World News and Trends: Do-it-yourself morality Do-it-yourself morality condemned

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Do-it-yourself morality Do-it-yourself morality condemned

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The archbishop of Canterbury told 20,000 people in Corby, England, that Christians should stand up for traditional moral values and not be sidelined by a do-as-you-please philosophy.

"At present we live in a society where so often the impression is given that the only thing that cannot be tolerated is saying that something is wrong," the archbishop is quoted as saying. "In the midst of such thinking the truly radical Christian disciple is going to have to swim against the tide and say that there are moral standards-both personal and corporate-we set aside at our peril."

Morality, then, is much more than a matter of personal opinion. There is only one opinion that possesses all the essential moral credentials worthy of our allegiance. It is contained in a large document composed over a 1,000-year span. Queen Elizabeth II was reminded of its existence and value during her coronation in 1953, when these words were written and spoken.

"Our gracious Queen: to keep Your Majesty ever mindful of the Law and Gospel of God as the Rule of the whole life and government of Christian princes, we present you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world affords. Here is Wisdom: This is the royal Law. These are the lively oracles of God."

This book, of course, is the Bible. Similar words were written in its pages for biblical monarchs (Deuteronomy 17:18-20 Deuteronomy 17:18-20 [18] And it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: [19] And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: [20] That his heart be not lifted up above his brothers, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the middle of Israel.
American King James Version×
). Yet in Britain, according to the archbishop's own words, "we are now seeing the consequences of privileged DIY [do-it-yourself] morality working itself out in our society." (Sources: The Times; The Daily Telegraph; The Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, June 2, 1953, publisher: The Queen.)