Christian ethics is a difficult animal. It’s not particularly well defined, and you’re going to get a different answer from everyone you ask, answers that are based on any number of different interpretations of the Bible, understandings of the role of tradition, and theological and philosophical viewpoints. Because of this, I’m going to resist writing about contentious social issues in this post — not because I think that the best position is one in the middle, but because those issues are not the focus of this post.
In the Christian tradition, living an ethical life is about fulfilling our purpose in life as human beings, or put another way, it is simply about becoming more human. Jesus, because he is both perfectly God and perfectly human, provides our definition of what it means to be perfectly human. To become more human is to become more like Jesus, and because Jesus is fully divine as well, doing so is how we participate in the divine life. Humanity is only given definition by virtue of God’s divinity — the Christian life is about God, and we get to participate as humans because of Jesus. Therefore when we strive to become more human, more like Christ, Christians are concerned with three things: loving and worshipping God, living in community together in anticipation of the perfect communion of the Kingdom of God, and loving and serving our neighbor in all that we do. Continue reading