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August 2, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Subjective and objective ethics in the Bible–Getting God out of your box

If the bible is an instruction book, inspiration and guide to morality and life, why are so many of its passages vague and open to interpretation?

I think this is an interesting question…..but its looking in the wrong direction in some respects. I think it also misses the point of what the Bible is about–why it exists and how we are to use it now.

First, this seems sufficiently broad to provide flexibility and freedom of choice, but sufficiently targeted such that anyone can

The Fruit of the Spirit
22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.

Or for instance:

Luke 6:31 New International Version (NIV)
31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Why is ethical flexibility good?
Lets look at this from an analogy. Did your art teacher tell you how to paint by numbers to be the next DaVinci or star of the art world?

An ethical standpoint that understands the following means that precision isn’t always of utmost importance in terms of how ethical principles are communicated:
growth and development over time (personal ethical evolution–via a developmental model)
the state of your heart as being most important (i.e. trying & striving)
grace and forgiveness

Life isn’t supposed to be like a math problem.
There is a benefit to perspectivalism.
Life would be boring without change over time.
Live would be boring without differences in perspectives.

Humans aren’t robots. Effort, wrestling, conversation, and debate is good.

The challenge of dealing with diversity of perspectives in terms of interpretation is part of the joy, experience, and excitement of the faith when seen in proper perspective.

Ethics in the Bible is living, dynamic, and perspective and experience can breath meaning into its most important principles.

Gods grace means that the place of our heart and our faith is more important than our ability to follow doctrinal rules.

In some ways this allows people to come to God on their own terms–rather than a copycat or . We assemble a **grounded** ethical system based on the principles, narratives, and themes of the Bible. This model transcends the problems of typical rule based morality. It incorporates the need for objectivity in principle, but some degree of perspective and subjectivity.

Ultimately, the question misses both the value of the beauty and meaning of the way that God thinks about the ethics of person, the way in which grace and forgiveness, the importance of the state of our heart (our fundamental intent).

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