C. S. Lewis on Morality

There is a story about a schoolboy who was asked what he thought God was like. He replied that, as far as he could make out, God was “The sort of person who is always snooping round to see if anyone is enjoying himself and then trying to stop it.” And I’m afraid that is the sort of idea that the word Morality raises in a good many people’s minds: something that interferes, something that stops you having a good time.

In reality, moral rules are directions for running the human machine. Every moral rule is there to prevent a breakdown, or a strain, or a friction, in the running of that machine. That is why these rules at first seem to be constantly interfering with our natural inclinations.

When you are being taught how to use any machine, the instructor keeps on saying, “No, don’t do it like that,” because, of course, there are all sorts of things that look all right and seem to you the natural way of treating the machine, but do not really work.

The Message That Must Be Spoken

The homosexual advancement in our society is distressing to me. Now I know not everyone who reads this will agree, but I believe it foreshadows a shift in culture from which we may never recover. The problem goes beyond the same-sex marriage issue—that’s simply the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The only reason we are now debating same-sex marriage is because we have come to a place where traditional morality based on the Judeo-Christian belief system has nearly been destroyed.

That may sound like an extreme statement, and I hope I’m wrong about this. However, once we changed the concept of rule of law and the original intent of the Constitution, we opened the door for all kinds of aberrations.

Thus far, the only thing standing in the way of full acceptance of this “lifestyle” is the possibility of the Supreme Court remaining faithful to the Constitution. There are some giants of legal understanding who are still on the Court. They have been joined by others, though, who are not of the same stature:

Frankly, it never should have come to this—having to hope for temporal salvation from a court. As I’ve said numerous times, I expect the mainstream of worldly thinking to cave on the issue, but the key is whether Christians remain firm in the truths of Scripture. The reason we are where we are, I believe, is due to Christians wavering on this basic truth: homosexuality is a sin.

Few are willing to say that anymore; it leads to rancor and discord. Too few are willing to stand alone for truth when the rest of society is telling them to change their views. No one relishes being called a bigot [that word, and its sister, “racist,” dominate our discourse]. But it’s not bigoted to speak truth. Neither is it bigoted to point people to the way out of their sin. To do so is to lead them into freedom. The apostle Paul made it clear:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

That’s the message that needs to resound. It calls a sin a sin, yet also shows that every sin can be forgiven and new life can result. Who will speak this message? Who will be faithful to the calling?

Issues: No Dichotomy

The issue that first got many evangelicals involved in politics was abortion. After that, it was a threat to private schools from the IRS. Those were both in the 1970s. As the 1980s progressed, so did the “gay rights” agenda. That has increasingly received attention.

All of these are sometimes categorized as the “social issues.” Commentators often talk about those being the hot-button issues for evangelicals because they are focused on problems of morality. I cannot argue with that. They deserve our concern.

I would like to note, though, that we sometimes divide these issues into artificial compartments. In my view, all issues come back to some aspect of morality, and they all affect our society. The division that is usually made is between the moral concerns and the economic concerns, but stop and think for a minute: how can we divorce economics from morality?

How money is spent is a moral issue. How much we spend has to do with morality as well. If we go into massive debt, how is that not a matter of right and wrong?

If you haven’t done so yet, I encourage you to reorient your thinking and realize that there really is no division. Citizens—and particularly Christian citizens—should see our national concerns as interconnected. In the same way as there should be no dichotomy between sacred and secular [God is the author of all knowledge and gave man the ability to think and create], neither is there a dichotomy between morality and economics or government structure or any other issue one might raise.

Let’s be renewed in our minds. Let’s see the whole rather than the parts in isolation.