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Christian Ethics [message #12316] Sun, 17 December 2017 12:12 Go to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
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Christian Ethics as taught by Freeman in the charismatic school. I'm going back over all my old notes. They are all hand written and I've wanted to put them on my computer for some time. Very interesting stuff! I'll put them up here as I have time along with my OT theology notes.

When I finish these two I'll put up my notes on biblical and NT theology. Then wisdom and poetic notes etc.

[Updated on: Sun, 17 December 2017 12:13]

Re: Christian Ethics [message #12317 is a reply to message #12316 ] Sun, 17 December 2017 12:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 587
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
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The Study of Christian Ethics

Introduction to Christian Ethics

Definition:

It is the study of the principles & practise of right and wrong in light of the scriptures.
- Christianity into conduct
- doctrine into deeds
The Greek word meaning ethics is “custom”

Ethics is 3/4 of life because conduct is 3/4 of life. Every decision a person makes is on some moral or ethical standard. Our morals & ethics are based on everything we have seen been taught or read.
John 14/6 the christian has a standard or norm to base his life on. 1 Tim.3/16. Since conduct is 3/4 of life we should know what to base our life on.

Presuppositions:

a) christian ethics are grounded in its Jewish heritage. The OT is fulfilled in the new.
Matt. 5/17-18,39 The basis of Jesus teaching is the OT

b) We need to distinguish between christian ethics and other ethical standards
christian ethics are based on the bible.
All other ethics we call philosophical ethics
christian ethics deals with the same questions but has different answers

c) Christian ethics believes that Christ is the source of all truth and light as it is revealed in his word.


Differences between Christian & Philosophical Ethics

a) They are incomplete and inadequate as they have no answers
b) We criticize them because they make absolute the finite. They make mans reason the absolute and final source of revelation.
c)They say reason alone is a sufficient guide for all moral conduct. Socrates said if you want to do right you will. 1 Cor.1 mans reason is fallen and can't reason properly.
d)They cannot agree on what is the highest good. Seminaries and teachers are changing their views constantly.

The Relationship between Religion and Conduct


- The OT Canaanites practiced human sacrifice
- Some eastern Indian religions have temple prostitutes.
- The liberal churches would say no drinking or gambling etc is the height of legalism

In the bible conduct is the essence of religion. Christian ethics is not based on rules only principles. It just gives basic principles based on the word so we can make a decision. The difference between rules and principles is love. Rom.13/8-10. Christian ethics are based not only on principles but a living person. Jesus is our standard.

Principles of conduct

a) Holiness Eph. 1/3-4
b) Righteousness Titus2/11-12, Rom. 6/12-13,
c) Just and Merciful. Micah 6/8, Luke 6/31, Matt 5/7
d)Love John 13/34-35
Re: Christian Ethics [message #12318 is a reply to message #12317 ] Sun, 17 December 2017 12:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 587
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
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The History of Ethics

Moral and ethical conduct dates from the time of mans creation. Gen.2 man is endowed with moral faculties. He is able to make moral decisions. Ethical teaching appears in all religions.

1/ The Egyptian book of the dead. 16th century B.C. It shows in part scales. A mans life had to line up with righteousness & truth or he will be doomed. It shows that the quality of ones life before death determined his happiness after death. This kind of ethics appeared in every nation there ever was.

2/ Hebrew OT 3500 B.C. The ethics of the Hebrew OT was the highest ever reached until Christianity. It demanded holiness. Lev. 19/17-18, Lev. 19/2, 1 Peter 1/15-16, Eph. 1

3/ Greek Ethics

a) Socrates He is called the first moral philosopher. 469-399B.C.
He dealt with 2 moral questions. Virtue and Justice. He equated them with knowledge. ie: if you educate a man he won't do unjust things. If a man knows what is right he will do it. An educated man is a righteous man.

b) Plato 427-347 B.C. He believed perfection attained in the 4 cardinal virtues.
Temperance, Courage, Justice, Wisdom Develop these and you will be perfect.

c) Aristotle 384-322 B.C. He was the founder of Greek ethics as a system. He believed mans highest good was happiness. Whatever makes you happy is good. Ie: mans well being. You choose happiness as an end in itself. One chooses honor, pleasure, wisdom, goodness and you do these things to make you happy and it becomes the pathway to happiness. Aristotles golden mean . . . don't do anything to excess

d) Epicurus 341-70 B.C. Basically Hedonism. Pleasure is good and pain is evil. Mans chief goal in life is pleasure. Drunkenness fornication or whatever gives you pleasure.

e) The Stoics Zeno & Physippius were the 2 founders. The movement lasted from about 294 B.C. - 200 A.D. Acts 17/18. They said pain was the highest good. They were passionless and apathetic. Grief pain, joy, happiness, will not affect the wise man. Peace of mind and tranquility are the highest good . To arrive there you have to practise rigid asceticism.
- resignation to ones fate
- inner harmony
- complete self control
Re: Christian Ethics [message #12319 is a reply to message #12318 ] Sun, 17 December 2017 12:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 587
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
Senior Member
4/ Early Christian Ethics

It was the religion and worship of a person and not a philosophy. The whole NT is a moral and ethical paper. About the 4th century the Holy Spirit left the church because everything spiritual began to diminish. The church became so worldly that Christians went to deserts and monasteries to live.

