hotrodhell

Situational Ethics Rebuttal..It may surprise you to know there are some things God cannot do!

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on March 17, 2009 at 9:28 pm

 

Chris at 1:10pm February 20

What is deemed correct in one situation would be morally wrong in another. So we must look at who and what it affects along with the overall changes in happiness, suffering, or pain. Here lies my working definition of what is right/moral. It is anything that decreases the amount of pain and suffering in the world or anything that increases happiness or quality of life. This definition for me works in most cases as broad principle, but I’m sure there are many cases in which it is not so black and white. Pertaining to sin within the context of Christianity, I would say that many of the things that deemed immoral are simply not moral issues based on my previous definition. For example God defined eating unclean foods as a sin in Leviticus 11:1-47 and Deuteronomy 14:3-20. Is eating ‘unclean’ food really a damnable offense? The Bible makes this particular issue a moral one claiming to be a sin (or an offensive against God or his will).

Chris at 2:16pm February 20

But in reality this was just a matter of practical advice given the food preparation processes of that time period. Not a moral issue and I can find more examples if someone would like me too to reinforce my argument. Okay, back to my original argument about situational ethics. Sorry for getting sidetracked about my previous point, but I wanted to make a brief point about many things that proclaimed to moral issues when they in fact are not (based on my definition). Ben, you are right about Lamont separating the action from the consequences and here’s an example why:

Person X kills person Y: X killed Y because X was robbing Y. This is obviously morally wrong and most people would label this as murder.

Person X kills person Y: X killed Y because X was defending himself/herself from Y.

Sorry for the crudeness of the example; in both of these situations the act of killing has occurred. But in each situation the act of killing could be labeled differently.

(Lev 11:44-47 HCSB)  For I am the LORD your God, so you must consecrate yourselves and be holy because I am holy. You must not defile yourselves by any swarming creature that crawls on the ground. For I am the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, so you must be holy because I am holy. This is the law concerning animals, birds, all living creatures that move in the water, and all creatures that swarm on the ground, in order to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between the animals that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.”

 

Deuteronomy repeats the dietary restrictions (Deu 14:2-22 HCSB) “You are not to eat any carcass; you may give it to a resident alien within your gates, and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a holy people belonging to the LORD your God. You must not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk. “Each year you are to set aside a tenth of all the produce grown in your fields.

 

 

Chris I think damnation is a bit far for breaking the dietary laws but being unclean before a Holy God is the point. God not only gave them survival laws for living in the wilderness they were to be an example of God’s holiness to a dead and dying world. You can see by the scriptures God explains to the people of Israel they are to be Holy because He is Holy. Prior to the dietary laws the people had made covenant with God to be His people and honor his law. This is the lesser details regarding obedience and respect. The “damnation” if you will was for the Worship and moral law given as we call them today the 10 commandments. In context the people had already committed themselves to obeying God. This is after being freed from slavery, defeating Pharaoh, providing escape across the Red Sea, manna in the wildness, and the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. You see if God is God by the shear meaning he is in charge, not just a boss, but a ruler. We are governed by a lot of things but this was more than a moral ascent and lip service to God. He had actively provided and requested their obedience which they willingly gave. A few verses to constitute the facts.

(Exo 14:31 HCSB)  When Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and believed in Him and in His servant Moses.

 

(Exo 15:1-2 HCSB)  Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD. They said: I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; He has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

 

(Exo 15:13-16 HCSB)  You will lead the people You have redeemed with Your faithful love; You will guide them to Your holy dwelling with Your strength. When the peoples hear, they will shudder; anguish will seize the inhabitants of Philistia. Then the chiefs of Edom will be terrified; trembling will seize the leaders of Moab; the inhabitants of Canaan will panic; and terror and dread will fall on them. They will be as still as a stone because of Your powerful arm until Your people pass by, LORD, until the people whom You purchased pass by.

 

(Exo 16:4 HCSB)  Then the LORD said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. This way I will test them to see whether or not they will follow My instructions.

 

(Exo 19:5-8 HCSB)  Now if you will listen to Me and carefully keep My covenant, you will be My own possession out of all the peoples, although all the earth is Mine, and you will be My kingdom of priests and My holy nation. These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites.” After Moses came back, He summoned the elders of the people, and put before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him. Then all the people responded together, “We will do all that the LORD has spoken.” So Moses brought the people’s words back to the LORD.

 

(Exo 20:1-17 HCSB)  Then God spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.

 

Do not have other gods besides Me.

 

 Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth.

 

You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.

 

Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God, because the LORD will punish anyone who misuses His name.

 

Remember to dedicate the Sabbath day:

 

You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. You must not do any work–you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreigner who is within your gates. For the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.

