In these two rationales, ‘wrong’ is termed differently. In the former, it’s referred to as a ‘crime’; in the latter, it’s called a ‘sin’. What morality calls wrong may not necessarily be frowned upon by the legal team. Legality is the offspring of the systems of the world ‘to keep things in check’; morality is born out of religious/faith-based affiliations. Although most people profess their faith in God, it seems the fear of being punished for their ‘crimes’ supersedes that of the repercussions of the ‘sins’ they commit.
People caught in the grips of the law shiver in fear about getting the maximum jail sentence or worse still, the death sentence from the judge or jury but merely shrug at the message of ‘man only lives once and after that, judgment.’ Sight seems to drive most people so only the physical effects of our actions are considered right or wrong; and not how it makes others feel.
We uphold the constitution of the land but disregard the principles outlined in the Bible because…well, sometimes, we have to be practical (how many times haven’t you heard that?) If you are indeed the Christian that you profess to be, then you would understand the fact that some act is ‘legal’ doesn’t necessarily make it ‘right.’ As an adult, a lot of ‘pleasures’ are legal to pursue i.e. drinking, smoking, sex, abortion (in some places) with the precaution that one exploits them to his/her own risk. The ‘moral’ life which most people would see as ‘boring’ is way efficient than any healthy lifestyle recipe any expert would recommend.
One would come across very heated debates where Christians jump to the defense of certain acts which are morally wrong because they are ‘legal.’ This gets me wondering, how much influence does morality have in our lives? Does it only apply to church and its related programs but considered secondary to real life situations? Who would defend morality on the stand against legality?
This is not to say we shouldn't respect the legal laws of our homeland; after all, we are living in it. But as Christians, we should be careful of whose side we are on in our daily choices and conversations. What we uphold as ‘right’ tells a lot about our allegiance and how firm it is.
So next time you’re caught up in any discussion about lifestyle, pause and ask yourself, ‘are you being legally accurate’ or ‘morally right’?
Josephine Amoako © 2016