This sermon is part of the sermon series "American Idols". See series.
Lately, I've been monitoring the gas pump—carefully. I know how many gallons will fit in my tank, so when I go to fill it up at $3 and some odd cents, I want to make sure that the pump actually gives me a gallon of gas for the gallon of gas it charges me.
We live in a world—without question—where things are pretty relative. You all know that 65 miles per hour does not mean 65 miles per hour; it means whatever that guy in the cop car will let you get by with.
Though it's clear many of us have a foundation of shared values, we live in a world where people can't decide what is really an absolute, and what isn't. Kelly Monroe, the editor of Finding God at Harvard, was at a doctor's office and decided to do a little informal testing. She wanted to find out this one particular person's view on morality. Here is an excerpt from her experience:
"Do you believe that morality is absolute? Or are all people just out for themselves?" "What do you mean by morality?" "Well, simply put, what's right and what's wrong?" We talked back and forth for a few minutes and it became evident to me that [the doctor] was having a hard time comprehending the question I was asking. I thought maybe a clear case example would make the task easier, a question with an obvious answer, like, "Who's buried in Grant's tomb?" or "How long was the 100 year war?" Something simple. "Is murder wrong? Is it wrong to take innocent human life?" [The doctor] waffled, "Well …" "Well what?" "Well I'm thinking." I was surprised at her hesitation. "What I'm trying to figure out is whether morals—whether right and wrong—are something we make up for ourselves or something we discover. In another words, do morals apply whether ...
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