We need to stop talking about "traditional values"

In a sermon a few weeks ago, Doug Wilson made the following point:

Many defenders of traditional values refuse to honor God as God and refuse to give Him thanks by name. No wonder we lose. We cannot defend generic morality. The reason we cannot defend generic morality successfully is there is no such thing as generic morality.

I thought this was an especially poignant point. After all, why do we believe in the “traditional values” we talk about? It is because we are Christians. The reason we argue that the institution of marriage should be one man and one woman is because that is the way it is defined in Scripture, especially in the New Testament. The reason we oppose abortion is because the unborn baby is a person made in the image of God.

There are two big reasons this is important. First, because we lose credibility when we pretend we are making secular arguments when everyone knows we are acting under the conviction of our faith. Even those who disagree with us can respect that we are being honest about why we are advocating for the positions we hold, but when we dishonestly wrap our position in a secular argument and pretend there is no faith-based reason for that argument we cannot command respect – but we do deserve scorn.

The second (and much more important reason) is that we are acknowledging that we are under the authority of the King of Kings and that we are speaking out on these issues because of our commitment to Him. We are showing we are ashamed of our faith and our belief that we have to rely on our own strength, knowledge and wisdom to win the argument. When we do this, we are every bit as much in rebellion against the universal authority of Jesus Christ as the unbelievers who openly oppose him, whether our policy position is in line with Biblical morality or not.

I used to be of the opinion that we cannot use explicitly Christian arguments or use Scripture to make our case but I have since realized the arrogance and folly of that position. Why would we not want to acknowledge that the Creator is on our side and that we are acting out of obedience to Him? Are we really this arrogant and self-important? Are we really ashamed of our faith and our Savior?

This is not to say that we should not use secular arguments to make our case. There are plenty of secular arguments for the protection of the unborn, for example. God is the Author of all logic, and He gave us our intellect for a reason. Logic is not opposed to Christianity. Instead, logic flows from Christianity. But we should always put that under the authority of our Savior, instead of simply being just another political interest group. We need to kill the “traditional values” movement and replace it with Christian values.

3 thoughts on “We need to stop talking about "traditional values"

  1. Mr. Tibbs:

    Agreed in part. However, what say you to someone who does not believe in the “King of Kings” and who has no time or recognition for your religious values? Do you seek to impose them on this person?

    Specifically, I am speaking of gay marriage, as you and I have already had a few rounds with respect to the abortion/birth control issue.

    Do you seek to impose the biblical definition (New Testament, of course; never mind the polygamous leanings of certain Old Testament traditions) of marriage, i.e. one man/one woman, on a homosexual man?

    Is it your position that the state, for religious reasons, should dictate to a homosexual man (or woman for that matter) who he can marry?

    Does that reflect your understanding of the First Amendment?

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  2. I'm not advocating for everyone to be forced to “convert” to Christianity, as that would represent false conversions. That also presents a dangerous precedent, and gives power to a government that can never be trusted with it no matter who is in charge.

    But in terms of religious values in law, we have that right now and have since the nation was founded. We always will. The question is not whether we have religious values in our system of laws, but which values.

    The phrasing of your question is interesting – “impose” the Biblical definition of marriage on a homosexual. I certainly do not believe that anyone should be forced to marry against their will. In fact, I do not believe government has an interest in criminalizing relationships between consenting adults. I would draw a distinction between a sin and a crime.

    But allowing people to live as they please is not the same as having government place a stamp of approval on that relationship with legal recognition of that relationship as a “marriage.” Our society has always had restrictions on what it recognizes as a marriage: No polygamy, no close relatives, and (until very, very recently) no people of the same sex. We do not allow people under a certain age to be married, to protect them against abuse an exploitation. So arguing about whether there should be restrictions is pointless. The argument is about which restrictions.

    Even before the states started recognizing same-sex marriage within the last decade, any homosexual could “marry” someone of the same sex provided they could find a church in rebellion against Scripture to perform the ceremony. There were no restrictions on it and it was not illegal. What that couple could not do is have the state place a stamp of approval on and grant legal recognition to that “marriage.”

    And all of that was always considered in perfect harmony with the First Amendment until the last decade. It was inconceivable for the men who actually wrote the First Amendment that it would be used to force state recognition of same-sex “marriage.” Original intent matters, and the prevailing political winds of the day should not be used to change the clear meaning of the Constitution as it was written.

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  3. “We need to kill the “traditional values” movement and replace it with Christian values.”

    Good luck with that, when no two Xian sects even agree on basic tenets such as baptism or virgin birth. Catholic and Protestant bibles don't even feature the same 10 commandments, and the Catholic Pentateuch has seven books. Your “holy writ,” loaded with fatal contradictions, makes a unified faith impossible…but the contortions are fun to watch.

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