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Christian Ethics: Introduction [message #12316] Sun, 17 December 2017 12:12 Go to next message
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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 practised 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

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:08]

Christian Ethics: History #1 [message #12317 is a reply to message #12316 ] Sun, 17 December 2017 12:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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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

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:29]

Christian Ethics: History #2 [message #12319 is a reply to message #12317 ] Sun, 17 December 2017 12:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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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

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:28]

The three basic questions of Ethics #1 [message #12326 is a reply to message #12319 ] Fri, 22 December 2017 10:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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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, 18 November 2018 15:28]

The three basic questions of Ethics #2 [message #12327 is a reply to message #12326 ] Fri, 22 December 2017 11:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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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.

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:10]

The three basic questions of Ethics #3 [message #12328 is a reply to message #12327 ] Fri, 22 December 2017 11:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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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, 18 November 2018 15:11]

The three basic questions of Ethics #4 [message #12329 is a reply to message #12328 ] Fri, 22 December 2017 11:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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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, 18 November 2018 15:11]

The three basic questions of Ethics #5 [message #12334 is a reply to message #12329 ] Sun, 24 December 2017 11:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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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: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:11]

The three basic questions of Ethics #6 [message #12335 is a reply to message #12334 ] Sun, 24 December 2017 12:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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The 3 basic questions of Ethics

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.
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

Question # 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: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:23]

Old Testament Ethics [message #12339 is a reply to message #12335 ] Mon, 25 December 2017 20:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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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.

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:24]

Old Testament Ethics: The Why Questions [message #12637 is a reply to message #12339 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 14:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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The why Questions?

1. Why did he permit divorce?
He tolerated more in the OT. Matt. 19 No divorce in the NT. Gods requirement in the beginning was no divorce. Rom. 3/2-25, Gen. 1-4, Lev. 19/2

2. God commanded the Israelites to kill the Canaanites.. Liberals say that is a contradiction of the 6th command.
Answer - the 6th commandment has nothing to do with capital punishment
Gen. 9/6, Ex. 21/12-17, Here are taught principles for capital punishment
Answer - this is why God commanded the Canaanites to be killed - Lev. 18/22-24
Answer - Lev. 18/25-28 also why
Answer - Deut. 18/10-14 God used Israel to punish the Canaanites for their sin. Is. 10,
Because Israel wasn't completely obedient to this God had to ultimately destroy both Israel and Judah

3. Rahab the Harlot.
Did God permit lying in the OT. Some say OT ethics are lower than in the NT. Jesuits have the lie of reservation. Joshua 2/4-6 She lied to the men of Jericho. Heb. 11/31 She believed enough of the spies report to hide them. She believed and her faith produced works. She was a harlot in a sinful city and culture. She didn't measure up to NT standards but she was only getting some light. In that context the women is believing the spies report and hiding the spies in her own way.
Ex. 20/16 the ethical standard of the OT is the same as the new James 1, Lev. 19/11

4. God is a jealous God When the scriptures speak of God as jealous it means he as sovereign lord is solicitous of his own character name honour and will and not share his glory with false gods. Israel is his wife We shouldn't be jealous with anger but we should have a solicitous concern for our mates.

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:24]

Ethical principles of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments [message #12638 is a reply to message #12637 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 14:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Ethical principles of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments

It sets for the basic principles of ethics. Every principle in the 10 can be found over and over in the NT. The first 4 set forth our responsibility to God.

1.Ex. 20/3 The principle of monotheism and loyalty to God. Deut. 6/4 He wants not only first place but the only place. There are many Gods in church today. The NT principle is Luke 10/25-27 Summed up in two phrases. An OT figure setting forth NT truth. The more discerning Israelite could see that for themselves Mat. 10/37-39, Luke 14/25-27

2. Ex. 20 /4-6 We're not make images of God. It is an attempt to finite an infinite God Humans have the tendency to transfer our affections from our invisible God to an visible image John 4/24

3. Ex. 20/7 principle of reverence and respect for God.
To not profane Gods name by the way we live. It forbids perjury and false swearing Lev. 19/12. It was permitted in the OT to take the Lords name and swear by it to wean them away from swearing by other Gods. Not to take his name in vain.

