Many Christians believe that, because we are saved by grace through faith alone, it is pointless to teach/encourage/petition for public morality. The mindset is: “Why moralize people that don’t even know Christ?” This is erroneous thinking. Here are 5 reasons why moral teaching is a good and necessary task:
- Immorality is personally destructive. If you love people, you’ll want them to be aware of how damaging their immoral choices are.
- Immorality victimizes others. By encouraging unbelievers to live according to a moral code you spare those around them some of the pain, abuse, confusion and death that can result from other people’s sins.
- It prepares people to think of themselves as Sinners opening the door to conversations about their need for a Saviour.
- It serves to shape legal codes and social justice, thereby creating justification to defend the powerless, wage or refuse to wage war, prosecute crime and punish immoral acts.
- Moral teaching serves the same purposes of the Old Testament Law: our failure to obey it perfectly awakens us to our need for a Gospel of Grace.
This does not mean that we should expect the same level of obedience from an unbeliever as we would from a Christ-follower. But it is still innately loving, just, and Gospel-centred to teach morals to all people.