We Can’t Not Legislate Morality Conference with guest speaker Frank Turek

Bible verses, judgement, political issues and Barney the purple dinosaur — these are just a few of the topics that Frank Turek mentioned at Liberty University’s We Can’t Not Legislate Morality Conference hosted by the Standing for Freedom Center in the Towns Auditorium on Feb. 21.

Turek, the author of many best-selling books, including “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist,” took to the stage at the sold-out event to discuss some of the most controversial issues facing the United States today. One of the biggest questions Turek asked was, “Does objective morality exist?” 

Ryan Helfenbein, the vice president of Liberty University Communications, saw this event as a unique opportunity not just for those are who are fans of Turek, but also for Liberty students to get engaged in some of the nation’s toughest issues. 

“When it comes to the laws of this country, when it comes to guiding principles for legislation, do we have a libertarian mindset?” Helfenbein asked. “Tonight, we’re going to have the opportunity to hear a robust biblical defense for why morality matters in the laws of our land.”

Turek asked questions that plague many Americans today, including “Is it a right to live ‘your truth?’”; “Is it a right to marry whom you love?”; “Is it a right to parent your child with your own values?” and “Is there a right to life?” 

The electrified audience yelled aloud in response that all rights come from God, but Turek quickly responded with, “What if you don’t believe in God?” He followed this question by comparing morality in life to a game of football.

“The purpose and the rules of the game come from outside the game,” Turek said.

He gave tips to the audience on what to say to those who deny the existence of an objective truth. If someone says there is no truth, the key to rebutting that claim is to turn it on itself by saying, “Is that true?” If someone says, “All truth is relative,” Turek said the correct response would be, “Is that
truth relative?”

The keynote speaker debunked common teachings and phrases heard by Christians, including that they “ought not to judge.” Turek also turned this claim in on itself by saying, “Isn’t that a judgement?” He explained that people will take Bible verses out of context to make them “say whatever they want.” He explained how the Bible didn’t originally have Bible verses.

“There are no verses in the Bible – they were added 500 years ago to help us navigate the Bible,” Turek said.

Turek provided examples of different verses that are commonly taken out of context.

“This is why Jeremiah 29:11 is not a promise to you. … Who’s that written to? It’s not a promise to 21st century Christians. … It’s not a promise to us,” he said.

Turek taught that God doesn’t deter us from judging others, but in fact, the Bible teaches Christians how to judge. He used the example of how nobody gets upset over a compliment; people just have a problem with the judgements they don’t like. 

A quote by Thomas Sowell was frequently brought up throughout the discussion: “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want
to hear.”

Turek mentioned Matthew 23:23-24, where Jesus calls the Pharisees hypocrites. 

He used this verse to justify him saying that Jesus “isn’t Barney – he was tough.”

Director of operations for the Standing for Freedom Center Jared Vallorani said events like these are crucial for Liberty students and for Christians in general.

“According to research from George Barna, only about 6% of professing Christians have a biblical worldview today. I believe Liberty students more than anyone else should be able to leave this university with a strong biblical worldview,” Vallorani said. “We want to make sure that we’ve given them every opportunity to build that, grow in that capacity and have an understanding of Scripture in a way that they can look at all areas of life and understand those issues.”

Turek encouraged Christians to get involved with the nation’s issues as he pointed out that politics affects all aspects of life. He also said several different biblical figures were involved in politics, including Joseph, Moses, Isaiah and Jesus.

To learn more about the Standing for Freedom Center and its upcoming events, visit www.standingforfreedom.com.

Lechner is the social media and web manager for the Liberty Champion. Follow her on Twitter

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