4. Ex. 20/ 8-11 Principle of reverence for the Lords Day. Gods provision for mans need of rest. The NT principle is giving us a twofold blessing for a day of rest and worship. In the OT violating it meant death. We don't celebrate the sabbath because we are under grace. Immediately after Jesus resurrection they started meeting on the first day of the week in honour of it.

5. Ex. 20/12 Principle of respect for authority.
Not just parents but all authority. One reason for the Jews still alive as a race in spite of persecution is their respect for authority in home and elders.
Eph. 6/1-3 in mind as well as deed.

6. Ex. 20/13 Principle of Respect for Human Life
excepting capital punishment Gen. 9/6. This principle refers to unauthorized killing
For the xian it means killing of any kind. - capital punishment- self defence
- possessions - defending an unregenerate state or nation
The NT principle is - anger in the heart Matt. 5/21-22, 38-39 1 John 3/13-15

7. Ex. 20/14 The Principle of Sanctity of Marriage and Family relationships. Marriage and family is the God ordained method of expressing love for your mate. Anything outside that is adultery or fornication. Any sex outside marriage is forbidden.
Matt. 5/27-32, 19/9, Heb. 13/4, 1 Cor. 6/9-10, Rev. 2/18, Col. 3/5

8. Ex. 20/15 The principle is :
Honesty in the acquisition of our possessions. Recognition of the right of others to own property Forms of stealing: Violation of civil laws against shoplifting
gambling acquisition of the property others without paying or working for it
- moral stealing - control of the stock market- concealing defects in something we sell - employees loafing on the job- cheating on exams- stealing from the work or study of others- income tax - betting/lotteries (the idea of getting something for nothing)
Eph. 4/28, 1 Cor. 6/10, Rom. 12/17

9. Ex. 20/16 Principle of Truthfulness
a) respect for another name and character perjury / slander / gossip
criticism- which result in lives being ruined or besmirched
Prov. 6/16-19, Ex. 23/1, Prov. 26/20, James 3, Eph. 4/29,
b) respect for truth and honesty in all our relationships
Eph. 4/25, Col. 3/9, Rev. 21/8,27

10. Ex. 20/17 Principle forbidding an inordinate desire for the things of others.
John2/15,17, Matt. 6/31-33, col. 3/5, 1 Cor. 6/9-10

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:25]

Characteristics of Christian Principles [message #12639 is a reply to message #12638 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 14:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Distinctive Characteristics of Christian principles

a) Jesus was not a philosopher or social reformer he was a redeemer and Savior.

b) The ethics of Jesus do not constitute a system of ethical and moral rules, but set forth eternal principles which are intended to be guidelines for the motivation of conduct.

c) The ethics of the NT are a christian ethic. It is applicable to a believe under grace. You can't apply them to an unregenerate

d) Christian ethics is conduct. Its a way of life not a system of religion. James 1/22-26, Micah 6/6-8, Luke 10/25-31,

e) christian ethics are based on motives not just conduct. Many unregenerates can live close to the xian ethic but they can't do it from the heart. eg. Gandhi. What was his motive for being a social reformer? self-satisfaction, self-righteousness, and social reform. Prov. 21/4
- a sinner cannot perform any actions untainted by sin
- a sinner cannot perform any unselfish acts
- a sinner cannot perform any moral act that will justify him in Gods sight. Why? Anything he does apart from faith and Jesus is selfishness (satisfying his own righteousness or conscience)

Does having a right motive justify a wrong conduct?
eg. stealing food to feed your starving family or mercy killing ( loved one suffering from an incurable disease)
Answer:
- its an escape from moral responsibility - robin hood acts are not allowed in the bible. Job never considered suicide - nothing ever justifies sin
- The moral and ethical process has 3 parts - motive - act- consequences
conduct is ethically right when it is the outcome of good motives carried out by right means which results in bionically acceptable consequences.

