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Essentials of Apologetics - Lesson 7

Moral Argument for God

The lesson begins with a discussion on truth, exploring the concepts of subjective and objective truth. C. S. Lewis's argument from "Mere Christianity" is introduced, suggesting that the denial of objective right and wrong leads to self-contradiction over time. The discussion then shifts to a real-life debate experience where the speaker defended the idea that God provides the best justification for moral values. The moral argument is presented, excluding certain worldviews like pantheism and naturalism. The focus is on the need for a transcendent standard for right and wrong, the importance of free will in moral accountability, and the necessity of a divine foundation for human value. Sean argues that without God, morality becomes a human invention lacking objective grounding.

Sean McDowell
Essentials of Apologetics
Lesson 7
Watching Now
Moral Argument for God

I. Introduction

A. Overview of the Previous Session

B. Definition and Exploration of Truth

C. Subjective vs. Objective Truth

II. The Argument for Objective Morality

A. C. S. Lewis and the Existence of Objective Right and Wrong

B. The Moral Argument for the Existence of God

III. Personal Experience: A Debate on God and Morality

A. Invitation to Debate an Atheist Teacher

B. Topic Selection: Is God the Best Justification for Moral Values?

C. The Purpose of the Debate: Rule Out Naturalism, Support Theism

IV. The Three Premises for the Moral Argument

A. Premise One: God as a Transcendent Standard for Right and Wrong

B. Premise Two: Free Will as a Necessity for Moral Values

C. Premise Three: Human Value and its Connection to God

V. Responses to Counterarguments

A. Evolutionary Explanation of Morality

B. Scientific Justification for Moral Values

C. Cultural Variations in Morality

VI. Parallels Between Morality and Objective Beauty

A. Recognizing Objective Beauty

B. Analogies Between Moral and Aesthetic Judgments

VII. Addressing Questions from the Audience

A. Sex Trafficking: Objective Morality and Individual Perspectives

B. Technological Advances and Morality: Limits and Distinctions

C. The Tower of Babel Analogy: The Hubris of Playing God

D. The Role of Christians in Guiding Culture Towards God's Design


Lessons
About
Transcript
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of apologetics, the theological discipline of defending the Christian faith, through a personal mall encounter that highlights the importance of being prepared to provide reasoned defenses, with a focus on biblical foundations, addressing objections, and fulfilling a ministry to those with questions.
  • This second lesson on apologetics, highlights the importance of understanding worldviews, using practical exercises and examples to illustrate how our minds shape beliefs, categorizing worldviews based on their answers to fundamental questions, and exploring Christianity's unique perspective on creation, the world's problem, and the solution through Jesus.
  • This lesson explores Antony Flew's shift from atheism to recognizing Christianity's uniqueness. Dr. McDowell provides four reasons why a spiritual quest ought to begin with Christianity: testability in history, free salvation, a livable worldview, and Jesus' central role beyond religious boundaries. The lesson includes a Q&A time reviewing Islam's view on Jesus and Darwin's evolution.
  • Debunking the myth of blind faith, Sean counters with a scriptural foundation, using personal encounters and anecdotes. Examining biblical narratives, especially in Exodus and the New Testament, reveals a pattern: God provides evidence, imparts knowledge, and calls for faith and action. The story of doubting Thomas underscores that belief aligns with evidence, not against it. The lesson closes by emphasizing faith's dynamic nature, which can be fortified through evidence-based study.
  • In this session, you'll delve into the speaker's exploration of truth, gaining insights into its multifaceted importance in various life aspects. The session highlights three key reasons for the significance of truth, introduces the correspondence theory, and underlines the implicit connection between Christianity and truth, offering a comprehensive understanding of the topic.
  • You gain a deep understanding of the distinction between subjective and objective claims in this lesson, illustrated through relatable examples like ice cream preferences. Sean communicates that subjective claims rely on personal beliefs, while objective claims are based on the external world. Overall, you will develop a nuanced perspective on truth, specifically in differentiating between subjective and objective claims, with a focus on moral values.
  • In this lesson, you will gain insights into the moral argument for the existence of God. Sean draws from a personal debate experience, emphasizing that God provides a solid foundation for moral values. Three key points are highlighted: the need for a transcendent standard for right and wrong, the role of free will in moral accountability, and the requirement for divine grounding of human value. The lesson challenges naturalistic worldviews, asserting that they fail to offer a satisfactory explanation for objective morality, ultimately suggesting that living in accordance with God's design leads to true freedom and fulfillment.
