Delivery in day(s): 3
CHMN201 Intro to Church Ministry Oz Assignments
In the scriptures, the primary teaching about wealth is that it should be used in service to God. Many of the Christian ministers in the church during the Catholic reformation were significant contributors to the support of the poor, ministering in the church and doing mission work. For instance, the Jesuits and the Society which they formed were continuously involved in mission and service to God. In this regard, wealth and property law should be used by those who have it for the service of God by helping the poor (Blomberg, 2015). Poverty is not the will of God, and that is why those endowed with wealth and property should use it for the service of the poor.
The Bible texts that contain the first and second creation story are contained in Genesis. The first creation story is in Genesis 1:1-31 whereas the second creation story is found in Genesis 2:1-25. Although these stories are complementary to one another, they are often considered as having two different storylines regarding the accounts of creation in the Bible. Most people have embraced them as two separate accounts detailing the components in the creation story (Howell, 2009). e
John Wesley (1703-1791) could be considered as one of the greatest reformers in the 18th-century revival. The work of the many reformers that aided this work of his missions in the 18th century is a Biblical fulfillment of the call to responsibility and care of the creation as outlined in Genes 1:28. The authority and dominion that man is endowed within this text are all round in relation to the environment and all the resources around mankind. (Robinson, 2009) This responsibility means being ready to manipulate and more so cultivate the environment in order to ensure there is continuous progress in the way it responds to us. The view in which the responsibility of caring for the creation is to be approached is depended on the kind of effort puts in causing his environment to favor him for good. The dynamics of the time in which John Wesley lived are rich with the issues that man was endowed to do about creation. The 18th century had many changes in the industries such as mass media and steam as well as the use of machinery in work. Slave trade which John expressly spoke against was also a practice that left many people undignified and mistreated especially in Africa (Rateau, Moliner, Guimelli, and Abric, 2011).
Communism, Humanism, Marxism, Calvinism, and Modernism
Patriarchy is a social system in which males hold the primary power and dominate in public roles such as leadership in politics, moral authority, social settings and property ownership (Mies, 2014). In Patriarchy, the male is the first and the last in the line of privileges and recognition in the society.
There are many factors that shape marriage in Africa. Three of them include social status which involves wealth under one’s disposal, cultural settings which other factors emanate as either to undermine or to construct the institution of marriage, and moral standings of the individual (Dixon-Mueller, Germain, Fredrick, and Bourne, 2009).
Homosexuality is viewed in different perspectives by the broader Christian community. There are denominations that have embraced it as part of a moral practice while others extremely forbid its practice in church and among members (Boswell, 2015). The four leading positions on the practice of homosexuality are those who welcome and affirm the practice, those who welcome and never affirm, those who affirm and never welcome and those who neither welcome nor affirm (Lewes, 2009) These standings are based on the opinions of relativism, objectivism, rationalism, and subjectivity.
Economics is the social science whose entailment include the study of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. It is a branch of social sciences that involves the entities of the process of production to ensure that everything is kept in balance (Blomberg, 2012). The balance of these entities is essential in keeping all things under control.
Justice can be defined as the concept of having moral rightness, an ideology mostly based on ethics, moral law. Rationality, natural law, religion, and social equity. The morality of Christian justice defines the boundaries of fairness and social equity which results in obedience and submission to God’s will for all humanity; love. (Van Ness,and Strong, 2014).
Biblical economics is explicitly an expression of unconditional love. It is founded on the love that God has shown to humanity. This love is to be reciprocated to fellow human beings without any discrimination or favor (McClintock, 2013). In Luke 19:1-10, the tax collector Zacchaeus encounters Jesus. In the show of love and great kindness against the expectation of all the Pharisees and teachers of the law, Jesus promises that He would spend time at Zacchaeus house. This defines a place for Biblical economics as related to God’s divine economy in which He purposes to bring salvation to all Mankind. An encounter and a great visit of Jesus brings a change of heart in the life of the tax collector who promises to return fourfold of whatever he unlawfully took from people. The work of God’s divine love is manifested in this story as His unconditional love creates a chain of impact to individuals and gets propagated through giving (Zehr, 2015).