f) The xian ethic is an absolute ethic
Matt. 5/21-22, 33-34, 38,43,48 lust equals adultery, anger equals murder
What motives is the sermon based on? love,faith,holiness, Gods glory
God required the same perfection in the OT as in the NT. Gen. 17/1,Job. 1/8, Rom. 6/11
Gal. 5/22 Deliverance is not a shortcut to sanctification

g )Jesus ethics are positive in emphasis Matt. 7/12

h) The ethics of Jesus are positive in righteousness Matt. 6/33 We aren't justified by our righteousness but we are to do righteousness. Righteousness comes before answers.

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:25]

Sermon on the Mount #1 [message #12640 is a reply to message #12639 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 14:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Ethical Principles of the Sermon on the Mount

Because of its revolutionary purpose several views have arisen to explain it.

1. What is Jesus aim is giving the sermon? Is it to give high ideals to inspire men to do better or is it to give principles to obey?

2. To whom is the sermon addressed? Jews? Christians? The world?

3. When are the teachings to be applied?

a)Past - He offered the kingdom to the Jews but they rejected it so it is past. present? future?

b)present- all believers

c) future - The laws of the millennium when Israel is restored

Views of the Sermon:

1. The Humanistic View

The object is to improve society. It holds that Jesus was a great moral and ethical genius who taught the principles of brotherhood. some of his teachings are valid for today but most are not because they can't deal with the complexities of life today.
Reply:
a) Truth and moral standards are not relative to time or place

b) The teachings of Christ are the only answer to the complexities of modern life

2. The Liberal View:

This is the view of the seminaries.
They believe in a salvation of works. They deny the blood atonement The high ideal of Christianity is to be a neighbour. We are to apply the teaching of the sermon to society. This would reform society and usher in the Kingdom of God on earth.

Reply: It overlooks mans need for regeneration

3. The Interim view

Schweitzer's view. The sermon was largely an interim ethic. Christ and the 12 taught an eschatological concept which is on end times. They taught the end was near so they didn't teach principles that were permanent to be used between his ascension and his almost immediate return. They say Jesus and the 12 were wrong. Its been 2000 yrs he isn't back yet. He says the sermon teaches a super human righteousness impossible for the present time. Its only for the interim

Reply: Jesus and the 12 do teach the soon return of Jesus but that is the basis for a high ethic. If it impossible on a permanent basis it is impossible on a temporary basis.

4. Dispensational View - 2 views

a) The sermon was only for the first advent. To the Jews. This is the view of Dwight Pentecost

b) The sermon is only for the millennium. Jesus gave it back then only for completeness sake. (LS Chafer) This code of ethics was only for the millennium. The sermon is impossible and unintended for our age. Some of the sermon applies now but very little.
Some say the sermon is system of works for the Jews in the millennium. We won't do them because we are under grace. Naturally none of the men who promote these ideas have the BHS.

Reply: Jews never were and never will be saved by works. The sermon is the highest spiritual truth in the bible. The NT contains all the teachings of the sermon. Jesus contrasts the law with his deeper teaching on the same thing.

5. The Biblical Present Age view:

The ethical requirements of the sermon are the highest expression of conduct and morality in the bible. The sermon has application from the time it was given until the second advent.
Matt. 7/21,24 These refer to the sermon Jesus just gave.
When are we to do them? Now!
The sermon is how a xian is to live under grace in a sinful world. In the millennium righteousness and peace will prevail. On the basis of that it obvious from the word the sermon is not for the M.
Matt. 5/6-8 Unrighteousness is present. Christ wouldn't preach on any of these things if it was for the M.
5/9 strife is present
5/10-12 persecution is present
5/16-17 corruption and moral darkness are present . It says we are the salt and preserver of the earth.
5/31 divorce and adultery are present
5/38-44 xians still suffer abuse from their enemies
6/1-18 religious hypocrisy is still present
6/13 Satan and temptation are still present
6/17-18 with 9/14-15 we are to fast after Jesus goes and Jesus is still absent
6/33 materialism still competes with God for our allegiance. We are urged to seek the kingdom. In the M. we will be in the kingdom.
6/10 we are to pray for his kingdom to come
7/21 he tells us to do all these things

