What a great day of class. This is always the part of my two-week trip that starts to get long. So I am always appreciative of Bethel's approach to these classes. The first week is typically much more heady and theoretical (Greek), while the second week tends toward more practical, here-and-now discussions. This week, I am in ethics, which is a welcomed change of pace from learning Biblical Greek.
I approached this class with the belief that ethics would primarily be about developing a system to determine right from wrong. In other words, I figured that ethics was all about morality. So imagine my surprise when one of our professor's first statements went something like this, "The problem is not that we are immoral. The problem is that we are moral." What!?!
Yes, that was my response. But, somewhat surprisingly, by the end of our first morning together I found myself coming to some agreement with his position. Here's the line of reasoning.
In the garden of Eden (yes, we have to go all the way back to our beginning), God created Adam and Eve as two people in perfect relationship with Him. The word we use for people in right relationship with God is "righteous." Try and forget all the other connotations you may have of the word righteous, because it fundamentally means to be in right standing with God. Anyway, God gave them free reign of the garden, except for a tree in the middle, of which he said they may not eat. You know the story- Satan slithered by and convinced them to eat, and their eyes were opened. As a result of this, God says, "now they have become like us, knowing good and evil." In other words, knowledge of good and evil (morality) was a result of fallen humanity. God's intention was for us to be rightoues, but instead we became moral. The foundational problem with this is that our purpose as humans shifted from living under God's true word to becoming our own moral compass. WE became the moral compass to try and determine right and wrong.
So, from this, all human attempts at being good are doomed to fail, because we inherently base these judgments off of our fallen perceptions. The true call to ethics is to return to God's intended design- righteousness. In other words, we become truly ethical when we give-up trying to be moral and simply enter into right relationship with God by living in obedience to His words. As we saw in the life of Jesus in John 12 a few weeks ago at church, this is the true path for human freedom. It is out of this right relationship that we can then begin to make decisions regarding right and wrong, good and evil. Because in this world, there is still good, and there is still evil. Yet our hope of living for the good and shunning the evil is not found in good and evil themselves, but in right relationship with our Creator. Make sense? Do you agree? Have I totally lost you?
ETHICAL PROBLEM FOR THE DAY:
Over the past few years, you've likely seen the provocative Super Bowl commercials put out by GoDaddy.com. Here's my question for you: is it ethically wrong for a church to hire GoDaddy.com to host their website? I leave the question open...please respond below.