Archive for the 'Ethics' Category

Recently a pastor posted an article about how he would treat his kids if they turned out to be gay. His four promises to them were: he won’t keep his kids’ sexuality a secret, he’ll pray for them (but not for God to change them), he’ll love them, and he accepts that if they turn out to be gay, they are gay already. He never once mentioned either how God feels about homosexuality or that he would try to help his kids to restrain their behavior. One friend of mine commented that the man demonstrated unconditional love like Jesus had for everyone he met. When I read through this short piece, by a fellow pastor, I kept waiting for the twist at the end, but it never came. Of course, in this short sample of his thought, it is hard for me to discern what he thinks about the subject at large. It seems like he knows that the bible condemns homosexual sex yet he, himself, believes it is not wrong. If this is the case, then he is simply a non-biblical Christian or a liberal Christian—someone who takes some of what the bible says while ignoring other parts with which he or she disagrees. Another possibility is that he really does believe the bible is right but thinks the best course of action is to love the sinner unconditionally, regardless of the sin. I want to assume that this is the case for my purposes here, and put some thought into the question of what unconditional love is and whether or not it should have any limits.


It should be evident, even to the most oblivious and uninformed person on the earth that the world is in trouble. Every sort of evil – abortion, child abuse, adultery, rape, murder, selfishness, hatred, greed, sexual immorality, and divorce, to name a few–abounds, and in some cases are looked upon favorably or as an acceptable social norm.

With all of this corruption and immorality, it has been the response of many Christians to fear the world and its evils and retreat into the safety of the Christian subculture that has emerged as a result. We have our own music, our own movies, our own books, our own colleges, and our own social groups to shield us from the world around us. We have created a Christian bubble, and few dare to step out of it.

Countless hospitals across the nation bear the name “Good Samaritan,” all a tribute to Jesus’ masterful parable about the injured traveler. So ubiquitous is this story that it has become a cliché to call someone who helps another “a good Samaritan.” Yet, as with so many sayings of Jesus, the more popular it became, the more it was domesticated and dulled so as to no longer present a challenge. Like cereal left sitting in milk too long, the good Samaritan today communicates the soggy, tepid truth that we should occasionally help the needy if it is not too much trouble. Furthermore, the command of Jesus to love ones’ neighbor as oneself remains divorced from the story, as if the two were unrelated. We forget that Jesus’ little story is intended to illustrate and set a standard for how his followers neighbor others. In what follows, we will make our way through the parable, paying careful attention to the historical context in order to recalibrate our senses and learn how best to live this out today.

This article is helpful and insightful. Has some good wisdom that our blog could gain from.  Here’s a highlight:

Sometimes, lives are wrecked by “Business Traveler Mentality.” This is the belief that “the rules of home don’t apply when I’m on business trips.” People make really horrible decisions on the road they’d never make at home because, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

Often, we Christians suffer from that same line of thinking when we get online. We’ll tweet things we’d never say to someone’s face. We’ll comment on Facebook statuses in ways we’d never do in “real life.” We’ll push buttons and pick fights on comment threads and message boards. We’ll gossip and tear down people as if maybe “Love your neighbor” actually says, “Love your neighbor, except if you’re online.”

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one
another John 13:34 & 35(NASB)

The words of Jesus are very explicit in John chapter 13 so we must ask ourselves some big questions.
1) How did Jesus Love?
2) Did Jesus show his Love to his followers?
3) Did he restrict his Love simply to his follows?
4) When we see the Cross do we see LOVE?

Question one How did Jesus Love?

As I was going through my mail the other day, or should I say “junk” mail since that seems to be all that ever comes besides bills, I noticed a little community newspaper.  It was one of those small papers that are 80% ads (how they get sent out to every resident for free) and is mass produced by a local publishing company that markets it to local businesses (or as they term it – “customizing community news”) as a way to reach potential consumers.  

Tertullian on Abortion

I came across the following quotation in the reading for my ethics class. Most of us probably think abortion is a new ethical question brought on by the advent of modern science and technology. In fact, the early Christians were already wrestling with this question. The following is from Tertullian of Carthage (north Africa), a late second century teacher and defender of the faith. Here is what he writes to the Romans who were persecuting the Christians in his book Apology chapter 9:

A big problem with the “hot button” social issues that get debated endlessly is that you often have people on both sides of the debate who misunderstand, oversimplify, or in some cases even misrepresent the opposing view.  The video I have linked here (I couldn’t get it to embed) gives a good, common sense, look at the abortion issue.


Probably the best line in it was, “If your views on abortion can fit on a bumper sticker, you haven’t thought it through hard enough.”  I think this can also be said for all of the “hot button” social issues.  When I took a course on Ethics in college, the biggest thing I learned was that there are no simple answers.

1Thes 5.22 [KJV]
Abstain from all appearance of evil.

It is amazing how one little word can change a meaning so much. I bet a lot of puritanical church rules were generated by a concern to avoid even the “appearance” of evil. Matthew Henry’s commentary (from 1706) says:

We should therefore abstain from evil, and all appearances of evil, from sin, and that which looks like sin, leads to it, and borders upon it. He who is not shy of the appearances of sin, who shuns not the occasions of sin, and who avoids not the temptations and approaches to sin, will not long abstain from the actual commission of sin.

Introductory Remarks

When we first started kingdomready.org we developed a static website which combined ministry related content with web resources primarily focused on evangelism. Our motto was and continue to be “helping people to get ready for the kingdom.” However, once people had sufficiently explored the website (usually after about a week) we noticed that for many there was not a need or desire to continue visiting the site (other than once a week to download the Sunday sermon or watch the web-cast). At this point I asked JohnnyO what we could do to increase traffic and bring more people in. He suggested that what people are looking for is not merely static content but a changing website where people could interact through conversation. We discussed the various ways that this was done (message boards, guest books, blogs, podcasts, etc.) and decided that the mechanism that best suited our needs was to have a blog. The original conception was simple: we wanted to have a section of kingdomready that was alive and changing on a regular basis. It was (and still is) our desire to have a new blog post every other day. Beyond this, we did not really have guidelines in place for what the blog posts should contain.

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