Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The way to walk

Ethicists have been busy lately as much of the news relates directly to Ethics. Pop star Michael Jackson says he has acted ethically in having children as guests at his home, his accusers say he did not. Baseball great Barry Bonds says he acted ethically with regard to steroids, some look to his late in life change of physique and question that statement. Questions about cloning, stem cell research and other sceintific advances all involve ethics. And, of course, there has been the very public debate about removing Terry Schiavo's feeding tube which was also an ethical decision.

Ethics answers questions as to what is right, good, virtuous or how we ought to behave. Tonight at King of Peace, we'll begin a 7-week study of Christian Ethics that will meet each week from 7-8 p.m. Each week, the group will learn some of the techniques of how one can decide which choice is best with a variety of issues. There will also be an opportunity to hear some specifics of cases and make the decisions.

What does scripture say on ethics? Plenty, but here is a short version which the Prophet Micah gave,
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
Micah taps in to that very Jewish way of discussing ethics, which is part of our spiritual roots as Christians. Walking. That is a favorite expression in the Old Testament for a relationship with God. We walk in God’s ways. We walk by faith. We walk with God. Abraham, the wandering ArameanThis idea of walking is such a part of Old Testament thought that Jews call their moral and ethical code halachah, which means “the way to walk.”

Walking. It had deep roots in the culture of the Jews. They began as a nomadic people. The essential Jewish statement of history begins, “A wandering Aramean was my father…” Abraham left the home of his father and wandered out into the desert to follow God. In the process Abraham learned how to walk with God.

Halacah teaches the fundamental religious truth that God does not want you merely to come to one big religious moment of making things all better and then get on with the rest of your life. What God wants is the rest of your life. God wants an ongoing relationship that is more about the journey than the destination. For faith is not head knowledge alone. Faith is a journey and a relationship that results in some clear actions in response to that relationship. Faith and ethics can't be separated. It turns out, you've been a ethicist all along, but you have the God who made everything with you in your journey.
Walking by faith


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