HONG KONG- The distinguished British evangelical leader Rev. Dr. John Stott urges Christian to become a righteous, holy and pure community in this era as traditional moral values are corroded by rising ethical relativism.
Stott declared that ethical relativism is one of the greatest challenge faced by world churches nowadays, as speaking on his "60th Anniversary of Ordination Thanksgiving Evening" with East Asian church leaders held in Hong Kong on Friday.
In many countries in the world, especially in the West, the moral values are declining. The moral values are being changed according to people’s will. The corrupted concept has infiltrated into cultures, and is slowly affecting the church, Stott warned the church leaders on the gathering.
The most obvious demonstration of the phenomena is the fall of sexual morality after the 1960’s of the 20th century. Stott recalled that before then, the whole world- at least the places that have heard and have been influenced by the Gospel- believed that marriage is between one husband and one wife, one man and one woman, for a life-long relationship of love. In addition, most of the world believed that only the sexual relationship within marriage is pleasing is God’s eyes.
Yet, Stott lamented that today, even in the churches, people accept that cohabitation before marriage and ex-marital affairs are very common. Divorce has also become a great problem in the western society.
"People have completely discarded the importance of the mutual commitment within marriage," Stott concluded.
Stott further told the audience about the crisis of traditional marriage faced by churches across the world as more countries have recognized same-sex marriage by law.
"Especially nowadays, same-sex marriage is being considered the same as traditional marriage between one man and one woman."
Stott sharply pointed out that Jesus has quoted Genesis 1: 17 and 2: 24 to condemn the fall of sexual relationship and to confirm God’s law of creation. Stott said even though people have been taught about the correct value of marriage, but the problem is that they do not obey the teachings of the Lord.
Stott questioned the church leaders if they know who the master is. He hinted that the church today has acted like the master and misuse the authority to distort the teaching of Jesus, and then it accepts only what they like but rejects what they do not like.
"Jesus says the same word to us today: ‘why you call me Lord, Lord, but you do not do what I call you to do?’" Stott said.
At the end of the speech, Stott once again stressed on the call to "radical discipleship." As a radical disciple of Christ, they must choose to follow what will please God’s will, instead of following the tide of the world. They must also become a community of righteousness, holiness and purity in the midst of ethical relativism.
[Editor's Note: Emily Wong contributed reporting from Hong Kong for this article.]