Augustine 354-430 A.D. He was an outstanding theologian of the early church. He systematized christian ethics but was influenced by Greek philosophy. He tried to Christianized Plato's virtues. He recommended asceticism as the highest good.

5/ Ethics of the Middle Ages

This was the period of Scholasticism (colleges & universities). They tried to harmonize faith & reason and turn that into a philosophy.
Anselm, Abelard, Thomas Aquinas Aquinas was influenced by Aristotle. He agreed with him but said happiness is having god. This is right but he was influenced by Aristotle so have to be careful of his teachings

6/ Mysticism 1260-1327 A.D. Master Echard
They repudiated all ritual and sacramental religion and sought to find God through prayer and meditation. The highest good is to know nothing think nothing and speak nothing but God.

7/ The Reformation

They repudiated Roman Catholic monasticism and ritual etc.
- Martin Luther. He didn't teach to much holiness just justification by faith.
- Pluralists – taught a holy life
- John Knox/ Wesley
- Puritans

8/ 18-19 Century
Different ethical systems arose. Evolution/ pessimism/ duty/ power/ value/ utilitarianism

9/ 20th Century
All kinds of philosophies arose
social gospel/ modernism etc.


Mark Here. In the 21st century of course its anything goes and confusion reigns
Re: Christian Ethics [message #12326 is a reply to message #12319 ] Fri, 22 December 2017 10:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 587
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
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The three basic questions of Ethics

1/ What is mans highest good?
Ethics deals with mans goal in life. Man is aware there is a higher purpose for him. The purpose of ethics is to discover what that highest good is. Al men are wrestling with this question

2/ What is the standard of norm or final authority for what is right and wrong. God? Intellect? scripture? popular opinion? custom? education? philosophy? Mans conscience tells him to do right but doesn't tell him what that right is. Our conscience as Christians has to be educated to the word.

3/ Is man completely free to choose to act morally and ethically?
Does he have freedom of will? Is he controlled by Fate? Predestination? A man is endowed with a measure of self-determination. Because he has this he is responsible for his actions and attitudes.

A tree cannot be convicted of homicide if it falls on someone. A hawk is not convicted for robbing a sparrows nest. They have no moral or ethical actions. You can blame the hawk but not morally & ethically. According to biblical ethics part from the new birth man is not capable of choosing the good. In mans freedom of choice man will always choose sin. Maybe humanitarianism or good things but not the highest good.

[Updated on: Sun, 24 December 2017 11:58]

Re: Christian Ethics [message #12327 is a reply to message #12326 ] Fri, 22 December 2017 11:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 587
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
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Question # 1 What is mans highest good?

1/ The American Ethic. ie: The Ethics of Hedonism or Pleasure

It is the Pursuit of happiness as an end in itself. There are two kinds. Individualistic hedonism & universal hedonism.

a) Individualistic hedonism.

This is the pursuit of happiness & pleasure being the goal in life. All training in school & advertising is geared to this. The American is taught to avoid all discomfort and pain. Being happy is the reason for ones existence on earth. We're not against happiness its just not an end in itself. This ethic says the the highest good is the individual enjoyment of the greatest amount of pleasure. If life fails to give us that then we are a failure. Medical and the drug companies have labored to mask pain & its reality. The undertaker dresses up a corpse so people won't have a chance to see real life.

All training in life especially in school is geared toward happiness as an end in itself. Christian philosophy in the institutional church and school teaches Christianity is a life of happiness. They teach self realization, pride, self esteem, self confidence. Most radio magazine and TV advertising is geared toward the the American goal of happiness and pleasure. Prepared foods and labor saving devices give us time to enjoy boats, pleasure trips and good things. The reason a man works is to make money to enjoy life.

b) Universal Hedonism.

