[28]   Epilogue: A personal note

 

While I want to use my spiritual gift to serve God, I also know the seriousness of being a teacher in church. Jas 3:1 says: “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” If I teach something wrong which leads anyone of you to have wrong beliefs or, even worse, to commit sinful actions, I am partially responsible. I then will be judged for that on Judgment Day.

 

Yes, I will be judged. But you, each one of you, will be judged too. Remember the story in the first class? Let me repeat.

 

 STORY: On Judgmenth Day, a man approaches the judgment throne. God shows him a long list in red letters and asks him, “You said you are a Christian, but why have you persistently and unrepentantly committed all these sins violating my commandments?” The person replies, “Sorry, God, I have no knowledge about your commandments. I would have followed if I knew about them. Can I be pardoned because of my ignorance?” What do you think God’s answer will be?

 

Questions about morality are very serious and have great impact on your whole life. The problem, however, is that when we are faced with moral decisions that have serious consequences, our emotions may often cripple our reasoning and we may make grave mistakes as a result. It is therefore important that you think through the principles of many ethical questions when you are in full control of yourself, like in this class.

 

My only wish is that this class has provided you with some general guidelines so that you can make correct moral decisions that are always pleasing to God.

 

 

 

TEST ANSWERS

1. BBDBD CDACC

2. ADBAD AAAAA

3. BBDAB BBBBB

4. BCCCC CCDCC

 


 

[29]   Appendix: Christianity vs. Secular humanism

a summary of issues with opposing views

 

[Augustine in his City of God describes two cities or the two invisible but opposing societies in the world. The City of God is the community of true Christians living according to God’s law. The City of Man is the pagan society following its own desires and seeking material gain. Christianity & secular humanism are these two cities and are entirely opposite in many ethical issues.]

 

Issue

Christianity

Secular humanism

Basic position

There is a God and man is subject to the rule of God.

There is no God and “man is the measure of all things.” (man is God)

Origin of morality

Moral rules are based on the commandments of God. Moral rules are absolute and do not change with time & culture (ethical absolutism).

Moral rules are created by man. There are no absolute moral rules; they are relative and change with time & culture (ethical relativism)

View on life

a culture of life; pro-life

a culture of death; pro-choice, anti-life

Abortion

abortion is killing of the innocent who has the right to life, acceptable only to save the life of the mother

mothers have the right to freedom and the right to choice to decide whether they want to kill the baby or not

Euthanasia

sanctity of life above quality of life; reject euthanasia & suicide

quality of life above sanctity of life; support right to die

Church & state

state not to establish church, but state needs to recognize church and supports its moral stance and allows religious activities

total separation in order to exclude God from all public institutions, children will be educated in a godless culture, restrict religious freedom

Human rights

rights originated from humans as image of God; everyone is equal; against unlimited pursuit of rights

misinterpret equality rights to mean every distinct human charateristic is equal in value and must be accepted and treated equally (including sins)

Feminism

support traditional feminists’ goals of reaching equality with men

often support radical feminists’ anti-family, anti-tradition goals

Political correctness

avoid offending people, but continue to object what is sinful

push tolerance and diversity to the extreme in order to suppress religious freedom

Marriage & Divorce

Marriage is a life-long commitment; divorce is restricted

marriage is for convenience; divorce allowed for any reasons

Children

support parental rights; parents to decide how children are educated

support children’s rights; sexual independence of children

Extra-marital sex

all extra-marital sex is immoral

total sexual freedom for everyone and for every orientation

Homosexuality

homosexuality is against the laws of God and is a sin

homosexuality is a sexual preference and should be fully accepted

Environment

mankind as stewards of God to rule over environment; support reduction of pollution and conservation of resources

mankind as part of the environment; support radical environmentalists to use terrorism to stop development in nature