Apparently in our secular society we have been happy to have been demoted. If atheists are correct, then not only does God not exist, but we are therefore not created in the “image and likeness” of God. This has profound consequences in several ways, but for the purpose of brevity in this post I’d like to narrow in on one; ethics.
I came across an interesting article this summer that speaks to where morality goes without God. To quote the author quoting Richard Dawkins:
I want to raise another question that interests me. Why are we so obsessed with monogamous fidelity in the first place?
…. The underlying presumption — that a human being has some kind of property rights over another human being’s body — is unspoken because it is assumed to be obvious. But with what justification? . . . . From a Darwinian perspective, sexual jealousy is easily understood…. Sexual jealousy may in some Darwinian sense accord with nature, but “Nature, Mr. Allnutt, is what we are put in this world to rise above.”
. . . . Why should you deny your loved one the pleasure of sexual encounters with others, if he or she is that way inclined? I, for one, feel drawn to the idea that there is something noble and virtuous in rising above nature in this way.
So this is where atheism leads? A ‘make up your morality based on what’s in your noggin’ kind of thing? Where did the heart go in the moral discussion? Delete God and morality has a shaky foundation indeed, in fact it has no foundation. But worse, with atheistic Darwinism not only is there no longer a ‘why?’ to the ‘why not?’, it seems that, for some at least, there is justification for behaving badly. “Don’t fuss dear, just rising above evolution, we have evolved to be smarter than monkeys after all.”
Monogamous fidelity is important to the Christian (or ought to be), not as an issue of “property rights” as Dawkins puts it, but as a matter of covenant love. Marriage is about covenant, and the sign, the proof of that covenant is not the ring we wear, it is sex. Now in the letter of the law we read “you shall not commit adultery” (Deuteronomy 5:18), but the spirit of that law is to love one’s spouse faithfully. And what a deep and sacrificial love we are to have: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
As Christians we do not remain faithful as a matter of property rights. We remain faithful because it is what God does, and we are created in His image. As Christians we do not experience jealousy as a matter of property rights. We experience jealousy because it is what God does, and we are created in His image. Jealousy is part of the language of love, the alternative being to say “whatever” and this is the language of apathy. I am grateful that the Lord is not an apathetic God, but a jealous God, a God who gives Himself to us and for us.
From the whole Biblical story we learn that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). We are created in the likeness and image of God. This may refer to many things, but just as “God is love” we must be a people of love. As we walk in our secular culture I hope that we don’t find ourselves demoted, acting as if we not created in His image or as if we don’t care. Perhaps you are ready for a promotion?