This is the same thing universally applied. This philosophy commends the actions that provide the most happiness for the most people. John Stuart Mills promotes this.
We say actions are not the best or right because they help many people. That could justify mercy killing divorce, robin hood activities, prostitution cannibalism. ie: the end justifies the means.
Gods answer to all forms of hedonism in the church & out is 1 John 2/16-17

2/ The Ethics of Self Denial. Stoicism

When this was first introduced into Christianity it was called monasticism. Jesus words to the rich young ruler were taken literally.
Anthony in Egypt. 250 AD
Monasticism is based on certain fallacies
a) a double standard of morality for layman vs clergy
b) the practice of extreme self denial promotes holiness

The monasteries became centers of corruption and sodomy. The error of monasticism is that it is an attempt to flee the sinful world. We are called to be in it and learn to live a life that glorifies God.
Matt. 5, Matt 28, john 17/15-16

Ascetic tendencies within Protestantism

Holiness churches, Amish, Old Order, Pentecostals all emphasize a life of self denial toward certain practices in the world. beer, dance, movies, lipstick, etc.


Four Different Tendencies in Protestantism

a) Do's and don'ts become ends in themselves
b) results in works salvation
c) it is the central message of their teaching ir: the ascetic life.
d)There is no sound basic teaching to under gird their call to a separated life.
Re: Christian Ethics [message #12328 is a reply to message #12327 ] Fri, 22 December 2017 11:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 587
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
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3/ The Ethics of Duty

The highest good is to do your duty. Emanuel Kent developed this theory. There is a universal moral law in each of us. A sense of "ought" We "ought" to do this or that. He also called it a categorical imperative ie: duty for duty's sake.

4/ Works Ethics
Christianity is more than duty. It involves faith, truth and the spreading of the gospel. It is not just serving and doing your duty. Some of these ethics are found in all denominations

5/ Ethics of Self Realization

The harmonious development of all your talents.
a) Live by the golden rule
b) Have faith in yourself and your abilities
c) Develop a well rounded personality. Self respect, self esteem,
this was taught by Helgro, Plato, Socrates, Peale

6/ The Ethics of Love


This is the ethics of . . .
- the world council of churches
- the spirit of unity
- the denominations and seminaries
- the neo-orthodox teachers
The highest good here is to love your neighbor. The problem is it gives no standard of behavior. It applies no content to their ethics.

7/ The Ethics of Power
Hitler- the strong are right

8/ The Ethics of Intuition
Follow the inner light ie: Quakers

9/ The Ethics of Pessimism

The world is totally evil

10/ The Ethics of Marxism

The basis of communism. Anything that furthers communism is good
eg. war killing, deceit. communism is the highest good.

11/ The Ethics of evolution.
Everything is moving toward a higher good.

[Updated on: Sun, 24 December 2017 11:56]

Re: Christian Ethics [message #12329 is a reply to message #12328 ] Fri, 22 December 2017 11:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 587
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
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12/ The Biblical Ethic

The biblical ethic is two things

a) Matt. 6/33 Seek Gods kingdom and its righteousness
b) Matt7/2-13 Doing the will of God.

The biblical ethic is seek the kingdom of God and you get that by doing the will of God. The reason Jesus came was to bring the kingdom of God to the earth. Whatever else is important in life we had better find out what his will is.
A person is . . .
- in or out of the kingdom
- righteous or unrighteousness
- christian or not
on the basis of these two scriptures.
Mark 1/14-15 Jesus mentioned the church twice and the kingdom of God over 100 times. The church is not the end. The kingdom of God is. The biggest thing is the righteous rule of God on the earth
Christian ethics doesn't tech rules. It establishes principles.

[Updated on: Sun, 24 December 2017 11:56]

Re: Christian Ethics [message #12334 is a reply to message #12329 ] Sun, 24 December 2017 11:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
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Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
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What Bro. Freeman believes are the 10 most important principles in the christian life.

1/ An abiding unfailing trust in God in all circumstances. Without faith you can't implement love. Peter couldn't walk on water because of a lack of faith not love. That doesn't exclude love
Heb.11/6, 10/23, Mark 11/22-24, Rom. 8/28, Acts 14/22, 11 Tim.4/7

2/ Sincerity and truthfulness before God and man. (as contrasted with hypocrisy and deceit) Eph. 4/25, 1Thess.2/4, Matt6/1-6
It is a constant temptation to not to speak absolute truth. You can't distort or hide truth to not hurt someones feelings

3/ Genuine humility before God and man as contrasted with pride. Self righteous vs meekness. Its meekness not weakness. Speaking anointed truth is not to be equated with pride and lack of love. Truth is the essence of Christianity not unity. Unity follows truth. Meekness - Rom.12/3, humility - Phil.2/-8

4/ A forgiving and merciful spirit towards all. Matt. 18/21-25
One motive for forgiving is so that God will forgive us. Another one is is because we love.

