Summary: The goal of ethics is to develop a body of moral standards on which the church can draw so that it can successfully respond to the many moral challenges it faces in all societies. Moral character development should be seen as primary importance both fo
Ethics In The Church Today
Ephesians 1:22-23 - And He put all things under His feet and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Galatians 5:24 - And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires
THE MORAL CHARACTER OF THE CHURCH
The goal of ethics is to develop a body of moral standards on which the church can draw so that it can successfully respond to the many moral challenges it faces in all societies.
Moral character development should be seen as primary importance both for the development of any church which reflects God's values.
How one interprets the Bible is the critical question in Christian ethics.
This is not always easy and it can stir up a lot of controversy and debate. Ethics is both a matter of character and conduct.
Christian ethics are centered in Jesus and His teaching that God is the center of all things. The earth belongs to God and all that is in it and there are consequences for going against God's values.
Many questions arise such as which parts of Scripture relating to Christian ethics should be applied to the present-day church and how much of it is relevant in today’s society and church setting.
There are also traditional and cultural dilemmas that also need careful consideration.
It seems obvious that the boundary conditions would be expressed throughout Scripture.
The major covenants in Scripture (Old and New) should continue to constitute the plans and purposes of God for mankind and for His church.
Principles, ethics, and morals are easily extracted from Scripture. The teachings of Jesus as well as those of the early apostles give detailed descriptions of the values God expects the 21st century church to apply.
We live in a fallen abnormal world. God's purposes for all of us are built on the foundation of our being in right relationship with Him.
Since the majority of people are not reconciled to God and since even those who are reconciled to Him still have fallen natures, there is a fundamental difficulty in ensuring that all of His values are realized in human society at the present time.
This fact has great implications for the area of values in Christian ethics. Much guidance is clearly available in the New Testament as far as the role of the church is concerned and the church should apply and pursue those objectives.
The church is Christ's witness so that people from every ethnic group in the world will come back to the right relationship with God through Him and His work on the cross. The New Testament gives priority to witness over social, traditional, religious, and cultural ideas.
It takes saved and Spirit-filled believers to evangelize society. The New Testament has relatively little or nothing to say about changing the secular institutions of its day. The church today should not focus on bettering secular institutions. Jesus did not spend much time on the political order of His day. His goal was to give society a picture of God’s Kingdom and His way of doing things.
Paul placed a high priority on God's values. The situation has not changed today. To focus first on the betterment of secular society is to violate not only the example of the New Testament church, but also its theology.
The New Testament must be the church’s guide on how to pursue God's values. The New Testament’s emphasis on grace is crucial. God's people have discovered the grace of God and they are to proclaim that grace to non-Christians.
Today God does not call non-Christians to keep His Law but calls them first to come to know Him personally. This is why we see the New Testament Christians refusing to impose Christian ethics on non-Christians
One problem for all Christian ethical approaches is how to apply the Biblical ethics to a society that is a few thousand years removed the Biblical period.
The Biblical material could be regarded as irrelevant or obsolete.