God: The True North of our Moral Compass

In the Emmaus Men’s Spirituality Group meeting today, I was happy to gaze upon a segment of Scripture that caused me to think long and hard.  This segment is where Jesus rebukes those who did deeds in His name but committed grave sins.  Basically He rebuked them as hypocrites.  He also used the “house of sand” metaphor to illustrate the consequences of living such a two-faced life.

But it occurred to me that a compass could also serve to illustrate this concept very well, and it is a concept more readily understood by sailors, hikers, etc.  I can’t use a compass worth a darn mainly cuz I’m clueless as to how to set the bezel and all that jazz.  But my time in Boy Scouts does me well here to bring this illustration to fruition.

A compass is a tool used to give people a sense of direction by maintaining a vector lock on true North.  This is a very great tool provided one knows how to use it properly and steers clear of areas that cause the compass to lose that lock, Which is a strange but consistent occurrence in the Bermuda Triangle, one of nature’s greatest unsolved mysteries.  In the Bermuda Triangle you can forget about trying to get your compass to maintain any sort of vector lock on true North.

Our moral compass is the same way.  It can easily get lost in the mysterious and dangerous Bermuda Triangle of our sinfulness and the moral relativism that we use in attempt to rationalize it.  As with a regular compass, our moral compass can only regain a vector lock on true North (God), when it leaves the Bermuda Triangle.  This is why we must endeavor to keep our moral compass locked firmly on God, our true North, and resist the temptation to navigate the Bermuda Triangle of sinfulness and debauchery because that is the only way we can have a clear moral direction for ourselves.

This is just me though.  I don’t know about the rest of you.  But I will continue to pray to God daily for the strength to keep this vector lock straight and true.

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Moral relativism: Moral clarity’s exact opposite

In this blog I intend to discuss the difference between moral clarity and moral relativism and how one leads to liberty and the other to license.

Moral clarity is establishing a clear distinction between right and wrong, natural and unnatural.  This is done not on our own power but by recognizing that they are contained within the moral precepts inherent in the natural order which we inhabit (a subset of the divine order for those of us God-believers).  This leads to the formation of a Republic that governs fairly and justly, a Republic where you may have all the freedom you want provided that what you seek is not wrong and/or disordered.  And should you happen to do something that is rightfully considered a crime expect to answer for that crime, or expect to not be able to participate in some institutions whose rules are based upon natural law.   That sounds fair enough to me, that our freedoms must necessarily be limited by the constraints of moral clarity.  This is liberty.

Moral relativism, however, is the exact opposite.  Moral relativism states, quite simply: It’s all good.  Moral relativism rejects the notion that there must be a clear distinction between right and wrong, and in many ways attempts to state that there is no such thing as right vs. wrong.  this leads to a society where people are allowed to commit the gravest of crimes against humanity or live lifestyles that exist in total opposition to natural law.  Basically this is a society where wrongdoing has just as much respect as right doing.  This leads to those who believe that wrongdoing should be punished being called “haters.”  This isn’t liberty.  This is, quite simply, license.  And license cannot exist in a society that hopes to call itself free.