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Archive for the ‘P: Situation Ethics’ Category

Matthew 12:1-8 Did Jesus Authorize Situation Ethics?

By Stan Cox

In this article I have been asked to explain, in its context, Jesus’ defense of his disciples in Matthew 12. The Pharisees had accused them of unlawful activity on the Sabbath. This is a difficult passage, and in misusing it, some are led to dangerous conclusions regarding what God allows in our response to his laws. Among these conclusions is the belief that on occasion, necessity outweighs the precepts of God’s law, and al-lows us to engage in unlawful activity without guilt. I trust you will open your Bible and read the entire passage, in its immediate context, in con-junction with this writer’s explanation of the text.

The Meaning of the Text

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Preserving Distinctive Morals

Cecil Willis
Marion, Indiana

The Bible clearly teaches that God's people are to be distinctive. They are to be a peculiar people" (I Pet, 2:9). They are to be to the world as "lights" in the midst of darkness (Phil. 2: 15, 16). They are to be separate from the world (2 Cor. 6:17, 18).

Particularly should God's children be distinctive in their morals. We are to be an example in morals (I Tim. 4:12). Our life is to be so transformed (Rom. 12:1, 2) that we can be called "new creatures" in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). We must not conduct ourselves as we did in our pre-Christian state (I Pet. 4:4). This peculiarity in morals will result in the world hating us (1 Jno. 3:13), for if we were "of the world," the world would love us as its own (Jno. 15:19).

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Situation Ethics and the Child of God

By Andy Alexander


Situation ethics is a philosophy that teaches that sin may be acceptable, or at least, overlooked by God under certain specific situations. The philosophy says that one may be placed in a situation where he must choose be- tween the lesser of two evils. Those in the secular world would not view either choice as sin, but the child of God would readily see the sin involved. So, the idea facing us as Christians is that we may be placed in a situation in which the only choice we have is to sin or face some horrible, agonizing situation that we deem intolerable.

For example, the abortionist uses situation ethics to convince young, pregnant girls that termination of a fetus (murder of a baby) may be preferable to bringing a baby into a poor, unwanted situation. They portray the life of the baby and mother as being very difficult and disadvantaged and the only viable option is to abort the fetus and try to do better the next time. There are clearly other and better alternatives, but the abortionist has an agenda to promote and he will promote it with whatever lie he has to use in order to further his cause. Abortion is murder and no amount of mental gymnastics will change it (Gen. 9:6). It violates many Bible principles (Matt. 7:12; Rom. 13:9; Mark 12:31).

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