Morality sought sans belief
Where purpose meets the world’s cry for Christ. | Illustration by Nicole Landon/THE CHIMES
According to the Pew Research Center and a group of statistics involving the decline of evangelical church attendance, the percentage of ‘nones’—or those who would refer to see themselves as atheist, religiously unaffiliated or agnostic—have been proven “more likely than those who identify with a religion to say that belief in God is not a prerequisite for good values and morality.”
MORALITY: THE SOBERING TRUTH
For many nonbelievers, the concept of morality serves as a sole guiding light. The summation of work ethic and love for family becomes a qualifier of what deems one as a “good” person. Without this drive, and without following the purpose of the glorification of God and the bringing forth of his kingdom, purpose, morality and life itself becomes meaningless. We see this perpetual cycle of work and death in Ecclesiastes 1:3-4.
“What do people gain from all their labors / at which they toil under the sun? / Generations come and generations go, / but the earth remains forever.”
All suffer in this life, and all work for and towards a goal. Many find that working and suffering, for the sake of personal gain, in the name of morality remains fruitless. How does one even begin to create a spectrum of morality with no recognized source of good or evil to pit these concepts against? As Christians, we recognize that God is the source of all life and abundant joy. We know the difficulties of life and the bringing of sins to the surface are means of our ultimate sanctification. We also recognize Satan as good’s complete antithesis—a pit from which evil and sin crawl, inhibiting our freedom and preventing pureness of motivation from existing in the hearts of all human—“nones” and Christians alike.
HIS WORK IS NOT FINISHED
It is not a question of the ability sinners have to possess morality. We acknowledge that God can do good work in and through all things, whether sought to be used or not. It is not a supposition of being a human with completely pure intention or sinless nature. We acknowledge that complete perfection has only come to humanity in the bodily form of one person: Jesus.
This Pew article should propose instead whether or not living a life of morality has a point, in a being without hope for salvation. If a nonbeliever has claimed to see no life after this, we might ask the question—what is the point of living a moral life, if all you have to look towards is hell or nothingness?
Striving for morality is a search for Christ, in disguise. However, the knowledge of this should not close our hearts to the need of the secular world. Instead, it should appeal to each Christian’s drive to evangelize. The truth of the world’s despairing search for morality should break our hearts completely. The church is dying, and more and more people are claiming to be ‘fine’ and ‘good’ outside relationship with Jesus. This is the purpose of the hope of Christ, which we have been gifted and must in turn share.