The sermon has the same intention as the law. It is to be obeyed. Jesus makes no concession for weakness or hard hearts. The sermon is more absolute than the law. But we have the HS and the blood which makes it possible. The immense scope of the sermon and its necessity for every age is seen in that it answers so many questions and needs for today

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:26]

Sermon on the Mount #2 [message #12641 is a reply to message #12640 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 14:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Question # 1
In contrast to the law the sermon sets forth certain principles. What is the difference between a principle and a rule?
Answer: Matt. 5/21-22 t
the law: thou shalt not kill
principle: whoever is angry is in danger of judgment

Q. # 2 What does Christ mean when he says to forsake all and follow him?
A. Matt. 6/19-34 Take no thought for the things of the world

Q. # 3 To what motive does Christ appeal when he demands righteous living. What does he warn as a consequence to disobedience
A. Matt. 5/21-22 Judgment and fell fire. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

Q. # 4 does it matter how we live? Can a xian do as he pleases within certain limits. booze, gamble dance, xrated movies?
A. Matt. 5/13-16 We are to be lights to the world, separated, salt of the earth.

Q. # 5 What is Christs attitude toward anti-nomianism?
A. Matt5/19-20 The righteousness of the law is to be fulfilled by us through our faith in Christ.

Q. # 6 Can an unregenerate heart perform an act that is completely free fromm sin and acceptable to God?
A. Matt. 7/18 No! No work of a sinner is acceptable with God. Prov. 2/14 Everything a sinner does is sin. Even plowing his field.

Q. #7 What is the danger of confessing Christ (the basis for entering the kingdom) and not being obedient?
A. 7/21-22 If you don't do Gods will you won't enter the kingdom

Q. # 8 Can a true xian justify violence and killing in light of the sermon?
A. 5/38-44 but I say unto you not to resist evil

Q. # 9 does Jesus say your answer to question 8 prove whose child you are?
A. Yes 5/45 says if do what vs 44 says it proves you are a child of God

Q. # 10 Who alone are the blessed in Gods sight?
A. 5/3 The poor in spirit/ those who mourn, the meek, those that hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, peacemakers, the persecuted for righteousness sake

Q. # 11 What should be the xian attitude toward divorce and taking the oath.?
A. 5/31-37 God allows divorce only for fornication and not to take the oath at all.

Q. # 12 What are the two ways of life and can they be mixed?
A. 6/24 Godly life or worldly life. A xian cannot serve both

Q. # 13 How many will take heed to the Lords teaching in the sermon?
A. 7/13-14 Narrow is the way and few that find it.

Q. # 14 Is a xian supposed to see how much he can do or how close he can come to sin without actually sinning?
A. 6/33 Seek righteousness. A true xian stays as far from sin as he can.

Q. # 15 What is the one basic principle that Christ gives that governs all our conduct?
A. 7/12 Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you do ye even to them.

Q. # 16 What does Christ call a man that takes heed to the teaching?
A. 7/24 The one who does a wise man; the one who doesn't a foolish man

Q. #17 Does Jesus deal with specific sins in the sermon? Does he apply principles to specific situations
A. divorce 5/31-32, oath 5/33-37, prayer 6/9, fasting 6/16, alms 6/1f murder and violence 5/21f

Q.# 18 Do you think the sermon is too radical for today?
A. What was the reaction of the people in Christs day?
7/28-29 They were astonished just like the people today. People do not change

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:26]

Sermon on the Mount #3 [message #12642 is a reply to message #12641 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 14:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
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Sermon on the Mount Theme:

