Killer-Isms | #5 Moralism

Killer-Isms | #5 Moralism

This is the fifth week in a nine-week class entitled “The Killer-Isms: A Christian Look at Lethal Philosophies.” This session looks at moralism, a particularly dangerous “ism” for Christians.
Moralism: A Working Definition
Moralism is the belief that an individual’s adherence to a strict (or not) moral code will gain them some sort of advantage with “God.” This is not God as the Bible describes Him; instead it is a rather subjective caricature who is easily pleased with our half-baked efforts, who is willing to lower His standards for us. Moralism does not generally exist as an independent philosophy. It’s most often paired with some interpretation of religion, even if it only has a passing resemblance to that religion, because moralists need a moral code to focus their energy upon and these are most often found within the context of one religion or another. That’s not to say that moralists are particularly moral people. Moralists are just as likely to be as broken and sinful as anyone else; however, they often overlook their shortcomings by focussing upon their intentions. However, they do not usually extend that same courtesy to others.
To simplify this, let’s say that moralists are concerned with their adherence—or the appearance of their adherence–to an established moral code, which they often find within the context of a religious tradition. Some moralists believe that their good actions and intentions will out-weight any moral failures, while other moralists are so exacting in their morality that they unfairly impose this standard upon others and judge those who fall short.