Video from The David Jeremiah Sermon
Moral excellence and virtue are becoming less admirable in America as we continue to decline.
We are witnessing the degradation of reality wherein evil is called good and good is called evil.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Moral excellence is the pursuit of the moral will of God in every area of life: values, attitudes, priorities, goals or purposes, devotion, and Christ-like character in the home, at the office, at church, as well as hobbies, and entertainment.
True virtue comes from God through Scripture and is generally understood by Christians. Once a person is born again, see John 3:1-8, their thinking and motivations change as they are conformed to the image of Christ. Then the external virtue they ultimately exhibit in society comes out of a spiritual transformation brought about by God through His sanctification process.
Common virtue as Jonathon Edwards (The Nature of True Virtue) sees it is based on personal pride. People have in the past wanted to be thought of as being of good character. To be publicly thought of as a liar, thief, adulterer, etc., was shameful. Edwards goes on to explain pride and fear will often restrain a person’s natural tendencies toward depraved/evil behavior and can lead a person to behave well in society. So what happens then when a person is no longer restrained by pride or fear?
We see for example mass smash and grabs across our nation as an example of what happens. The moniker of Lawbreaker or criminal is now considered an honorable label and people have no concern about being thought of as dishonorable. Our politicians are also modeling bad character, endorsing criminal activities and just plain lawlessness. We are seeing this from both political parties.
Lawmakers on both the left and right have removed all fear of being prosecuted as a wrongdoer, therefore many people believe they have no reason to behave in a virtuous way. Vigilantism is on the rise as many also disregard the laws they feel are unfair or just wrong.
The wild west seems to be returning as we are awash in guns and ammo and have nor shortage of people willing to use them. What will turn this bent toward evil around? It will not come about if Christians become part of the mob and part of the systems of this world. We change our world through the Holy Spirit and through Christ. The Fruit of the Holy Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” is the only force that can change our sinful hearts. Paul said wisely: “against such things there is no law” -Gal. 5:22-23.
For further reading: The Nature of True Virtue by Jonathon Edwards