The landscape of what's "morally acceptable" in America has shifted, says a Christian apologist, to the point where there's no belief in moral boundaries.
A recent Gallup poll shows Americans' willingness to describe several issues as morally acceptable has grown over the last 15 years. For example, in 2001, 45 percent of Americans thought having a baby out of wedlock was morally acceptable. Numbers now show that number has risen to 62 percent.
Continuing, moral acceptability of unmarried sex is up 14 points – nearly seven in ten are okay with that. And approval of embryonic stem-cell research and divorce are each up by double digits in the last decade and a half. But the biggest jump is in Americans' acceptance of homosexuality – up 20 points since 2001. (See summary of results in table below)
"We've abandoned belief in moral boundaries." That's author and commentator Dr. Alex McFarland, who says a relativistic worldview is taking hold.
"Up until recently, truth was considered as absolute objective, not just subjective opinion," he continues. "But really right now truth is more based on feelings and cultural mood, [on] social acceptability."
The Christian apologist sees it getting worse before it gets better.
"By what standard do we arbitrarily maintain ethical standards in one realm, but we abolish all ethical standards in another realm?" he asks. "[For example] if we throw out sexual ethics, then why do I have to pay for merchandise in the store? Why couldn't I just steal it?"
The answer, according to McFarland, is the Church: Christians, he argues, need to be people of the highest ethical and moral standards; they need to project righteousness.
"The Bible says in I Peter 2:15 that this will refute the arguments of unbelieving people, if we live right and do right," he adds.
In summary, Gallup offers this statement on the poll results: "In general, in the 21st century, Americans believe more key issues are morally acceptable than they used to, consistent with other trends toward greater social liberalism."