Why Publicly Contend for Christian Morality?

In the subculture of evangelicalism I inhabit, the issue of publicly contending for Christian morality (i.e. abortion, the definition of marriage, “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” etc.) surfaces from time to time. There seems to be basically two camps: those for it and those against it. On the surface, I tend to agree with many of the arguments made by those who are against making a public defense of the moral claims of the Bible. They say it detracts from our focus on the gospel. They say that it can often stem from post-millennial idealism. They say that it makes us look silly to a world that already hates us for the gospel. On the surface, I can agree with all of these arguments. However, allow me to offer some arguments for the other side in response:

  1. The gospel does not make sense apart from conviction of sin, and there is no conviction of sin in a society where the church is by-and-large silent on moral issues in the public sector.
  2. To want a better society for one’s children, and to want to see people live according to the precepts of Scripture, does not automatically make that one a post-millennialist.
  3. The authors of Scripture spent more time defending the moral assertions of the Bible than they did defending the epistemological assertions of the Bible. Think about it.
  4. The law and the gospel are not diametrically opposed to one another, but rather God uses both to bring people to repentance and faith. The problem comes when one is shared without the other.
  5. Throughout church history, church leaders have contended for biblical morality in their cultural settings.
  6. Someone’s worldview will be the current that drives the culture. Why not Christianity’s?
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