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Stephen Casey TCDH 522 Prosser Final Exam-Christian Ethics . !

hat constit"tes# in yo"r opinion# the nee$ to teach Christian ethics%

Spring 2004 Dr.

The most &ormi$a'le opponent to Christian li(ing in the )orl$ to$ay is the inconsistent ethical approach in the ch"rch. *n parenting# one o& the most important r"les &or raising sta'le chil$ren is consistency in parenting. *t ens"res the relationship is soli$ an$ tr"st)orthy. +i,e)ise# the Christian comm"nity nee$s to present a sta'le# soli$# tr"st)orthy &ace to the tension-&ille$ iss"es o& the )orl$ in or$er to represent -o$.s perspecti(e# lea$ing the )orl$ to a relationship )ith Him an$ hol$ing o"t the tr"th that He gi(es / Pet 2012. 3et the Christian comm"nity li(es in one o& inconsistency. !e )ill con$emn stealing# m"r$er# an$ the&t# yet li(e )ith ra$ar $etectors in o"r cars so )e can spee$ )itho"t getting ca"ght. !e $ecry alcoholism '"t say nothing a'o"t the gl"ttony o& materialism or appetite. 4n$ in the mi$st o& this the ch"rch is pic,ing an$ choosing the iss"es it $esires to a$$ress )itho"t any introspection or consistent application o& principle. The ch"rch can not expect to a$$ress the ethical iss"es o& the )orl$ "ntil possessing an ethical &rame)or, itsel&. 2. !hat rele(ance $oes Christian ethics ha(e in a sec"lar )orl$% The Christian ethic )ill pro(i$e a &rame)or, &or the )orl$ to a(oi$ its o)n $estr"ction. 5eca"se -o$ is the a"thor o& tr"th an$ reason# "se o& the $i(ine principle# the 6logos#6 )ill ena'le the )orl$# '"t sa(e$ an$ "nsa(e$# to see the re$emption a(aila'le in &ollo)ing the li&estyle an$ choices &lo)ing &rom a Christian ethic.

Ta,e po(erty# &or example. The primary in$icator on )hether or not a chil$ )ill gro) "p in po(erty $epen$s on the presence o& a &ather in the ho"se. The Christian ethic teaches that the &ather sho"l$ 'e a 'rea$)inner# ta,ing care o& his &amily. The mother has a n"rt"ring capacity "se&"l &or teaching the chil$ ho) to interact )ith others in a lo(ing manner. !itho"t the &ather# the mother has to )ear t)o hats an$ 'ears a greater '"r$en in 'ring home a paychec,. This &orces the chil$ren to 'e "ns"per(ise$ most o& the time an$ o&ten# thro"gh 'ore$om# they 'ecome in(ol(e$ in gang (iolence an$ ha(e no strong role mo$el in the home. The Christian ethic can a$$ress this iss"e. 4 healthy Christian ethic in sex"ality )o"l$ c"r' the 4*DS epi$emic. People )ho restricte$ their sex"al acti(ity to a monogamo"s marital relationship )o"l$ en$ this epi$emic )ithin a generation. The )orl$ cries o"t &or a sol"tion# an$ the Christian ethic can pro(i$e sol"tions i& the ch"rch can spea, to them in a rele(ant manner. 7. Sho"l$ ethics 'e ta"ght in sec"lar instit"tions an$ schools as part o& a philosophical c"rric"l"m% Ho) sho"l$ it 'e $one%

-o$# 'eing the a"thor o& tr"th an$ reason# the Designer an$ the 6logos#6 pro(i$es many )in$o)s to o'ser(e His tr"th. Since His tr"th &lo)s thro"gho"t the connections ma$e 'y common sense# sec"lar instit"tions an$ schools necessarily sho"l$ teach ethics# i& not e(en la'ele$ as 6Christian#6 as part o& their contin"e$ training. Schools )o"l$ 'ene&it immensely. *ntegrity )ithin aca$emia is a ma8or ethical iss"e. Practically e(ery e$"cational &acility in 4merica &rom high school thro"gh post-gra$"ate instit"tions gi(e $isclaimers an$ )arnings to their st"$ents a'o"t plagiarism. From a sec"lar stan$point# cheating on assignments is $etrimental to e$"cation# &or there is no more ne)