How disciples should live a xian life in a sinful world

The Character of a discipl
e

A) Inward man 5/3-6
Vs.3 blessed are the poor in spirit - recognizing our spiritual poverty and need of salvation - after salvation recognizing our need of the BHS - recognizing we are what we are by the grace of God
Reward: the kingdom of heaven
Vs.4 blessed are they that mourn
- before salvation mourning over your spiritual condition
- after salvation mourning for the power or BHS
- mourning over the spiritual condition of the world and the church
- because we have to live in such sinful surroundings
Reward: we shall be comforted

Vs.5 Blessed are the meek
Humble lowliness of mind teachable. Meek is not weak. There is a difference. Moses was meek but he was jealous for God and his word.
Reward: They shall inherit the earth

Vs.6 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness
Those who cannot get enough of the word and teaching. Also those faithful in fasting and prayer
Reward: They shall be filled with righteousness

B) How xians react to others
Vs.7 blessed are the Merciful
Not just being fair but going the second mile 5/40-41
Reward: we shall obtain mercy

Vs.8 Blessed are the pure in heart
Good thoughts acts desires attitudes and motives
Reward: we shall seed god now and later

Vs.9 blessed are the peacemakers.
A person of peace. Never causes strife.
The passive side: non-resistance
Active side: seek peace in all things
Reward: We are called the children of God. Why? Because we are like his son Jesus.

Vs.10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake.
Hated, laughed at etc. for your stand on the word. It is a consequence of living the sermon.
Reward: The kingdom of heaven. Need to make sure it is for righteousness sake and not chastisement.

Vs.11-12 Blessed are you when men shall revile you lie about you and persecute you for Jesus sake. Phil.1/29 for trusting and loving Jesus. Why are we blessed when persecuted? It is the evidence we are living the word and pleasing God.
Reward: Great is your reward in Heaven
C ) The twofold influence of disciples on a sinful world 5/13-16

Salt: There are 3 qualities to salt
a) it purifies and is antiseptic. A xian is antiseptic in that his purity of conduct and motives acts as a purifying influence on a sinful world. Salt that only looks like salt is worthless. Jesus speaking here about people not salt. Luke 14/34
b) It preserves. a xian helps preserve a society that is heading for certain destruction.
c) Salt seasons. The BHS gives the season or spice of the xian life. like peace joy security etc.

Light: There are 3 characteristics to light Phil. 2/14-15
a) Position. Light should be seen. People should be able to tell you are a xian. Our light should reveal the worlds sin.
b) Nature. Light vanishes darkness
c) Purpose. It glorifies God. The world is more aware of what we do than what we say.

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:27]

Sermon on the Mount #4 [message #12643 is a reply to message #12642 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 15:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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D) The Principle of the conduct of Xians 5/12 - 7/21

The revelation of the law and the prophets in the sermon.
What is the Law? It is Gods eternal standard for righteousness. Rom. 8/4, 3/31, 7/12
We keep the law by our faith in Christ. Everything in the law is in the NT. Eph. 6 for eg.
If we break the commandments and you will be least in the kingdom. The scribes and pharisees made void the law and taught others to do the same.

The inner spiritual principles of righteousness that were implicit in the law. Vs 21-48

Observations:

a) Christ made explicit what was implicit in the law.
b) The sermon is not a law. The xian is not called to live the sermon as if it were a law. The sermon is not a higher law but rather eternal principles of conduct.

The difference between law and principles

Vs 21-26
Law: do not kill
Principle: if you are angry with your bro it is as if you killed him.
Calling someone a fool - in the OT it was calling a person wicked or apostate
NT all men are made in the image of God ans one should never call anyone a bad name
Making it right with someone who has something against you. Do all you can to settle out of court. Avoid anger. Take the initiative to correct a problem with someone even if you are in the right.

