An Open Letter of Discussion

Recently, I’ve been having a few questions run around in my head.  The current one I think came about as part of discussion on another, unrelated, topic from another individual.  But seeing someone’s response made me start thinking about this question.

I am an admitted and unapologetic Christian.  I have my views & my beliefs, based on growing up as the son of a Methodist minister.   I spent some time away from the church, and have my thoughts on life with my Christian beliefs and life without them.  I’ve been re-building and growing my relationship with god for the past seven years, and can see a vast difference (for me) between life then and now.

But I have some questions about things.  To that end, I have asked a friend of mine from Facebook to join me in an open discussion on some of these questions.  His name Is Justin, and he’s a self-described “agnostic with cynical leanings”.  We have agreed to an open, civil discussion to talk about things.

Being an open discussion page, I invite anyone to post a comment.  The only thing I ask is that comments be civil and polite.  While I may possibly disagree with Justin on some viewpoints, I will never insult him or make a personal attack.  I ask that anyone posting comments and responses show courtesy to everyone else.  We are each entitled to our opinion, and differing viewpoints and opinions do not call for attacks of a personal nature.

So, keeping those thoughts in mind, I open the discussion with this topic;

As a Christian, I strive to live a Christ-like life.  What does that mean?  Christ’s message is one of love.  Love our neighbors, love our enemies.  It’s one of being bold and outspoken about our faith and beliefs.  How do I accomplish this?  I pray that each day my interaction with everyone I come across is one of courtesy and politeness, of being unselfish and trying to think of others first.  And if someone asks how I’m doing, I can take the opportunity to something as simple as, “God’s blessed me today, so I’m great.”  It’s a statement so simple, but easy enough to get my “foot in the door” to open discussions about my faith.

As a Christian, I base my decisions of moral choices on the Word of God.  The Bible (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth!) teaches me what is acceptable and right according to God’s law.  Many times, these things may be contrary to the secular world’s idea of what is right and what is wrong. And when they conflict, I base my moral decision on what honors God first, as pleasing God comes before pleasing men. 

So my open question here is; for a non-Christian (secularist, atheist, agnostic, faithful follower of another religion), from where do you draw your basis for moral guidelines?  On what do you base your decisions of what is morally acceptable and morally objectionable?