Morality Is Not Good   Leave a comment

Morality and ethics always seem to employ references to good and evil, right and wrong conduct. We don’t stop to consider how these designations are determined and evaluated. What determines what is “good” or “right”? Do goodness or righteousness exist in and of themselves? Is there such a thing as “autonomous goodness,” a secular “godless” ethical standard, or the “autonomy of morality?” (Jacques Ellul, To Will and To Do. pg. 30).

Christianity – true Biblical Christianity — asserts that God alone is autonomous, independent and self-existent. Everything and everyone else is dependent and derivative. To believe otherwise is idolatry. Only God is Good. Christianity denies an independent, autonomous self-existent “good.” There is no “naural goodness” that becomes the basis of a “natural morality” within a “natural theology”.

“There is none good, no not one” Romans 3:12

“No one is good, except God alone.” (Luke 18:19)

Any attempt to self-define “good” by human standards is an attempt to replace God as the standard-bearer for Christian behavior. It’s idolatry to think that we can define “good” from our own perspective. We end up calling “evil good and good evil” and making ourselves “wise in [our] own eyes, and clever in [our] own sight.” (Isaiah 5:20-21). “Good” is knowable only as God reveals Himself and do-able only as the character of God is activated and expressed in human behavior. Good intentions aside, moralists who allege to lead us in the common good for moralities and ethics invariably based their systems on their fallen and self-serving motivations.

We do remember the Fall, right?

No human is good. Creation is bent and we are the most bent of it.

God as the source and definition of good is asserted through out Scripture and the lack of goodness of human beings is also quite clearly proclaimed. There is no genuine, absolute “good” apart from God.

God has revealed Himself and thus revealed His character of goodness. Human beings may not recognize that because we’re not good. We can only really know what good is by knowing God through Jesus Christ. That word “know” means in a personal and intimate sense, a dynamic personal revelation of God informed by the Bible and accountable to other believers, but revealed by the Holy Spirit. We can live out God’s goodness only as the character of God is dynamically generated and actuated by God’s grace because only God can actively express His goodness. The active expression of genuine goodness is Christian behavior is always derived from God. “The one who does good is of God.” (3John 11). The phrase “of God” comes from theos, meaning source or origin coming from God. In other words, the one who manifests goodness derives what he does out of God.”

God is Good; the goodness of man is relative to God’s work in our lives. We must not attribute an attribute of God (goodness) to ourselves, another person, an object, an idea or an activity, for in so doing we deify that creation and make it an idol.

Good can only be defined by the character of God since He is the source and essense of all good. English is such a sloppy language that we use the same word for describe vastly different concepts. We don’t mean good in the same way as we mean beneficial, advantageous, profitable, wholesome, acceptable, or ethically useful. God is not “good” because He conforms to a moral standard encoded by a flawed human society. God is not “good” because He does good.There is no standard higher than Him. He is the definition and the source of “good”. He does what He does because He is who He is. All good done is done by the God who is good.

… Including the “good” you want to take credit for doing.

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