Vs. 27-30 Law: Not committing adultery
Principle: Do not even lust in your heart as in Gods eyes you will have committed the act. Who is more guilty? The one who dresses sleazy or the one who looks? both are equally guilty. Proper dress does not call the wrong kind of attention.
Vs 29-30 do we take this literally? Yes! If that is the only alternative to keep from sinning. but for the spirit filled xian there is a better way. eg Job 31/1 I made a covenant with my eyes why then should I think upon a maid. Your body expresses the heart

VS 27-32
Law: You can divorce or write a writ of divorce.
Principle: divorce is only allowed for fornication.
Fornication includes adultery but also means sexual uncleanness. Divorce doesn't make adultery but a divorced person who remarries commits adultery. (except for fornication)
Solutions: If you are married then stay that way. If you are divorced except for fornication then stay single or claim the reconciliation of your marriage. 1 Cor. 7

Vs 5/33- 37
Law: Swear only by the Lord
Principle: Swear not at all James 5/2

VS. 5/38-42
Law: An eye for an eye
Principle: do not fight for anything
We must keep in mind the sermon is for spirit filled xians not the world. Xians do not take people to court. Must be willing to go the extra mile. In this area a person must be very discerning. Christ does not say here to always give what they ask. god does not give what we ask for is we ask amiss James 4/3 eg don't give people money to get drunk. But : when you do give do with no strings attached. give freely and do not discriminate

Principles of conduct and worship in daily practice
Matt. 6/1-18

The principle is to avoid practising your piety before men to be seen and heard. One has to give fast and pray properly to get a reward.

a) Giving: vs 2-5 Don't tell anyone or even think about it yourself.

b) Praying vs 6-15
Avoid prayer that is just to be heard and admired. Jesus prayed public prayer(john17) the disciples (acts 4) Avoid prayers that are semons designed to get back at people or correct others mistakes. Avoid vain repetition. Why? God already knows what you are going to pray. Another reason is that is the way the heathen pray.

c) Fasting. vs 16-18 If giving and praying is for today then so is fasting. Do it secretly. It is a matter of the heart to fast. Fast when you want to avoiding legalism. 1 hour 1 day 1 meal whatever you want. Turn your back on everything to seek him for something. It is turning your attention to him and off other things. sometimes it is the only way to get an answer. Pray and use your faith and you still don't know the answer then fast. When you're wondering about a mans ministry then fast. If nothing else tells us. A fruit juice fast is a restricted diet. It is good but a fast is nothing but water.

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:27]

Sermon on the Mount #5 [message #12644 is a reply to message #12643 ] Sun, 18 November 2018 15:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Principles governing material possessions criticism worry and anxiety Matt. 6/19-7/5

Covetousness vs 19-21 No affection for material goods. There is nothing wrong with owning things. It is the selfish accumulation of riches for riches sake. Covetousness is idolatry because it is what we worship.

How do we avoid covetousness?
a) Look upon all your material goods as means to an end and not an end in itself.

b) Let them hold no affection in our hearts

c) A total committal of our possessions to the Lord as we are just stewards.

Anxiety vs 25-34
Jesus forbids sinful anxiety. Concern for material needs in sin. Taking thought is the same as being anxious. Why take no thought?

a) It is unnecessary as he feeds the birds he will feed us.

b) It is unavailing. He says it is easier to grow 18in than to feed your self.

c) It is unfaithful. Just consider the lilies.

The seriousness of Anxiety is 4 fold. It indicates:

a) A lack of faith about basic matters.

b) It calls into question Gods sovereignty. You don't believe he is big enough to do what he says he will. The God we serve is the one we trust day to day. Not the one we sing to.

c) It indicates we are covetous. This is why the poor can also be covetous.

d) It destroys our witness. It makes like the world.

Criticism 7/1-5 What does it not mean:

a) That you shouldn't correct errors that mar the purity of the faith. 11 Tim. 41-2 Jude 3

b) It doesn't mean we shouldn't use discernment.

c) don't judge by appearance
Luke 18/9-14
Don't be self-righteous in our judgment. When we deal with the sins of others we should do it with love.
7/12 The golden principle. The whole sermon on the mount revolves around this.

