Question: The Bible tries to make morality consist of absolutes which are supposedly commanded by God. Yet most people in the world never read the Bible, so they don’t know these rules. What could be more foolish than a book which claims to be God’s Word and sets rules that most people never heard of and then condemns them for not obeying these rules?
Response: It can be easily demonstrated that the Ten Commandments (minus the command to keep the sabbath) are written in the heart and conscience of every person. That fact accounts for the similarities in the morality of various religions. Thus it is not foolish at all for the Bible to hold mankind to these standards.
The atheist tries to discredit Christianity by showing that the applications of the Mosaic law expressed by Christ in His sermon on the mount are echoed in the sayings of a Buddha or Confucius. In fact, such similarities can be explained in no other way than that God exists and has written His law in every human conscience. And that the account of the giving of this law is found in the Bible is further proof that it is God’s Word.
The first chapter of Romans tells us that the fact of God’s existence is proclaimed and fully demonstrated in convicting evidence to every thinking person. The second chapter argues just as clearly that every man knows both that he is morally accountable to God and that he has violated the standards which God has set:
For when the Gentiles [non-Jews], which have not the law [that was given to Moses at Mt. Sinai], do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another...(Rom:2:14-15).
Those raised in different cultures adopt habits and customs and regard taboos peculiar to their society. Nevertheless, beneath the surface of seeming differences, there lies a common fabric of moral conviction which is the same for all mankind. If morality were simply a matter of custom or legislation, there would be no basis for discussing whether such practices were good or bad, right or wrong. That there is a common conscience, which though dulled or warped by generations of peculiar and even contradictory custom, is nevertheless alive within all mankind becomes immediately apparent in any discussion with those of non-Christian and even primitive pagan cultures.