Morality ultimately requires the divine, for without the divine all morality is subjective. The logic of morality by definition lends itself toward infinite regression: every moral statement is subject to the question “Who says so?” or “Why is that right?” Many believe that some things are right because they are self-evident; however, what makes these things self-evident? They may be self-evident to some people, but they are not self-evident to all people nor have they been self-evident for all time. I recently heard a secularist define morality as, “Don’t harm others. Do good to others.” This popular concept of morality is far too subjective to be applied universally, for what one person defines as doing good another defines as doing harm. At some point morality must hinge upon the divine to determine truth.
Morality is based upon truth. Moral laws are right or wrong based upon truth or non-truth, not based upon the degree to which they help or hurt others. For example, we might argue that it is immoral to harbor hatred toward another person even though the harboring of hatred is neither harmful nor helpful to the hated person. Hatred is intrinsically immoral because God says it is, independent of one’s actions toward the hated person. Morality cannot be based upon the degree to which it harms or hurts another because many laws of morality have no direct impact upon others. Morality must be based upon transcendent moral law.
I base all moral teachings in my ministry upon the divine. If I cannot tie a moral law to Yahweh then I don’t believe I can make the declaration. After all, morality is not subjective and cannot be based upon what a pastor says. If morality cannot be determined biblically then we should call them principles rather than morality. I certainly may be incorrect in my understanding of the Bible and the application of morality, but at the very least I am obligated to demonstrate how my moral teachings are divinely mandated.