[Updated on: Sun, 18 November 2018 15:28]

The Practise of Christian Ethics [message #12645 is a reply to message #12644 ] Wed, 28 November 2018 19:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
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Practise of Xian ethics

Two aspects of Christianity.
1/ faith
2/ obedience.
The first half of this course deals only with hearing. The second half deals with how to the principles in practise.

Responsibility to oneself.

1. Self Preservation. Its not self defence to care for your mind body and health. It is a God given command to to preserve and take care of ourself. Why?

a) in order to be useful to God and our neighbour. To have sufficient strength to live.

b) The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
- We should regulate its passions and appetites 1 Cor. 9/24
- We should put off unclean habits. 1 Cor. 6/15
- We should be pure in mind and body
- We shouldn't wilfully neglect the rules of good health sufficient rest food cleanliness and a balance of exercise.

c) Mans life is not his own to do with as he pleases. It is a sacred trust from God. We are going to give an account for it. 11 Cor. 5/10. No man lives to himself. His life and death affect others. Rom. 14/7

2/ Development of xian character and Virtues

a) Honesty and truthfulness. Eph. 4/25 Is a lie ever justified?

Situation ethics as in conduct should be determined by the present situation. The most good for the most people. A lie is justified under some circumstances. "Catholic priests" have a mental reservation. A justifiable lie. If it is good for the church or saves a life then it is justified. Medical lies, social lies, patriotic lies.

What do the scriptures teach about liars? Rev. 21/7-8
On the basis of this a xian can never lie. Matt26/57-65 Jesus didn't lie to save his own life. Peter lied 3 times. A lie is an escape from responsibility to God. As a xian we have a responsibility to be truthful. Thats why an oath is forbidden.

It is a love of self, family, position, pride, more than God. A lie is a lack of faith in God with Rom. 8/28. We owe it to ourself to be truthful and honest. We need to face ourselves and reality otherwise we won't mature as we should.
1 Cor. 11/27-32 chastening comes. Its pride and stubbornness that we won't admit we're wrong. God will only use us to the extent that we are willing to face ourselves.

b) Genuine humility as opposed to fake. Some people are proud they're humble. 1 Peter 2/19-23, James 4/6

c) Holiness: inward and outward purity in thoughts and actions. 1 Peter 1/15-16. How important is holiness to the Lord? Heb. 12/14

d) The fruits of the Spirit. Gal. 5/22-23

e) 11 Peter 1/5-11 some more virtues

f) Love 1 Cor. 13
Re: The Practise of Christian Ethics #2 [message #12646 is a reply to message #12645 ] Wed, 28 November 2018 19:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Responsibilities to Others

1/ Responsibility to God
a) To love trust and obey him Luke 10/17, Mark 1/22, Prov. 3/5-6
b) To worship and reverence him Matt4/8-10, Matt6/9
c) To communicate his grace and truth to the world Matt28/18-20, Mark 16/15-20
d) to live in such a manner that the world can see we are God's children Matt. 5/16,48

2/ Responsibility to Gods creation.
a) To recognize his power and glory in nature Ps. 19/1 Rom. 1
b) To conserve and preserve its natural resources.
c) To display his kindness toward the animal kingdom. Senseless slaughter, the use of traps instead of snares as in the OT. Prov. 12/10 is not just for pets.

3/ Responsibilities to our fellow man
a) Love The xian ethic is grounded in love. Xian ethics are unique because we are to love our enemies too. Matt. 5/43-48
b) Mercy Matt. 5/38-42 This is not speaking of justice. Justice would have given him time. Mercy forgave it.
c) Truthfulness Eph. 4/25 We owe others the truth and honest dealings

d) Good neighbourliness
We owe loving service to our neighbours. Luke10/27-37 True christianity is loving service in time of need. As an individual xian nothing that concerns the needs of a fellow human can be a matter of indifference. The church can't get involved in social action but individual xians are to show compassion. The church is not an organization it is an organism. so it can't form social groups for action because the church is the people. A situation a xian is in if a fellow human has a need we are to meet it. The parable of the good Samaritan. My neighbour is anyone in need.

