- What does it mean to be moral?
From dictionary.com, moral is defined as:
of, relating to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical.
- Who or what defines what is moral?
According to the Bible, God defines what is right and good (moral), and what is evil and bad (immoral). The principle sources of this idea:
a) The Decalogue (10 commandments).
b) The Covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and the new covenant.
c) Jesus' statement that "only God is good" in Mark 10:
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his
knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except
God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you
shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give
false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and
However, it is not sufficient that God defines what is good and commands what is good if He does not also himself practice goodness. There are several scriptures that address this. First, consider Philippians 2:
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Jesus, as God the Son, was obedient to the moral code. He did not just proclaim it, he lived it.
Second, consider Numbers 23:
19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that
he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he
spoken, and shall he not make it good?
This indicates that concerning speech, God is not immoral.
To go through every action of God and line it up with his definition of good to see if he ever violated it would be a lengthy exercise, and one at which I would likely fail.
To address God's commands to kill, there are several solutions. The solution offered by Calvinists is that all people but Jesus suffer from original sin inherited from Adam and Eve, hence are guilty of that which is justly punishable by death. Thus God has the right to kill anyone at anytime for any reason or no reason at all beyond the sin nature already in them. The fact that he permits most people to live for many years before arranging for circumstances that end their life is proof of his grace, patience, and mercy, not an immoral bloodlust.
Other denominations that do not subscribe to the concept of original sin or add prevenient grace or some other device to counteract original sin solve this difficulty in another way.