scholarship pro$"ce$. Ta,ing cheating to the extreme )o"l$ mean a cessation o& tr"e learning# an$ e(en a loss o& learning 'eca"se &ringe i$eas an$ concepts )o"l$ ne(er 'e thro)n 'ac, into the center o& intellect"al $isco"rse. 5"sinesses nee$ an ethical &rame)or,. Ethics $eals )ith interpersonal interaction as m"ch as it $eals )ith people in $ilemma sit"ations. To teach a Christian ethic o& ho) to co"nsel# ho) to $isagree# ho) to 6&ight6 peacea'ly o(er an iss"e )o"l$ 'e a $ose o& 6cool )ater6 into the 6$esert6 en(ironment o& o"r corporations. 9ore importantly# '"sinesses co"l$ re$"ce the amo"nt o& )aste an$ a'"se o& company reso"rces i& their personnel )ere ta"ght concerning the ethics o& stealing. People )o"l$ reali:e that their )aste an$ a'"se o& company reso"rces tr"ly 'rings $o)n the pro&it margin an$ there&ore lo)ers their o)n earnings. The common sense o& s"ch ethical approaches# in '"sinesses an$ in schools# can ha(e a tremen$o"s impact "pon the )orl$ an$ can 'e $one &rom a philosophical manner appealing to reason# )hich "ltimately &lo)s &rom the throne o& -o$. 4. !rite a'o"t a Christian perspecti(e on homosex"als an$ homosex"ality. !hat a'o"t the 4*DS iss"e% Ho) can )e impact this politically (ocal gro"p% This iss"e lies at the &ore&ront o& o"r c"lt"re. *t is a critical time# &or the ch"rch# to a$$ress it in a meaning&"l )ay. *n the history the )orl$# ci(ili:ation a&ter ci(ili:ation has &allen a&ter they em'race$ an$ en$orse$ as )holesome the $eca$ence an$ licentio"sness o& the homosex"al li&estyle. There are t)o iss"es )ithin the Christian response to homosex"ality that nee$ to 'e $i(i$e$ an$ $ealt )ith separately. The &irst is the nat"re o& homosex"ality )ith respect to sin. 9any iss"es )ithin the 'i'lical context are calle$ sin&"l# &rom lying to stealing to a$"ltery to

m"r$er. There is e(i$ent in Script"re o& a )eight# or $epth# to the sin&"lness o& an action. Homosex"ality is re&erre$ to as an a'omination./+e(. ;0222 This is one o& the strongest )or$s o& a'horrence that the <l$ Testament gi(es to an act. That means it is a social e(il that# &rom the perspecti(e o& li(ing# creates a $isastro"s pro'lem. !e can see this &rom the 4*DS epi$emic# &rom the rampant STD.s in the homosex"al comm"nity# an$ the $e(iant sex"al c"lt"re generate$ &rom this &orm o& interco"rse. <"r pro'lem )ith this "n$erstan$ing is that )e $o not "n$erstan$ the social $anger o& homosex"ality in light o& -o$.s re$emption. This is the secon$ iss"e. Sin that remo(es "s &rom the presence o& -o$ is 8"st that# sin. !e all ha(e it# an$ )e all nee$ re$emption. The Christian comm"nity# in hostile reaction to the $e(io"s sex"al nat"re o& homosex"ality# &orgets that )e are in the same comm"nity o& sinners# 6)al,ing )o"n$e$#6 in nee$ o& help. !e $o no goo$ i& )e c"rse the $ar,ness o& homosex"ality '"t $o not allo) these people to ha(e a means o& approaching the people o& -o$ in the ch"rch &or help an$ ministry. !e can reach o"t to these people )ho are psychologically marginali:e$ 'y the )orl$ an$ sho) them there is tr"e lo(e# cleansing# an$ rene)al in the arms o& Christ. This comm"nity is in $esperate nee$ o& s"ch lo(e. S"ici$es among homosex"al men is one o& the lea$ing ca"ses o& $eath. S"ici$e is an act o& $espair# an$ they nee$ Christ to o(ercome that $espair. There is a pit&all to this. 9any ch"rches ha(e &allen into an anti-nomianism in see,ing the lost. They 'elie(e one sho"l$ not 68"$ge6 or ma,e a (al"e assessment o& this 'eha(ior. S"ch congregations ha(e &lagrant promisc"ity o& homosex"ality )ith no response. !e cease to 'e salt an$ light 'y allo)ing it to &lo"rish in the ch"rch.

