Find A Closed Formula For The Sequence 12 22 3 Biblical Foundation For Christian Morality

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Biblical Foundation For Christian Morality

introduction

The term ‘morality’ is defined descriptively in this article under two broad classifications: (a) general description, (b) biblical description. The main reason for this classification is to be able to compare the biblical system of ethics, which is the focus of study, with other systems of ethics. Scott B. Ray observed, ‘Most people use the words morality and ethics interchangeably. Technically, morality refers to the actual content of right and wrong. Ethics is the end result of moral deliberation, the element of right and wrong’.

A general definition of ethics

According to the New Bible Dictionary, the words ‘morality’ and ‘morality’ mean ‘custom’ according to the Greek and Latin books. Logically, it follows that these are the things that seem right to the individual and to society as well. Scott B. Ray goes a little further to state that morality is primarily concerned with He said that ethics is primarily concerned with the question of right and wrong, the ability to distinguish between the two, and the justification of the distinction. However, society faces so many new and challenging issues, that people are forced into ethical deliberation. Samuel Enoch Stumpf poses the following questions in his book ‘Elements of Philosophy’: Why can’t we do what we want? What difference does our behavior make to anyone? Why does the question of ethics arise in the first place? Why should we think that one way of behaving is better than another? Is it better to tell the truth than to try to get yourself out of trouble by lying? And who has the authority to tell us what to do? To find the answer to the question, ethics should be studied, what should I do? And why should I do this? 4 From Stumpf’s statement it can be seen that the main issue that divides people in their moral views is the ultimate source of moral authority.

Norman L. Geisler shows this division among people when he discusses the basic approaches to ethics in the first seven chapters of his book ‘Ethics: Choices and Issues’. He states that ethical systems can be broadly divided into two main categories: deontological (duty-centered) and teleological (end-centered). Deontological systems are systems based on principles about which actions (or character or intentions) are inherently right or wrong. On the other hand, a teleological system is a system based on the end result produced by an action. 5 Scott B. Ray, in his discussion of moral systems, adds a further division to relativism that Geisler already mentioned. According to him, ‘relativism’ refers to a moral system in which rights and wrongs are not absolute and immutable, but are relative to one’s culture (cultural relativism) or one’s own personal preferences (moral subjectivism). Under Geisler’s two divisions. Furthermore, Geisler states that there are six major moral views: (i) Antinomianism – says there are no moral principles; (ii) positivism – affirms that there is an absolute law (the law of love); (iii) generalism – the claim that there are some general laws but none; (iv) unqualified absolute laws that never conflict; (v) conflicting absolutes – there are multiple absolute standards that sometimes conflict and argue that one is bound to do the lesser evil; and (vi) categorical absolutism – many absolute laws are sometimes contested, but a higher law is responsible for obeying. Geisler points out that these six sub-categories are based on an ethical approach, which revolves around norms – deontological.7 In contrast, another approach does not emphasize norms but ends – teleological, and is described as a non-normative or utilitarian approach.

Biblical definition

1. General observations

DH Field observes that, ‘biblical ethics is God-centered, rather than following the majority’s views, or conforming to conventional behavior, Scripture encourages us to start with God and his needs – not with man and his habits – when we seek moral guidelines’. .8 To understand the Bible’s definition of morality, one needs to examine the Scriptures, as Field observes, to see what God says and wants. He points out five things from the Bible about biblical ethics that point us to the person of God to discover the nature of goodness. God alone is good and it is His will that expresses what is good and acceptable and perfect. ii) Light is the source of moral knowledge. According to the Bible, the knowledge of right and wrong is not a matter of philosophical inquiry so much as the acceptance of divine revelation. iii) Moral education is phrased as a compliment not a statement. With the exception of the OT wisdom literature, moral judgments are stated implicitly, not rationally argued. Philosophers, on the other hand, had to justify their moral judgments to convince people that they were good. iv) The basic moral demand of biblical ethics is to imitate God. God sums up goodness in his person. According to the Bible, the highest ideal of man is to imitate Him; v) Religion and ethics are God-centered. Once the moral teaching of the Scriptures is removed from the religious undergirding, it loses its credibility. Religion and morality are related as the foundation of creation. Biblical ethics derives from biblical doctrine and the two are inseparable. 9

2. Ethics in the Old Testament

From a general general overview of biblical ethics, it is reasonable to understand it as a concept presented in only two laws. A close understanding of the covenant, law, and prophets in the OT can provide a clear understanding of morality. All these three aspects will now be examined individually.

a) Contract

The covenant God made with Israel through Moses (Exodus 24) had direct and far-reaching significance. God’s grace, seen in His acts of love and concern to deliver Israel from Egypt, provides the main motive for keeping His commandments. As God’s partners the Israelites were united to respond graciously to God’s earlier acts of unconditional love. They were called to His will in gratitude for His grace rather than in terror at the threat of punishment. For this reason, for example, slaves were to be treated generously because God treated the Hebrew slaves in Egypt generously.

