It takes courage and clarity of thought (not a lot of courage and clarity of thought, but a little) to engage in moral reasoning in public. It’s easy for us to lose our nerve or suddenly become confused when put on the spot. That’s why it’s so important for Christians to be deeply rooted in the Scriptures; we can stand on God’s truth, even when our wits desert us.
Singer Lauren Daigle has recently been caught up in a kerfluffle. While open about her Christian identity, she has recently publicly stated that she can’t say whether or not homosexuality is a sin. Why not? As is usual in cases like these, the problem seems to be that she doesn’t have a good grasp on the authority of Scripture.
In the first place, relationships with homosexuals have confused her about whether it is right or wrong. “I have too many people that I love and they are homosexuals,” Miss Daigle said. This is standard fare, a basic strategy of the sexual revolution. Normalization has done its work on her. The logic is, once you get to know people who do x, and see that they are regular, kind, good people, you will come to realize that x isn’t sin. But that does not follow. Regular, kind, ‘good’ people do all kinds of sinful things. Scripture tells us what is sinful, not social mores and the practices of people we love.
But that, again, is standard fare. I found her other piece of reasoning more interesting. Miss Daigle went on to say, “I can’t say one way or the other, I’m not God.” This is not new either, but it is a rather extreme case. She is saying, in effect, that only God can make a proper moral judgment on this issue. It follows that, if you claim to have the answer about whether or not homosexuality is sin, you are putting yourself in the place of God.
I think that what is going on is that Miss Daigle has confused judging people with making moral judgments about issues. This is a confusion encouraged by the left, who insist that making moral judgments about certain issues is condemning people, thus bigoted and hateful, etc. Pope Francis is famous for falling into this trap, with his “Who am I to judge?” response on this very issue several years ago.
It must be observed that this only arises regarding certain issues. Ask Pope Francis what he thinks about greed, and suddenly he will rediscover his ability and prerogative to make moral judgments–even to judge greedy people. Ask Lauren Daigle what she thinks about racism, and I’m guessing she will have no problem making the correct moral judgment, even though she’s not God, and without any sense that one needs to be God in order to know the truth.
That tells us that the sudden inability to engage in moral reasoning, the sense that to do so would be putting oneself in the place of God, is a smokescreen. I do not mean that Miss Daigle was lying. Perhaps her nerve failed her, when put on the spot; but perhaps she is only confuses what is already confused to her. There is a whole advocacy machine at work trying to change Christians’ minds about this issue. The fog is thick in our culture.
What Christians must understand is that God’s Word is authoritative, and cuts through the fog with the mighty gale of the Spirit, the clarion call of truth, the light in our cultural darkness. Miss Daigle was right in that God is the judge and His judgments are true. But that would mean that making moral judgments is putting oneself in the place of God only if God had been silent. If God has spoken, then it is good and proper obedience to cling to what God has said. If God has spoken, then it is putting oneself in the place of God to deny the truth of what God has said. If God has spoken, then we can know the truth.
If God has spoken and told us what is true, then we must have the clarity and courage to cling to God’s truth.
You don’t have to be God to know moral truth. You just have to believe God.