Saturday, May 19, 2007
Relational Ethics Part 7
The modernist idea of an absolute objective moral law without a subjective relationship to a moral law giver is equivalent to following the Old Covenant Law. It is evident in the Pauline epistles of the New Testament that loving relationship with the Triune God is central to living a Godly life. Paul says, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Apart from our relationship with the Triune God we would not be able to adhere to an arbitrary objective code. By reframing the ethical dilemma in light of relationship we find ourselves in a position to follow the moral code through an ethic of love. So Paul tells us that we are able to overcome, “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.” It is precisely the addition of the phrase, “and things like these” that clues us into the fact that Paul is not operating in the realm of objective lists but rather is working from a position of relationship. He admonishes the Galatians to follow the example of Christ who, “has set us free” so that we will not have to “submit again to a yoke of slavery” which is the law.