Christian Ethics and Politics A Essay

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From a practical standpoint, one must also realize that being overly vociferous in either arena will alienate the very people who are the intended targets of the message. Hence, the best approach to engaging Christian ethics in politics is to engage in worthy issues, remember the reason for involvement is to promote the good of the community and not the goals of an individual and to modulate one's delivery of ideas so as to not chase of the audience.

Works Cited

Dayton, Donald. Discovering an Evangelical History. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson

Publishers, 1988. Print.

Hays, Richard. The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New

Creation; A contemporary introduction to New Testament Ethics. San Francisco:


Collins Publishing, 1996.

Lovin, Robin, W. Becoming Responsible in Christian Ethics. Studies in Christian Ethics, Vol. 22, 4 (2009) pp. 389-398.

Miles, Rebekah L. The Pastor as a Moral Guide. Minneapolis: Augsberg Fortress,

1999. Print.

Methodism and Charity

Methodist founders, including John Wesley, made charity and service to the poor one of the anchor tenets of their sect of Christianity. The first generations of Methodists were adamantly anti-slavery and appalled at the condition and treatment of the poor. They came to view personal wealth, not as a sin, but as a false virtue being promoted by many Christians.

According to the early Methodists, preaching the gospel to the poor represented a return to the very roots and essence of Christianity. One of the virtues of Christ that set him apart from other men was his devotion to the welfare of the poor. In America in the 19th century many Christians had forgotten that all were on equal footing and of equal value regardless of how they were situated, this was a lesson learned directly from Christ (Dayton 114).

The essence of holiness, according to Wesley was to be cleansed of sin and to renew one's human nature to pursue and ideal of virtue and spiritual perfection. Virtue for Wesley was the necessary well-spring to God's grace and salvation (Meeks 56). Providing for the poor and by bringing the gospel to the poor, were the only natural consequence to the purity of intentions, where ones actions were motivated by the love of God and not other, more selfish motives. Acts of kindness to the poor epitomized the life of Christ and one's devotion to Christ's principles. Grace and salvation was brought about through being and not doing (Ibid. At 60).

Many Methodists formed missions and other society's specifically devoted to improving living conditions among the poor and spreading the gospel, as well. The decision to charge pew rentals created a schism in the Methodists (Dayton 102), creating the Free Methodist Church which required all congregants to attend church in simple and plain clothes (Dayton 112). It is quite evident that the early Methodist churches were devoted to the welfare of the poor and to avoiding creating a class system within their own church.

Works Cited

Dayton, Donald. Discovering an Evangelical History. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson

Publishers, 1988. Print.

Meeks, M. Douglas (Ed.) The Portion of the Poor: Good news to the poor in the Weslyan

Tradition. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995. Print

Dayton quotes the inscription of a plaque honoring Blanchard at Wheaton College, of which Blanchard was President from 1861-1882. Dayton attributes the quote to an address delivered by Blanchard at Oberlin College in 1839.

This position was espoused by N.L. Rice, Blanchard's debate adversary in Cincinnati in 1845.

This conclusion is found in Finney's resolution to the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society in 1839, after the Ohio legislature passed a "Fugitive Slave Law" giving jurisdiction to Kentucky to enter Ohio to claim runaway slaves.

Miles does exclude physical coercion from the ethical mandate.

Homosexuality is considered a sin in the Bible and according to Christian ethics. Political issues regarding homosexuality are prevalent, e.g., the legality of homosexual behavior, marriage and adoption by homosexual individuals and couples and the status of homosexuals for purposes of civil rights legislation.

Citing Leviticus 18:6-29.

Citing Corinthians 5, 6 and 12. Hays does give weight to the right to privacy limiting secular political involvement in sexuality. The point here is not to argue that the state should or should not regulate sexual behavior,…

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