Saturday, May 01, 2010

God's Sovereignty Over Ethics

Is Right right because God said it was, or did God merely recognize what was right on its own? Could God arbitrarily change what is right or is He limited to what right already is?

Take a moment to untwist your brain and come back.

Ethics has been defined as many ways as there are people talking about it. What I am presenting is nothing new, merely a clearer way of understanding it. As with time, understanding God's relationship to ethics is mind-boggling. Is morality subject to the whims of God, or is God subject to the rigors of morality? Did God prove himself morally pure, or is He making the rules because he's the most powerful one in the room?

I think as a Christian the question comes down to "Are ethical principals eternal?" This means that ethical guidelines must have began before God, or they coexist with God, or else they were created by and therefore after God.

I do not believe, as with time, that morals were created simultaneous with the rest of creation, nor do they predate the Creator. That leaves me with the middle option.That is, ethics are simultaneous with God. Ethics result from God's very nature.

Dishonesty is unethical because God is truth (John 1:14; John 14:6,17; John 18:37). Adultery is unethical because God is committed (Genesis 17:4-9). Hatred (or worse, indifference) are immoral because God is love (1 John 4:7-8). Murder is immoral because God is the very source of life (Genesis 2:7). Stealing is unethical because it is lazy and God is a hard worker (Exodus 20:11). Stealing is also unethical because it is presumptuous to say that anything is ours in the first place, as it all belongs to God (Psalm 50:10,12). None of these moral guidelines are arbitrary. They simply fit who God is.

God is not subject to rules, because they are not really separate from him. The ethical guidelines he has given humanity are based on himself. It is only fitting that we obey them because we are made in his image.

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