A Disagreement with C.S. Lewis


A Disagreement with C.S. Lewis and with Yancey

A shorter quote just sparked a notion--

from Soul Survivor--C. Everett Koop Philip Yancey

C.S. Lewis shocked many people in his day when he came out in favor of making divorce legal, on the grounds that we Christians have no right to impose our morality on society at large. Although he would preach against it, and oppose it on moral grounds, he recognized the distinction between morality and legality.

Of course we will have to exercise the skill of ethical surgeons in deciding which moral prinicples apply to society at large. If we fail to exercise that skill, once again we will risk confusing the two kingdoms, the kingdom of God and that of this world

And yet, it is somehow fine for a Christian to live in a society that consistently seeks to impose its morality upon the Christian framework?

I think there is a grave, typically Christian error here--an error I believe stems from a misunderstanding of Jesus's statement to "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. . ." Many seem to read that as saying there are two kingdoms--one of God, one of this world (as articulated above). Such a reading strikes me as utter nonsense. The kingdom of this world is ordained by the will of God one cannot live in it without also living in the Kingdom of God because He is all pervasive. What Jesus says to me in the phrase is not that Christians should buckle under to the Caesars of the world, but that once they are present, all due order should be observed, and Christians should be good citizens of that kingdom. However, when and where possible this world should as much as possible reflect the glory of God. So, do Christian's have "a right to impose their morality on others?" I would argue that every law is an imposition of morality and Christians have as much right as anyone else to impose their morality in a legal, civil, compassionate and humane way.

That said, the Christian morality should not be the morality of individual Christians, but the morality that comes from living in a Christlike way. That is, because we determine homosexuality to be immoral (for example) does not mean that we can pass laws that would not allow a gay man a home to live in or food. Morality must reflect first and foremost God's love and law, not our own wishes tarted up as God's Will.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 15, 2003 8:32 AM.

Those Who Sin Differently Than We Do was the previous entry in this blog.

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