  • Explore the Christian view on the soul, diving into its significance through moral law and beauty. Analyze arguments supporting its existence, like its role in free will, using analogies. Address contemporary debates on gender and transgender issues, suggesting a dual human nature. Incorporate biblical references, evaluating flawed arguments and introducing stronger ones. Discuss practical implications for personal well-being. This lesson explores the soul's concept from a Christian standpoint.
  • Gain insights into the intricate relationship between science and faith, exploring arguments for God's existence, the concept of fine-tuning in cosmology and biology, and the conclusion that the fine-tuning of the universe and DNA's information complexity point towards a fine tuner and an author of life, offering compelling evidence for the existence of God.
  • In this exploration of miracles, the lesson shifts from discussing God's existence to questioning divine revelation, challenging skeptics to reconsider their worldview and illustrating the philosophical underpinnings of miracles, ultimately emphasizing an open-minded investigation and hinting at a compelling case for theism and Christianity with overwhelming evidence for miracles.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of near-death experiences (NDEs) and their potential as a compelling apologetic tool, exploring evidentiary aspects, transformative impacts, objections, and the significance of information unattainable by natural means in supporting the case for an afterlife and the soul.
  • Dr. McDowell reviews the overwhelming evidence of the resurrection and the significance of the resurrection.
  • In this lesson, you will gain insight into the historical evidence supporting the resurrection of Jesus, including the crucifixion, discovery of the empty tomb by women, early and multiple accounts of Jesus's appearances, and the transformative impact on the disciples, ultimately challenging alternative explanations and asserting the resurrection as the most reasonable conclusion based on historical facts.
  • Exploring the Bible's trustworthiness through the character and copy tests, this lesson establishes the reliability of the New Testament by highlighting the writers' honesty, the disciples' willingness to endure hardships, and the exceptional proximity and quantity of early manuscripts.
  • In this lesson, you will gain a thorough understanding of the New Testament's reliability through an exploration of its extensive manuscript evidence, addressing skeptics' concerns about variations, and highlighting corroboration from external sources such as historical records and archaeology.
  • In this lesson, you will gain an understanding of the problem of evil and suffering, exploring its intellectual and emotional dimensions, drawing on personal experiences, historical perspectives, and a philosophical approach, and laying the groundwork for a more in-depth exploration in the next session.
  • In this lesson, you will learn of the logical problem of evil, exploring the philosophical challenge to God's existence posed by the coexistence of omnipotence, omnibenevolence, and evil, while examining the limitations of God's power, the compatibility of free will, and the unique Christian perspective emphasizing the redemptive nature of the incarnation and the cross in addressing the problem of evil.
  • Gain insights into responding to objections in apologetics, including addressing conflicts between a loving God and hell, defending the Bible against contradictions, clarifying misconceptions about God's stance on homosexuality, explaining the concept of the Trinity, and attributing natural evil to the brokenness of the world due to sin.
  • Gain insights into a personal and relational approach to apologetics by understanding that everyone is an apologist and theologian, as the lesson, through anecdotes, underscores the importance of discerning underlying questions, emphasizing active listening and probing inquiries to address the genuine needs and heartaches beneath surface-level queries.
  • Gain insights into effective spiritual conversations by asking four key questions: understanding beliefs, exploring reasons behind them, finding common ground, and navigating areas of disagreement, with an emphasis on listening and fostering genuine understanding.

In this day and age, it is critical that followers of Jesus know how to think clearly and biblically about their faith and how it intersects with and often contrasts with how the world thinks. These areas include one's worldview, the fact that faith is not blind, why the truth matters, why seeing design in creation points to a designer, and evidence for the soul, resurrection, and the Bible. How can God allow evil, and how do we talk with skeptics? Dr. McDowell discusses these topics and others in this easy-to-understand course on apologetics.

Moral Argument for God
Sean McDowell
Lesson 7
Essentials of Apologetics

In the last session we talked about truth. What is truth? How do we know it? And the difference between a subjective and objective truth. Started to make the argument that we all intuitively know that there's right and wrong. We certainly live our lives. When somebody cuts us off on a freeway, we get upset as if they wronged us. In fact, C. S. Lewis argued in his book, Mere Christianity, the opening five books is a must read for anybody, that the moment somebody tells you there's no objective right and wrong, eventually they're going to contradict themselves in a matter of time. This is really, in a sense, one of the arguments that's used for the existence of God. It's called the moral argument. And we're going to unpack this in a little bit more depth and then take your questions.

