Moral Obligation

Fundamental to Christianity is the recognition of the worth of every individual. Moral obligation involves this recognition and can be explained as the simple act of respect of one person for another. The harmony and progress of society depend upon this mutual respect. Without it, there are crime, destruction, and a drift toward anarchy—lawlessness.

In the design of the Ten Commandments, respect for God is the first essential of morality. Then respect for mankind follows as inhumaneness (to parents), murder, adultery, stealing, lying, and coveting are forbidden. One having real respect for others will not harm them by committing any crime against them.

The one who carries out a crime is the one most harmed. He has failed to respect his own potential as a contributor of peace and order to the world. He has temporarily forfeited the respect of society, and he has lost contact with his source. Even the least discourtesy toward another is evidence of a lack of moral obligation. Christ Jesus went so far as to say (Matt. 5:22), "Whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."

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