Christians say they use their bibles to make moral decisions

Christians claim they use their bible to make moral decisions and they teach children this dogmatic way of arriving at answers to crucial questions. Unfortunately, all moral questions cannot be reasonably answered by biblical dogma. Modern life and modern technology pose moral questions that never vexed the writers of the bible. For example, you won’t find anything in the bible to answer whether the state has the right and duty to order airline pilots to pass rigorous written and practical tests in order to fly airplanes.

The bible has the golden rule, which is positive, and one or two of the ten commandments make sense, but otherwise, mostly debateable arbitrary dogma is on offer. Take the issue surrounding stem cell research and the use of stem cells taken from fetuses. A promising therapy is hobbled by nothing more than arbitrary dogma. Somebody decided exactly when life began as though such a point in time existed. Originally it was said to start a certain time after fertilization, but as that decision became more and more untenable the moment of fertilization was decided upon. Issues surrounding contraception are likewise encumbered with nothing more than arbitrary dogma.

A better plan would be to teach children how to reason and where to find moral philosophy sources to guide themselves. But teaching children to reason is anathema to theists. If children got the idea it was OK to form their own ideas and be self directed, they would have no need of religion.  In fact this is happening now right before our eyes. Young people are leaving the church.

“Yet it has never been easy to apply biblical teaching to the circumstances in which believers find themselves. Consider the problem faced by Clement of Alexandria in the third century: if Jesus had advised the rich young ruler to sell all he had and give it to the poor, how was this hard advice to be accommodated to Clement’s comfortably situated clientele? Likewise, from the episode of Jesus’ telling Peter to put his sword back in its sheath (John 18:10-11), Tertullian (circa 200) argued that in ungirding Peter of his sword Jesus was ungirding every Christian. Was this pacifist teaching well founded? Does it make a claim on our consciences today? There are no simple answers.”


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