Monday, August 24, 2009

Situational Ethics

series: IF/THEN

Last week - we CAN know right and wrong.
Atheists say there is nothing outside the universe.
Agnostics say there is something outside the universe but we can't know what it is.
The rest (includes Christians) say that there is a living Creator as described in the Bible and we can know Him.

This week - Situational Ethics.
Situational ethics means determining, adjusting, applying moral truth depending on the situation.

Question: is this even legitimate for Christians? How can this have any place in Christian life/
Ex. 1:15-20 and others.


#1. Right and wrong are determined by God not by a situation. Truth is determined by God. He tells us what to do in particular situations. Our part is to discover and discern the truth.

#2. If there is a moral question, there is a correct moral answer. God knows it! We might not.

#3. Secondary issues are (always) measured by Primary Principles. Principle is Value of Man
1 Cor. 8:8-9, 12-13 Food sacrificed to idols. Ethical questions determined by the situation. The foundation is essential. Meat offered to idols is not the issue, but loving your brother is essential in God's Will.

#4. A moral law can be superseded (only) by a higher moral law. Acts 5:27-29
Example: gravity is overruled by speed and thrust of a rocket.
The issue is NOT defiance but obedience.
Example: receive a call that there's a bomb in the school. You race to school breaking all speed laws and school speed limit laws because the children's lives are more important.

5 Valuable resources for determining moral truth.
1. The Bible 2 Tim. 3:16-17 The Bible is the record of the revelation of God's Will.
2. The Holy Spirit John 16:13 He will NOT dictate, but WILL guide
3. The Church - corporate wisdom
4. Tradition - it is not always right, but it ought to be considered.
G. K. Chesterton: "Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who happen to be walking about."
5. Sanctified common sense (Christian reasoning) - we must think and reason. The answer is there, our job is to discover and discern.

1. Determine to accept and honor truth when it's discovered.
2. Beware your greatest enemy in discerning truth - is YOU! Are you pursuing truth, or what you think is right.
3. As you search for truths, don't miss the TRUTH. John 14:6 Matt. 16:26

If you miss Christ, all else means nothing.

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