Friday, 30 April 2010

Ethics or morality?

National Cathedral, Washington - a place for all.
I'm not preaching this Sunday - I'll be at Guide camp. But I would love to be sharing the text: Love one another, and exploring what that looks like in our churches and communities today.
Here is Bob Mayo's helpful look at it:
In the Gospel for this Sunday Jesus tells his disciples to love one another, just as he had loved them (John 13:34). He is appealing to the disciples to become a particular type of person who behaves naturally in a certain sort of way. This is an ethical rather than a moral command and it is a mistake to confuse the two. (‘Virtue’) ethics is about character while morality is about behavior. Ethics is a call to become the authentic self that we have it within us to be, while morality focuses on decision making. Ethics is about ‘being’ and morality is about ‘doing’. As men and women, made in the image of God, who we are decides what we do. In loving one another we become “genuine, image, bearing, God reflecting, human beings (Wright 2010: 68)”; therein lies the way of freedom. Christianity is not about rules but a celebration of life.

Being rather than doing - wishful thinking?


5 comments:

Nik said...

Not sure that being and doing can be quite so easily compartmentalised - for want of a better word. Both go hand in hand.
Thinking about Augustine [he's my other boyfriend, just don't tell Johnny Knox!] and his idea of 'voluntas' - inclination or will:
either towards cupititas/ carnality, or caritas/ selfless love.
As we incline ourselves to the Beloved, we embody and demonstrate the kenotic love of the Lover, perhaps? But the process of will/ inclination is an action, a movement. So there's the paradox of being in action - to be is to act, it's just which way we incline or will ourselves to act. Being in and of itself can't be a passive thing, I think. Even to choose to be passive is to act....

Which can seem like it's all about what we do... but we reflect the ultimate Being in Action. All we do stems from God, in particular the grace of God. God has willed or inclined Godself to love the creation that was spoken into being and we in turn incline ourselves towards God. Or not.

Lol! Sorry Liz, you already know this stuff, I'm just teasing out some Augustine in my head is all!! *grins*

liz said...

Hey, Nik, don't apologise. It's good to get some depth and the prodding to go deeper. :)

Nik said...

Liz, you might want to delete the person's post above... I've translated it and it ain't purty...
I seem to be having a similar problem!
Cheers
Nik

liz said...

Cheers, Nik. Not sure how these get through the filters. You do languages too? I'm impressed!

Nik said...

yeah... it's called 'google translate' :)
though my 16th c Scots is coming on very well...