A Christian Society?

This week a lot of things have come up which have real­ly chal­lenged the way I look at our soci­ety. There’s no doubt that in Australia we real­ly have it good. Our con­sti­tu­tion is based on a demo­c­ra­t­ic mod­el and I think it’s fair to say does have a Christian basis. So, as our coun­try becomes more sec­u­lar, the ques­tion aris­es, how will the moral basis of our soci­ety change with it? and how will this affect our laws?

The dis­cus­sions have become more promi­nent in recent months with the homo­sex­u­al mar­riage debate. I sus­pect whichev­er side of the argu­ment you stand, there is no ques­tion that this debate will define for our coun­try — are our laws based on a Christian moral basis (note I’m not try­ing to argue that we are a Christian coun­try, sim­ply that our con­sti­tu­tion is based on Christian prin­ci­ples) or are we redefin­ing our coun­try to be based on a sec­u­lar moral basis. I don’t real­ly want to get into this par­tic­u­lar debate here, it’s more that I sus­pect it is an exam­ple of move­ment away from overt­ly Christian prin­ci­ples.

An argu­ment that came up in one of my class­es this week is that in mov­ing to a com­plete­ly sec­u­lar soci­ety, there is no rea­son that our moral basis will con­tin­ue to stay as it is today. For exam­ple, in a sur­vival of the fittest men­tal­i­ty, mur­der is com­plete­ly per­mis­si­ble, because the weak, or vul­ner­a­ble hold the fit back. Maybe it won’t be called mur­der, per­haps we will find anoth­er name to jus­ti­fy it. However the fact will remain that there is no moral basis to pre­vent the killing of the weak. From a bib­li­cal per­spec­tive, God has cre­at­ed all peo­ple in his own image, He loves each per­son in cre­ation, there­fore Christians will val­ue life, and a Christian eth­ic will place val­ue on everyone’s life and there­fore not seek to end it.

This whole debate was made real for me after hear­ing about this after birth abor­tion debate. If you haven’t heard about it, basi­cal­ly there was an arti­cle pub­lished in the Journal of Medical Ethics last week which argues that because abor­tion is per­mis­si­ble, after birth abor­tion (ie the killing of new­borns) should also be per­mis­si­ble. I don’t agree with abor­tion, but even if I did, how hor­ri­fy­ing that we can argue that the most vul­ner­a­ble in our soci­ety should be killed because it might be incon­ve­nient or dif­fi­cult for us to care for them.

However, …  if eco­nom­i­cal, social or psy­cho­log­i­cal cir­cum­stances change such that tak­ing care of the off­spring becomes an unbear­able bur­den on some­one, then peo­ple should be giv­en the chance of not being forced to do some­thing they can­not afford.”

Not only does this dis­gust me, but I won­der if it reveals where our soci­ety, as we adopt a sec­u­lar world­view is head­ing.

As Christian’s, Christ called us to be counter-cul­tur­al. To be aliens in this world and not adapt to the stan­dards of this world. We can stand up for the rights of new­borns, and do so in a way that doesn’t involve death threats.

Then I read this arti­cle and remem­bered that the chang­ing soci­ety we live in might just give us some great oppor­tu­ni­ties for shar­ing the name of Jesus.

This is a daunt­ing chal­lenge, but nev­er­the­less it is a chal­lenge that God has allowed us to face.

Note: The pho­to is me with my niece mid last year, what a pre­cious life she is.

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