The 4*DS epi$emic has s"&&ere$ &rom its association )ith homosex"ality. This pro'lem 6piggy-'ac,s6 on the pro'lem mentione$ earlier# the &ail"re to ac,no)le$ge it as sin# an$ get o(er it# an$ 'egin ministry. 9ore a(en"es o& 4*DS contraction exist an$ &ail to get the attention o& Christians. Hemophilia# 'loo$ trans&"sion patients# an$ $r"g "sers s"&&er &rom the stigma o& the 6gay6 comm"nity. Christian lo(e &lo)ing &rom programs to minister# pray# &ee$# an$ teach go$ly sex"al practice to this comm"nity can alle(iate the s"&&ering that 4*DS patients en$"re prior to $ying. <"r ministry to this politically (ocal gro"p# the homosex"al lo''y# nee$s to 'e t)opronge$. First# )e nee$ to minister to the gro"p )ith all the lo(e )e can. !e nee$ to sho) care &or the pro'lems that homosex"als an$ 4*DS (ictims are s"&&ering. 9e$ical care an$ ministry to people in the hospital can change the perception o& Christians. Co"nseling the emotional pro'lems o& this comm"nity )ill help them see the lo(e o& Christ that )ants to re$eem them in spite o& their $esires. !e can not# ho)e(er# lo)er the stan$ar$s o& 'eha(ior that Christ ta"ght or that are inherent in Script"re. =es"s ac,no)le$ge$ that many )ill not )ant His message# an$ Pa"l )as clear in >omans that sin is a re&"sal to &ollo) -o$.s plan. !ith this tr"th# spo,en in lo(e# in the context o& compassionate ministry# )e can impact this gro"p &or Christ. 5. Does a Christian ha(e a right to 'e in politics% *& so# ho) can he?she stay "ntainte$% =es"s sai$ (ery little a'o"t the political realm o& his $ay. *n &act# the one time that he )as challenge$ into si$ing 'et)een -o$ an$ the sec"lar a"thorities# his ans)er )as "ni@"ely 'alance$. 6Then ren$er to Caesar the things that are Caesar.s# an$ to -o$ the things that are -o$.s.6 /+, 200252

This ans)er has p"::le$ Christians# an$ le$ to t)o $i&&erent extremes. The &irst extreme )o"l$ 'e the Christian that says they sho"l$ ha(e no interaction )ith the political realm )hatsoe(er. They "se the testimony 'y li&estyle o& the early ch"rch &or s"pport# an$ say that at no time $i$ anyone in the early ch"rch get in(ol(e$ in politics. The en$ res"lt o& this mo(ement is similar to the Thessalonian pro'lem. People )ere $isengaging &rom society an$ a)aiting the coming o& Christ. -ro"ps to$ay s"ch as the 5ranch-Da(i$ians# the !ea(er &amily in >"'y >i$ge# =im =ones. &ollo)ers# an$ the Hea(en.s -ate c"lt 'ecame $isengage$ &rom society 'eca"se o& their eschatological 'elie&s that s"ggeste$ the imminence )as so soon o& the a$(ent# that the ,ing$om o& -o$ )as so 6other#6 )e $i$ not nee$ to in(ol(e o"rsel(es in this )orl$. The other extreme is 8"st as 'a$. *t is the attempt# thro"gh legislation# to 'ring a'o"t the ,ing$om o& -o$. Politically min$e$ Christians# in this (ein o& tho"ght# attempt to pass la)s that are only arri(e$ at 'y the min$ o& Christ. They expect to create a society that is more o& a theocracy# expecting the spirit"al ,no)le$ge an$ s"'mission ,no)n only to Christians to 'e rea$ily accepte$ 'y the )orl$. This is 8"st as $etrimental as the other extreme. *t lea$s to ri$ic"le an$ a '"r$ening o& the lost )ith r"les an$ reg"lations $e(oi$ o& the spirit"al "n$erstan$ing that comes &rom a rene)e$ heart an$ regenerate$ so"l. 9ost mo$erates li,e to thin, that the prima facia e(i$ence &or their rightness is that they are mo$erate. This is not tr"e. Ho)e(er# the ans)er to this political @"estion is mo$eration. Pa"l himsel& $i$ not try to create a theocracy. He )as not a >oman political &orce# ho)e(er# he $i$ "se his stat"s as a >oman citi:en to appeal to Caesar# p"lling his 6political6 )eight against the lo)er pri(ilege o& non-citi:enship to 'ring the gospel to >ome. He tol$ Christians to 'e s"'8ect to a"thorities in >omans chapter 7. Pa"l )or,e$ )ithin the 'alance 'et)een his -o$-