 

Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

 

Do not murder.

 

Do not commit adultery.

 

Do not steal.

 

Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.

Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

 

(Exo 20:18-20 HCSB)  All the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain surrounded by smoke. When the people saw it they trembled and stood at a distance. “You speak to us, and we will listen,” they said to Moses, “but don’t let God speak to us, or we will die.” Moses responded to the people, “Don’t be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear Him and will not sin.”

 

 

 

(Exo 24:7-11 HCSB)  He then took the covenant scroll and read it aloud to the people. They responded, “We will do and obey everything that the LORD has commanded.” Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you concerning all these words.” Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and 70 of Israel’s elders, and they saw the God of Israel. Beneath His feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire stone, as clear as the sky itself. God did not harm the Israelite nobles; they saw Him, and they ate and drank.

 

(Exo 40:37-38 HCSB)  If the cloud was not taken up, they did not set out until the day it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and there was a fire inside the cloud by night, visible to the entire house of Israel throughout all the stages of their journey.

 

As you can see the dietary requirements were a small part of the overall covenant with God. Just so we are clear I have included the proper definition of a covenant. Covenant-a solemn agreement that is binding on all parties, commercial law a formal and legally binding agreement or contract such as a lease, or one of the clauses in an agreement of this kind. A covenant is often used to require an owner or user of a parcel of land to do or refrain from doing something. Bible in the Bible, the promises that were made between God and the Israelites, who agreed to worship no other gods.

 

This part of the Bible has to do with promises made and promises meant to be kept. I guess this goes to the core of morality, we expect people to keep their word with us but if something negates our promises we want them to forget, ignore or at best to relieve us of our bond if we don’t keep our word. I made a statement a few responses ago; you can’t separate the Moral Law from the Moral Law giver. Morality without God is nonsense because we can’t be moral without an objective set of morals given to us outside our own ability to manipulate them. God would not be God if we could control, manipulate or even coerce for our own selfish pursuits his will. We are to submit to his authority and honor Him as God or Lord of our lives.

 

If situations were to determine our ethics then we are mere globs of slime forever regulated to our evolved state not a being with a higher pedigree than that. I know life always has and will always have situations arise that seem to back us in a corner concerning our espoused beliefs. But God is never slack concerning his requirements and presence during those times. The whole of the Bible proclaims his love and redemption for us. You see there is no situation outside the providence of God, no moment when He is not aware of, and there are no surprises that will catch Him off guard.

 

A total solution to the problem of evil is beyond human ability. I would put forth the idea that evil may be a necessary accompaniment of God’s plan to make us fully human or the means to a greater good. I took this statement from Christian Doctrine author Millard J Erickson page 141. It may surprise you to know there are some things God cannot do! God cannot be cruel, for cruelty is contrary to his nature. He cannot lie. He cannot break his promise. As an example God cannot make a circle, a true circle, without all points being equidistant from the center. Similarly, God cannot make a human without certain accompanying features. Humans would not be humans without free will. Whether humans are free in the sense assumed by Arminians or free in a sense not inconsistent with God’s having rendered certain what is to happen, means that we have certain capacities (e.g., the capacities to desire and to act) which we could not fully exercise if there were no such thing as evil. If God had prevented evil, he would have had to make us other than we are. To be truly human we must have the desire to have and do things some of which will not be what God wants us to have and to do. Evil, then was a necessary accompaniment of God’s good plan to make us fully human. Another dimension of this theme is that for God to make the physical world as it is required certain concomitants. Apparently, for humans to have a genuine moral choice with the possibility for disobedience meant they would be capable of dying. At this point someone might ask “If God could not create the world without the accompanying possibility of evil, why did he create the world at all, or create the world without humans?” We cannot answer that question since we are not God it is noteworthy God chose the greater good. He decided to create rather than not create; personally I’m glad for that. He decided to create beings who would fellowship with and obey him. Beings who would choose to do so even in the face of temptations to do otherwise. Free will appears to be the greater good as opposed to a totally antiseptic environment from which even the logical possibility of desiring anything contrary to God’s will would have been excluded. Let me conclude with a couple of scriptures.

 

(Rom 5:1 HCSB)  Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

(Rom 5:8-20 HCSB)  But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us! Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life! And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned. In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to one’s account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a prototype of the Coming One.   But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification. Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is life-giving justification for everyone. For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

 

Chris I would invite you to seek God He will find you and you will find him. I hope you know that for me this is enjoyable but also I recognize the eternal consequences involved in these discussions. Please know that I truly care and want to see others come to know and follow Jesus. I pray that I have not been offensive but at the same time I am betting eternity on what I believe not just on knowledge. You see without faith it is impossible to please God.

 

Dan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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