Thursday, 15 February 2007

Moral compassing

CSI (Series 7 episode 4) moralising about kids who committed murder for fun starts to sound a bit like what Paul described in Romans 1:

Warwick - They need some good discipline: they need some grandmother whipping their ass, like I had.
Sara - You know, it kinda sounds like you guys are blaming everybody but these kids. I mean you don't get a bye just cos you grew up here, or your parents are on drugs, or... Those kids were perfectly capable of telling the difference between a wild night out and beating somebody to death.
Grissom - The truth is, a moral compass can only point you in the right direction, it can't make you go there. Our culture preaches that you shouldn't be ashamed of anything you do any more. And unfortunately this city is built on the principle that there's no such thing as guilt: "Do whatever you want - we won't tell." And without a conscience, there's nothing to stop you from killing someone. And evidently you don't even have to feel bad about it.

I don't know why the producers thought to put that bit of moralising in, but it's true: a moral compass can only point in the right direction - make you capable of telling the difference between a wild night out & beating someone to death. It has no power to enable you to do right. And so we not only suppress the truth but encourage others to do so too: guilt is no longer welcome - it is something to therapise away, because we suppress the truth that it's there for a reason. Yet the truth is, no matter how much we quash the conscience,
God shows no partiality. For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. [Rom 2.11-16.]
And this rebounds on us - those of us who keep some of the law, who even enforce the law and judgingly moralise about those who break it. We'll be judged by God impartially - and not just our actions, so seemingly morally superior, but our secret thoughts, which accuse us even as they fight for precedence.

But praise God, even as he shows no partiality, so that we are worse off than we ever realised, also, he shows no partiality, so we can be better off than we ever imagined:
For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. [Rom 3.22b-25a.] There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. [Rom 8.1-4.]

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