New demands for moral perfection. If you’ve been a Christian for any amount of time, you have an understanding of God’s standard for morality. And that standard is perfection. Any violation of the moral standard of perfection condemns us. Without intercession and forgiveness, we are punished for eternity for our transgressions.
Atheists will often rail at the thought of this. How can God be so demanding? If God really loved us, wouldn’t he be more accepting of our moral flaws? And why did he create a system that would condemn the people he supposedly loves to hell? This demand for moral perfection is unreasonable!
But suddenly, we are being faced with new demands for moral perfection. And those demands are not coming from Christians, but secular society.
Moral Perfection Isn’t Just For Christians Anymore
People are beginning to push back against the “Cancel Culture”. If you are not familiar with the term, “Cancel Culture” is a movement to “Cancel” anyone that steps out of line morally or politically. If someone finds a Tweet of yours from 15 years ago that runs counter to today’s morality, a large group of people will begin attacking you online. They even go so far as to demand you be fired from your job. And they are successful at doing these things.
One of the most striking things about this is that it isn’t just Christian conservatives that are falling victim to the cancel culture. There are many progressives that have paid the price for their stances. Many feminist icons from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s are now at war with trans-activists over the place of women in society. People like Gloria Steinem, once a liberal icon, are now seen as “transphobic” for statements she made in the early 1970s.
There are too many examples to list of actors, writers and activists on the left that have had their carriers ruined by the cancel culture. And many of them are falling victim not for things they are saying today, but for things that were said in the past. Sometimes, years in the past. So the demand isn’t just that you be morally perfect now, it’s that you must have always been morally perfect.
Forgiveness vs. Condemnation
So we are now ironically at a place where both secular society and Christians are operating on the same standard. Moral perfection is required. One violation of the moral code, no matter when it occurs, is enough to condemn you. The difference is how each worldview solves the problem of people not living up to the standard.
In a secular society, condemnation is the only answer. Everything must be taken from you. You no longer can earn a living or socialize in polite society. And apologizing isn’t enough. You are never absolved from your sin. Once the law is broken, you cannot be redeemed.
Christianity offers a choice. There is forgiveness and reconciliation to be had. And while Christians have in the past (and still do in many cases) refused to offer forgiveness, the fact remains that forgiveness is central to the Christian worldview. Christianity offers a solution to moral imperfection, redemption. The idea that even the worst of us can be redeemed from our past actions.
A Stark Contrast
There is no doubt that society is getting more secular. And as it breaks away from a Christian foundation, we will begin to see what fills the vacuum left behind. We are in fact, already seeing it. And strikingly, moral perfection is still the standard. But the solutions to breaking the moral standard of perfection are vastly different. The cancel culture hasn’t solved the problem of moral imperfection, it’s simply removed the hope that one can be redeemed from their moral failings.
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