A recent survey conducted by Gallup found that 47% of Americans rate moral values in the country as “poor,” and 67% believe that moral values are getting worse.
The study, which asked the opinions of 1,016 adults, found additionally that 37% believed moral values to be “only fair,” 15% to be “good,” and just 1% of those surveyed rated the moral values of the country as “excellent.”
Gallup also found that while most people believed that U.S. moral values are getting worse at 67%, this is a decrease from the previous year at 68% and a far cry from the high of 82% of Americans who believed morals were getting worse in 2007.
Views on the state of moral values in the country is contrasted sharply on partisan lines. 92% of Republicans stated that they believed morals to be getting worse in 2021 compared to just 49% of Democrats. Additionally, 66% of Republicans said that the current moral values of the U.S. were poor as compared to 30% of Democrats.
This poll comes shortly after another study Gallup conducted which found that a record 47% of Americans found abortion to be morally acceptable compared to 46% who found abortion to be morally wrong. Though the gap between the two views has grown and shrunk over the 20 years that the poll has been asked, 2021 marks the first time in the poll’s history that more Americans believed abortion to be morally acceptable than morally wrong.
Additionally, the organization found that the majority of Americans viewed both divorce (79%) and sex between an unmarried man and woman (73%) as “acceptable moral behaviors.” Other moral issues, including gay or lesbian relations (69%), gambling (68%), having a baby outside of marriage (67%) and medical research that uses stem cells obtained from human embryos (64%) were all considered morally acceptable by a majority of Americans as well.
Of course, what we find morally acceptable doesn’t matter. The Christian must follow what God says is morally acceptable. The Christian is called to hate the things that God hates and to love the things that He loves by being transformed by the renewal of their mind (Romans 12:2). Our hearts are deceitfully wicked and will lead us astray (Jeremiah 17:9), and we will sinfully try to justify what seems right in our own eyes (Judges 17:6).
Instead, we must depend upon God, the One who has created His universal moral law and provides us with a new heart to discern it (Jeremiah 31:33-34). The Christian receives from God inner transformation to discern the things that God loves.
Morality is not subjective – if it is, we have no authority to claim anything to be right or wrong. If we claim that everyone can have “their truth,” then there is no justice, as what you subjectively find to be morally right may be something that I subjectively find to be morally wrong, and how can we know who is objectively morally right? If we claim that it is whatever the simple majority or the government says is morally right, then we claim that whatever is morally right is based on whoever has the most power (and, as we know, countless wrongs like slavery and genocide have been committed at the acceptance of the majority).
Therefore, morality must be something that has objective moral truths – otherwise, morals change over time, and morality really isn’t all that important if someone who is morally right today might be considered morally wrong tomorrow. God is the Judge, and He will judge the right and the wrong. The only way that we can hold any “truths to be self-evident” is if these truths were definitively established by an Authority greater than ourselves. This law is indeed self-evident, as our conscience bears witness to this truth (Romans 2:15).
Guard your heart and lean not on your own understanding. As Christians, we are being transformed from one degree of glory to another into the same image of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18), and this will naturally cause us to love the things of God. Whether the culture continues down a morally destructive path or begins renewing its heart for the things of God, we are called to stand up for the objective moral truths found in God’s Word and His Word alone.
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