5/ The practice of the separated life. There must be inward and outward purity. Matt.5/48,1Peter 1/6, Rom. 12/1-2, 1Cor. 6/12

How do we know right from wrong?

a) conduct would be right or wrong according to the bible
b) would it glorify God
c) would it edify me
d) does it avoid the appearance of evil
e) does it a bro. or sis. to stumble
f) is it a positive seeking after Gods righteousness

6/ An unqualified love for God and ones neighbor.
Luke 10/25-37 You can't really love god unless you give loving service to your neighbor. God sends us to serve others in the body and out. Matt 7/12, 1John 3/13-22
How do you give loving service to your neighbor? Parable of the good Samaritan. When you see a need meet it. This does not mean the church is to minister materially to the world. As individuals we are to translate our love for others into deeds.

7/ Complete self denial and dedication to discipleship. Even to the loss of friends family position possessions & life. Luke 9/57-62

8/ A personal evangelistic desire to fulfill the great commission is an expression of sharing the good news of the kingdom with others. Matt. 28/19-20, Mark 16/17-20, Acts 8

9/ Faithfulness to God's word and will.
Matt.7/21, Luke 16/10-12, rev. 2/10, Heb. 2/4

10/A sincere concern to uphold at all cost the purity of the Faith. Truth is basic not love or unity.
11Tim. 4/1-3, Acts 20/26-31, Phil.1/27, Jude 3, 1 Thess. 2/4, 2 John

[Updated on: Mon, 25 December 2017 19:31]

Re: Christian Ethics [message #12335 is a reply to message #12334 ] Sun, 24 December 2017 12:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 587
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
Senior Member
The 3 basic questions of Ethics

2/ What is the standard of norm or final authority

. . . for what is right and wrong. God? Intellect? scripture? popular opinion? custom? education? philosophy? Mans conscience tells him to do right but doesn't tell him what that right is.
Answer
The ultimate standard for right and wrong is God and his word
Ps.97/1-2, 1 Peter 1/16, Matt. 5/48, Ps.119, 137
Christian ethics has its source in God and his righteousness. Our righteousness is to be the same as Gods. Matt 5/48 What is God's righteousness? His own moral holiness and perfections of character. Which is to be the standard for all men. He is holy just merciful loving sinless & perfect. In a word righteous
In the NT to be righteous as God is not an abstract or philosophical truth. An ethical ideal of Christianity is expressed through a person- Jesus Christ. John 1/14-18 Jesus is the perfect illustration of what he taught. He is our standard or norm.He never points to anyone but himself. Not even the Father. 1Peter2/21, Luke 6/40, John 14/6-9, John 15/1-5

3/ Is man completely free to choose to act morally and ethically?

Does he have freedom of will? Is he controlled by Fate? Predestination?

Answer

A man is endowed with a measure of self-determination. Because he has this he is responsible for his actions and attitudes.
A tree cannot be convicted of homicide if it falls on someone. A hawk is not convicted for robbing a sparrows nest. They have no moral or ethical actions. You can blame the hawk but not morally & ethically. According to biblical ethics apart from the new birth man is not capable of choosing the good. In mans freedom of choice man will always choose sin. Maybe humanitarianism or good things but not the highest good.

[Updated on: Mon, 25 December 2017 19:43]

Re: Christian Ethics [message #12339 is a reply to message #12335 ] Mon, 25 December 2017 20:14 Go to previous message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 587
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
Senior Member
Old Testament Ethics

1/ OT ethics are based on revelation. Even if they are not the same as NT ethics. They are not based on reason as in Gr. ethics or on social needs as in Babylonian or Egyptian ethics. They are grounded in the revealed will of God.

2/ It has a religious basis. Some ethical systems don't.

3/ The ethics of the OT are incomplete. Full revelation came in the NT. God revealed his will to Israel as they were ready to receive it. Matt5-7, 1 Peter 1/9-12

4/ OT ethics are the ethics of law.They are centered around the 10 commandments. In the NT it is grace and centered around the sermon on the mount.

5/ The eternal moral and ethical principles in the law are valued to any age. It is the forms and rituals that are done away. The OT was not just a system of legal codes but principles all through. Ps 51,Ps. 24/3-4, It dealt with the heart not just outward forms and rituals Hosea6/6, Amos 5/24, 1 Sam. 15/22

6/ The OT is valid because of 11 Tim 3/16-17. It is not old just older. You can't understand the NT if you don't understand the OT. It is part of Gods revealed will. When 11 Tim. 3/16-17 was given all they had was the OT.

7/ Jesus came to make explicit what was implicit in the law. He fulfilled the law and the prophets. Righteousness came by faith not law. Gen.15

8/ The 10 commandments are often called the moral law of Israel. They are the supreme expression of of the revelation in the OT dispensation. It was a God revealed standard of righteousness and the basis of OT morality and ethics. Its inner principles are eternal. The 10 commandments are not carried over into the dispensation of grace as a legal code under which the christian is placed. Yet every principle expressed in the 10 commandments are clearly taught in spirit. It was always a message of faith and not always law in both OT & NT.

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