Is “Legislating Morality” Unbiblical?
Ryan DuncanReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2017 Jun 23
Many Christians have expressed their belief that society thrives under the governance of conservative, Christian policies. However, a recent article from Relevant Magazine is challenging this assumption by arguing that legislating morality is not only ineffective, it’s unbiblical. Blogger Jasmin Patterson points out how trying to pass laws which coerce society into a Christian semblance miss the foundational truth of Christianity; moral works aren’t good enough. Rather, it is only through repentance and faith that Jesus is able to transform us from the inside out.
Legislating morality does not actually change a person, it only forces them into a Judeo-Christion lifestyle, often unwillingly. Without a desire to pursue God any changes are superficial at best, and at worst, they alienate society from the gospel. Patterson also urged readers to remember that Jesus did not work through politics,
“Jesus taught us to preach the gospel to every person in the power of the Holy Spirit and teach believers to obey the things He commanded. That’s how people come to faith in Christ and grow in faith in Christ, straight from the mouth of Jesus. Not through Christian morals having political influence. Not through Christianity being the dominant culture-shaping voice in society.”
“I’m not saying we should promote lawlessness and allow people to rob and murder as they wish with no repercussions. And yes, I recognize there is an inherent moral quality in declaring some things legal and illegal based on their impact on society, even if all people may not agree on where that moral standard comes from. But we need to evaluate whether laws are God’s primary method of producing morality and change in people. They are not.”
She concludes by asking Christians to avoid the expedient path. In order to make lasting impacts in American society, Christians must communicate with the people around them and form stronger relationships built on trust.