Ask most Americans – certainly most politicians – what is the peculiar source of much of the current hand-wringing through the land, and I suspect they’ll say, “The economy.” All that uncertainty about the housing market, the jobs situation, the lack of a federal budget, growing indebtedness – the usual suspects.
But the financial and economic crisis of the moment is really a disguise for a deeper crisis, a crisis of ethics. The country is ethically and morally adrift, without a common anchor, and the result is a profusion of various kinds of ethics, most of them rooted in some combination of relativism and pragmatism. Sure, it might work for you, but what about all the other folks who will be affected by your actions? Without trust in God, this is where ethics ends up. How can we help people to understand this?
Resources for this topic
“Recovering Ethics,” by Allyne Smith
“Enlightened Ethics? The Failure of Secularized Morality,” by Charles Colson
“Biblical Foundations of Business Ethics,” by Hershey H. Friedman
“Business Ethics and a Return to the Core Questions,” by Gerald Zandstra
“The Failure of Modern Ethics,” by Rick Wade
“Medical Technology, Medical Ethics,” by Robert A. Sirico
“The Pursuit of Happiness,” by David Horne
“The Ethics of Bioethics,” by David B. Fletcher
“Struck Dumb: Has Harvard Forgotten the Question?” by Charles Colson
Our new DVD series, Doing the Right Thing, can help you to understand the importance of ethics and how to help others think about this important issue. Order your copy today from our online store.
- Does your church provide any teaching on ethics? Meet with your pastor and talk with him about it. What suggestions can you come up with to help make sure that the members of your church are being given opportunities to learn Christian ethics?
- Talk with some unbelieving friends about your perception of the current crisis of ethics. Do they agree? What is the source of their thinking about ethics? Can you find an article in the list above that you might share with them to get them thinking about this topic?
- Email today’s Talking Points column to several Christian friends. Challenge them to read some of the resources, watch the Two-Minute Warning, and take on one of the activities.
A conversation starter
Here’s a conversation starter you can use to explore the views of your friends and co-laborers on the role of ethics in society: “Some people think we’ve lapsed into a crisis of ethics in America. Could this be? Does it matter what we think about ethics?”