Ethical and moral standards as well as conducts date back to the times of Adam and Eve when they lived in the Garden of Eden. Jesus is said to have taught Christian ethics with his disciples and it came to be implemented by early and modern Christians because of the standards that Christians need to portray. Different Christian denominations also have different ethical concepts expected of their members. Therefore, this paper will address Christian ethics concepts.
Nullens & Michener(2010), define ethics as a methodological reflection on the values, norms and virtues and purpose of Christian life in one contemporary context drawn from the scripture and the tradition of faith (12)”. This means that Christian faith has its base in Bible teachings and in the people who live by faith. Pinckaers (1995) however offers different Christian ethics definition as a theology branch that focuses with the study of human acts insofar as they might be the prevailing moral law subjects compared to its significance as well as duties determined by these in regards to its revelation.
The branch of theology also aims at studying different human acts to abide by them as reason imposes as well as God’s will in regards to revelation (3-5). The definition of Pinckaers tries to define that Christian ethics express the will of God and the reason for humankind.
In relevance to the above definition, I think that the definition of Christian ethics needs to address issues of character, ideals, values and should focus on the Christian way of life as well as their moral obligations as the Holy Scriptures indicate. Christin ethics can also be defined as the study of human life as informed and directed by Christian convictions and the people.
On the other hand, general ethics is focused on arbitrary systems that men designed but Christian ethics on the contrary depend on solid absolutes foundation that no system can offer such a foundation to operate on. One of the foundations of Christian ethics is God and his trait. It should be realized that the source of morality is God and it means that we may not be in a position to separate the good from what is pleasant in the eyes of God.
In his scripture, he indicates that we have to be holy because he is holy. The basis of Christian ethics at the same time depends on the nature of man. Therefore, it should be noted that Christianity offers rational meaning to offer high regard to man based on the fact that he was created in the image of God as written in the book of Genesis 1:26-7 that God created man in his own image and likeness and as a result, man possesses moral consciousness.
The Bible, total world and how we see life and value it as well as Atonement is the other basis of Christian ethics. (Morris (200) indicates that Christian ethics basis can be traced to biblical context (48-52). Therefore, be informed that Christian ethics is based on God as well as his character while general ethics is based on the principles of man which seems good to the society and the individual.
Both Christian and general ethics advocate for people to me upright and ethical morally and to adhere to moral standards to help enhance their relationship with nature. There are different approaches to ethics from different branches. For instance, the Catholic Church teaches that sexuality affects the entire body in the unity of the soul and the body. On the other hand, the Orthodox indicates that sexuality ethically is the gift of human life that should be used for the purpose of procreation.
The Lutheran however considers sexuality as being designed for the purpose of expressing love and fulfilment of marital rights. In regards to women leadership in the church, there are Lutherans who accept while others oppose. In the Presbyterian, the reformed church, the Anglican Church and the Methodist, women leaders in church are generally accepted.
Additionally, all denominations except for the Catholics allow the use of contraceptives, oppose euthanasia and abortion. Christian ethics is also based on God and his character and it focuses on encouraging the people to adhere to the path of righteousness.
The foundation is in heaven and through grace, it is conferred to men. Christians also need to use the Bible to get wisdom. Even though there is general acceptance that ethics should address mutual issues, it is different in various denominations. The only common stance is the fact that it focuses on enhancing ethical behavior and morality.
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Morris, R. A. (2009). Christian Ethics: Where Life and Faith Meet. CrossBooks.
Nullens, P., & Michener, R. T. (2010). The Matrix of Christian Ethics: Integrating Philosophy and Moral Theology in a Postmodern Context. Biblica.
Pinckaers, S. (1995). The sources of Christian ethics. CUA Press.