A book I have been reading through lately is all about how the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ transforms the way we live and think as his people. What we value and pursue. Since we have chosen to identify with Jesus (if you like a more traditional way of putting this read “were converted or became a follower of Jesus”) Jesus wants our lives to be lived in such a way that has both order to the way we live and clarity about what we are living for.
But as we think about how we should live as His people it is true to say that we live in a world where everyone is an expert on what is right and wrong. The great news is that Jesus joins up our messy lives and shows us both right and wrong ways to live as His people. He reveals his plan and purpose in living in his word, hence the need to be a church that is growing under his word.
So how does this work out in reality?
How should we think through the issues we face daily in life in light of what the bible says? I guess this is what Christian ethics is all about. Having our values of right or wrong shaped by the word of God. Here is where for many people the tricky stuff begins.
What should you think about the discussions in our society to do with refugees? All too often we have our thoughts and values shaped on this topic by emotional scenes or fear of the unknown.
But what does God’s word say?
Other ethical issues could include; human sexuality, what is marriage, euthanasia, the environment, abortion, divorce, singleness.
Now I am sure that we all have opinions on each of these issues. These opinions are often shaped by our life experience, by the family we live with or came from, by the opinion of those we look up to, by the media or other forms of communication. The great news is that God’s word actually has something worthwhile to say to these issues but the bad news is that it will not be contained in one pithy little statement in just one book. So in order to unpack a biblically shaped view on any one issue it will require us to do some thinking about the issue and what God’s word says concerning it.
Let me give you a quick example. When it comes to the refugees who come to our country – is our refugee ethic affected by our value of human life and the priority of mission? The bible says a lot on those topics. Is our refugee ethic also affected by our fear of unknown or what we might lose or how our society “might change”. The bible actually comments on these issues as well.
If you want to do some more thinking on an ethical issue in the next year then why not yarn to Rick ASAP as we have begun planning for 2013.