Some people fear changing societal attitudes are eroding Christian values. But what is the definition of Christian values? Let’s explore what the Bible teaches.
Christian values are closely tied with morality, as taught by the Bible. They start with the Ten Commandments.
Jesus was asked by one of the Sadducees, a lawyer, what was the greatest commandment in the law?
“And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.'”
Essentially, if you follow these two commandments, you’ll follow all of the Ten Commandments. You will not do harm to others.
When we break down the Ten Commandments in order, we see the themes of faith in God, honor, and loyalty to God, living righteously, love for others, sexual purity, not harming others, honesty, avoiding envy, avoiding lust.
In other parts of the Bible, we are encouraged to raise children in God’s Word, to work to support ourselves and others. We are to help and give to the poor and needy. We are to present uplifting speech to others, not insults or sowing discord.
Christian values are a product of the so-called fruits of the Spirit. If we live a life that produces such fruits, we are living a life of Christian values.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”
– Galatians 5:22-25
Many people, even practicing, church-going Christians, don’t fully understand that there are three types of laws in the Old Testament: Moral, civil, and ceremonial.
Many of the laws in the Old Testament do not apply after the first coming of Christ for Christians. Christ brought the law to the Gentiles (non-Jews). In books such as Deuteronomy and Leviticus, some of the Old Testament rules are ceremonial laws intended for the Jews only. There were civil laws that applied to Jewish society at that time. The laws in the Old Testament that always apply to Christians are moral laws, such as the Ten Commandments.
Some people are shocked when reading some of these Old Testament Jewish laws that call for people to be struck with stones or killed. Again, such laws do not apply to Christians today, only to the Jewish society of that day.
Another thing that may help understand what Christian values are is to take a look at what behaviors the Bible says God, Jesus, the prophets, and the apostles spoke against to understand what Christian values aren’t.
“There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”
The apostle Paul taught:
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
“And he said, ‘What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.'”