Human beings are natural-born moralists, and moralism is the most potent of all the false gospels. The language of “values” is the language of moralism and cultural Protestantism — what the Germans called Kulturprotestantismus. This is the religion that produces cultural Christians, and cultural Christianity soon dissipates into atheism, agnosticism, and other forms of non-belief. Cultural Christianity is the great denomination of moralism, and far too many church folk fail to recognize that their own religion is only cultural Christianity — not the genuine Christian faith.

The language of values is all that remains when the substance of belief disappears. Tragically, many churches seem to perpetuate their existence by values, long after they abandon the faith.

We should not pray for Christian morality to disappear or for Christian values to evaporate. We should not pray to live in Sodom or in Vanity Fair. But a culture marked even by Christian values is in desperate need of evangelism, and that evangelism requires the knowledge that Christian values and the gospel of Jesus Christ are not the same thing.

I pray that this young woman and her mother find common hope and confidence in the salvation that comes only through Christ — not by Christian values. Otherwise, we are facing far more than a young woman “making a serious mistake with her life.” We are talking about what matters for eternity. Christian values cannot save anyone.

Carolyn Hax, “Daughter’s Turnabout on Religion Shakes Mother’s Faith,” The Washington Post, Friday, September 7, 2012. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/daughters-turnabout-on-religion-shakes-mothers-faith/2012/09/04/1e6ead68-f3a9-11e1-a612-3cfc842a6d89_story.html

I discussed this matter on Monday’s edition of The Briefing. Listen here: http://www.albertmohler.com/2012/09/10/the-briefing-09-10-12/

I am always glad to hear from readers. Write me at mail@albertmohler.com. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlbertMohler.

Publication date: September 11, 2012