Foundations of Moral Responsibility

I suspect when God said He would make man in His own image, part of what that meant was—He was making man to think for himself. This happens to be one of those ideas that cannot be verified by pointing directly to a Scripture which clarifies the point. Probably the closest thing which comes to mind is in Isaiah 1:18 where God says through the prophet, come let us reason together.

In my mind this means He had already intentionally made us intelligent. He gave us reason and expected us to use that reason in responsible ways. This is relevant because in order for our actions to be fairly judged they have to be of our own choices, formed by our own decision making processes.

In this way intelligence is the beginning point of personhood, but also the foundation of moral responsibility.


Relationships and the Church

I believe most people have a need to find another person to share their life with in a deeply intimate way. God gave us this craving for many reasons, but the most intriguing reason is that it symbolizes God’s relationship with the church. (Eph. 5:22-27)

We should also remember there are ways in which this relationship can be corrupted. Fornication, strictly defined as sexual relationships without marriage are outside of God’s will. Adultery, sexual relationships of a married person with someone other than their spouse is also inappropriate. Homosexuality, sexual relationships with a person of the same gender also are also wrong. (1 Cor. 6:9) These general statements, once considered obvious, are far from obvious to today’s culture.

For today’s theology Thursday post, let me elaborate a little bit on the picture of marriage being like the relationship between Christ and the church.

Marriage starts with a commitment made before God and man between the man and woman getting married. Salvation is the point of commitment where a person enters the church, that is, becomes a part of the bride of Christ. This commitment is meant to be a lifelong promise not a temporary arrangement.

The relationship is exclusive, a person who seeks to hold this relationship with God cannot spend their life dabbling in other religions, any more than a married person should spend their life seeking other sexual partners.

These relationships are given definition in Scripture. Marriage is defined as a lifetime relationship between a man and a woman. Changing this definition to include homosexuality, multiple partners, or anything else which seems right to men, is to abandon God’s right to define the shape of human life and behavior. This is akin to those who seek to find God, but reject His plan of salvation in order to come up with their own.