Moral Values on the Decline

“THAT sort of thing never used to happen,” commented Helmut Schmidt, former chancellor of Germany. He was bemoaning recent cases of gross dishonesty by public officials that made the headlines. “Moral standards have been lost through greed,” he said.

Many would agree with him. Moral values that are rooted in God’s Word, the Bible, and that have long been widely accepted as a guide for what is right and what is wrong are being pushed aside. This is the case even in lands nominally associated with Christianity.

Is Bible Morality Relevant?

Morality based on Bible teachings includes honesty and integrity. Yet, cheating, corruption, and fraud are widespread. The Times of London reports that some detectives “are alleged to have pocketed up to £100,000 a time to recycle drugs or lose evidence against major underworld figures.” In Austria insurance fraud is said to be a common practice. And in Germany  the scientific community was aghast when researchers recently discovered “one of the most scandalous cases of fraud in German science.” A professor, a “star among German geneticists,” was accused of having falsified or invented data on a large scale.

Bible-based morality also includes faithfulness in marriage, which is meant to be a permanent relationship. But an increasing number of couples end up in divorce court. The Catholic newspaper Christ in der Gegenwart (The Contemporary Christian) reports that “even in ‘conservative’ Switzerland, more and more marriages are breaking up.” In the Netherlands, 33 percent of all marriages end in divorce. A lady who noted the social changes in Germany in the past few years wrote of her concern: “Marriage is now regarded as old-fashioned and out-of-date. People no longer marry a partner for life.”

On the other hand, millions consider the moral standards taught in the Bible to be trustworthy and relevant to life in our modern world. A married couple living on the Swiss-German border discovered that learning to live according to Bible morals made them happier. As far as they are concerned, “there is only one guideline for all aspects of life. That guideline is the Bible.”

What do you think? Can the Bible serve as a valuable guideline? Is Bible-based morality practical today?