ANOTHER OBJECTION TO THE PURITY OF BIBLE ETHICS
by Wayne S. Walker
The previous couple of articles in this series have been examining the purity of Bible ethics as corroborating evidence for the claim by the Bible to be inspired of God. We began by noticing that in the Bible righteousness is everywhere commended and commanded while sin is always condemned. Next, we considered some objections to Bible ethics. In this article, we want to examine one more objection that is sometimes raised and then draw some conclusions
Critics will sometimes point out that David is referred to in the scriptures as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). Yet, it is clear that David sinned by committing adultery with Bathsheba and then trying to cover it up by the murder of her husband Uriah (2 Samuel 11.1-27). The question of the critics is, how can the Bible be an ethical book when it is specifically stated that a person who was guilty of such heinous sins was still called a man after God’s own heart?
In answer to this objection, it must first be pointed out that David was not keeping God’s law when he sinned, but was violating it (Exodus 20:13-14). Second, it must be noted that God did not approve of what David did but rebuked and punished him (2 Samuel 12:1-14). Indeed, David suffered the consequences of his wrong doing, just as any other sinner would have suffered. And in the third place, when reproved, David repented and turned away from his sin (Psalm 51:1-19). What made David a man after God’s own heart was not that he succumbed to sin, becAUse this is something which all of us do, but that he was truly sorry for it.
So the purity of Bible ethics still stands. We must ask, where did this high moral standard come from? It certainly did not come from ancient pagan religions, such as those of Egypt, Babylon, Greece, and Rome, because they were all noted for their gross immorality. It did not come from mere human standards, because humans, when left totally to themselves, tend to go downhill ethically rather than uphill. And it did not come from areas where the Bible has not gone or has been rejected as a standard for morality, as can be noted from the moral climate that has characterized places like Russia, China, India, and Africa in the past.
In fact, we can see the superiority of Bible ethics as we witness what is happening even to our own country in this present age when the Bible is no longer reverenced as it once was. Wherever the Bible has gone, it has reduce slavery, produced industry, raised the standard of living, brought about enlightenment, promoted education, overcome superstition, established benevolent services, and united families. As Paul said, godliness is profitable in this life as well as in the life to come (1 Timothy 4:8). A book which has had this much good influence for over two thousand years cannot be a collection of mere fables and old wives’ tales or the product of nothing but ignorant fishermen.
Homer Hailey wrote, "The Christian’s question is, How could a perfect moral standard have been the outgrowth of falsehood, deception and fraud, perpetuated over a period of fifteen hundred years with never a discordant note, a contradiction in doctrine, or false not in its ethical code? His conclusion is: The Bible is a Special Divine Revelation!" (Internal Evidences of Christianity, p. 21). To which we can only add Amen! (—taken from With All Boldness; April, 1998; Vol. 8, No. 4; p. 21; and May, 1998; Vol. 8, No. 5; p. 15)