gi(en mission to sprea$ the gospel an$ the reality o& li(ing in a )orl$ that# $e(oi$ o& Christian in&l"ence# )o"l$ go &"rther astray e(ery $ay. =es"s. teaching can 'est 'e "n$erstoo$ as re&erring the @"estioners to the $i&&erent realms o& their @"estion. The ,ing$om o& -o$ is here# '"t not cons"mmate$. !e $o not li(e in a theocracy# as =es"s )ill 'ring. !e exist in a sec"lar )orl$. Hence# Christians sim"ltaneo"sly occ"py t)o $i&&erent realms. <"r "ltimate o'e$ience to -o$ means that )e m"st operate in the realm o& the )orl$ accor$ing to Christian principles# )ith$ra)ing &rom neither. The inherent s"periority o& -o$.s realm# ho)e(er# means that )e m"st allo) the lo(e o& Christ to $ominate o"r actions in the lesser realm# that o& the )orl$. This $ominance then plays o"t in ho) )e impro(e the sec"lar realm )ith Christian insight. !e sho"l$ pass la)s that 'ring the common sense ethics o& Christianity. !e nee$ to allo) people to see the &r"it o& a Christian ethic applie$ to the pro'lems a$$resse$ in the political arena. The other 'ig area in this @"estion is that o& compromise. The principle has alrea$y 'een a$$ress# that o& the s"periority o& -o$.s ,ing$om. *n application# it )or,s as &ollo)s0 !hen a person ma,es a $ecision# they &ollo) the principles o& Script"re. !ill this $e&ra"$ anyone% *& so# then $o not $o it. !ill this $ecision 'e ma$e )itho"t $ishonest moti(e% *& it is honest# go ahea$. !ith the integrity procee$ing &rom this pattern o& $ecision-ma,ing# Christians can 'e the salt an$ light that =es"s )ants "s to 'e.

A. 9arriage0 !rite a'o"t the Christian attit"$e to)ar$ it an$ )hether Christ &or'i$s $i(orce an$ remarriage.

The pro'lems )ithin Christian marriage to$ay are the res"lt# * 'elie(e# o& 'i'lical interpretation 'eing ma$e to achie(e a 6Script"ral6 perspecti(e that is 'orn o"t o& a $esire to please c"lt"re rather than Christ. The 1A0.s sa) the gro)th o& the &eminist mo(ement# an$ prior to that the cent"ries o& $o)n-tro$$en )omen.s rights sl"ng the pen$"l"m to the other si$e o& the contin""m once release$ in the &eminist mo(ement. =es"s came to the )orl$ as the re$eemer# the <ne )ho create$ all things /=n 072. He alone $esire$ to restore the e@"al nat"re o& men an$ )omen 'e&ore -o$ 'y His actions in Script"re. The $iminishe$ attit"$e o& )omen ha$ 'een aro"n$ &or millennia# an$ yet =es"s honore$ many )omen )hile on earth. The c"rrent tren$# ho)e(er# is to $eny the proper &"nctioning o& roles )ithin the marriage 'eca"se o& a &alse notion o& e@"ating role an$ (al"e. *t is 8"st this notion that =es"s so"ght to $ispel. For example# ta,e the concept o& Trinitarian theology. -o$ the Father# =es"s# an$ the Holy Spirit are all &"lly -o$. 3et -o$ commissione$ creation# =es"s $i$ the creating# an$ the Holy Spirit )as the agent o& creation. -o$ sent =es"s to $ie# )ho then ret"rne$ to Hea(en an$ the Holy Spirit ret"rne$ as the Com&orter. Each o& them ha$ $i&&erent roles. Di$ they complain a'o"t not $oing the other role% Bo. The marriage is no $i&&erent. !e ha(e $i&&erent roles yet )e are o& e@"al (al"e. <"r society has &or so long improperly e@"ate$ role an$ (al"e that s"'or$inate roles are $eeme$ to ha(e less (al"e. The Sex"al >e(ol"tion p"she$ the i$ea that )e )ere all the same )ith $i&&erent externals# so e&&ecti(ely )e share$ the same roles. This mo$el $oes not &it an$ has corr"pte$ o"r "n$erstan$ing o& the marriage. The h"s'an$.s role is to lea$ in a sacri&icial manner. The )i&e.s role is to pro(i$e intelligent co"nsel to the h"s'an$ an$# in a s"'or$inate role# to help him lea$.