God expect us to use common sense and wisdom in meeting the needs of others. An eg would be wilful neglect of ones own responsibilities or laziness. In a case like that the church should lovingly admonish them. When the church rushes in to meet a need it robs the individual of the privilege of believing God for themselves.
Christian Responsibility in Race Relationships [message #12650 is a reply to message #12646 ] Sat, 01 December 2018 22:17 Go to previous message
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Christian Responsibility in Race Relationships

What is the Christians attitude to be?

The American creed stands for liberty equality and justice for all but it often doesn't work out that way. American churches practised segregation until the supreme court made them stop.

The problem of Prejudice.
40% of Americans express open prejudice. There are 3 views of why prejudice occurs.
a) it is instinctive and inborn
b) it is acquired and learned
c) the scriptural view. . . it is partly both. Man is a sinner and knows how to hate but racial prejudice is also learned. We are taught to dislike and hate those who our parents or society dislike and hate.

How is it acquired?

a) georacial. eg
New York- Puerto Ricans
South - blacks
San Francisco - Chinese

b) Ignorance There are false beliefs about minority groups. Racial superiority is unscientific and unscriptural. All mankind has a common ancestry -Adam/Noah
There are no pure blood races. Scientists have dis proven the fallacies of biological intellectual or cultural inferiority of any one race. It is always due to a lack of opportunity and background. Mixing races doesn't produce inferior offspring. Inbreeding does.
all the scriptural arguments that racists use for segregation were Jew and Gentile arguments. they were religious not racial. In the OT it was Jew and Gentile. In the NT is believer or unbeliever 11 Cor. 6

c) Sterotyping. stories jokes and attitudes about others

d) Fear
Economic fear. The black will work for less because they have learned to live on less.
Pure blood blacks are hard to find. Whites feared intermarriage not adultery. 20% of white Americans have negro blood. 75% of black Americans have white blood.

e) The sinful desire for supremacy. Young over old, rich over poor, strong over weak, white over coloured.

Alleged Biblical proof texts to justify racism

a) The mark of Cain. Gen. 4/11-26 They say the mark was black skin.
vs. 15 The mark was for protection. It was spiritual. It doesn't prove anything except he was marked and there is no way to tell what it was.

b) The mark of Ham. Gen. 918-29 This is supposed to be the beginning of the servant class. He moved to Africa and founded the black tribes. Blacks are then servants. The actual curse was on Canaan who was the father of the whites. The Canaanites became idolatrous and were eventually judged by God and destroyed.

c) The confusion of tongues at Babel. Gen. 11/1-9 this is supposed to be Gods frustration at mans attempt at integration. Vs 4 They were disobedient at wanting to stay in one place. God had told them to fill up the earth. They were all the same race. The punishment was on the speech. The punishment was binding on all of them. It wasn't segregation. It was desperation to obey Gods command.

Jesus attitude toward Segregation

Mark 7 The Syrophoenician women
Luke 10 the parable of the good Samaritan
Matt. 28 Mark 16 The great commission is to all the world. In his parables he speaks of God ultimately blessing the whole world. He wasn't prejudiced as a Jew. He quotes Elijah as going to Naaman the leper and the widow in Sidon who were both gentiles. The Samaritan women at the well. He violated Jewish custom by talking to her. In all his ministry he never showed any prejudice.
In the OT segregation was enforced for spiritual reasons. Gal. 3/28 There was no segregation at the cross.


The Apostles attitude.
Peter was rebuked by Paul for segregation Gal. 2/9-14

Gods attitude. Gal. 3/28, Acts 17/26, Acts 10/9-16
Num. 12/1 Moses married a black women. Miriam and Arron were upset and said he was backslidden or something and not fit for leadership.

Conclusion. Separation in the bible was always for spiritual reasons.
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