Friday 7 June 2013

Biblical Christianity and Ethics

During this last week I have listened to live debates from the House of the Lords in the UK. They were debating changing the historic definition of marriage and in the end, despite good counter-arguments, they voted two to one to remove the historic understanding of marriage. The UK government intend to legalise a loose definition of marriage, that being between two people: same sex or otherwise. It is all in the name of being loving to the Gay lobby and pressure groups. How do Christians respond?

Biblical ethics has hardly been a major thrust of Christian mainstream teaching in recent years, but I am sure that this will change in the West in the coming decades. Western governments are morally rudderless and with a hedonistic agenda. This is similar to the Greek and Roman world of the First Century; during which true Christianity flourished. Listen to Paul writing to the Corinthians: "What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, 'Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.'" 1 Cor. 15:32. The prevalent worldview of the First Century world was to "eat, drink, for tomorrow we die". It sounds like 21st Century Britain!

We all need to be on our guard regarding hypocrisy. Many times in the House of Lords debate, I heard mockers saying that the "Church" have regularly changed their opinion on many issues such as slavery, women's rights and now marriage. It sounds convincing, but wait a minute. Are not the politicians the ones who have changed their minds? They were the ones who endorsed slavery and only made it illegal when they finally had no other choice. This is a flawed argument and we cannot rely on our nation's political leaders to offer a reliable compass on moral issues. What is the answer? It is the Holy Bible alone which provides God's answers. The church needs to freshly articulate, simply and clearly, the teaching of the Bible concerning a range of moral issues, such as:

What is marriage in the sight of God?
What is sin?
What do God's Ten Commandments teach?
Is abortion the sin of murder?
Medical research: how far can we go?
What is adultery and fornication?
Jesus Christ is the only way to God

We cannot assume anymore that people have the basic framework of morality that is informed by the teaching of the Bible. Let the church joyfully embrace this challenge, while trusting for God help.

Proverbs 24:10 "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small."

No comments: