Friday, March 23, 2007

Situational ethics

Mike Masterson, the internationally renowned Democrat-Gazette columnist, will be on my radio program next Tuesday, so I was boning up. Mike wrote one heck of a column yesterday about how the press often gets religion all wrong.

I was intrigued that Masterson twice used the word “orthodoxy” to define a set of religious beliefs and used quotes that also included it. Everybody seemed to be making fair use of the word, although there was not one mention of the creeds, the councils, or the church fathers.

Although I find myself generally agreeing with Mike, I rise with a friendly little amendment, and I promise it won’t hurt anything. Masterson also went off on “situational ethics,” as some sort of curse on modern man. Of course, the scriptures are full of “situational ethics.”

For example, when Jesus’ disciples get in trouble for plucking grain on the Sabbath, Jesus answers with the story of how David used the holy bread in the temple to feed his guards. Paul has a long discourse on eating food sacrificed to idols. Look it up and get a lesson in situational ethics and how to deal with the “weaker brother.”

The reason I even bring this up is that, while we are not allowed to make up the rules as we go along, man was created with a mind to make moral judgments. That is why we need the church to help form our consciences.

Most folks I know are all against “situational ethics” until it comes to their own divorce.

(Broadcast March 23, 2007)

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