Christians in every corner of the world are known to use biblical exegesis, rational analysis and argument to justify their actions and way of doing things. Theologians use texts from the Old Testament and the New Testament to guide them in all their doings. Theology in most cases deals with faith, practice, and experience. Moreover, these beliefs involve the study of God and Gods relation to the world. On the other hand, ethical principles, they are principles in human life that provide and promote important values and aspect of human life such as trust, good behavior, fairness, and kindness when followed to the letter. However, unlike the theological beliefs, there is no one consistent and best ethical principle to be followed by all individuals and it is widely influenced by the prevailing circumstances (Webster, 2013). They are not easily enforceable, and it all goes down to individual’s conscious of ensuring that he or she observes ethical standards. This paper seeks to give an example of confusion between ethical principles and theological beliefs.
It is widely known among all Christians that fornication is one of the greatest sins that youth can commit. My friend was known to be one of the strict followers of the church since childhood. However, few months after he joined the university, the unthinkable happened. He was suspended from performing any church activity or associating with the church before eventually being sent away from the church. This event came as a surprise to many, I included. We all later came to learn that the main reason as to why the church let go off John was because he was suspected to have fornicated. According to Christian teachings, youth should not get into any sexual relationship since sex is holy and reserved for the married people.
However, fornication is not a rule that can be enforced regardless of how much the Christians would like it to reign over their churches. When it comes to fornication and adultery, it all goes down to individual’s ethical principle what they regard as morally good or morally bad. Members of religious groups, especially the Christians usually fail to understand that sin is a theological concept and as a result, they learn to distinguish spiritual matters from ethical matters. Religious beliefs about divinity and spirituality are not based on ethics and morality, and thus they are not compulsory. This means that and individuals have the power and right either to follow or reject these beliefs (Singer, 2011). Thus, in this case, John had a right either to engage in sexual activities before marriage or not based on his ethics. The church had no right to send him away considering that religious freedom is a human right.
Just like any other individuals or groups, there are activities that are undertaken by religious groups that can be criticized based on set ethical standards and principles. In many occasions, Christians try to enforce their rules and regulations on the few minorities in the world who do not believe in their religion and thus they expect everyone to see things in their perspective. On the same note, religious groups always act as if their beliefs and views are self-evidently true, and thus they are quick to scorning other people who hold other views. In most cases, they are quick to condemn others who do not believe in what they believe in forgetting that we all have different faiths and ethical principle and standards are paramount and must come into play.
Singer, P. (2011). Practical ethics. . Cambridge university press.
Webster, A. C. (2013). Theological conservatism. . The Psychology of Conservatism (Routledge Revivals), , 129.