Situational Ethics and the Sanctity of Human Life

The idea of situational ethics should be troublesome to the mind of a biblically thinking Christian. It should be troublesome to us because in the mind of a biblically thinking Christian, what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong – what is true is true and what is false is false. But there is a line separating those things and it is that line which can, very often, become blurry to us. Why is that? Is there really such a thing as “the gray area?”

I believe there is a gray area – to us. Sometimes the gray area can be a situation that really has no ethical implication and so there really is no right or wrong in the situation (what color shirt do I wear today?). However, most of the time the gray area represents that blurred line between right and wrong. We have to admit that there is such a thing as a gray area. However, I still believe that there is a right and wrong and truth is absolute. I agree with Dr. R.C. Sproul, who has said this “gray area” that we perceive, is really in fact representative of “confusion”. Why is there confusion? It is because we lack perfect knowledge. There is confusion because we do not know everything. We do not have all of the answers and so we become confused in certain situations about what is right and wrong or what is true and what is false. We are human and we are sinful.

However there is one who has all of the answers. There is one who knows everything. There is one who is never confused. There is one who is perfect in knowledge. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth always knows what is right. He always knows what is just, what is true, and what is good. There is no moral situation that you could possibly find yourself in where, if you took it to God, God would look at it and say, “I don’t know what to do here. I don’t know. What is the right thing here?” God always knows the answer. The closer we are to the LORD God, the less confusion there will be and the more the gray area will shrink for us. There is no gray area with God. He is not ambiguous about anything. If we would seek the mind of God, if we would know his word, then there would be much less of a gray area to us.

However, in the post-modern secular humanistic society that we live in, the gray area has become a great expanse of gray. Moral confusion runs rampant. Dr. Voddie Baucham, at the 2006 desiring God national conference related the condition of our culture very well. He talked about how the post-modern secular humanistic society that we live in answers the questions, “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?”

Who am I? The answer – you are nothing. You are an accident. You are a mistake. You are a glorified ape. That is all. You are the result of random evolutionary processes. That is it. No rhyme, no reason, no purpose. That is all you are.

Why am I here? You are here to consume and enjoy.

When you put these two things together, you get terrible results. If I have no rhyme or reason for my existence, if I am no more than the result of random evolutionary processes, and I only exist to consume and enjoy, the only thing that matters is if I am more powerful than you and if you have something I need for my enjoyment. Because if you have something I need for my enjoyment and I am more powerful than you are and there is no rhyme or reason to your existence, then it is incumbent upon me to take from you what I need for my own satisfaction. Have we not seen the logical conclusion of this kind of social Darwinism. Have we not seen a culture that at one time said, ‘There is one race that is further evolved than all other races. And because the Arian race is further evolved than all other races it is incumbent upon the Arian race to dominate and/or exterminate other races in order to usher in the next level of our evolution.’

Don’t look down on their scientists and their biologists, who looked upon Jews as things and not people in order to justify their extermination because that is exactly what our scientists and our biologists do to the baby in the womb – the same concept of eugenics. The same concept of, ‘All that is, is an inconvenient lump of flesh.’ Or even more sinister, ‘This child will be severely deformed and will therefore hinder your ability to consume and enjoy.’

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