People’s feeling entitled to attend [a church service], and afterwards objecting to being exposed to the articulation of Church doctrine, is a new phenomenon. It suggests that the Church has become for some people a kind of emptied-out public service, disconnected from any duty to the Truth.
This is not your standard relativism. Nor does it merely express—as some would argue—the belabored binarism of Jesus and Caesar. That case may have traction in the public square, in which the Church might be deemed entitled to have its say but not to impose its way upon the polis. These new trends take things a step further, into the very sanctuary of Truth. Those who have been given the run of the square now want the run of nave, transept, and belfry. Even more disturbingly, many within the Church are willing to give in.
There is a virus at work here that as yet remains unnamed. Its symptoms can be observed in the escalating drift toward schism, but its core nature is not being precisely diagnosed. We might call it “Moralosis,” because it is an attempt to separate the “moral issues” from the core of Christianity. It is not merely about the balance between pastoralism and doctrine, but about the entitlement of the Church to speak of morality at all.
He excoriates that it is possible to know a Christ divorced from all morality, calling it a "clearly bogus idea." He forcefully and powerfully concludes,
But Jesus was the most intensely moral presence the world has ever seen. There is no “either/or” between love of Christ and engagement with the secular world about matters that may be cordoned off under the signpost “moral.” There is, instead, a “both/and,” amounting to a singular call to unite our sense of Christ’s presence with the exigencies of the world and its human quotient. It is right that we place our hope in the free gesture with which God chose to enter history, but in doing so we are enjoined to gird ourselves and enter into questions about the actions and organization of men.
Nowhere can the perniciousness of the current evasions be seen more clearly than on the question of abortion. If we imagine that a Jesus reborn in the twenty-first century would do other than excoriate and denounce those who seek to spill the blood of innocents—as though the era of Herod had returned also—then we have to concede that Christianity has been rendered a husk of its former reality. Our secularized, de-absolutized anti-culture reaches now even into our churches and other sacred spaces, dictating a partly unconscious watering-down into “niceness” of tough Christian understandings and an emptying-out of Christian words and concepts.
All that notwithstanding, only propaganda, grotesque selfishness, and the avoidance of the plain truth prevent us from seeing that abortion is a crime crying out to heaven for vengeance. And yet, in the spaces between words, some among us have managed to convince ourselves that not only is it possible to be civilized and legislate for killing innocents, but one may have abortion and Christ as well. If this could be remotely true, it would be time to walk about the windows of Christ’s Basilicas and, one by one, pull the blinds over the stained glass.
Those who vociferously proclaim that morality cannot be legislated and is independent from Jesus, are in for a rude awakening when Christ returns.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Cor 5:10,ESV)