Thecase study, TheLausanne Movement: A Range of Perspectives, presentsvarious perspectives which it endorses as the framework for guidingand harmonizing the Christianity practices in different countries ofthe world. The call for the Christians to bear witness to the truthof Jesus Christ in the globalized and diverse society is perhaps oneof the most outstanding themes. However, the underlying premises ofthis prerogative elicit a potential ethical dilemma worth humanattention. In particular, the Congress asserted Christianity teachingas absolute truth. Therefore, the Congress called upon the followersto live by the truth, as well as proclaim the truth. The truebelievers are expected to confront the threats associated withrelativistic pluralism and strive to promote the absolute Christiantruth, and strive to engage the technological, business and academiaworld with the biblical truth (Dahl, 2014). In this regard, thepracticality of the absoluteness of Christianity lends itself as anethical dilemma, especially when applied to debatable topics such asabortion and marijuana legalization debates. Ideally, resolving suchdebates presents two options. One of the options would be sticking toChristian ethics as the absolute truth. The second option would berejecting absoluteness by embracing pluralist thinking such asutilitarianism, consequentialism and other ethics.
TheCore Beliefs and Implications
Thequestion of Christian absoluteness has been one of the very sensitiveand, perhaps, the most debated areas in theology. Indeed, it isarguable that the issue of Christian absoluteness is as old as thereligion itself, transcending the Renaissance period and the 20thcentury, and extending to the 21st-centurydiscussions. Ernest Troeltsch, provided some of the impressive viewsin defense of Christian absoluteness. His views were positively takenby Christian communities who, for a long time now, have been espousedto the notion that Christianity is ‘absolute’, ‘normative’,‘unique’, and ultimately superior to all other religions andgospels in the world. However, after the first popular publication,it did not take long before Ernest Troeltsch’s intellectual journeyturned around. The turnaround is particularly demonstrated how theimplicit dogma he had steered had now become questionable. In thelecture he prepared to deliver at Oxford University in 1923, hecriticized the position he had held earlier, now opting for adifferent view that Christianity, if absolute, was just like otherreligions in the world. Therefore, his view paved way for the conceptof ‘relative absoluteness’. The fact that he died beforedelivering his lecture has served as a thesis for the protagonists to argue that it was all because he had gone against the will of God(Diffey, Hiles, Jibben, Lamca, Merrick, Pasley, Sharp, Smith,Uhley & Waddell 2012).
Althoughthe Christian adherents still cling to the view of its absoluteness,often marked by the biblical expression such as “Jesus is the onlyway, the truth and the life”, their mind tends to be filled with amixture of segments and layers characterized by varying degrees ofself-critical reflections and consciousness. The intellectual worldhas been progressive regarding ways that Christianity should beconceived relative to other faiths in the world, yet it has only beencharacterized by growing volumes of literature that have not donemuch other than advancing the debate (Hodgson&King,2012).
TheResolution and Implications
Essentially,the Christian worldview of any of these dilemmas is the absolutestance. Accordingto the moral exemplar atonement model, Christ is portrayed as a moralexemplar, calling us to push towards a better life both corporatelyand individually by upholding Christian morals. Under this model, theresult and purpose of the death of Christ was to have a significantmoral improvement. However, the exemplar theory indicates that thedeath of Christ was did not have any implication of divine justice.Instead, the death of Christ intended was aimed at creating a greatimpression on humankind of God’s unending love, which is gearedtowards enlightening and softening the hearts of mankind and leadhumanity to repent their sins. The biblical teaching as “Jesus isthe truth, the way and life” and “no one comes to the fatherunless through me [Jesus Christ] are the common defenses forChristians absolute morality stances (Hodgsonand King,2012).
TheEvaluation of the Benefits and Unintended Outcomes
Theperceived benefit of the resolutions proposed by the Christianworldview is essentially spiritual fulfilment. In pursuing thedecisions based on Christian teaching, the Christians would besatisfied having acted in line with their religious teaching andtriumphed over the sinful nature. However, there are certainunintended consequences such as the inability for the decisions tolead to undesirable social outcomes and failure to accommodate thepluralist world is likely. For instance, rejecting the legalizationof abortion would inherently mean denial of women the rights toprivacy and self-determination, which otherwise amounts to theirsocial and economic exclusion.
TheChristina Worldview vs. Others
TheChristian worldview resolutions can be seen to be different fromother options such as utilitarianism and consequentialism ethicaltheories based on lack of pluralist thinking. In asserting theabsoluteness stand, Christianity thinking potential excludes anddisregards the stand of diverse communities in the world.
Inconclusion, the question of whether Christianity teaching areabsolute truth lends itself as a problematic issue because it is apotential source of ethical dilemma , especially when applied insolving sensitive and debatable topics such as whether to legalizeabortion or marijuana. Although the Christian resolutions lead tospiritual fulfilment, they may exclude other groups of people, andmay not always realize desirable outcomes based on pluralistapproaches such as utilitarianism and consequentialism.
Dahl,L. (2014). The Lausanne Movement: A Range of Perspectives. RegnumEdinburgh Centenary Series
Diffey,D., Hiles, J., Jibben, J. Lamca, C., Merrick, J., Pasley, M.,Sharp, J., Smith, A. Uhley, J. & Waddell, J. (2012).TheBeginning of Wisdom: An Introduction to Christian Thought and Life.GrandCanyon University
Hodgson,P.,and King,R. (2012). ChristianTheology:An Introduction to Its Traditions.Tasks FortressPress.
