Morality involves behavior that conforms to a standard of what is right and what is wrong. A current politician for president once said this concerning abortion and gay marriage, “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVTiAJ1e9SM) (Specifically at 8:54-9:02). What she needs to understand is behavior is not determined by how we feel or by what we think, or by what is popular, but rather behavior is to be regulated by the Word of God. The standard we all need to go by is the Bible, and the Bible is unchangeable (Mt 24:35).
The norm for the Christian is God Himself. Peter wrote, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation (conduct); Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:15-16). John stated, “And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure” (1 Jn. 3:3). Since God is unchangeable and absolute, then our moral standard is unchangeable and absolute.
The landmarks of morality have been set back in many areas. The urgent need is to put them back where God placed them, to restore them to their rightful positions. Areas where there is a need of restoration are:
1. Modest Apparel. Christians are to dress in becoming apparel that reflects holiness of life. Paul wrote, “. . that women adorn themselves in modest apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety.” “Shamefacedness” means “a sense of shame” and “sobriety” indicates “propriety; good sense.” When children of God engage in mixed-swimming, wearing macro or mini bikinis, parade around in mini-dresses, see-through blouses, tight-fitting skirts and pants, and short-shorts, they have neither shame nor good sense. To dress in such a fashion so as to excite lust in the opposite sex is wrong. Godly, conscientious people do not dress in this manner (1 Pet. 3:14 f; Prov. 7:10).
2. Dancing. There are many evils of the modern dance, especially disco dancing. It kills a Christian’s influence, destroys his spirituality, places one in a vile and degrading atmosphere where there is profanity, drugs and alcohol, involves one in lasciviousness, and leads to fornication. Many “good girls” who became unwed mothers trace their downfall to the dance hall. The Bible teaches that lasciviousness and reveling will condemn our souls (Gal. 5:19-21).
3. Salacious Material. Some so called Christian homes receive regularly salacious (lustful) literature. They either buy it at the newsstand or subscribe to it via movie and sex magazines, paper back love stories, etc. They are openly exposing themselves to temptation, sin and spiritual death.
The apostle Paul wrote, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true . . . honest . . . just . . . pure . . . lovely, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8). One cannot read suggestive and vulgar literature and think on these virtuous qualities named by Paul. To live right, we must think right and to think right, we must read right. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Prov. 23:7). We need in our homes wholesome literature and not the filthy sluice of slime from degenerate men.
4. Movies, Television & The Internet. A great number of movies are obscene, licentious, godless, blasphemous and degrading. They have been classified as G, PG, PG13, R, R17, and X in order for the movie-goers to exercise discrimination. But sometimes you cannot depend on the ratings, especially the PG’s, as they may be right on the border line of an R rating.
Movies are now being “piped” into homes on the HBO, Cinemax and rated X networks that are as rancid and raunchy as any shown at the public theaters. Pornography downloaded from the internet is making such obscenity available even to small children. There is little, if any, censure in many cases. Children are left free to watch whatever they want. Television in general is becoming more coarse and more brazen. Whether it be movies, television or the internet, Christians must be selective and watch those things in harmony with moral principles.
5. Social drinking and Drugs. The abuse of alcohol is one of the most prevalent sins in America. Most people consume alcohol in various measures. Alcoholism (drunkenness) is one of our major social problems. Most Catholics, Protestants and Jews drink alcoholic beverages, but Christians must abstain from this moral blight that is so widespread. However, more and more are seeing nothing wrong with it in moderation.
We need to consider that social drinking ruins our influence, harms the body, dulls our judgment, runs the risk of alcohol addiction, and finally, is contrary to the Bible. The Bible condemns both drunkenness and social drinking (Prov. 20:1; 23:29-32 ff; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:18; 1 Pet. 3:3-4).
Drug abuse (narcotics, stimulants, depressants and hallucinogens) is also widespread, affecting all levels of society the young, old, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, religious and non-religious (Notice famous drug overdoses of Elvis, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince). From a Christian point of view there are many reasons why a child of God should not experiment with drugs. Among those reasons are illegality of the practice (Rom. 13), health of the body and mind which are to be used for God’s glory ( Cor. 6:19-20), influence (Mt. 5:16; Phil. 2:15) and a work of the flesh (drugs were used in connection with sorcery, Gal. 5:19-21). A Christian should be satisfied with his life in Christ rather than seeking a “high” from drug abuse (cf. Gal. 2:20).
6. Marriage Fidelity. Extra-marital affairs (adultery), wife-swapping and divorce and remarriage have become common occurrences even in the Lord’s church. There is an epidemic of marriage infidelity in the church, even among preachers, elders, deacons and Bible teachers. The divine injunction to “flee fornication” (1 Cor. 6:18) is completely ignored.
God’s standard on the permanency of marriage has been lowered and accommodations have been made to fellowship those who have abandoned their mates by divorce and are living in adultery. The church is being filled with adulterous members and preachers are condoning such because of the love of money or because they are living in adultery.
The law of God on marriage for men is until death, unless his wife has committed fornication (Mt. 5:32; 19:9). For women, it is until death with no exception given (Rom. 7:2-3; 1 Cor. 7:39). Even if her husband be dead she can only marry a Christian man. She can be reunited back to her husband if she has divorced him (1 Cor 7:10,11). Hebrews 13:4 needs to be shouted from the housetop, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Don’t be fooled by wicked preachers, teachers, and elders who twist God’s Word to say that God changed his old testament law, (which forbid woman from divorcing their husband and remarry), to suddenly in the new testament allow such. God hates divorce! (Mal 2:16) Yes, God changed the old testament law from allowing man from divorcing and remarrying for any reason (Deut 24:1). But no! God never allowed nor did he ever say woman can divorce her husband and remarry another man and not commit adultery. In fact, he said, if a woman has a living husband and be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress.
7. Homosexuality. In our modern age, homosexuality and lesbianism has been taken to another level. No longer are they content being in the closet. No! Today they want to be out of the closet, and to be considered normal. In fact, they demand the right to marry and rear children just like heterosexuals. The bible tells us of the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah. History records the evil of Babylon and Rome. God destroyed these cities and nations for such wickedness. Is this generation that far away? Paul said concerning such, “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due” (Rom 1:26-27). “Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Rom 1:32).
Principles of Moral Conduct
1. Love not the world. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 Jn. 2:15; f. Jam. 1:27; 4:4).
2. Be not conformed to the world. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. . . ” (Rom. 12:2).
3. Have no fellowship. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). Not only must we not participate in the works of darkness, but we must reprove, express disapproval, condemn, expose and refute. God calls on us here to be militant toward sin.
4. Abstain from all evil. “Abstain (hold off ) from all appearance (every form) of evil” (1 Thess. 5:22; ff. 1 Thess. 4:3; 1 Pet. 2:11).
5. Flee from all evil. “Flee also youthful lusts” (2 Tim. 2:22; ff. 1 Tim. 6:11; 1 Cor. 6:18). We need to run from sin and not wait around the corner or leave a forwarding address or phone number.
6. Put off the old man. “That you put off concerning the former conversation (behavior) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. . . . And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:22,24).
7. Mortify the flesh. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5 f; Rom. 6).
8. Deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Tit. 2:12).
Conclusion: God’s Word will never change to allow any kind of immorality. All works of the flesh will keep us out of the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor 6:9-10 f; Gal 5:19-21). Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us to change our immoral life to please God. “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6:11). May we all awake to Paul’s clarion call, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not” (1 Cor. 15:34). Don’t let immorality keep you out of heaven. May Jesus find us without spot and blameless when He comes (2 Pet. 3:14). “