Situation Ethics

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

“Situation ethics” has become an accepted part of modern life. The dictionary tells us that this is a “system of ethics emphasizing context. Moral judgments are thought to depend on the context in which they are to be made, rather than on general moral principles.”

This concept was pioneered by Joseph Fletcher (1905-1991), who argued that every decision should be based on the “shifting patterns of situations.” He wrote that “nothing is inherently good or evil,” that anything “may be good or evil, right or wrong, according to the situation,” and that “only the end justifies the means: nothing else.”

This philosophy appeals to many people in our modern world—those who don’t want anyone saying there are absolute moral standards. Instead of following God’s way, they want to be free to live any way they want. Their philosophy is “If it feels good, do it.”

In the time of Samuel, the people of Israel apparently felt this way. They wanted to be just like the people around them. They wanted to have a king and do things like all the other nations. God told Samuel that, with this attitude, they were rejecting Him “from being king over them” (vs. 7-9).

We can easily find ourselves doing the very same thing in the present day. However, God calls us to remember that, with Him, there are no compromises. His Word is eternally true (Psalm 119:89, Isaiah 40:8).

Today, you have choices to make. Will you be like the Israelites and conform to the world? Do you choose to live according to situation ethics and compromise whenever you want? Or will you declare that Jesus is your King and live according to His timeless Word? Remember: His Word always is true.