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Ethics

By David J Garrard
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Ethics is concerned with what society views as being morally right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable, permissible and impermissible. This means that ethical views vary from one culture to another because the culture itself becomes the measure by which right and wrong are determined. This also means that any view of ethics may change with time and will be reflected by the way society changes and views its needs.

Christian ethics are the main concern of this article. Christian ethics differ from secular ethics because they are linked to the Bible and determined by the unchanging truths of the Scripture. Christian ethics are therefore, God-centred and Christ-centred rather than man-centred.

The purpose of any Christian system of ethics is to enable mankind to live in a correct relationship, firstly, with his God and secondly, with his neighbour. All correct behaviour, and any truly moral system, should facilitate and improve upon this relationship.

Any ethical system, which has man as its centre, degenerates into a system, which is based upon the relative needs of mankind, which is reflected by what is called 'Situation Ethics'.

The term 'Situation Ethics' was made famous by Joseph Fletcher in his book by that name, (London. SCM Press, 1966). He believed that there is no such thing as an absolute truth other than his interpretation of Love and Justice. The problem with his interpretation of these two matters is that they are not biblically based.

Index to the topic

Ethics
Christian Ethics are Revelational
Biblical Ethics
Old Testament Ethics
New Testament Ethics
   A Trinitarian Ethic
   A Christ-centred Ethic
   An Ethic of freedom
   An Ethic of love
   An Ethic of the Holy Spirit
   An Ethic of expectation

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