Thursday, April 10, 2008

What is right or moral?

Incest case: we're 'consenting adults'"I knew it was illegal, of course I knew it was illegal but you know, so what," said an Australian man after fathering a child with his daughter.

This came in the IOL news update in my email. Why do we feel that this Australian man was wrong? Why does he feel it right?
Does the Bible offer any help? The New Testament?
What provides the standards for sexual morality?

The Old Testament rules out incest. The New Testament says nothing about it specifically. Is it reasonable to expect that the Bible should have a specific word about every possible course of human action? Of course not. Can we take the OT's stand on incest and yet reject its stance on the stoning of adulterers?

Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount seems to set higher standards for our own behaviour than the Old Testament - if you even look at a woman lustfully you are committing adultery. But he also sets a standard of forgiveness rather than vengeance - no more 'eye for an eye'. Can we take it that the Old Testament laws have value, but that these must be understood along with the new message that Jesus brought of repentance and forgiveness?

Or is incest ok? Especially if contraception is used so that there are no children.


Steve Hayes said...

I was asking something similar in a recent blog post, too, though using different examples. People talk about "Judaeo-Christian" ethics, yet Christians can't seem to agree among themselves, never mind agree with Jews!

rebecca said...

no I don't think incest is okay due to the spritual, emotional, mental, physical and sexual damage it does to the person. It attacks a person's humanness and image which in a sense is an attack on God.

just thoughts


Jenny Hillebrand said...

Hi Becky
Yes I agree with you. But I must admit that my feelings are based on some instinctive reaction - not hard logic. Where you work and what you do must make these things terribly real for you!