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ETHICAL DILEMMA 0
Thereare numerous ethical dilemmas that individuals and institutions faceeither in the political, social or economic aspects that determinethe actions they take or make, and human sexuality is not exempted.There are factors that have to be considered before a decision ismade that provide guidelines and frameworks that those makingdecisions rely on. In some instances, such factors have presenteddifferent possible decisions to be made that impact the stakeholdersinvolved either positively or negatively. It hence creates an ethicaldilemma to the decision-makers on the position that they have to makein such incidences. Religious beliefs, family values, and the laweither of state or federal governments in many instances provide theframework that guides the decisions made by either individuals ororganizations. In some instances, the references points have viewedand presented issues differently creating a conflict and dilemmaamong decision-makers on the path to follow especially in instancesthat their views contravene and conflict. However, this paperpresents an ethical dilemma personal analysis where craft store HobbyLobby and Wheaton College have opted to decline birth controlcoverage for their employees or students because they violatereligious principles of the governing organizations.
Theinstitutions are not behaving ethically in my option because of anumber of reasons. For instance, the decision that the college hasmade affects many students including those that do not subscribe tothe religious practices and beliefs. Moreover, there are somereligious practices such as the Protestants that allow severalmethods of birth control that include sterilization and pills (Slade,2017). Wheaton assumption that all students come or subscribe to theRoman Catholic religious beliefs that object all forms ofcontraception are, thus, misinformed making the decisions they havemade to be unethical. They would have consulted widely rather thanrelying on the assumption of compliance by all students and concernedstakeholders. Furthermore, there are students that have openlyexpressed dissatisfaction and protested against the decision as notedin the opinions of the present students as well as the Alumni of thecollege some who have a very strong religious background and beliefsuch as the 74 years old Rev. Katherine Kallis. Furthermore, somereligious groups and institutions have accepted the government planthat indicates that it has good intention and, thus, the basis ofWheaton complaints only results from the philosophical perceptionthat they have tied to religion. And, not the holistic or objectiveanalysis of the benefits that such plans would have not only tostudents but also the entire stakeholders involved in both the schooland the Hobby Lobby craft store.
Additionally,the complaints that Wheaten College presented at the court that theywere being ‘forced’ to implement and use the health plan did nothold water in the eyes of Judge Richard Posner. It is because theyfailed to view the picture objectively and the judge indicated thatin his ruling as such critical decisions cannot only rely on thereligious ground alone to cancel such a noble idea of insurance tothe entire students as indicated also by Kalbian (2014). The federalgovernment discourages colleges from providing health care insurancebut Wheaton went against the decision. Hence, when a comprehensivehealth insurance through the Affordable Care Act brings reforms thatcompel them to include contraception mandate, they ought to complyand not bring a hurdle in the name of religious beliefs that onlyserves a fraction of the students as not all students are from theRoman Catholic. The decision, hence, remains unethical. Moreover,most students are covered under their parent`s health coverage asbeneficiaries and, thus, Wheaton mandatory requirement for studentsto provide health insurance also raises ethical questions because itsuggests replication of actions. They ought to free students that arecovered by their parents so that they do not overcharge students byincreased costs for insurance ($2,700) that they have indicated somestudents are struggling to pay in particular international students.
WheatonCollege, hence, needs to review its decisions in relation to thematter of insurance coverage as it cannot be a coincidence thatpresent students, alumni, and even judicial teams do not agree withthem. It is an indicator that they have omitted or violated grossconcerns and interests that they could have consulted broadly beforethey reached such a decision. For example, they would have analyzedthe impact that the comprehensive contraceptive coverage would haveto college students in particular in increasing the number ofsuccessful graduates.
HobbyLobby decision is also unethical. There are numerous scientificallyproven benefits that result from family planning and birth controlsuch as improved quality of life and wealth creation among others(Hill, Siwatu & Robinson, 2014). Such benefits can be realizedwhen they embrace Affordable Care Act contraceptive rules. They needto have broader metrics that they can use to make decisions otherthan the religious background. Furthermore, there are religiouspractices and beliefs as noted in Protestants that embrace particularbirth control measures. Hence, arguing that it violates the religiousfreedom presents gaps as some religious practices do not share thesame sentiments.
Inconclusion, the two institutions are behaving unethically as theyhave inadequate grounds to make their case stand. They have usedreligion to prevent a noble course that creates more questions andambiguity from their statements as not all religious institutionsagree with their positions creating a conflict of interest within.Additionally, they did not weigh the benefits of the contraceptivecoverage to the concerned stakeholders before they could makeinformed decisions. I, hence, support the decision that they behavedunethically.
Hill,N., Siwatu, M., & Robinson, A. (2014). `My Religion Picked MyBirth Control`: The Influence of Religion on Contraceptive Use.Journalof Religion & Health,53(3), 825-833. doi:10.1007/s10943-013-9678-1
Kalbian,A. H. (2014). Sex,violence & justice: Contraception and the Catholic Church.Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
Slade,S. (2017). The Never-Ending Pursuit of Religious Liberty. America,216(6), 18-27.
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