The agreement also encourages a heightened awareness of corporate solidarity in Israel. Its effect was not only to unite the individual to God, but also to bind all covenant members into one community. So one man’s crime can affect the whole community (Jos 7), and everyone is obligated to help one person in need. The strong emphasis in OT ethics rests on social ethics.

b) Law

The covenant provided the context for God’s law-giving. A distinctive feature of the OT law was its stress on maintaining a right relationship between people and between people and God. It may be noted that the most serious consequence of breaking the law was no physical punishment, but the resulting dissolution of the relationship. (Ho 1:2). The Ten Commandments, which should be seen as the heart of the law, deal with the most basic of relationships. They set the basic sanctity that governs faith, worship and life.

c) Prophets

Social conditions in Israel changed dramatically from the time of Moses, and the Israelites failed to see how obedience was necessary in their daily behavior in society, which also affected their relationship with God. The prophets made it their business to expound the law by digging up its basic principles and applying them to the concrete moral problems of their day.

2. Ethics in the New Testament

Norman L. Geisler made the following observations about the New Testament

Ethics:

1) That Christian ethics is based on the will of God. It is, as he puts it, a form

divine command status; A moral duty, something we must do

It is customary to do this;

2) That Christian morality is absolute. The fact that God’s moral character does

Immutability (Mal 3:16) means that the moral obligations arising from His nature are absolute. Geisler points out that what can be found in God’s immutable moral character are moral absolutes such as holiness, justice, love, truth, and mercy. Other commandments flow from God’s will, but they are not absolute. That is, they must be obeyed because God ordained them, but He did not ordain them for all people, times, and places. Absolute moral duties, by contrast, are binding on all men at all times and in all places;

3) That Christian ethics is based on God’s revelation. What God commands

Generally (Rom. 1:19-20; 2:12-15) is revealed in nature, and

Especially in Scripture (Rom. 2:2-18; 3:2). God’s general revelation

Contains His commands for all people. His special light declares him

Desire for the believer;

4) That Christian morality is predetermined because it is determined by moral authority

A moral God. Geisler points out that there is no moral law without it

A moral law without a moral lawgiver, or a moral legislator. therefore

Christian ethics is interpretive, not descriptive. Christians do not have theirs

Morality on the Standard of Christians but on the Standard for Christians – The

the Bible; and

5) Christian ethics is deontological. That is, on which the principles are based

Actions (or character or intentions) are inherently right or wrong.10

conclusion

Morality, as defined in this paper, is the real content of right and wrong. However, the main problem is how to determine. The main question that arises from this issue is: Where is the ultimate source of moral authority? A group of people believe that authority is inalienable, that human beings have the right to create their own moral rules and systems – they fall under the category of teleological ethics. Another group believes that moral authority is transcendental, that is, authority exists outside of ordinary human experience. In biblical ethics, that authority is God, who has revealed himself to man through his special and general revelation. This is what makes biblical ethics unique. It is deontological. In both the Old and New Testaments, morality is shown to be based on God’s nature and character.

As mentioned, morality and ethics are inseparable. Morality for Christians is not about determining what is good but about choosing it. It is a good thing for non-Christians to determine. Whether as a Christian or as a human being, one will certainly engage in moral deliberation.

End notes

1 Scott Ray, Moral Choice: An Introduction to Ethics (Michigan: Zondervan

Publishing House, 1995), p. 15.

2D.H. Field, Ethics: A New Bible Dictionary. (Leicester: Inter-University Press, 1982),

p 351.

3 Scott Ray, Moral Choice: An Introduction to Ethics (Michigan: Zondervan

Publishing House, 1995), p. 21.

4Enoch Stumpf, Elements of Philosophy (London: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1993), p. 21.

5 Norman L. Geisler, Ethics: Options and Issues. Michigan: Baker Book House,

1989), p. 24.

6 Scott Ray, Moral Choice: An Introduction to Ethics (Michigan: Zondervan

Publishing House, 1995), p. 16.

7 Norman L. Geisler, Ethics: Options and Issues. Michigan: Baker Book House,

1989), p. 25.

8D.H. Field, Ethics: A New Bible Dictionary. (Leicester: Inter-University Press, 1982),

p 351.

9Ibid, p. 351.

10 Norman L. Geisler, Ethics: Options and Issues. Michigan: Baker Book House,

1989), pp. 22–24.

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