About a dozen years ago, I got an email from a friend of mine who is a master's student at bio, where I teach, and he said, "Hey, there's this high school teacher in town near where I live in Southern California who's very outspoken. He's an atheist, he's a humanist and is interested in debating a Christian. Would you debate him?" Well, at this point, about a dozen plus years ago, I'd done no academic debates at all. He was a PhD and I was just starting my PhD. I was probably lower 30s. And I thought about it, prayed about it, talking to my wife, and I was like, "I think this would be fun." So we landed on the topic, is God the best justification for moral values? And I prepped and I prepped for months and I decided of what I thought would be the most strategic case to lay out from moral values to God.

Now by the way, before we go any further, can the moral argument get us specifically to Christianity? The answer is no. What the moral argument can do is rule out certain worldviews like pantheism. Why? In pantheism, all is one and distinctions are artificial. So distinctions between me and you, body and soul, right and wrong are actually artificial so you can't ground an objective moral law. I would argue that naturalism can't ground an objective moral law. We need a supernatural higher lawgiver, which we're going to talk about. So what the moral law can do is narrow down certain plausible explanations for the kind of universe we live in, but ultimately we're going to need the person Jesus doing miracles, rise from the grave to get us uniquely to Christianity.

So in that debate, it was not to prove Jesus existed or Christianity was true. It was to show that naturalism is false and that theism offers the best explanation for moral values. So to do so, I start off and I said, "If God exists, we have a solid foundation for moral values. If God exists, we have a solid foundation for moral values." That's step number one. Second, if God does not exist, we do not have a solid foundation for moral values. So I stood up in the debate, and by the way, if you're interested, you can watch it online, see how it went and analyze it for yourself. But I said, "There's two contentions I'm going to argue for. Number one, if God exists, we can explain objective moral values. If God doesn't exist, we cannot adequately explain them."

And then for my first premise, if God exists we have a solid foundation for moral values, I laid out three reasons that I think God provides such a moral justification. Well, here's my three reasons. First one is we need a transcendent standard for right and wrong. By transcendent standard, I mean a standard above human beings, above human nature. If there's nothing higher than human beings, what are we left with? Your opinion versus mine. He said, she said. In the absence of a higher standard, who gets to determine right and wrong? And this is where Nietzsche is right, and the absence of God right and wrong is determined by power. Might makes right. Whoever has the guns and the power determines right and wrong.

During the time of the Nazis during the Nuremberg trial, there was very interesting arguments made for and against the defense of the Nazis. Some said, "We are just following orders." Some said, "What right do you have from your society to judge our society?" One of the responses that was given is that there must be a law above the law. You see, if humans invent laws, then humans can change laws. We can decide that you have the right to life. We can decide that certain segments don't have the right to life. So we can only adjudicate between different laws and different opinions if there is a law above the law, a higher transcendent standard. So to even make such moral justifications requires a transcendent standard. If there is no God, there is no transcendent standard. Morality in a sense is a human invention.

Second, I argued to adequately account for morality, you need free will. You need free will, and I'm not talking about Calvinism versus Arminianism. That is not my point. That's a theological biblical debate. I'm saying human beings have to be the kinds of things that have the capacity to make choices and that those choices are up to us. Now, why would this be important for moral values? Notice when we talk about morality, what do we say? We say things like, "You should do this and you shouldn't do that. You ought to do this and you ought not do that." When I say you should do something, built into that is that you have the capacity to do so. I wouldn't say to any of you, "During lunch, you should jump to the moon." That would be ridiculous and stupid because nobody can do such a thing. I might say, "You should take a break. You should get some food. Take a rest." That implies you could choose to do so.

So in one sense, ought implies can. Ought implies can. Now to say that human beings can make choices assumes something about what it means to be human. What does it take for humans to have free will? Well, if materialism and atheism is true, then all of our behavior can be explained by laws of gravity and something physical such as our genes. On materialism, there's no soul that thinks and reasons that's not immaterial, can consider points for and against, and make a choice in favor of what you think is true. You see, free will implies something as a rational faculty such as a soul that's not material.

