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.