We need to understand morality in this world is always contextual, always complex.
In my theology, there will always be that sharp distinction between the Two Realms, the Spirit Realm and the Fallen Realm (AKA, the world). If you prefer the Science Fiction mode, there are two dimensions of existence. The warp tunnel between them was closed at the Fall, in the sense humans could no longer pass alive between the two dimensions. Now you have to die to leave this one. Never mind the temporal associations; the Cross reopened the way by shifting the boundaries of death, giving “death” a new meaning. You can embrace death before you actually face it. So people before the days of Jesus could find that path, because it had always been there, in a certain sense. However, the path was much more difficult to discern in the temporal stretch of time before the Cross.
That path was through the ancient Law Covenants. All of them are connected to the Covenant of Noah. If it suits you, call it all mythology or fiction or parable, so long as you understand that mythology still points to eternal truths which bind you nonetheless. The point is not so much what happened back then, as what it indicates about our reality.
Grace from Heaven is determined in Heaven. Nothing of human choice has any bearing on such things. However, the entire gamut of morality in this world, the whole matter of God’s Laws, is fully within human reach. In short, grace is predestined and inscrutable, but morality is entirely a matter of free will. Insofar as any mind can do anything at all about grace, it requires embracing the morality of the Laws of God for this fallen realm. Law is the path to grace, gives meaning and context to grace. We who have experience in evangelical churches can recognize the failure to distinguish between the two realms, with all this verbiage about making sure folks are “born-again” before they become members. It simply is not possible to know; no human can know, not even reasonably sure, another is spiritually alive. The only thing you can know is whether that other is tolerably close to compliance with the Laws as you understand them. A commitment to such morality is all you can surmise based on evidence you see, and is the only proper grounds for embracing fellowship and membership. There is no such thing as “a saved church,” because all human organizations are still human, and having an eternal purpose for organizing, and making it belong to Christ, cannot change the fact. It is a human organization which must fall entirely under the requirements of God’s Laws, because it remains a human activity.
And it remains utterly contextual. We can know the absolute truth of some things, know the whole social structure is broken beyond repair, know that God’s wrath rests upon it, but find moral approval for certain choices within that context. That I reject the whole of Western Civilization does not mean Western evangelical churches are entirely worthless. I remain outside such churches because they don’t tolerate me. That’s their choice, and they are required by God’s Laws to make it. They are required to state certain boundaries and adhere to them, or they must as a whole embrace a new structure in defiance of their culture, and inevitably in defiance of national laws. By no means should we mistake national laws for moral Laws of God. The latter is binding; the former is a matter of strategy, because no nation in history has long held to any Law Covenant. The prophetic word makes clear this situation will get worse as time drifts toward the final close. So we who understand these things are still stuck in a less than optimal situation.
That I may be totally committed to raising a consciousness of God’s optimal moral society does not mean I am committed to making it become a reality. My duty to God is not the accomplishment, but the struggle to reveal. I am accountable to my commitment, not the results. This is the fundamental nature of the His Laws, something we find foreign in our Western world. I have no trouble realizing my commitment may have me engaging in activities I otherwise despise. The context in which I live is not under my control; only my response to it is mine to direct. The fundamental morality is to uncover the jarring, earth shattering disconnect between “reality” here below versus what it ought to be. The moral code itself does not permit a full rebellion, so my actions must range between various levels of resistance within the context. By whatever small and incremental amount, my conduct must constitute a gentle tug back to God’s ideal.
So while I despise war as we do it here, the context of a warfare empire is where I live. I have no trouble finding good morals within this evil regime’s crushing Orwellian lies. I can find a place and mission within that disgusting context. What is evil and immoral is attempting to discern what is moral and good by using the fallen reasoning of mankind, when the standard was revealed long before. In case you don’t know it, despite all the modern schools of philosophy and their trendy departures from the Enlightenment, it all still stands on the fundamental epistemology of Aristotle. It all assumes human reason can grasp all that matters, and rejects revelation. The Laws of God came well before Aristotle, and we can be sure he knew of them, and rejected them outright. They are still binding. But I live in Aristotle’s legacy, and must choose actions and words which speak to that context.