How does situational ethics define morality?The Bible does not teach, condone, or lean toward situational ethics. Situational ethics holds that right and wrong are determined by context and by a desired outcome in any unique situation. Situational ethics is different than moral relativism in that moral relativism holds that there is no right and wrong whereas situational ethics holds the situation determines right and wrong.
The Bible teaches that God is creator and sustainer, that all of God's Word is true, and that right and wrong is determined by God and His character.
First, because God is creator and sustainer, He has the authority to determine right and wrong. Situational ethics puts people in charge of evaluating the situation they find themselves in and determining right and wrong actions or reactions. The same situations may be determined right or wrong by different people. This is arbitrary and puts people in a place where only God belongs. Romans 3:4 says, in part, "Let God be true though every one were a liar."
Second, because all of God's Word is true there are no errors contained in it; situational ethics cannot rule over God's Word. Because God is creator and sustainer, His Word must be true.
Third, God's character determines what is right and wrong. Because God is love (1 John 4:16) and His love is selfless and focused upon others (1 Corinthians 13), He defines love. Love will look out for the goodness of others. Situational ethics allows for the determination of right and wrong due to a majority vote or even the selfishness of one person. This is antithetical to God and to Truth. Because of who God is, the Bible being from Him and completely truth, it cannot relate to us a system of ethics that defies God.
When situations appear right, but we know God says they are wrong, we must trust God's love—that is His goodness to us and His power to affect all things to that good (Romans 8:28). Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (John 16) and can call upon Him for an understanding of right and wrong. He shows us our mistakes (conviction), encourages us, and guides us to righteousness. God will answer our desire for wisdom (James 1:5) and our desire for righteousness (Matthew 5:6).
Situational ethics depends on a bendable and changing definition of right and wrong. What once was right is now wrong, and what once was wrong is now right. These ideas are subject to change based on our personal current determinations. The Bible teaches absolute truth based on God's sovereignty.
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