So take for example, a bar of soap. If you drop it in water, there is no free will here. It's going to act in a way given the nature of the soap, nature of water, laws of gravity. In fact, it doesn't even act. It's acted upon by external forces. Well, human beings on materialism are just a far more complex bar of soap. We are acted on by laws of nature and there's actually no free will. In case you think, "Ah, you're putting words in the mouths of atheists." Many atheists will concede this. Either atheists take the position that Michael Shermer takes. He says, "There's such thing as free will. We just can't explain it. It's a mystery. Maybe quantum mechanics explains it." And by the way, when somebody can't explain something, they'll just say quantum mechanics is a possibility. And I've heard Christians do the same thing by the way. Or they'll say there is no free will.

So an atheist by name of Sam Harris wrote a whole book denying that there's such a thing as free will. Now, there is something somewhat odd and bizarre about that. I'm sure he wants credit for the ideas in that book and assumes we should give him praise instead of blame. But if his thesis is right, his body just blurted out the words on that page. He didn't really write it. It just was a physical process, really no different than going to the bathroom, to be somewhat crude to make the point. What's my point here? I argued back at this teacher who is a PhD. I said, "Unless you can give me an account of how humans have the capacity of free will in a naturalistic worldview, the moral project cannot even get off the ground." And of course there is no adequate naturalistic explanation for moral values. But for maiden God's image and our body and soul within a Christian worldview, we have the capacity for choices that are up to us.

By the way, even atheists who say there's no such thing as free will, do they really live as if they think there's such thing as free will? Of course they do. Cut them off in the freeway, they'll be ticked at you as if you could have done differently and should not have done that. We all assess morality this way. I mean, sometimes when I'm explaining to students, I'll say, "Look, if you're walking down the hall and you're a senior and a freshman shoves you, if you find out that freshmen just tripped and fell and hit you, you might have some grace on this student. If the student thought, 'You know what? I'm a freshman. I get to rule the roost here.' And decided to shove you intentionally, you would likely respond very differently. One is an accident, one is a matter of choice." And yet on an atheistic worldview, it's all dominoes in motion. There really is no such thing as free will.

So naturalism cannot give us a transcendent standard. It also cannot give us an account of free will, which is necessary for the moral project. By the way, when we give somebody moral praise or moral blame, what are we saying? You made the right choice. Moral praise. You shouldn't have done that. Moral blame. Praise and blame only makes sense if we have free will, and yet naturalism cannot account for such a thing.

The third point I said is if you're going to justify morality from within a naturalistic worldview, you have to give an account of human value. You have to give an account of human value. So why do I have a duty to you that I don't have to a rock or a tree or a roach? And the answer is because you are a human being that has certain rights and certain values. Now within the Christian worldview, this is easily grounded that all human beings, male, female, Black, white, rich, poor, smart, less than smart, whatever distinctions we want to make, all human beings made in God's image have value because they're human. That's why human beings started, why human beings who were Christians started orphanages and hospitals, caring for the fore, fighting racism because every human being has value because of the thing that it is.

To get rid of God, where does human value come from? There's not an adequate explanation of human value if there is no God. Now, if you start to say things like, "Well, humans have more value than the animals because humans have say, creativity." I'd say, "Well, what grounds creativity as a value that's more valuable than size?" Because I'm sure if the elephants got to decide, they would say size is where value rests. Or the cheetahs would say speed is where value rests. Why are those things within themselves value grounding? That's a question the naturalist is going to have to make sense of. I'm not sure how you get human value without there being a God.

By the way, if you say, "Well, it's intelligence." Then that means smarter people have more value than people with, say lower IQs. That's a dangerous road to go down, isn't it? Now when I say human value, there's a difference between intrinsic value and instrumental value. If I said, who's more valuable to win an NBA championship, Shaquille O'Neal or Kevin Hart? Obviously Shaquille O'Neal because of an end you're trying to accomplish. That's instrumental value and you and I might have greater or lesser instrumental value based on our abilities and our training and our experiences.

We're talking about intrinsic value based on the kind of things that humans are. The Christian answer is, you have value because you're human in the womb, out of the womb, rich, poor, Black, white, it doesn't matter. Humans have objective value. If I'm going to have duties to you, where does that value come from if there is no God? And the answer is I don't think you can come up with that value. So can you see how if God exists, we can ground the moral project that our hearts want to tell us is true. So we all live as if there's right and wrong. We have moral blame and we have moral praise. If you get God out of the picture, you can't account for this a part of human experience and ultimately have to say either we've invented this or it's an illusion, which to me is a strike against a particular worldview if it can't describe the world as we experience it.

