Activate Series: #6 – What Is Situation Ethics, and Why Is It Important to Call It Out?

Educe online pro-life curriculum

Our weekly #Activate vlog series uses clips from Educe® online courses to illuminate the truth behind the cultural battles of today (and tomorrow) and move Christians from education to action in their communities, churches, and circles of influence.

Every aspect of our culture today reinforces the idea that morality is not absolute. Instead of objectively measuring whether something is right or wrong, our culture’s answer is, “It depends.” We’ve all heard these statements or maybe even made a few of them ourselves:

  • “I’m against abortion, but I can’t judge another person’s decision.”
  • “Abortion is a very difficult personal choice, and we need to trust women to make it.”
  • “Against abortion? Don’t have one.”
  • “I’m pro-choice, but late-term abortion really makes me uncomfortable.”
  • “I’m pro-life, except in cases of [insert conditions here].”

This is situation ethics—where moral responsibility is relative and circumstantial; a moving target. Situation ethics forms the basis of all of today’s euphemisms, like “reproductive justice”, “abortion rights,” “incompatible with life,” “quality of life,” and even “death with dignity.” When we’re unaware of this belief system and how it differs from ours (or perhaps influences ours), we’re left in shock and awe at the statements people make, and our responses are met with equal astonishment. But once we identify what this philosophy is, we can begin to call it out and speak directly to it. We can simply ask questions, listen, and gently challenge people to defend what they believe. When we do this in a compassionate way, we plant a seed that can eventually dismantle this broken worldview.

As you watch this week’s quick lesson on situation ethics and other moral philosophies, consider:

  • How might this knowledge help us respond differently to “the other side” and break the destructive cycle of back-and-forth?
  • In what ways could we use these opportunities to break through the rhetoric, share about the love of God, and ultimately, change hearts and minds?
  • How can we ensure that we aren’t embracing this philosophy in our own belief systems?

We welcome your comments below.

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