Moral Dilemmas: Part Two


I started to post another comment on my Conundrums post, but then I realized that most of you probably wouldn't see it, and it was also becoming rather lengthy, so I decided to upgrade into a new post. :)

I've been doing some more thinking (and research) on moral dilemmas (see Conundrum post for my working definition of a moral dilemma.) I listened to a very insightful seminar by Ron du Preez and I'm also in the process of listening to Samuel Pippim's 2005 GYC seminar Faithful Unto Death:Living Holy Lives in the Last Days. Also, and most informatively, I've been turning to the Bible to shed some light on this important and perplexing (to me, at least) issue. Surely God has something to say about moral dilemmas. . .

Well, He does. I haven't gotten very far yet, but I've already come across some interesting stuff. The most striking example so far is when God called Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on the mountaintop. To me, this would seem to be the ultimate moral dilemma--a message, presumably from God, apparently directly contravening one of His previous commands not to kill.

Can you imagine that occurring in a modern context?! But, as Brian G. said in a comment on my last post on this topic, "we must submit our reasoning and decisions to the Holy Spirit in small things so that in larger situations there will be no question in our mind of what God's will is." Abraham had done that. He pursued such a close relationship with God that he knew Who was speaking to him. He was able to recognize the will of God. That still didn't make it easy for him to make a decision about what to do! Chapter 13 of Patriarchs and Prophets contains a very insightful commentary on Abraham's experience, and I highly recommend it.

There are a lot of things one can learn from this story, but I think the main principle God has shown me from Abraham's experience is Follow the clearly revealed will of God. This obviously has the corollary: understand what the clearly revealed will of God is. I think almost everybody agrees and understands the first principle, but it's the second part where we run into problems. Most of us aren't willing to spend the time with God and in His Word, becoming acquainted with His will which enables us to clearly recognize His guidance in extremely tough circumstances.

I have by no means come to a conclusion on my original question about the existence of true moral dilemmas; indeed, I don't even feel like I really have a good grasp of this first insight. But I'm going to keep searching and looking to God, 'the glorious answer to all my questionings.'

Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."