Objection: The Ethical Straitjacket.
In Christianity the Bible and the church dictate everything that a Christian must believe, feel, and do. Christians are not encouraged to make their own moral decisions, or to think out their beliefs or patterns of life for themselves. In a fiercely pluralistic society there are too many options, too many cultures, too many personality differences for this approach. We must be free to choose for ourselves how to live – this is the only truly authentic life. We should only feel guilty if we are no being true to ourselves – to our own chosen beliefs and practices and values and vision for life.
Response: Individual creation of truth removes the right to moral outrage. 1) Aren’t there any people in the world who are doing things you believe are wrong that they should stop doing no matter what they believe inside about right and wrong: Then you do believe that there is some kind of moral obligation that people should abide by and which stands in judgment over their internal choices and convictions. So what is wrong with Christians doing that? 2) No one is really free anyway. We all have to live for something, and whatever our ultimate meaning in life is (whether approval, achievement, a love relationship, our work) it is basically our ‘lord’ and master. Everyone is ultimately in a spiritual straitjacket. Even the most independent people are dependent on their independence and so can’t commit. Christianity gives you a lord and master who forgives and dies for you.
- Tim Keller