Today the world faces many moral challenges. These require a change in attitude by all, particularly all those with responsibility in our communities. I was in the USA when the news broke on morning TV that 49 people had been killed in Orlando. The second thing that troubled me was the fact that Republican Politicians are unwilling to take measures to stop terrorists from buying weapons. We all need to pray that Political leaders will work to bring peace to our world and that political pride will be set aside so that peace loving people can be protected from violence. At the same time in UK, I was been shocked by the hate and animosity directed at the majority of people who voted to leave the EU. In today’s world, Jesus teachings are still challenging us to show love and care for others. We all need to reflect on how we can show love to our fellow human beings and overcome the violence and hate within our society.


These issues just serve to highlight the need for a change of attitude within society. On this page I have looked at the Moral challenges we face, how we morally develop, sins and virtues. The other pages in this section look at particular issues.    



Why should we pay taxes?

In Matthew 22.15-22 Jesus is asked is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. The question was designed to trap him, but Jesus turns the tables on the leaders by asking whose image was on the coin. He then tells them “Give therefore to Caesar the things that are his and to God the things that are God’s”. They were amazed by his answer and went away. The fact is that people do not like paying tax and many including multinational companies spend large sums on tax avoidance. 

Taxes should be used to provide public service and care for the people of the country. In many countries, there is a health care systems and state pension schemes which are paid for from the taxes Government receive. Taxes also pay for our police and public services, plus the defence of the country. The problem is that Politician are reluctant to increase taxes to pay for these, particularly on high income earners. However, sadly, in some countries, the taxes go to enabling the politicians to have a lavish life style instead of help to sick and vulnerable. 

 Every Christian has a double citizenship. They are citizens of the country where they live and a responsibly to God. We are taught as Christian to help the sick, the weak and the vulnerable, care for our neighbours and community. In most countries, we enable this to happen by paying our taxes. If we avoid taxes the Government cannot provide health care, support the poor and vulnerable or employ the police, fire and ambulance services. When companies and individuals avoiding tax, they are breaking the commandment; ‘you should not bear false witness’ (lie). They are also preventing the Government for receiving income which could be used to provide more health care and education. Individuals and companies might like to reflect on this when they complete their tax returns!  

 



The family is the foundation of society.

The family has a central role in society, and provides a sure foundation for the community. We have seen in recent times families up rooted and separated by wars and disasters. When this happens the foundation of society starts to disintegrate. In the Christian view of human life, families have always been regarded as the most important social unit for education and stability in the life of humankind.

The Christian view derives from the Old Testament where the male regarded as head of the family and in social structures. The position of the women being decided by their relationship to the husband and father. This still can affect inheritance and kinship, it also means that in marriage the woman takes her husband’s family name. Today we recognize that marriage is an equal partnership which is still not accepted in many male dominated societies. 

Jesus enhanced the role of women and they had an important part in the Gospels. Jesus attitude to children also introduced a principle of loving relationships between parents and children. While he regarded marriage was a sacred relationship between a man and woman (Mark 10.6-8), his words do not always give answers to present-day problems, which arise because a family has already broken up and the interests of the younger members are not always best served by a couple staying together.

There are several features in modern life which have brought changes to the traditional Church view of the family and have led to differences between Church and State. These include the increasing ease with which divorce can be secured, a decline in parental authority, plus the increasing number of mothers who need to engage in work to help support the family. The impact of social change has undermined the independence of family life to a degree not know in earlier years and less complicated societies.

The family is an excellent method of passing on conventional wisdom, but in a rapidly changing world, parents can find it hard to offer guidance to children on the dangers and threats in new technology. The Internet and mobile communications may be of great benefit, but they also have dangers which adults and particularly children are not aware of. In recent years a new threat to family life has appeared from the growth of a celebrity culture plus twitter and other forms of instant communications, which increasingly invade the independence of the home. This can mean that young people can be radicalised without their parents being aware until it is too late.

The changes in society raise ethical questions which Christians must face and grapple with at the beginning of the 21st Century. The Christian traditional view of the family needs to be re-thought if it is to survive and play a positive role in the society of the future. While the basic principles of Christian values should remain, they need to be applied with new understanding which helps the family unit to remain the stable foundation of our 21st Century society. It is important that the Church and state work together to help support family life, which can help children grow up in a safe and secure world.

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The negative impact of corruption.

Through out Africa and other parts of the world where there is poverty there is wide spread corruption with individuals expecting bribes for helping people to get things done. This exploitation of those in need and the use of bribery destroys the basis of society. The Bible tell us in the book of Amos there was corruption which exploited others, Jesus also condemned corrupt practices. Corruption is driven by greed and selfishness which are sins, that bring harm and suffering to others. Sadly in many parts of the world not just Africa, corruption is destroy the basic fabric of a civilized society. If a person has a job, they should treat all people fairly and justly. The use of bribes often gives the rich an unfair advantage, while it lines the pockets of the greedy who put their own greed above the needs of others. This is contrary to the moral teaching of the Christian faith and we should all work to bring an end to this as we try to build a fair and just society.  


