Abductive Columns

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Musings on Ethics

  • Can breaking biblical rules ever be the best course of action?
  • Is lying always a breach of Christian duty?
  • What do you do when obedience might lead to undesirable consequences?

At one time I was a proponent of the divine command theory that stated life presents no conditions under which it is permissible to lie, mislead or disregard scriptural injunctions, Yet I can't help but believe that moral and even biblical laws possess an hierarchy that require certain rules be elevated and other subordinated or discarded.

Yes Proverbs 12:22 states that "the Lord detest lying lips," yet God rewards the Hebrew midwives for breaking the law and then lying about it—in order to save the lives of baby boys (Exodus 1:15-20). And then God himself tells Moses to lie to Pharaoh about the Hebrew's purpose for going into the desert (Exodus 3:18). Clearly we need a strategy for understanding the heartbeat behind the rules—a means of discerning the wisest application of Bible rules.


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