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Jesus Is The High-Water Mark

Love (Uncondtional) Enemies Morality

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2019-11-02

Scripture: Matthew 5:44

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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ILLUSTRATION

A high-water mark is the maximum rise of a body of water over land. In the world of high finance, this term is used to refer to the highest value reached by an investment fund. In the Civil War, the high-water mark of the Confederacy was achieved at Cemetery Ridge near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the farthest point reached by Confederate forces during Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863.

In the pursuit of morality, the high-water mark is found in the words and actions of Christ.

APPLICATION

The high-water mark of morality isn’t loving those who love you but learning to love those who hate you. This high-water mark was first expressed by Christ when he said, “Love your enemies,” and it was first lived out by Jesus when he went to the cross to give his life for every sinner who, by their sins, made themselves the enemy of God.

If, contrary to your own nature, you are to rise to the level of God’s high-water mark of morality, you must turn to Jesus. He alone has made the way for you to follow, and only he can provide you and me with the love necessary to walk in it.

The Drowning Stranger Dilemma

Morality Atheism Motivation

Source: Blog Page: Well Spent Journey

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2017-05-03

Author: "Matt" at Well Spent Journey
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ILLUSTRATION

This is from the Well Spent Journey blog.

Excerpt:

Here’s a thought experiment.

_____

Imagine that you’re a healthy, athletic, 20-year-old male. It’s the morning after a thunderstorm, and you’re standing on the banks of a flooded, violently churning river.

You notice an object floating downstream.

As it moves closer, you suddenly realize that this object is a person. The head breaks the surface, and you see a panic-stricken elderly woman gasping for air. You’ve never met her before, but vaguely recognize her as an impoverished widow from a neighboring village.

You look around for help, but there’s no one in sight. You have only seconds to decide whether or not to jump in after her – recognizing that doing so will put your own life in significant peril.

APPLICATION

The author continues:

Is it rational for you to risk your life to save this stranger? Is it morally good to do so?

For the Christian, both of these questions can be answered with an emphatic “yes”.

The Christian is called to emulate the example set forth by Jesus, who not only risked, but sacrificed his life for the sake of others. The Christian believes that the soul is eternal, and that one’s existence doesn’t come to an abrupt end with death.  Additionally, he can point to the examples of countless Christian martyrs who have willingly sacrificed their own lives.

For the secular humanist, the answers to these questions are much more subjective. When I previously asked 23 self-identifying atheists, “Is it rational for you to risk your life to save a stranger?” only 4 of them responded with an unqualified “yes”.

Biologically speaking, the young man in our scenario has nothing to gain by jumping after the drowning woman. Since she’s poor and elderly, there are no conceivable financial or reproductive advantages involved. Evolutionary biologists often speak of “benefit to the tribe” as a motivation for self-sacrifice…yet the young man’s community would certainly place greater practical value on his life than that of a widow from a neighboring village.

Secular humanists argue that people are capable of making ethical decisions without any deity to serve as Moral Lawgiver. On a day-to-day basis, this is undeniably true. We all have non-religious friends and neighbors who live extremely moral and admirable lives.

In the scenario above, however, secular ethics break down. The secular humanist might recognize, intuitively, that diving into the river is a morally good action. But he has no rational basis for saying so. The young man’s decision is between empathy for a stranger (on the one hand) and utilitarian self-interest & community-interest (on the other).

In the end, there can be no binding moral imperatives in the absence of a Moral Lawgiver. If the young man decides to sit back and watch the woman drown, the secular humanist cannot criticize him. He’s only acting rationally.

Join The Wretched Club

Morality Witness Cultural Trends

Source: “The Duggar Disaster” by Todd Friel, posted CHRISTIAN POST/Christian Post Blog, 5/22/15

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-06-09

Scripture: I Timothy 1:15

Author: Todd Friel
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ILLUSTRATION

“There are two groups of people who should not be shocked to discover that a member of the Duggar family is a sinner,” says Todd Friel, writing for the CHRISTIAN POST, “Christians and non-Christians." This, he says, is what makes the Josh Duggar story a disaster.

Christian Surprise

The subject line from an email sent by a popular Christian website stated: “Christian world rocked.” Really?

Based on his own admission, Josh sinned, repented and got saved. Why in the world would Christians be appalled to discover an unregenerate 14-year-old boy acted wickedly? …

Have we forgotten that the Apostle Paul was a murderer before God saved him?

Non-Christian Surprise

Here is the headline from the magazine that decided to go rooting though Josh’s closet: “Bombshell Duggar Police Report.”

This might be the bigger tragedy of the Josh Duggar story: unbelievers consider it a bombshell when it is discovered that a Christian has a shameful past. This ought not to be.

APPLICATION

"If Christians were as loud about the Gospel as we are about being the moral majority," he concludes, "I suspect there would be five results":

1. Unbelievers would not see Josh Duggar as a hypocrite; they would see him as a typical born-again believer who is forgiven by an amazingly gracious God.
2. Unbelievers would not see Christians as a mere special interest group that seeks to impose values on other people.
3. The Gospel would be shining brightly.
4. Somebody might get saved.
5. Josh Duggar and his family would be going about their business today as a typical Christian family saved by grace alone.

Friel says he does't blame the world. He blames us--Christians!

Is it possible we have become so obsessed with imposing our values on unbelievers that the world sees us as self-righteous Pharisees and not as blood-washed sinners? ... I would have shouted from the rooftops, “If you think Josh is wicked, you should meet the rest of us! That is why we are Christians! We need forgiveness for being wretched, vile, wicked rebels. If you are a rebel too, Jesus died for you! Run to Jesus! Join the wretched club.”

With this shout, Friel encourages all of us, too, to turn this apparent "tragedy" into an "opportunity" to share the GREAT news that Christ died for "perverts, liars, thieves, drunkards, abortionists, Wall Street fat cats, skid row bums, suburban housewives, blue collar workers" and everyone else!

"It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life" (I Timothy 1:15-16).

A Breach In the Great Wall

Integrity Compromise (Convictions) Morality

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-03-30

Scripture: Proverbs 10:9

Author: Illustration Exchange
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In Tune with Morality

Morality Character Righteousness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-10-29

Scripture: Psalms 89:14

Author: C.S. Lewis
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When Babies Are Morally Irrelevant

Abortion Morality God's Judgment

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-08-21

Scripture: Ezra 9:6 ; Exodus 20:13

Author: Illustration Exchange
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One Block Down

Word of God Guidance Morality

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-05-21

Scripture: Psalms 119:105

Author: Tim Rogers
1

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Christianity Without Tears

Sin Nature Morality Testing

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-02-16

Author: Aldous Huxley / Illustration Exchange
1

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Teen "Planning On Killing" Surprised by Outcome

Morality Murder Excuses

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-10-09

Scripture: Mark 7:21

Author: Illustration Exchange
4

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Our Shrinking Moral Vocabulary

Morality Self-absorbed Cultural Trends

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-09-22

Scripture: Proverbs 14:12 ; Romans 12:10

Author: Jen Doll; Pelin and Selin Kesebir
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