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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Where Do Morals Come From?

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Do people have to have religion in order to have morals? Can’t the two be separated?


Steve Answers:

The answer to your first question is no. The answer to your second question is yes and no.Religion has to do with how a person responds in worship to God. That worship might take place during a church service or during a person’s everyday life.

Religion isn’t limited to what happens inside the walls of a church. Yet we usually think of religion as some type of denomination, such as Seventh-day Adventist, Baptist, Catholic, Mormon, Muslim, etc. And whatever religion people choose usually does give guidance to how they live, including their morals. .

For example, those who believe that God has forgiven them will usually pass on the gift of forgiveness to others. Those who believe that God’s offer of salvation has all kinds of strings attached will usually treat others the same way—attaching strings to things and never really being gracious at all. .

Certainly there are people who aren’t involved in any type of organized religion who still live by some basic principles or codes of ethical conduct. Bad experiences with religious people may have turned them off to organized religion. Or maybe they think religion is only about reading an old book called the Bible and praying to an empty sky.Yet some of these people live by the golden rule of treating others the way they’d like to be treated. And they have morals, but they’re not religious in terms of being part of a church. .

Now, I indicated that part of the answer to your second question is no. I meant that while a person who has morals might not be religious (part of a church), a religious person can’t separate their morality from their religion. Let me explain. .

Genesis 1:1 indicates the scope of our worship to God—the heavens and the earth. So if you’re going to worship God, that includes responding to His entire creation! Of course, Exodus 20:3 also lets us know that God is to be number one in our lives. .

Once we’ve accepted God as number one, then our morals (what’s right and wrong) become what God says is right and wrong. The Bible is loaded with helpful instructions, too. For example, read the rest of Exodus 20. .

But God is interested in more than helping us understand what’s right and wrong. He’s interested in a relationship with us. .

Once God shockingly told His people that He couldn’t stand their worship services (see Isaiah 1:10-16). Then He told them what they needed to do: “Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed . . .” (verse 17). In other words, cut the religious activities and try some morality! .

So, yes, it’s possible to have morals without being religious (going to church). But true religion can’t exist in our hearts without morals, since our worship to God includes how we live for Him in His world.

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