Inevitably and unsurprisingly we all tend to think that we are operating by the right set of values. Indeed, we might go further and reckon to be approaching things in a neutral way. I think there are very few, if any, occasions when we are really neutral. There are always things colouring our judgment and approach.
I have been doing some reading around Revelation in preparation for some teaching I am going to be doing when I spend three weeks in Zimbabwe in August. Revelation is a fascinating and challenging book, but often reminds us that things are frequently not quite what they seem. As Christopher Rowland points out in Revelation (Epworth, 1993, p. 136): "Revelation asks us continually whether the instruments we use to achieve our goals are as value-free as we would like to think. It criticizes a political economy geared to the satisfaction of the fortunate minority at the centre of trade. .... It roots the church in the midst of social and political protest. Its horizon of hope is not utopian, for it never offers a blue-print of how things will be. The construction of ideal societies can easily degenerate into fantastic speculation out of touch with the real world. The readers of Revelation are left in their own circumstances the task of working out what faithfulness to the testimony of Jesus might mean.”
We do need to work at working out how God would have us live.