The Encourager

The Encourager

“A Moral Dilemma - Jeff Curtis”

A Moral Dilemma

By Jeff Curtis


Challenges to God’s moral teachings often create a dilemma for the church. Christians have to find ways to keep moral standards intact while helping offenders heal and be reunited to the community. Many moral issues create the dilemma of how to sort out all the wrongs in a way that accomplishes the best. Moral violations inflame others due to their lack of respect, brutality, and consequences. Attempting to address moral infractions while filled with anger, pain, and grief can often result in the creation of more moral dilemmas.


The rape of the Levite’s concubine in Judges 20, and Israel’s response to the immoral actions of Gibeah show the difficulty of moving beyond such problems. When people are faced with a moral failure and have no interest in making the Lord their King, their response to the sin can be worse than the original offense.


This story reveals what happened when there was no king in Israel. When sin occurs, the first question we need to answer is “Who is our King?” Such negotiations can avoid responses that deepen the pain and violence rather than soothe them. The second question we should think about is “Are we just doing what is right in our own eyes, or are we trying to please the Lord?”


In the midst of anger, hate, pride, pain, grief and fear, offended people often resort to selfish responses and shortsighted solutions. These are based on the own misguided attempts to right the wrong. Looking to God can allow emotions and the impulsive urge to respond to subside. Once calmed, those involved can ask themselves, “What would God have us to do in the face of such horror?”


This reflection also alerts Christians to the need to make sure that the moral wrongs are resolved. Prior to reaching a final and godly solution, Christians must sometimes take steps to stop the cascade of immorality before it hurts more people and causes more damage.


“Just As I Am”

by Frank Himmel

The song Just as I Am is one of our most commonly used invitation songs. The idea in the song is that we cannot make ourselves right with God on our own; apart from Jesus’ blood we have no hope. That is precisely the New Testament picture (Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5; etc.).

I fear, however, that some folks have an erroneous idea about Jesus saving us “just as we are.” They seem to think that He saves us without any change in our conduct. That is opposite to the New Testament picture.

Jesus’ charge to the apostles was “that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations” (Lk. 24:47). Forgiveness is extended to those willing to abandon sinful conduct, not to those who insist on continuing in it.

Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians, “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you…” (1 Cor. 6:9-10). He did not say such are some of you, but such were. They changed their conduct in connection with being washed, sanctified, and justified (v. 11).

“Just as I am,” if referring to our own helplessness, is a comforting sentiment. But to suggest it means salvation without repentance is to hold out false hope.



Weekly Bible Meditation:


Proverbs 16:31

The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.