I might relocate the thread if I dedicated a little time and effort. My contention has been that one does not need to believe in God or the Holy Bible to be a person of high moral values. Your reply was that you were not so sure.
Did I say I wasn't sure? I think I've stated in a few places that I agree with your sentiment. I believe that some have the law (of love/compassion) written on their hearts and conscience by nature. Such as the gentiles who did the requirements of the law (of the jews) by nature, without every having had the law.
I also can't speak for anyone but me, Nickolas.
What determines whether or not our values are wrong? Certainly some of the moral lessons in the Bible are outmoded in today's context - slavery, capital punishment for minor offences, polygamy, genocide, etc - so does one need to pick and choose which values are right and which are wrong?
I think you know that I don't follow anything in the bible over Christ - or what he taught by word and example. So I guess you could say that I 'pick and choose' according to Him.
If so, does it not follow that if our values are based on a simple pretext that we will carry one another and never do another harm (as what Jesus taught) then they cannot be wrong?
That would certainly be a beautiful thing.
I can't really comment on your brother. I don't know him. Perhaps (and taking him at his word) the clear rules and guidelines help him to behave in a manner that is good toward others? Perhaps his love for Christ helps him do things that, in his nature, he would ignore.
Sometimes I'm just following the rules Christ gave us, too. For example, a while ago I was walking home from the store and noticed the side door on the house next to us was open and slamming against the house. That house had just sold and no one lived there yet. But my first instinct was to just ignore it and keep walking, and so I did. Then stopped, thinking of Christ, and turned around, walked up the drive and shut their door so the house would not be damaged.
A very simple thing that I wanted to just ignore, but didn't because I thought of Christ. (I know that is hardly a life/death example, but just to make my point...)
I follow Christ because I love Him, and I know He is Truth. It would be best (and the goal, I believe) if these rules/reminders were simply written on my conscience and heart. I think as we grow in our love, this happens more and more within us. I think that is what Christ wanted for us as well - "clean the inside of the cup and the outside will be clean = get our hearts right and fill up with light, and our actions will reflect that light and love".
I think knowing Christ does change us, Nick. I think He has changed me, and still is. Perhaps some of us just need to start out by loving and following Him.
But if someone needs faith in order to be a good and moral person, it stands to reason that that person is best avoided because he is not a good and moral person at his core, does it not?
Is it the healthy who need a doctor? Or the sick? And if we avoid our sick, then don't they just die alone?
Christ came to save. That would imply that He came for those of us who need (and want) saving.