By: Alex McFarland – alexmcfarland.com – January 16, 2019
One could argue that the American culture has abandoned many things in recent history. But the greatest loss among them, says religion and culture expert, national radio host and author Dr. Alex McFarland, is the abandonment of natural law.
“The 21st century is different from all other generations, in that we are living in the first era of an international attempt to suppress moral knowledge—the widespread cultural abandonment of belief in natural law,” McFarland said in a January 2019 article for Decision Magazine, a publication of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “In the classroom, through the media, in our entertainment and via rigidly enforced corporate policies, accommodation of clear moral truth is being squelched with unrelenting pressure. America’s founders, and thought leaders throughout history, often referred to our knowledge of right and wrong as ‘natural law.’
“Phrases like ‘self-evident truth,’ ‘higher law’ or ‘the laws of nature and nature’s God’—these were terms used to describe the awareness of right or wrong known to all people,” McFarland continued. “Natural law doesn’t mean that people always do what is right. But deep down, in our conscience, people really do know what’s right. This has been amply documented by many scholars, persuasively arguing that humans are a species uniquely ‘hardwired’ with the ability to know right from wrong.”
Human beings are moral creatures, McFarland says, and no scientific theory can account for why humans are born knowing right from wrong. But the Bible points out the moral awareness universally embedded within the human psyche in Romans 2:14-15: “When Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts.”
“Activists for secularism, for abortion, and for the promotion of homosexuality and transgenderism fight the recognition of objective morality,” McFarland said. “All these groups pressure professional societies, academics and legal professionals to side with them in their opposition against natural law. LGBTQ activists deem disagreement with their message an act of violence on par with physical assault. Their lobbying of major corporations to make policies more accepting of LGBTQ demands has been very successful.
“This widespread abandoning of morality not only gravely undermines our currently protected rights regarding freedom of religious expression and the freedom to share the Gospel, it also endangers the well-being and eternal souls of people,” he added. “The cultural call to sexual license and gender fluidity is not the innocuous path to personal ‘freedom’ our society is being led to believe. Abandonment of known truth comes with a painfully high cost.”
In the article, McFarland goes on to recount an experience with a person named Russ, who frequently visited a Christian bookstore where McFarland worked during graduate school in the early 1990s. Childhood physical abuse had taken a severe toll on the young man. One day, he informed the bookstore staff he was to be called Courtney. The real answer to his problems, he was convinced, was to become a woman.
“Shortly after, Russ told us that he was now living with people who truly loved him—but only as Courtney,” McFarland remembers. “He let us know that his new community had a different understanding of Scripture than we had been sharing. His visits to our store became less common. There is desire in every heart for love and acceptance that only Jesus can fill.”
It was clear that Russ was seeking fulfillment in unhealthy places, McFarland said. At one point, Courtney expressed desire to permanently return to being Russ, but the pressure to conform to the standards of the “alternative community” was intense.
“The last time we ever saw Russ, my wife and I begged him to seek counseling,” McFarland shared. “The newspaper headline reported that Russ’s death was an unsolved case. If he was murdered, committed suicide or died accidentally was never known. But in the ‘gender-fluid’ climate of the 21st century, this is certain: Christians who tried to help Russ would today be accused of hate crimes for refusing to encourage a dark, destructive identity. For trying to help this young man trust God’s design for his life, we would be guilty of ‘misgendering.’ Progressives today would say that the Christian truth we offered amounted to ‘acts of violence.’
“Because there is a universal witness of God written on every heart, Romans 1:20 contains some sobering words: ‘They are without excuse,’” McFarland added. “Before the Almighty, we are accountable. Perhaps this accountability to God—and not just to ourselves—is why many in our culture wish there were no ‘natural moral law.’ We have all done things we know are wrong. By breaking the known moral law, we are guilty before the Lawgiver. How sad it would be if the story ended there. Thankfully, John’s Gospel records God’s intervention to save us from our guilt: ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’
“The most morally correct—and wisest—thing anyone may ever do is to respond in faith and obedience.”
The author of 18 books with another on the horizon, McFarland is the creator of the successful Truth for a New Generation (TNG) national and regional apologetics conferences which have been in existence for over two decades and aim to help students, parents, youth pastors and community members to lift up this young generation, pray for them and empower them to stand strong in their faith.