Different Ethics

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by Ben Huot

www.benjamin-newton.com

You are now in the 4th Generation Subsection of the About Section

November 24, 2021

person in corn maze

To be fully transparent to Non-Christians, we have a different idea of what right and wrong means than they do both specifically and in theory. We also have different ways of dealing with offenses.

First of all, almost every Christian I have ever met believes we should follow the law unless it directly contradicts Scripture. The other circumstance that allows for violation of human laws is if our ability to worship God as directed in Scripture is disallowed. This means unless we personally are called to break a direct commandment of God that is clearly explained in Scripture we are to follow all laws. This is true no matter how much we disagree with them.

Christ said that in His summary of the Law that we are supposed to love each other as God loves us and to love others as ourselves. There is a fundamental difference between how God sees things and people see things. Love is one of them.

Love today in our culture is often associated with power over others and desire for material things. People in our society love those who can return the favor. Just as we give money expecting something in return, so we do with our love of each other. One of the really essential concepts of love in the Bible is the one of unconditional love.

Everyone loves other people that they like - this does not require sacrifice or effort. It requires someone to change the way they think in order to love those who cannot return the love. In this way of thinking we do not exchange one thing for another, as we do when we buy things. We give away and in return get nothing or even negativity.

The world thinks that humility and sacrifice are signs of weakness. This has always been true to a degree but our society has been especially influenced by Hollywood. This is because Hollywood likes to take the easy route to being creative. Instead of making more interesting or meaningful storylines, characters, or themes; they use sex and violence to add cheap filler.

Just like in a recipe you can make it with high quality ingredients or you can substitute it with more fat and sugar or fillers. Even though people like it ok, you spend less money. The thing is you don’t really need the fillers or sugar or fat, but it requires more time and skill to cook without it. We do this a lot in life.

Look at the Internet, for example - 90% of it is junk. Do we really need to look through the millions of hits we get when we search for something or do we really need those hundreds of comments on every social media video? We no longer trust other people’s reviews or who is calling us on the phone because it is so filled with fraud and low quality stuff.

So what is the motivation for someone to be a higher quality person? We need to be motivated by something other than money. One of the best ways to become a higher quality person is to surround yourself with higher quality people. We see higher quality people when they do not think they are anonymous, meaning we meet them outside the Internet.

We need to form relationships with people in real life, so that we can start acting more civil with each other. Another thing is that we are defined by our consumption of creative efforts not our production of creative things. There is a more lasting benefit in creating something rather than just absorbing it.

We need to return to dealing with people directly and creating things for others, in order to lift us out of this society level depression and social anxiety. We can get along, but we first need to take a step outside first. In anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders, the worst thing you can do is stay inside. We need to expand our comfort zone or else we will continue to spiral downwards.

This is one of the big reasons why Christians are so intent on keeping the Church together and not just watch sermons online. Even televangelists will often tell you to find a local church. Being Christian is not about how effective you are in converting other people or how much you can get for God. Worship of God is spending time with God.

The Christian God truly is a person. This is who we call Jesus Christ. For all the problems it has caused in our society, being an individual is not a bad thing. The problem becomes when people focus on this aspect of themselves as an end in and of itself. We are created, judged, and loved by God individually. The expression of this love though is to not be just about accumulating things, even if done for God.

We sacrifice for others because we want to change the way we think, so that we can change who we are. It is an outward expression of our love of our Creator. Obviously God could do a better job of everything the Church does or Christians do, but God wants to involve us because He values us. As Christians, we have a history of creating big problem for ourselves. Instead of following God, we think we have better ideas.

God wants us to be His hands and feet, not the leadership. This does not mean we should lack community. It means that the decisions at the top need to be God driven rather than people driven.

God has showed us this by allowing the church to splinter. Churches can build themselves up as high as they can, but their cathedrals will weather away over time. Christian denominations are a blessing because they force us to work with people we do not fully agree with and on equal terms. This situation forces us to let God do the real coordination of His work in this world. Even though we are very organized as institutions, we are forced to act as a network, with only God as our real leader.

But just like the homeless have a different story for every person, what keeps us from God is different for every person. The Church needs to spend less time trying to recruit huge numbers of people. Instead we need to focus on one person at a time and form relationships instead of large gatherings. Perhaps we will eventually be forced into working in even smaller groups and maybe this will actually make us even more effective.

The real thing that keeps people wary of the Church is our insistence on forgiving others who have done wrong to us. We live in a society that has become more violent and cruel over time. And our response has been to bring down the hammer and increase the penalties for immorality and crimes, both within and without the Church.

But this is not the way of Christ. Regardless of how our society decides to deal with crime, Christ has chosen to forgive and pay the penalty Himself, for our eternity. We as Christians need to take this idea more seriously.

No one is saying we shouldn’t punish criminals but maybe we should focus on rehabilitation rather than just making the penalties more painful. We as Christians cannot see crime as an us vs. them thing. We are all in the same boat, spiritually. This is what makes Christianity Christian.