Do you need the bible to be a good person?

Absolutely no. You can use the bible to be a good person but it is important to understand the fact that there is a sense of right and wrong which is somewhat real to almost every person, except for the medically insane. This is also what C.S Lewis also talks about in the opening chapters of his classic book “Mere Christianity”, the moral law, as he called it. And one can be a good person without the bible.

Of late I have heard a lot of atheist complaining about christians that since the atheist lack a christian faith that automatically means they are without morals or people with no sense of morals. This is very wrong of us to do. This should not be done.

I have seen a lot of atheist-theist wars and now most of them just seem silly to me, an theist venting out or an atheist venting out are just that, folks who need to vent and on one needs to take it seriously as a moral crusader on both sides to just prove the point because frankly, loud mouthed bashing seldom hits home and rarely makes an impact, if at all.

There is a flaw in the argument when we say he is an atheist therefore his moral compass is bound to be screwed. He may not have a book to show you where he gets his morals from, and to be honest most atheists don’t feel the need to have a book at all, but that does not mean that he can’t be moral person. When in the dark ages and the days of the early church, when the church for almost a thousand years had forbidden the average believer like you and me to not read the bible or own one, does that mean all of those people were moral-lacking people who survived, prayed, believed and died for their faith, despite never even reading a bible? Not at all.

This fundamental error in judgement is a gross mistake of ours and when we need to stop making it. While a lot of atheists may lack a source of objective morals, unlike christians who think they have the objective basis, it is still not a fine point we need to hammer down just to feel that we have an upper hand in the argument.

Respect your neighbor because that is still a step behind than love your neighbour which we should be aiming at, even if that neighbor turns out to be an atheist or a hindu or a muslim or a mormon or a gay person that should not stop us from accepting the fact that they are too God’s children, and it is by your love they will see your morals and your faith.

You can be theologically correct while being empty in the spirit, devoid of the fruit of love which in a believer should be foremost and abundant. There is a fine line between good apologetics and bigotry. There is a fine line between defending your faith and insulting others.

Even Paul said that the law of God is written on the heart of men, even when they lack a written law. This is what the bible says at Romans 2:13-16. Is it that hard to accept it then?

Chill out folks, build bridges, not burn them. People can be of differing faiths and be very nice and good, having good morals. Lets be accepting rather than rejecting. Better, respectful communication leads to a healthier discussion. If you aim to interact, do it the right way.

By John A. David

A student of theology, a bible teacher and a graphics designer. I ramble a lot about Christian faith, apologetics and atheism.

5 replies on “Do you need the bible to be a good person?”

So, let me ask you a simple question: Do you really believe that every person who doesn’t share your “natural” sense of right and wrong, is mentally “medically insane” – or faulty in another way by not admitting that he feels that way?

The problem I see here, is, that you elevate your personal vague feeling of right and wrong to a higher level, where is suddenly is supposed to be true because you feel it. And do you really think that a vague personal feeling is a good basis for any morality? Doesn’t that make morality also a democratic process? Good is what many people simply “feel” to be good? We have already seen where that leads, haven’t we?

To be honest, I agree that some things could really be hardwired into our brains, but that does not make them absolute – or even right. It just shows, that they work – or at least did work long enough to become hereditary (many other things have probably just evolved socially, not biologically).

Personally, I think that nothing there can be used to JUSTIFY morality. “I feel that … is wrong” is not a good premise. If you ask me, a “good”, in other words, working, morality, has to be based on what we want it to do, for example, the allow the maximum amount of individual freedom, create a stable society, etc.etc. We have to first define these goals and then we can measure every morality based on how well it succeeds making those come true.

And of course “a lot of atheists may lack a source of objective morals”… Honestly, a lot of atheists do not even believe in objective morals, as this would need someone to be truly objective (and we could even discuss if a god can be hat, but that would probably lead to far).

I think you read into my words what was not there.

And yes, you are right a lot of atheists don’t believe in objective morals but some do. Hard to find those but still there are some. That is besides the point though and I understand what you are saying.

I was not interested in the debate about morality subjective or objective, its debate which simply wastes time to be honest. I haven’t ever seen a single person, theist or atheist to change their mind debating OM vs. SM. so I try to not dive into that much.

Nice article, John, esp this sentence:
“You can be theologically correct while being empty in the spirit, devoid of the fruit of love which in a believer should be foremost and abundant.”

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