God, ©1994, P&R Publishing: "I will be arguing, in effect, 'Moral values, therefore God.'" "Moral standards...presuppose absolute moral standards, which in turn presuppose the existence of an absolute personality. In other words, they presuppose the existence of God. But what God? Of all the major religious traditions, it is only Biblical religion that affirms a God who is both personal and absolute. Is it then too much to say that morality presupposes the God of the Bible? I think not." The Bible, Book of Romans 1:20, 2:14-16: "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." "For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus."
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