By Dr. Gabriel B. Ndhlovu | TRINICY.org
Photo by Jeff Lemond
For many conservative Christians, dealing with many ethical dilemmas seem like a daunting task. Conservatism is not based on any political alliances, but on the acknowledgment of the truth of God’s Word revealed in the Scriptures. Conservative Christians are those who base their lives on the teachings of Christ and follow the examples of His life. As conservative Christians, it is easy to feel like one is swimming against a tide that is beyond our control. Many voices seem to cloud and distort constructive dialogue on many issues. More so, the purity of the Gospel message is affected by political jargon and labels that most people do not know their origins. Every generation has to deal with its own sets of challenges and the manner in which these mountains are faced will affect how the next generation will critique the former. The songs sung during the trials faced, and the courage displayed by those who are marginalized become a source of inspiration to those who come after. It is essential to look at three key characteristics that would help this generation to deal with numerous ethical and moral challenges.
MAINTAINING AN UNWAVERING FAITH IN CHRIST AND THE WORD OF GOD
The Book of Daniel is full of examples of individuals who faces extraordinary situations in the most extraordinary ways. The confidence of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego), and the faith and gentleness of Daniel serve as great examples of how we should meet every challenge in our lives. Their unwavering faith is on the God who is in control of all things and has preplanned all things. This faith is the acknowledgement of our limitedness in time and knowledge and our reliance on the eternal, perfect, and loving Father. This loving God has provided us with His wisdom on how we ought to live our lives in this world, and to face our difficulties with confidence and faith.
CHOOSING TO BE THE ALTERNATIVE INSTEAD OF CONFORMING
One of the greatest challenges when dealing with many moral issues in our lives and society is dealing with the approval of others. Conforming to the ever-changing views in society may be enticing, yet many of the current views have disastrous consequences. What is needed is an alternative that people can see working in their lives, and this is possible through consistent application of God’s moral foundation in our personal living. Daniel’s life and attitude demonstrated a clear contrast between those who oppose Yahweh and his faith and obedience to Him (Daniel 6). Daniel’s consistent obedience in prayer and upholding the laws of God led King Darius to acknowledge the greatness of God. What we as Christians have failed throughout history is being consistent in our obedience to God, and this has had reversal consequences to Daniel. As individuals and as a community, we should not be afraid to face the lions, but demonstrate the pragmatic nature of God’s moral law.
DISPLAYING GENTLE AND LOVING ATTITUDES
Much of the challenges faced involves people, and at times people with different values and worldviews. Decisions that we have to make may be different from the expectations others may have of us, or even may affect others in one way or the other. Gentleness in relating with people often helps to defuse negative attitudes, especially in dealing with moral issues that differ from the Christian perspective. A militant attitude increases animosity and does not win anyone. In the words of Virgil's Eclogues X.69, “Omnia vincit amor et nos cedamus amori: love conquers all, let us all yield to love.”
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may
become blameless and pure, children of God without fault
in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among
them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”
- Philippians 2:14-16a
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