I am writing this directed toward Christians who might have read Jon Hauxwell's April 1 column in The Hays Daily News. It involves his remark, "The notion that believers are more moral than nonbelievers is common, but wrong."
For Christian believers to believe we are more moral than others is a wrong premise for us to follow. At one time in my life, I identified myself as a Christian who had it made with God because I was more moral than other people. I loved to compare myself with the obvious "no goods" of life because they gave me such great certainty of my great status with God. I thought these hosts of "losers" that surrounded me were essential to my salvation.
When I came into a living relationship with Jesus Christ, I came to realize that I had major moral defects that even though the social norms of the cultures of this world did not condemn, they were equally condemnable to any other moral defect there is in the eyes of God. In fact, my major moral defect of self-righteousness was the biggest opposition to the ministry of Jesus.
If I were to use research as Jon did of population groups as prisoners, the divorced, those who transmit sexual infections and are involved with unwed pregnancies, abortion and gay sex to show who is more moral, I would be using this not as a true follower of Christ. I have been involved as a volunteer in prison ministry for about 12 years. The research Jon quotes on self-identified atheists and agnostics as being underrepresented in prisons is consistent to my involvement with prisoners.
When it comes to volunteers with prisoners, Christians make up the largest group of volunteers. In my years as a volunteer, I have never come across any atheist or agnostic as a volunteer. The message of hope is a strong message from volunteers to prisoners. Thus, prisoners find hope with volunteers. So, it makes sense to me that prisoners would identify themselves with those who come and see them, especially with a message that there is hope for them.
So believers, let's quit getting sucked into who is the most moral. Let us just commit ourselves to live the moral life with the message that there is hope and forgiveness for any person who comes to Christ.
The Rev. Jerry Sprock, pastor, First Baptist Church, Hays