“This second epistle, beloved, I write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance.”
2 Peter 3
In a type of open letter to Christians Peter hits upon an important truth—though his message is directed to those who are led by the Spirit of God, it is for everyone. That truth is that people need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.
Made in God’s likeness, there is born in us a knowledge of right and wrong. This knowledge is added to by family, society, and culture but it exists independently. Those who argue against this cannot escape the fact that they rely on this inherent sense of right and wrong.
These charges explode from the wokest of naysayers on a regular basis. Why? If a person’s truth originates within them and is unique to them, why charge someone else with ignoring it? It makes absolutely no sense unless they are somehow inferior and not entitled to a truth all their own that is as equally valid as the speaker’s truth.
We cannot say the law has brainwashed us because except under very limited circumstances, it is not illegal to lie, cheat, or be mean. Nevertheless, it is declared wrong by those being lied to, cheated, or bullied, and in such a way that the other person is expected to know these things are wrong.
Another objection is that right and wrong vary by culture. That is true to a degree, but the differences are not as many as the similarities. As C.S. Lewis pointed out, one culture may allow a man to have one wife while another culture may allow multiple wives, but no culture allows a man to have any woman he wants—especially one who is another man’s wife.
Look across the spectrum of those who maintain the existence of some deity and you will find a version of “love thy neighbor as thyself”.
Objective morality exists and its very existence argues for the existence of God. Even those who discount God in favor of a pure energy-derived universe, like that of quantum mechanics, will tell you that behavior influences vibration. They point to studies of plants and water subjected to various influences and the differences various stimuli produce. Yet they claim one of the stimuli produced a good or better outcome, and another produced a bad or distorted outcome. But where did the idea that one venation rate is good or higher, and another is bad or lower come from? They are tempted to answer that the observer creates the good versus bad effect. However, the observer is subject to the same affect, so they cannot be the source or origin of it.
We know the law of Right and Wrong. Yet, we break it. We don’t often need a lecture or sermon to do more than remind us that we are made in God’s image. Good lives in us. Peter was reminding his audience to let it shine.
This was also the message of James who wrote, “therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”