Morality is Cowardice

 
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“Morality is cowardice” – Friedrich Nietzsche

 
 
“What he meant by that was that, most of what people claim to be moral virtue is merely their fear to do anything that they would actually like to do that society would deem inappropriate. Has nothing to do with morality whatsoever.” – Jordan Peterson on JockoPodcast episode 98

Yes, the avalanche of pop culture heroes falling to credible accusations of sexual misconduct continues to surprise even the most cynical Americans. Yet how quickly, like piranhas smelling blood, their former colleagues and armchair sycophants throw their heroes under the train, repeating Peter’s infamous line, “I never knew the man.”

Perhaps you, too, have become almost giddy watching these priests of 21st century morality get literally caught with their pants down. How often did many of these perpetrators wag their righteous finger from their glamorous pulpits about equal rights, ‘toxic masculinity’ and the horrors of a patriarchal society? Hypocrites!

Do you feel good about yourself?

The fact is, we like it when people fall, especially our enemies, especially the rich and famous. “I knew there was something wrong with that guy!” We might not have the money and fame, but at least we got our morality, right? So we puff our chests around the water cooler with some good jokes. We pass the memes, pretend to be shocked, throw tomatoes, thump our chests. We throw a party when the big guys fall, but we probably feel pretty good when the little big guy in our community and even church falls too. Gotcha!

“I would never do that!” We mutter.

“Yes you would. You just don't have the guts.” Nietzsche would retort. Of course, he uses this truth to make a case for the absurdity of good and evil. But His observation has merit. Jesus would probably agree as He obliterates anyone who considers herself righteous in His sermons on the mount and the plains.

The moral high ground isn’t anything to find comfort in. God gives us something better—Jesus.
— Joel Hess

Come on out, you cowards. Don’t hide behind morality. You can’t get away with that before God and quite frankly you can’t slip by your fellow man either. You're not wearing any clothes, Emperor! You aren’t courageous. You are just scared of what people will say. Christianity is not about avoiding sin. It’s about not having a sin at all!

For sure morality blesses our societies. It keeps the world in check to some degree. Imagine if we all did what we really wanted to do all the time! But the moral high ground isn’t anything to find comfort in.

God gives us something better—Jesus. Jesus gives refuge to the big time rock star whose fall from grace video everyone has seen on Google. And He gives it to the small time hypocrite sitting in the church pew. Jesus gives us His righteousness. We can certainly hide behind that. It’s for cowards and sociopaths alike. It’s for you.

So when the devil unveils your sins and reveals your hypocrisy, you don’t need to a hire a PR firm. You don’t need to come up with a dozen excuses or kill the competition like Cain bumped off Abel. Run and hide behind the only Righteous One, Christ our Lord. He is our morality.

Rev. Joel Hess is the fortunate pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Cadillac, MI, where God’s reality pierces through our illusions by His Word, flesh and blood and gentle waters.  He is the author of many half written projects; a talented musician and artist.  His contributions to the Jagged Word deal with the intersection of theology, culture and the arts.



 
 
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