|Issue No. 24/2018 17 June 2018 Determining What Is Right Pt. 2 Coy Roper (Truth for T
The scriptural view of ethics can be abused and misused. For example, if we think of Christian ethics only in terms of a set of rules which are always applicable everywhere, several problems can arise (possible solutions to those problems are given in parentheses):
1. It is impossible to construct an ethical system composed of a set of rules which speak specifically to every circumstance. (The Bible guides us not just by specific regulations, but also by principles illustrated in unchanging laws).
2. Rule-keeping can degenerate into a system that has no regard for the attitudes of the rule-keeper or for the plight of the people affected by the rules. (The solution to this abuse is to recognize both the importance of the attitudes of those who strive to keep the law and the importance of those affected by the law).
3. The biblical system is often misunderstood as requiring absolute perfection, and to despair because everyone will break a rule at some time. (The Bible itself declares that no one can keep the law perfectly; grace is required to be saved, and grace is available through Christ).
4. Some may get the idea that, by keeping the ethical rules found in the Bible, one can earn salvation. (The law was not given to save; it was rather given to show the saved how to live in a new relationship with God. Persistent disobedience to the law can lead to condemnation, but no one is saved solely by law-keeping).
DISCUSSING THE QUESTION
Erwin Lutzer, a renowned radio speaker and author, showed the inadequacy of relativistic systems and argued for biblical ethics.
The Fallacies of a Situational Ethics System
Lutzer said that men, acting alone, cannot establish a valid and satisfying moral theory. This statement is no doubt true.
The scientific method is unable to produce a satisfactory system of ethics. Ethical systems claim to be “scientific,” to leave behind outmoded and superstitious religious ideas. The problem is that science can describe, but it cannot prescribe. It has made great innovations, but it cannot judge the rightness or wrongness of how those innovations are used. It has no way to demonstrate the existence of values: Science deals only with that which is empirical, and values are not empirical. Since science cannot provide definite answers to questions of morality, man adopts relativism and lives with the delusion that these principles are arrived at scientifically.
Relativism is always self-contradictory. It disclaims absolutes but must accept absolutes when it judges other theories. Love is accepted as the absolute in one theory, culture in another, free choice in another. Further, relativism claims that there are no intrinsic values, yet it assumes that intrinsic values exist when it gives ethical guidance. Situationism says, “Do what is loving.” What is the loving thing to do? That is determined by understood intrinsic values. Situationism teaches that ends and means are relative, and that morality is ever-changing.
All manmade ethical systems ultimately depend on arbitrary standards determined by man. Man “views himself as the measure of all things. [He] becomes, in the humanistic system, the theme of all nature and, therefore, the basis for all values.
The Value of an Absolute Ethical System
Lutzer demonstrated the value of an absolute ethical system in providing a consistent system of morality that corresponds to our innate moral sense. The major question, according to Lutzer, is whether or not God exists. If there were no God, a manmade ethical system would have to suffice. However, since God is real, an absolute moral system is possible and necessary. How does such a system compare with the manmade systems already discussed?
What kind of moral system is found in the Bible? First, its absolute standard of morality is God Himself. The Bible is the only standard because it is derived from God. Second, the Bible applies to all people of all times because every person is made in the image of God. Biblical morality, therefore, is not arbitrary. When we disobey God’s moral law, we violate our own created nature. Third, the ultimate, final authority in the New Testament is Christ. We can accept or reject Christ, but cannot accept only part of what Christ taught. Fourth, the commandments in the Bible were given to us because God knows the end from the beginning. He knows what is best for us; He alone knows all the facts, sets all the goals, and determines all morality. Fifth, biblical morality involves intentions. It is more than external obedience to a moral code. We are judged by our intentions in a given action, rather than by the consequences of the action. This does not, however, prove that good intentions always make an act right. To be truly “good,” our deeds must be in harmony with God’s will. Sixth, biblical authority is so lofty that we need God’s help to live that way.
Compared to other systems, biblical morality is superior in three ways: It is self-consistent, it explains why some things are “wrong,” and it corresponds to man’s nature.
K. L. FAMILY NEWS
Our theme for June is “…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18a).
FRIDAY BIBLE CLASS
Bro. Ganga will be teaching on the Book of 2 Peter on 22 June 2018 at 7.00pm – 8.00pm.
SPEAKER FOR 24 JUNE 2018
Bro. Rajandran will be preaching on “Gems from Hebrews” (Heb. 4:14-16) on 24 June 2018.
We thank bro. Robert and sis. Irene Ong for contributing nice covers for the hymn books.
We welcome bro. Rajandran back from his mission trip to Bangalore where he had a Gospel Meeting at K.J. Halli COC where bro. V.G. Raj is the preacher.
VISITORS/VISITING BRETHREN (LAST WEEK)
Tamil Worship – Gloria (KL), bro. Moses Murugesan
English Worship – bro. Chandran (India)
SINGSPIRATION (30 JUNE 2018, SAT.)
Let’s All Unite To Sing
GOD IS LOVE
“I Will Sing With The Spirit & I Will Sing With The Understanding”
(1 Cor. 14:15)
Segment 1 … TO PRAISE THE LORD Segment 3 THE PILGRIM’S SONG
Segment 2 SINGING THE STORY Segment 4 SINGING OF HEAVEN
6.00pm Welcoming 8.00pm Intermission
6.05pm Prayer & Dinner 8.15pm Singing
7.00pm Singing 9.15pm Good Night
SERMON FOR TODAY
Speaker: Chris Lopez
Title: Yield Not to Temptation
Text: Matt. 4:4
Those to Serve 17 June 24 June
Song Leader Ganga Chee Keong
Opening Prayer Patrick Chew Tony Lye
Lord’s Table Robert Ong Patrick Chew
Server Yap Ah Peng Ganga
Reader Tony Lye Yixen
Announcer Chee Keong Robert Ong
Teacher Chris Lopez Rajandran
Lesson The Dangers 2 Corinthians
Communion Set Constance Anita Ong
Floral Display Veronica Christine M
Statistics Last Week
English Worship 20
Tamil Worship 13
Hearing Impaired -
Total Worship Attendance 33
Friday Bible Class 3
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