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I am often asked: When is pride a sin?

We all should take pride in what we do, but when pride is driven by selfishness, arrogance, or desire for power and control it can become a dangerous force.  It can be seen when people think they are right and everyone else is wrong, or people will not listen to others views and concerns. In the 21st Century, we have seen the last President of the USA appeared not to be willing to accept that human beings do have a harmful impact on the environment, he was also reluctant to work with congress. In North Korea, the leader appears to believe that launching rockets and threatening to launch Nuclear weapons at those he does not like, is the right course of action. Both these individuals Pride seem to prevent them finding a peaceful resolution to their countries differences. Their action illustrate how Pride can be a dangers thing that can cause harm to others and explains why this kind of Pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sin. (See article below)

We must all prayer that wisdom will prevail and people will find peaceful ways to overcoming their differences.    


Scroll down the page you will find essays on:- Family,Moral challenges, Moral Development, the Seven Virtues and the Seven deadly sins, plus other items.

Also take a look at the pages on Greed, Work and Business, Corruption and Other Moral issues. 


Seven Deadly Sins

The rights and wrongs of Moral behaviour have always been a subject of strong debate. On the website I have already written on the moral challenges facing society. This essay looks at the subject of sin as reflected in the Seven Deadly Sins. Sin is the religious word used for actions which are regarded as wrong or cause harm to others. It is people behaving badly.

When we start to try to define what is morally wrong we run into difficulty. When we think in religious terms of sin or sinfulness, the Seven Deadly Sins, are regarded as the worst and the source of all other sins. To help us understand why this is the case we need to look at these and the impact they have on people.

The Seven Deadly Sins are: Pride, Greed (Avarice, old versions use covetousness), Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Anger, and Sloth. Pride is seen as the beginning of all sins and covetousness is the root of all evils. Most people would acknowledge that there are different kinds of sins, but trying to define their cause and effect is difficult. I am therefore going to examine them individually.


All sins are against God and all are harmful to others. We need to understand how sin affects our lives and to avoid sins temptations. The cure is twofold; reform of our judgement by knowing oneself, this means knowing oneself as God knows you. In the modern society this can be difficult but we need to be aware of our own action and also highlight the harm done to others by sinful acts. All of us need to regularly reflect on our actions and try to always avoid succumbing to sin and temptation.





  

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Moral challenges

In a pluralist society it is almost impossible to say definitely what is ethically and morally correct. There are different religions and philosophies, plus other ideological views and opinions that make trying to writing on these issues difficult. But as a Christian Preacher who lives and works in 21st century UK, I am through this website, going to attempt this difficult challenge.  

In the 21st Century the issues are more complicated than at the time of Jesus two thousand years ago, but most reasonable people would agree that it is wrong to kill another person, steal, lie (give false witness) commit adultery, and covet, envy, or desire your neighbour property. They would also think is right to love others including strangers which mean that you will not harm them and help them if they are in trouble. The number of people who give to charities or run and fund raise for heart research and cancer illustrates this. However not all people are law-abiding citizens this is why me need the police and armed forces to protect us and the ambulance, health and fires services to help us when we are in trouble. For people who live in the more prosperous areas of the world mostly live free from fear and suffering, although this does not apply to all people which means there is still a great deal of work needed to improve the lives of many people in our world.

 The modern society still faces many moral and ethical challenges. These include how do we protect our children from pedophiles, abuse and exploitation through the internet. How to protect people from criminals, terrorist, support those live in poverty, help the homeless, and care for the world we live in? People are concerned by the high incomes of greedy bankers and celebrities, asking the question why are these people paid such high salaries when many people are living on or below the poverty line and struggling to pay for basic essentials. There are also concerns over business and work place ethics. In addition to these we have the problems of how can we create a peaceful world, end the hardship and suffering that is forcing thousands of immigrants to want to come to the UK or USA, where they are not wanted. Greed, selfishness and desire for power are causing suffering throughout the world. In these situations how do we protect the fragile earth we live on? And if that is not enough we have drug abuse, alcoholism, people trafficking, and thousands of illegal immigrants trying to force their way into Europe and USA while the politicians try to avoid facing up to the problem. Plus how do we address these issues where the country is in debt? I will not seek to address all these problems but in the articles on the website will try to provide some suggestions on the basic principles we ought to apply. I hope that these will help you to reflect and promote constructive discussion on the type of society you would like to live in.


​​​​Our attitude to others.   

The basic teachings of Jesus are that we should help those who are weak and vulnerable, without seeking personal gain, help people because of our love of others and care about them, not being selfish or allowing our pride, prejudices or hate to control our actions.    