These (ery comman$s exist in Ephesians 5022-77. !hy these $istinct comman$s% !hy are they $i&&erent% *& )e are the same )ith respect to role# the comman$ sho"l$ 'e the same. *& )e are not to ha(e the same role# then the comman$ )o"l$ 'e $i&&erent. S"san T. Foh )rote a 'oo, a'o"t 'i'lical marital roles# &oc"sing on 'i'lical &eminism. She sho)s that these comman$s are to co"nter the c"rse o& -enesis concerning lor$ship an$ $esire. The )oman )as c"rse$ )ith $esire &or her h"s'an$. The same $esire is "se$ in the next chapter a'o"t sin.s $esire to control Cain. Hence# in the BT# the re$eeming po)er o& Christ is )or,ing to re(erse that an$ enco"raging the )oman to respect his position# his role# in the marriage. The h"s'an$ li,e)ise is c"rse$ )ith a ten$ency to $ominate or 6lor$6 o(er the )i&e. There&ore the co"nter-comman$ (ia Pa"l &rom Christ in the BT is to lo(e sacri&icially. !hen )e loo, at things other than role-relate$ &"nctions# )e sho"l$ operate in a marriage li,e people are comman$e$ to in the 'o$y o& Christ. !e sho"l$ la"gh an$ cry together. !e sho"l$ en8oy the time )e share enco"raging one another# ha(ing &ello)ship# an$ li(ing li&e in harmony. These things ma,e o"r relationships meaning&"l an$ en8oya'le. Cn&ort"nately# o"r &allen nat"re contri'"tes to the presence o& $i(orce. -o$ hates $i(orce# an$ as necessary as it is sometimes it is still sin. /9al 20 A2 Some people nee$ a $i(orce in or$er to stay ali(e. !e nee$ to 'e "n$erstan$ing in this regar$ as Christ )as. This sin# ho)e(er# is re$eema'le li,e all other actions against the )ill o& -o$. !e can ha(e healing &rom this# an$ in the manner o& the a$"ltero"s )oman thro)n 'e&ore =es"s# )e can re&rain &rom con$emnation an$ enco"rage people in(ol(e$ in $i(orce to go an$ sin no more. !e can reach o"t in co"nseling to people 'e&ore $i(orce 'egins to help them )or, thro"gh pro'lems. Finally# o"r concept o& marriage nee$s to change. * mysel& got marrie$ perhaps too soon. 9inisters tell e(eryone that marriage is not something to 'e ta,en lightly# yet )e $art o"t an$

s"cc"m' to the 6Holly)oo$6 (ersion o& lo(e that is act"ally l"st. !e get together )ith people )ho are not o"r spirit"al e@"als or )ho are not e(en spirit"ally yo,e$ to Christ. People &in$ a goo$-loo,ing potential partner )ith serio"s personal pro'lems an$ thin, they can 6&ix6 them. Dery little prayer goes into )ho a person sho"l$ marry# an$ that is tragic. Pre-marriage co"nseling is 'eginning to &lo"rish# '"t is not as pop"lar as it sho"l$ 'e. *n a$$ition# no-&a"lt $i(orce an$ trial-marriage /coha'itation2 are rampant# contri'"ting to this temporary i$ea o& marriage. !hen )e &ix the pro'lems going into marriage# an$ then teach the i$ea that it is a li&elong commitment o& t)o people partnere$ )ith $i&&erent# complementary responsi'ilities# the sit"ation )ill change.