Now, before we take some of your questions, here's some responses people give. Well, can't evolution explain morality? Here's what evolution could do. At best in principle, evolution could explain why we have certain instincts or certain feelings that we ought to be moral, but it can't explain the existence of an objective moral law within itself. In fact, if there is no God, and this is a naturalistic evolutionary process, evolution has tricked us to think we ought to obey our parents. We ought to tell the truth because that largely just helps us survive better. But that's different than saying it's subjectively right and we are duty bound to tell the truth and treat people a certain way.

In fact, C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity and he fleshed it out in another book as well. He said, "The problem with evolution explaining morality is we have instincts, but we have competing instincts. Sometimes you have instincts to hurt someone. Sometimes we have instincts to help someone. You cannot say one instinct is superior to another without a larger standard by which we're supposed to judge instincts. Morality cannot be reduced to instinct." How about the claim, well, science can account for moral values.

This is the way the atheist Sam Harris reasons in his book, The Moral Landscape. He says, "Through science we can adjudicate that living morally helps us flourish better and survive and thrive." Now, in one sense, he's right. Science could help us figure out which behaviors help us thrive better and flourish as human beings. But what science can't tell us is that we're duty bound and we ought to care about the survival and thriving of other human beings. Science can't tell us that. Science is a descriptive discipline, not a prescriptive discipline. Science is a descriptive discipline that describes the world as is, but it cannot prescribe how we ought to behave unless there's a moral duty that says, I ought to care about your survival. I ought to care about you thriving. Then the scientific differences between certain moral behavior are irrelevant and we need not follow them.

The final one you might hear is that morality varies across cultures. Morality varies across cultures. Now, is it true that morality varies across cultures? The answer is yes and no. Morality varies in practice across cultures, but not in moral principles across culture. Moral principles, at least some of them are transcendent. Principles of fairness, principles of courage, principles of justice. C. S. Lewis has documented this in his book, The Abolition of Man. All throughout history, there's these common moral principles that transcend culture, but our practices might differ for historical and cultural reasons, but the principles themselves actually transcend culture.

So in one culture, you steal something, you might get your hand chopped off. Another culture, you steal something, they might slap you on the hand. Now, one you might say is too much. One you might say is too little. They're differing over the practice for different reasons, but both agree you can't just steal and take whatever you want whenever you want to. That moral principle is transcendent. So some cultures will value more life than other cultures do, but guess what? Even certain cultures that will say it's okay to torture and kill other tribes will take issue the moment you turn and start to do that to your own tribe. They know there's right and wrong, but are selective in how they apply it and selective in whom they think those moral duties are due.

Now, before we take questions, one quick thought I just want to plant in your minds. The argument for morality is essentially the same argument for objective beauty. It's the same kind of argument. I can't prove that it's wrong to torture an innocent child for fun. I can't prove that. Depends on what you mean by prove. But it's obvious to anyone who thinks about it and sees it and their faculties are functioning correctly. We know it. The same with looking at a waterfall. The same with looking at a sunset. Same with looking at a diamond or gold. We look at it and we intuitively know it's beautiful. When we look at a rose, how do we talk about a rose? As if the rose is red, has a certain texture, and also has the property of being beautiful. The object itself does. And how many times do we stop and just look at a sunset and how do we describe it? We go, "That is beautiful."

We know there's a difference between beauty and ugliness. We hear it in music. We see it in a poem. We see it in nature. You say, "Well, wait a minute. Some people differ over what is beautiful." And I say, "So what?" Nothing follows from disagreement. You and I might differ over a historical claim. Does that mean there's no historical truth? No. We might differ over scientific claim. Does that mean there's no scientific truth? No. Just because people differ doesn't mean there's not such a thing as truth. But even people who differ over which music is most beautiful still will almost universally agree that there's such a thing as beauty within music.

