For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Rom. 1:21
There is no way to go from what "is" to what "ought to be".
1 Peter 1:15-16
Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor. Hab 1:13
This obligation is strengthened by redemption -- 1 Cor. 6:20
Scripture speaks with greater clarity than nature.
How can we know what is most loving? How can we criticize the action of others? How can we define justice in this context? This approach denies that there are non-negotiable particulars to expressing love. Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." (Jn. 14:15)
There is an implied set of values behind this. What does it mean to will "with consistency?" Thus, some hidden absolutes are being brought in. Furthermore, the only logical basis for this norm would be this norm. Thus, it is circular.
As with situation ethics, it does not give us information for determining what constitutes the greatest good. Furthermore, it forces us to attempt to predict the future, and it can bring great guilt feelings if there are unforeseen consequences to our choices. In essence, it says that the end justifies the means. (Rom. 3:8)
This falls prey to many of the same criticisms as situation ethics. Furthermore, it implies that there is a change of standard from Old Testament to New. Also, it ignores the uniqueness of the person and mission of our Lord and Savior.
Conscience is merely the faculty of moral judgment. So we should follow our conscience, because that is the faculty that determines what is right and wrong. Our responsibility is to instruct our conscience and then follow it. Conscience can be wrong (1 Cor. 10:29), but we must follow it because to do otherwise is to do that which we have judged to be wrong. (Rom. 14:14)
This implies that sin is unavoidable, but: 1 Cor. 10:13, Heb. 4:15
This view does not take seriously the fact that ethical absolutes are rooted in God's nature. Since God's nature is not self-contradictory, neither are the ethical absolutes that flow from his nature.
There is no conflict between the oneness of God's essence and the many-ness of his persons. Therefore, there is no conflict between the particulars and the universals of ethics.
Logically, it reduces to a single absolute absolute that provides the order for the absolutes that really aren't. Did God give the 10 Ascending Priorities?
It takes a lazy approach to the ethical questions raised by historical portions of Scripture.
It alone does justice to the one/many, non-contradictory nature of God.
It is founded in the revelation of Scripture and especially the greatest commandment and the Ten Commandments.
It does not force man to be omniscient but forces him to rely on God and his revelation for what is the greatest good, how to love in the highest sense, etc.
It teaches that there is no ultimate conflict between our duty and our happiness.
It requires both biblical actions and biblical motives (the highest being love). This is why the apostle can say, "those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom. 8:8)
Principles of Conduct, by John Murray, Eerdmans, 1957, 272 pp. This book is rather dry, but
you'll never find a better study to shape your thinking on the core principles God has revealed for
Availability: CPC library
"Futility in Non-Christian Ethics", by Sam Waldron. A great study of the absolute bankruptcy of
non-Christian ethics. A bit technical.
"Non-Christian Hypocrisy" by Douglas Jones, Credenda/Agenda, vol. 6, no. 3, p.15. "I just can't
stand it. Non-Christians are such hypocrites. They should learn to practice what they preach.
How could anyone become a non-Christian? They don't even live what they claim to believe!"
This is how Douglas Jones begins his provocative essay on the truth that non-Christians cannot
consistently live out the implications of their system of truth.