There has been a shift in the traditional understanding of ethics over the last several decades. Traditionally when some one used the word “moral” it was understood to mean “what is” and ethics as “what should be.” This meant that people might accept certain things as normative (everyone is doing it so it must be okay) but that action was not necessarily ethical. The ethical standards, in western society, were based on the objective truth of God’s Word. If a person violated those standards, then those actions were unethical.
A shift has taken place and the results have been devastating. Ethics and morals have become synonymous. The result of this is that if a behavior is normative, then it is ethical. In other words, if the culture shifts on morality then ethics goes with it. We see this in many things in our society from the attempts to redefine marriage to the loss of the sanctity of human life.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we stand up and against this shift. A biblical worldview is no longer in fashion, if it ever were. The shift has been so nuanced that many people do not fully grasp its implications. Our ethical standards cannot be based on normative behavior. They need to be based on a biblical worldview. When we become aware of the insidious way that things have changed, we can equip ourselves to overcome it. As John Jefferson Davis has written “the teachings of Scripture are the final court of appeal for ethics. Human reason, church tradition, and the natural and social sciences may aid moral reflection, but divine revelation, found in the canonical Scriptures are the very Word of God, the only infallible and inerrant rule of faith and practice, and consequently are highest authority for both doctrine and morals.”
We are bombarded with a secular worldview from many different places: media, advertising, books, movies, newspapers, and so on. Being grounded in the Bible is the beginning point of the struggle we face. ”For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 Let us not live our lives with a sense of defeat, as if there is nothing we can do. Let us stand for the truth!