We talk a lot about "Values" these days.We promote an agenda of family values to try to save the traditional definition of the family. Businesses publish their "Core Values" along with their Mission Statement. And churches do the same.

We know that 'values' is not a biblical word; what is more important is to ask whether it is a biblical concept. The history of the term suggests it is not.

Nietzsche declared that God is dead - not meaning that he does not exist, but that there is no longer an objective foundation for moral decisions. Given the "unbelievability" of what he called the "God-hypothesis", Nietzsche preferred the creation of new sets of values. He spoke of the Superman, who was his ideal for creating a better world, seeking "those who write new values on new tablets" (in Thus spoke Zarathustra). Weak people needed Christian morality; strong people have the courage to create their own values. Each would evaluate what they considered to be valuable in life.

'Values' reflects a relative view of life. They reflect who we define ourselves to be and what we value to be important. Every other group can have its own different set of values. And those values have no authority in relation to anybody else.

'Virtues' is not a word  used very often today. But it reflects a concept that is more biblical. It implies a moral strength defined in relation to an objective norm. 'Family values' leaves people to evaluate for themselves what kind of family will work for them - which actually promotes the death of a biblical concept of family. Similarly, a church has no place defining itself in relation to what matters to it. We are to be defined by that which is objectively revealed in God's Word, and which is applicable to all groups and all people in all times and places. Virtues, rather than values. Morals, rather than ethics. 

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