In the world around us there are many ideas of what morality should be, even more what it could be. These ideas are influenced by culture, by environment, by accepted social practice and by law.
While the disciple is aware of the framework within which they live they are neither bound to accept its values nor bow to its pressures. For the disciple, morality has a much higher origin – it comes from the God of heaven and earth. It therefore matters little to the disciple what any community in which they live considers to be right or wrong, but it is of great significance what God values.
In the February issue of the Christadelphian you may find a study about biblical morality and not the consideration of morality as a general concept. Morality for our purposes is the study of what is right and wrong in the eyes of God. There is not really any other we need concern ourselves with.
This does not mean that we seek to upset others or refuse to accommodate their values when we can; but it will mean that our lives are governed by principles that are foreign to those about us and this will inevitably be noticed. The Apostle Peter remarked of the unbelievers,
“They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you” (1 Peter 4:4, NIV).
Such “abuse” as Peter mentioned stems both from a desire to mock that which is different and an endeavour to justify one’s own position. By labelling as ‘weird’ the behaviour of those who hold themselves to higher standards, they no doubt excuse their own lack of restraint.
The gap thereby created between the believer and the unbeliever is wide. When the community of unbelievers places little or no social limitation on behaviour (as has been historically evident at the end of civilizations) the gap widens even more. We, who are living at the time of the end, should expect that the world about us will have little moral common ground with our profession as disciples.