Biblical Worldview, Character Education, and Moral Compass
Why the Bible Matters: Defining Right and Wrong
There is a right and wrong to every question—Paying attention to your conscience is what helps you develop good character.
Do what is right; be faithful and fearless.
Onward, press onward, the goal is in sight.
Eyes that are wet now, ere long will be tearless.
Blessings await you in doing what’s right!
Do what is right; let the consequence follow.
Battle for freedom in spirit and might;
and with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.
God will protect you; then do what is right!
~Anonymous; The Psalms of Life, Boston, 1857
A historical novel by C.A. Davidson
In this excerpt from the historical novel Birthright, college history professor Jacob Nobles uses discovery teaching and ancient ruins at a historic site to lead his students in a discussion of truth, and discerning right from wrong.
“Okay—” Preston spoke with caution. “I’ll give you that the Bible is actually a history. But why does it matter?
“That is the million-dollar question …” Jacob smiled. “And you can find the answer here—for free!”
Jacob held up the Bible. “Now, Preston, you have asked why the Bible matters. Would you agree that the Bible is a history of God’s dealings with man?”
“I guess you could say that. Apparently, somehow God’s version of the creation was given to Moses, and Moses wrote it down,” Preston commented carefully.
“It makes sense to take God’s word for it,” Allison remarked with her usual bluntness. “After all, He was there when it happened—a distinction the rest of us cannot claim.”
Preston shook his head. “Still, none of us were there for the creation process—not even Moses.”
“That’s true.” Jacob chewed thoughtfully on his ham sandwich and inclined his head. “Hmm. So we have here two explanations for the Creation process—to keep it simple, we’ll call them two different stories. Since we were not present for the event, we’re forced to accept either one story or the other—on faith.”
Puzzled, Preston tilted his head.
“What is faith, anyway?”
“Well now, faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true,” Josiah Bianco said.
Folding his arms across his chest, Preston surveyed the surrounding hills and glimpsed a boy leading a few sheep. “Are you saying that everybody just blindly follows …” He paused. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to offend.”
“No offense taken.”
“Don’t worry,” Ben said. “We all have done the same thing.”
“Of course. It’s called academic freedom.”
“Sure. Bring it on!” Allison took a sip out of her can of grape juice. “Only frauds and liars are afraid to answer questions.”
“Why is Dr. Marlow so afraid of other points of view?” Nola asked.
“He doesn’t want to lose the debate!” Allison interjected.
“Yes. Debate is an important part of academic freedom, but anyone can win an argument without teaching truth. A friendly discussion with free exchange of ideas is more effective in discovering truth.” Jacob chuckled. “However, when you prefer to control what others say and think, truth can get in your way.
“Now that we are away from the university, we can actually look at more than one point of view! We will look at two stories of the Creation—one, in the Bible, and the other, Dr. Marlow’s version.”
“The Bible version seems too simple,” Preston said.
“Well, what is Dr. Marlow’s version called?” Nola inquired.
“Dr. Marlow believes in a theory called Natural Selection which, simply put, proposes that everything somehow creates itself by chance,” Jacob replied.
“That doesn’t make sense.” Nola frowned in disagreement. “The human body—and mind—are complicated. Something can’t be produced by nothing. My experience has shown me that nothing worthwhile happens by chance. Everything takes work, and effort, and planning.
“Yes, Nola. That’s why some scientists say that the Bible history discloses an intelligent design, a purpose, or an orderly plan.”
“Aren’t Bible stories for children?” Preston wondered.
“Men struggle to explain their philosophy. The Bible explains the Creation so a child can understand—so that parents can teach their children through the ages. Who is more intelligent?” Jacob shrugged. “Anyway, the important thing is, who is telling the truth—Man, or God?”
“Can you just assume there is a God?”
Jacob laughed. “We can look at some evidence. Where is evidence of chance?”
No one answered for a moment.
Josiah Bianco chortled. “Shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not?” he quipped, quoting Isaiah.
 Isaiah 29:16
“What about evidence of design?”
“The ability to think, for one thing,” Allison said, “ …one of many.”
“As I said, the human body,” Nola added, “and life itself. I know many very intelligent scientists and doctors, but no one can duplicate an eye or an ear.”
Preston’s gaze rested momentarily upon Nola’s face—round blue eyes, delicate sculpted features like a work of art. “All right,” he said. “Let’s say God is the intelligent Creator. Couldn’t He have made man out of apes?”
“Of course, He could, but would He? He is a God of order. As Creator of earth and all living things, He set up the rules for justice and science. Why would He violate His own laws?”
“What do you mean?”
“Okay, if the Bible is really a history, and if it is true that we humans are created in the image of God, how are we different from animals?”
“We can reason, while animals use instinct,” Preston said. “You’ve already established that.”
“Humans can draw, read, and write,” Allison said. “I have yet to see an animal who could carve something like this creature.” She poked her finger into the big teeth of the dragon carving, but withdrew her hand quickly. “Yikes! I don’t think an animal would make something this weird, even if it could!”
Jacob grinned. “True. Also, you chose to come here today, others did not. Ruben left early; the rest of you stayed. What does that mean?”
“People have the power to choose,” Ben said.
“Yes, that’s called Free Will. We have no empirical evidence of such a thing, but let’s suppose we have here a creature who is half man and half ape—by whose laws would this creature live—by the laws of man or nature? You’re the law student here, Preston. What do you think?”
“If the creature is half man, would it be fair to make him live like an animal? Or if he is half animal, and cannot reason fully as a man, would it be just to impose upon him the laws of men?”
“This is really getting confusing!”
“Yes, Preston, it is confusing. But when He had completed the creation, God blessed human beings and all living things to multiply, each after their own kind. There is nothing confusing about that.”
A flutter of wings announced the arrival of a dove which lit next to his mate upon a limb of the tall tree.
How Do You Know What Is True and Right?
“The human soul can never die. So you see, it is created, not evolved, because God is not the author of confusion. Therefore, to avoid confusion, would you agree we need some kind of law to bring order and justice to our lives?”
“Absolutely,” Preston said. “We must have justice.”
“Let’s think for a moment about the two kinds of laws—which law provides true justice? Dr. Marlow makes no distinction between humans and animals. His law is simple: those who are strong rule and prevail over everything and everyone else.” Jacob placed his right hand firmly upon the rock and continued. “The law of Nature requires animals to kill other animals for food. In the law of the Bible, on the other hand, God tells us not to kill or eat other people. Why not?”
“It’s wrong!” The students exclaimed indignantly, in vigorous unison.
“How do you know it’s wrong?”
“Well,” Preston began slowly. “There simply is no justice in murder and cannibalism. I don’t know why … Somehow I just know that.”
“Men often create laws to try to change God’s commandments,” Jacob continued, “but God’s laws never change. When He created our eternal souls, He planted those unchangeable moral laws in our minds and hearts. It’s called—”
“Our conscience.” Preston nodded. “Of course! I see that now.”
“Yes. The Bible contains our true moral compass in writing. And that, Preston, is why the Bible matters.”
Copyright © 2016 by C. A. Davidson
 Hebrews 11:1
 John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Great Books of the Western World, vol.35
 These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the Creator Himself in all His dispensations conforms. William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1:59-60
 Genesis 1:22,24
 1 Corinthians 14:33