Moral Contradictions

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Interstates, government, and church

I hope everyone had a great Independence Day - I definitely did. To be able to celebrate a free country in which we are able to freely worship is something that's too easily taken for granted.

I talked to my dad for awhile tonight, and I have to give him credit for the basis of this post. We both live within a few miles of I-95 - one of the busiest highways in the nation. In fact, I was so jaded growing up that I thought all interstates had three lanes and thus considered two-lane routes to be equivalent to dirt roads.

The speed limit through non-urban stretches in Virginia is 65 mph, yet the average speed routinely tops 75. The state and local counties can spend millions on traffic enforcement, but they will never slow everybody down or even stop a majority of speeders.

Sure they will have an effect, but they won't fix the problem. Drivers have to police themselves.

Such as it is with how our government affects our moral values - we can set restrictions and try to enforce them until we're blue in the face, but ultimately whether or not someone follows those restrictions is up to them. They have to want to obey society's standards. Coercion rarely works in moral circumstances as placing faith in one-size fits all laws ignores the Church's purpose.

The Church must teach and encourage folks to police and discipline themselves. Those folks should be able to find accountability for their actions. As more people look to God-given institutions for moral guidance and assistance, more people in our society will start setting examples and spread Godly values.

I sense that many Christians expect our nation's next "Great Awakening" to derive from the government. We can no longer blithely ignore God's given church and the power of the Holy Spirit to profoundly shape the course of our nation. To do so limits God's power and places trust in man-made institutions.

We can make all the moral laws we want, but until the Church fosters a spirit of obedience and acceptance of Biblical teaching, the government's actions will ultimately be for naught.

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