Ethics matters because (1) it is part of how many groups define themselves and thus part of the identity of their individual members, (2) other-regarding values in most ethical systems both reflect and foster close human relationships and mutual respect and trust, and (3) it could be “rational” for a self-interested person to be moral, because his or her self-interest is arguably best served in the long run … We have also explained the Bible's threefold criteria for good works. The situation entails all the relevant facts of the ethical questions we are considering, including the persons involved in the matter and God's Word, which is the standard by which the matter is to be evaluated. Similarly, he shows his hatred for what is wrong and evil by withholding blessings and pouring out curses. God rewards and approves only those works that have his glory as their ultimate goal. Moreover, the Bible condemns those who subvert ethics by calling good evil and evil good (Isa. Listen to the way the author of Hebrews makes this point in Hebrews 11:6: Unless our attempts to seek God's blessings are founded on faith, we cannot please God, and therefore cannot be rewarded by him. The three schools are virtue ethics, consequentialist ethics, and deontological or duty-based ethics. The Four Principles of Health Care Ethics. Then, after rescuing Israel from bondage and choosing her as his special possession (Ex. This course presents a biblical model for ethics in a postmodern world, examining the ethical theories of obligation and value from a philosophical perspective. But the Bible adds three insights to this. Ethics is not religion. I think every Christian would agree that ethics is in crisis in our day, not only in the world, out there among unbelievers, but also in the church. Jesus did something similar when he defended the disciples' so-called Sabbath breaking on the basis of David's behavior. We will introduce this series first by establishing a biblical definition of Christian ethics, then by examining the biblical threefold criteria of good works, and finally by suggesting the basic contours of a biblical, threefold process for making ethical decisions. professional conduct and ethics in the ministry of Christian and Pastoral Counseling. Ethics should be done from the perspective of God's Word, from the perspective of the situation, and from the perspective of the person. 5:38–42). Centuries later, when Jesus appeared on the scene to usher in the climactic phase of redemptive history, he too started out by issuing an ethical manifesto to provide guidance for the conduct of his disciples (Matthew 5–7). 4:17–24), private behavior and public morality (James 1:27), personal piety and communal justice (Jer. 23:25–28; 2 Cor. This characteristic is due to the saving framework in which believers now live—they have been given a wholly new identity (Romans 6; 1 Pet. Throughout these lessons we will examine the practical steps that we should take when making ethical decisions time and again. Nothing, stands outside God's moral standards. It often seems counterintuitive to many believers that we place relatively equal emphasis on all three of these factors. So that we will not spend much time explaining the reason for including behavior in this definition. Interestingly, in the context of this chapter, Paul argued that if the matter were viewed from simply the normative and situational perspectives, most believers would be inclined to eat this food. Listen to the way he argued in 1 Peter 2:21: Here Peter encouraged believers to be willing to suffer for the sake of righteousness, and he did so not by quoting Scripture or speaking of the inward leading of the Holy Spirit, but by appealing to the facts of redemptive history, and specifically to the example of Jesus' suffering on the cross. 3:14–17). Therefore, if any violations of the Law are sinful, all violations of the Law are sinful. In short, unless a work is done with the right motive, in conformity to the right standard, and for the right goal, it is not a work that God will reward with blessings. Paul then emphasized this point by exclaiming, "Glory to him forever!". Similarly, the Holy Spirit plays a minor role within Biblical Ethics, only being mentioned ten times: five times as the guide into truth, three times in footnotes, and twice in quotations. Then there are those who make ethical decisions by focusing on the right standard. Christian ethics operates on the level of the theoretical and the sci… Do I have the spiritual capacity to apply God's Word to the situation? This is a good and admirable goal. Clearly, it matters immensely to God that we believe rightly and live rightly! Consider this approach to ethics and theology in light of 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Every discipline of theology obligates us to believe certain facts, to do certain things and to feel certain emotions. His exhortations drive the reader to worship the triune God. 7:1–11; Mic. 5:5; Gal. This criterion of the right motive is closely associated with the way our definition of Christian ethics focuses on good persons with good natures. God's moral standards hold us accountable in our actions, in the thoughts and inclinations of our heart and in our very natures. And we mention "a person" to stress the importance of a person's nature, motive and conscience in determining right courses of action. Posted May 18, 2012 The ﬁrst approach, normative ethics, is an ... Outcomes of normative ethics are the prescriptions derived from asking nor-mative questions. 7 PART 1 The Moral and Ethical Teachings of the Old Testament . 2:11–12). Consider first the tendencies that different Christian groups have as they make ethical decisions. By using all three perspectives, we can provide ourselves with checks and balances to the insights of any single perspective. We will speak of three perspectives or approaches toward every ethical judgment: the situational perspective, the normative perspective and the existential perspective. That is to say, good works must be done according to the teaching of all revelation, especially Scripture, even according to those portions that are not formally part of the law. 13:1). Now, good works may have any number of immediate goals. Rather, biblical ethics stems from the inner life, what the Bible calls the heart. We will return to these perspectives many times in these lessons, but at this point we should look at the basic idea of each outlook. In other words, in one sense unbelievers can do things that resemble our definition of ethical living, actions that bring about the blessing of God. 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