But I'm going to say something politically incorrect. Here's the reality. If you don't think the music of Bach is beautiful, the problem is not with Bach. The problem is with you. You have not cultivated the ability to recognize beauty where it's intrinsically found. Why is that the case? Because we're surrounded in a culture that lifts up many things that are ugly. Why do we have a hard time seeing the beauty of sex? Because our culture is pornified with an ugly alternative. The human body is beautiful, but guess what? Pornography twists and corrupts that. What's amazing is we see beauty in the world from the furthest depths in the ocean to furthest depths in the galaxy and in nature. Why? We don't need beauty to survive.

At best, evolution could explain maybe a peacock tail is more beautiful, attracts a mate. Okay, but that's only one potential example. Why do we find it in galaxies that we only now have the technology to see and discover? Why the depths of the ocean? I would argue that we talk as if there's beauty objectively embedded in the world and that points towards something transcendent outside of the world. And we know this. And you just look biblically. God makes a garden that's beautiful. The temple is beautiful. When God comes back, the new heavens and the new earth will be beautiful. How do we explain beauty if there is no God? So much more could be said. But questions about beauty or questions about morality? We have time maybe for a couple.

First of all, your point number three, that there are certain things that all of us would agree are moral or immoral. But what about sex trafficking where the people who participated in don't think it's immoral? So it's so obvious to almost everyone except for them. How would you address that?

So the question is, there's certain things we know are right and we know are wrong. What about sex trafficking when those who participate in it know it's not immoral? Do we really know that they know it's not immoral? I guarantee you any sex trafficker you talk with, if you ask the question, "Would you want your daughter to be sex trafficked? How about your sister? How about your mom? Why or why not?" They know it's wrong. They can see it. They just choose not to follow it by suppressing the truth. I mean, how many cases do we find of people who go public who either are involved in sex trafficking or child pornography? The moment it's known, many will take their own lives because of the shame of what was publicly brought out.

I think people know it, but for there to be objective morality, it's not that everybody has to agree on every moral principle. All they have to agree on is that there's one transcendent moral principle. See, the sex trafficker said it's fine. I think there's nothing wrong with it. You probe that person far enough, they're still going to be upset with somebody who doesn't tell them the truth. Somebody who breaks a promise for them, somebody who steals their money because they do believe in fairness and justice and right and wrong. Now, we can get so far in sin that we start to sear our consciousness. We see this in scripture, but I think while somebody is still alive, there's still the possibility that you could ignite and find some connecting point that they believe in right and believe in wrong. Go.

From moving [inaudible 00:26:35]. So at the point in which we're the creators, how does that all work with morality because we're [inaudible 00:26:42].

So if we create, what would this mean for right and wrong when we are moving to a new realm? So I would say a couple things. We are not creators in the sense of what we see in Genesis chapter 1, where God speaks life into existence. God brings something from nothing. There's a certain level of authority that comes to that. All of our creation is tinkering and twisting things that already exist. That's the first point. Second, even our attempts to create and change, we'll find certain limits. You cannot change somebody's biological sex. That is physically impossible. Now, we can try to make it look like we did. We can cover it up, but we cannot change that. We are bound to a certain degree. Where this gets hard is people are talking about, "What if we can create a biological male and put a false womb, so to speak, in this male so a male can give birth?"

I would still say we have to make the distinctions and say, "Okay, wait a minute. This is not natural to males. We're adding something contrary to what it means to be male, to deliver birth in a way that never is the same way a natural-born woman can." So it makes our task, I think, harder and harder the more technology is able to create and seemingly blurs those lines. That's where we have to be more clear, make more forceful arguments for people so they're not taken in by some of these lies.

But this goes back to the tower battle, doesn't it? We're going to make a building so we can be like God. We can never be like God. We never will be God. Technology fools us into thinking that we're more and more like God. And this is actually where fiction comes in. Fictional things like Jurassic World and Jurassic Park, which is about people playing God, have certain messages embedded within them. If you mess with nature, nature will mess with you. There's certain moral lessons and teachings that Christians need to create to remind us we're not God. And when we think we are, there's certain peril and damage that comes with this.

Last thing I'll say is this. If God has designed us to live a certain way, the closer we get to and follow the way God wants us to live, the more free we are. The more we move away from that, the less free we are. So as difficult as this task is, part of the job of Christians is to point back towards God's creation, to live out the goodness of God's creation, and to show the freedom we experience from following after Him because our culture is heading down a road that is only headed towards destruction. And if we are living differently in light of God's truth, then we're going to be there by God's grace to pick up the pieces and help people when their lives are broken. Amen.