I grew up hearing lessons preached on ethics. The lessons were critical of a ethical view taken by many religious people called “Situational Ethics.” While a situational view of what constitutes ethical action has always had a foothold in the world, it was largely rejected by those who claimed an affinity for the Bible. For generations religious people were content to let the word of God be the standard by which ethics were established. They accepted at face value the words of the prophet Jeremiah, who wrote, “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). To those who accepted the Bible as an authoritative and absolute ethical standard, lying was always a sin, as was sexual activity outside of the marriage bed. Regardless of circumstance, sin was sin, and righteous behavior was well defined.
In the 1960’s things changed for many religious people. Situational Ethics was first popularized by an Episcopal priest named Joseph Fletcher, who wrote two books titled The Classic Treatment and Situation Ethics. In the books he contended that the principle of Love (agape) was supreme, and sometimes situations necessitated a breaking of God’s law for the higher good of expressing love for another. The concept was accepted by a large number despite its arbitrary, individualistic and subjective nature. Its influence is the primary reason why the hue and cry of religious people today, rather than obedience to God, has become, “You have no right to judge me!”
Continue reading » The Ethics of Men
We have all witnessed a sad rise in the instances of teenage and unwed motherhood in our lives. The decline in respect for the sanctity of marriage coupled with a widespread parental refusal to instill sexual self-discipline in children has turned America into a vast daycare center, in which children are literally having children of their own. Moreover, the demise of respect for the gift of sex has been met with an equal loss of respect for the gift of life. The unborn who are unwanted because they were conceived at a time deemed inconvenient to his parents can be destroyed in the womb almost as easily as a wart can be removed.
The Bible condemns the hands that shed innocent blood — those who commit murder — who offered the children to idols, and in our age, those who abort the most innocent of all, the unborn (Prov. 6:12-19). Since the slaughter of the unborn was legalized in 1973, almost 40 million innocent babies have had their lives snuffed out.
Continue reading » Walking Worthy: Abortion – When Human Hands Shed Innocent Blood
The question about abortion is certainly an emotional one. It has legal ramifications as well as moral. It has impact on a woman, her family, and her doctor. Ultimately, however, the question about abortion is a deeply rooted faith issue.
On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled, in a Texas case entitled Roe, et al. v. Wade, “The Court’s opinion decides that a State may impose virtually no restriction on the performance of abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy.” (Justice William Rehnquist, dissenting). This case set the nation on a course of legalized abortion in unimaginable numbers. Over the first fifteen years after the Court’s decision, an average of 1,500,000 babies annually were aborted under the protection of Roe v. Wade. Doctors, hospitals and clinics all were faced with the ethical and moral question of whether or not to allow the legal procedure to be done or not.
The decision to abort reached into families, of the mother carrying the baby, of the man who fathered the child, and of the couple themselves. Emotional scars and division were the result of many decisions to simply remove the child from the consideration of a future life of parenting. Continue reading » Associate Editorial: Abortion
In 1 Corinthians, chapter one, Paul greets these brethren, stating that he thanked God for them. Since Chloe let Paul know of their division over names (v. 11-12), he told them they were to be united (v. 10). He also stated that he was glad he baptized none but the few mentioned in verses 14 and 16 for fear that some might think he had baptized them in his own name (v. 15).
Paul then turns his attention to the “preaching of the cross” (v. 18). In so doing, he makes several interesting contrasts. In the last half of 1 Corinthians one, Paul contrasts the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of God. Paul said God used what appeared foolish to the world, what appeared weak, that which was considered base, despised, and things that are not “to bring to nought things that are.” Paul’s comments in 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 really brings out the contrast. There, we read, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Paul makes it clear that God chose what the world calls foolish to save lost souls. And truly, those who are lost consider the things of God foolish. In fact, “the fool hath said in his heart there is no God” (Ps. 14:1). Therefore, it pleased God to use what men consider foolish (preaching the gospel) to save those who believe (1 Cor. 1:21). Understanding passages like this makes me appreciate passages like Romans 1:16 all the more. Remember that Paul said he was “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” Though it was considered foolishness by men, he told the Romans it was “the power of God unto salvation” to save those who believe. Knowing the saving power of God is revealed in the gospel, it is imperative that men and women do all they can to spread the gospel (2 Tim. 2:2). Only through teaching and spreading the gospel will men be presented with the opportunity to hear and obey the saving gospel of Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-2). Continue reading » The Foolishness of Preaching Morality