This is part 3 of an essay entitled: Sailing Toward Holiness and Integrity: (CLICK FOR PART 1, 2)
We must submit to God. Over time our communities develop value systems that define what is honorable, what is virtuous (that is to say, what is powerful and what is valuable in fulfilling a purpose). These values or virtues are based on what is necessary for corporate survival. These values or virtues are enforced by acts of shame. For example, the samurai culture of Japan valued courage and honor so much that it required suicide of a warrior that did not die in battle. The characteristics of courage and honor were developed out of the need to win battles or get annihilated. Our community (our global community, really) comes inherent with a value system or virtues. Christ, however, calls us to a different standard as evidenced in the “you have heard it said” discourses of the Sermon on the Mount: “You have heard that it was said, ‘do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery (Matthew 5:27).” Jesus revolutionizes what is virtuous in a culture. Christ atoning death allows for right relationship with God in order that we might be one with the source of goodness. In that light, it only seems right to follow Christ’s redirection in Matthew 5. We must let go of the value systems of the community in order to transform the community. We cannot cling, for example, to hard work and success, as honoring principles. We must submit to God’s goodness.