On Cultural Morality

In his sermon from 2002, "The Deadly Dangers of Moralism," John MacArthur, Jr. emphasized at least a dozen points. I've been chewing on this one point for the past week, because in one short paragraph MacArthur reaches from the past to address many issues that I have been thinking about lately.

"Cultural morality is dangerous because it has no New Testament model to follow except the Pharisees. So if you're going to try to find a New Testament pattern for this effort, you're going to end up with the Pharisees. They were the moral ones. And you know what Jesus said about them? Matthew 23:15: He said when you are through making somebody a convert to your morality, you have made him "twice as much a son of hell as yourselves." Wow. Wow. So if you're looking for a New Testament model for cultural morality, you're going to end up with Pharisees. They were legalistic. I don't know about you; I don't think I would be rejoicing to live in a Pharisaic-dominated society; dominated by the mandates of self-righteous, cruel, merciless legalists, who laid heavy burdens on people, right, and gave them no help to bear them, Jesus said. Jesus said to them one day as they picked up stones to stone an adulterous woman: Whoever is "without sin... throw the first stone." And stones started dropping. I don't know that I'd want to live in that kind of environment. There is no New Testament model for political action. Jesus didn't try to overthrow slavery; neither did Paul; neither did any of the Old Testament. Both Jesus and Paul, however, did say if you're a slave, be a good one, be a faithful one, be an honest one. Serve your master well; make wise investments; do it under the Lord, and God will reward you. And if you're in a harsh, difficult situation, you'll know His grace."

Quietly making noise,