 In recent times in the USA we have seen violence promoted by politicians and in UK Parliament we seen debates which for me illustrates why there are so many conflicts in our world brought about by the attitudes of politicians. Their entrenched positions illustrate how pride, prejudices, and selfishness, can create a situation where the well being of the people is being ignored by those who should be representing them and should be caring about the overall welfare of the country. The violent actions of those outside of the Parliaments were also disturbing as they were driven by the protesters hatred of people with a different view to their's. We can also draw comparisons with the situations in Hong Kong and Syria. We must pray that politicians will learn to work together for the people they are meant to serve, instead of wanting to force their personal ideology or agenda on to others, and protesters will act in love and peace following the example of Gandhi and others like him.     

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Women’s rights

The USA has it's first women Vice President, however in most countries including the USA, women's rights and equal treatment, as demonstrated by the sexual harassment of women in the film industry still have a long way to go. The sad fact is that women around the world face the daily threat of rape and sexual harassment. In many countries women are treated as second class citizens often with limited access to health care and education. Women that live in rural areas are particularly vulnerable. Women play an important part in the success of a society, but do not have equal rights or pay with the male counterpart. A society can only call itself civilized when women and men are treated equally and women can go about their daily lives without fear of sexual harassment. We should all be working to bring an end to women’s inequality and their sexual harassment. 


Moral Development     

Living in a pluralist society makes it difficult to discern what is morally right or wrong. (See article on moral challenges). Most human beings develop their understanding of moral issues as they grow and develop. As people develop they acquire knowledge and experience, becoming more aware of what is right and wrong. People grow in their ability to reason, through learning from others and to develop their own understanding of how we ought to lead our lives, however this does not mean that people will agree on all things. A good example is the subject of abortion. It is only when we are prepared to listen to all points of view can we form an opinion by applying our own principles which are normally based on our beliefs. For example a Christian will base their views on what is right and wrong on principles that are based on the teachings of Jesus.

People go through a number of stages in their moral development with their views often continuing to change as they go through life. Children are taught how to behaviour by the parents and teachers, learning that society prescribes rules to maintain social or moral order. As children grow into adults they start understand why these rule are in place and also develop their own awareness of Justice. However if someone grows up in a family where criminal behaviour or gang culture is accepted then they have to learn that this is not acceptable through the justice system or social pressure.

The environment in which a person grows up does have a strong influence on their moral development. A persons family and social environment guides their understanding of what is good or bad, and to understand the consequences of their actions in the situation that affect others and or them self. This environment ought to help developing their understanding of the meaning of justice or fairness, liberty, equality, reciprocity, and their attitudes to other people.

When a person is mature they develop an understanding of what it is to be a good person and someone with a conscience. They will be able to differentiate his or her self from the rules and expectations of others and define his or her own values in terms of self-chosen principles. Advanced moral reasoning depends upon advanced logical reasoning. How we treat others is important in our moral development treating others in a loving compassionate way, with a willingness to try to understand another person’s point of view and feelings is also an important part of our development.

Let me give you a few examples to help explain what I mean. You may think it’s okay to drink or take drugs and drive, but if a friend or member of your family is kill by a driver under the influence of drink or drugs your view will change; if you think that abortion is wrong, but then a close friend has to make the difficult decision to have an abortion on medical advice and you care for your friend your view will change; If you think stem cell research is wrong, but you have a child or known someone with children who has a genetic debilitating illness and this research could find a cure your view will change. The changes in what you think will come about because of your experience and not through some religious ideology. This does at times present all of us with serious moral dilemmas.   


David Rogers Ministries

This pages looks at some of the moral challenges we have today as our knowledge and technology grows. The page below seeks to summaries some of the moral challenges, looks at moral develop, and the importance of the family, before looking at seven deadly sins and the seven virtues according to the Christian faith. The sub-pages; look at greed and the negative impact it has on society. Work and business ethics and the other ethical issues page, examines a variety of subjects including education for all, stem cell research, subjects relating to the exploitation of people and abortion. These all serve to illustrate the challenges Christians and others face in discerning what is moral right and how we should conduct ourselves.   


The Seven Virtues

 In most religious reflections on moral behaviour we look at sin or moral wrong doing. This article is going to look at good behaviour by focusing on the seven virtues. These are the cardinal virtues of prudence (wisdom) justice, temperance and fortitude (courage), and the fundamental Christian virtues of faith, hope, love.  These Christian virtues in particular prudence, temperance and fortitude can provide a basis in assisting the development of alternative approaches to how people live their lives. As people develop their understanding of justice it increases their awareness of the needs of others and the world in which they live. 


The Christian faith seeks to encourage people to care for God’s creation and live their lives by trying to apply the cardinal and theological virtues to the own lives, perhaps these virtues can provide a basis for an alternative approach for the consumerist society of the twenty-first century.   

Sadly, in the modern western consumer society, the consumer philosophy has not produced the greatest happiness because people are starting to realise that wealth and possessions do not produce inner peace and happiness, so people are starting to look for some form of spiritual fulfilment. An understanding of how the seven virtues can help us find that inner peace and happiness that many people are seeking.