Jasmin Patterson: Does legislating morality actually work?
According to a LifeWay Research study, 71 percent of evangelical Christians believe there is a moral decline in our country because too many laws legislating morality have been struck down. Seeing those results made me cringe a little.
Because it means that there are followers of Christ who believe, at least to some extent, that laws regulating moral behavior are the best way to produce morality in people.
This position is troublesome because it misses the foundational truth of Christianity. Moral works aren’t enough to save us from the penalty for our sins or to restore our relationship with God. Rather, repentance and faith in Christ grants us forgiveness and relationship with God, and produces a godly lifestyle in us as Jesus works in our hearts.
As our nation adjusts to Christianity not having the type of cultural influence that it’s had in years past, many of my fellow Christians have grappled with the concept of morality in society just as I have.
So, can you legislate morality? Does Jesus want morality to be legislated? Is doing so effective?
When I use the term “legislating morality,” I’m referring these kinds of questions: To what extent are biblical morals supposed to influence broader society and how? Is it the job of the Christians to work in society toward this end? If we made more laws to influence people (even not-yet-Christian people) toward biblical morality, would our society in fact become more moral?
Here’s why “legislating morality” isn’t effective and why the way of Jesus is better.
This article continues at [Relevant Magazine] The Biblical Case Against ‘Legislating Morality’