The texts in 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 and Galatians 2:1-10 emphasis on the economic principle of giving to the poor and to the service of God. The motive of the giving service is clearly encapsulated in a pure heart that begins by self-sacrifices for the work of the kingdom of God. Paul in these texts clearly outlines the sense that lies in committing oneself to serve through an endless sacrifice for the service of the poor and those in need of the gospel. The beauty of this principle is founded on the principle of faith in God to provide and avail the grace that causes those pure and selfless desires to flourish. The 0endless provision from God is that enshrines those who choose to spread the love and stretch their generous hand in kindness. The most significant opportunity of finding enduring fulfillment lies in serving God through a constant willingness to mean the needs of others.
There are many examples of Biblical economics that we can find in the Old and New Testament. The extent of these cases is related to different dimensions in which the aspect of Biblical economics can be viewed. By default, there are several principles of Biblical economics that need to be outlined clearly in order to understand all the given examples. In the creation story, God entrusts a man with the responsibility of tending the garden of Eden and taking care of the creation. In doing so, while the man is provided with resources, he is given a task that requires accountability and responsibility. These two are crucial aspects of Biblical economics. When God called Abraham, He gave a promise about his descendants who would be as many as the stars of the sky. Abraham believed in God and would later be tested on the mountain regarding his faith in God and his love for his son Isaac. Theological, the faith of Abraham offered Isaac to God. This story primarily teaches on unwavering faith on the promises of God. The children of Israel while in the oppression cried to God and He sends help to them through Moses. It is clear that they were under God’s covenant with Abraham, a solemn promise which God would not change for the sake of Abraham, His servant. In the wilderness, God keeps them for forty years, finding them with manner and quails. God is very intentional about the balance of His kingdom agenda with the work that He does on earth through His servants. In the New Testament, the ministry of Jesus, the work of the disciples and the missions of the Apostles and the members of the first church is a proof that all should embrace Biblical economics (Dennis, 2017). All these show that when we stand in the place of faith and act in hope, God is gracious to cause an abundance of blessings to fall us.
Sexuality is one's capacity to have sexual feelings and to be able to express those feelings. It is the ability to have preferences that are related to one’s sexual orientation. Such things are caused by their subjective perceptions and choices about their sexuality. There are many orientations and dimensions to define one’s sexuality (Farley, 2008). The expression of sexuality could be hindered or enhanced by the environment in which one exists if there are restrictions or problems regarding sexuality. There are societies in which sexuality has got degraded because of unfair or unjust treatment. For instance, if one gender gets mistreated, then there lack grounds for confidence.
a) The ethical dilemma is caused by situations that seemingly require a decision in favor of one part of the whole. This decision is a dilemma because the church leaders have to excommunicate them or compromise their convictions by keeping them there. Both of these decisions will have a consequence which these leaders must be prepared to bear.
b) Judith Caron’s method of ethical decision making
According to Judith Caron, the process of deciding an ethical dilemma involves five steps. For instance, the woman, in this case, needs to gather information regarding the choice she wants to take in her marriage. It is in the scriptures that we get the basis of what she would do in such a case. On her side, she has become a Christin and cannot go back to her old ways. According to Apostle Paul’s teaching on marriage, a believer should not walk away from marriage as it is still a covenant even when it is meant by the non-believers (Browning, 2008). This means that this woman should owners this scriptural insight. More importantly, the implications of such a decision should get considered carefully. This decision affects personal, spiritual, physical and psychological elements of an individual. Making a hasty decision could be very sad (Worthington, 2009).
Although this woman wants to decide to divorce her husband, the moral principles overarching the issues are stronger than the mere decision of letting go. It means she should analyze her decision and consider the motive behind her decision. When the motive gets connected with the critical fact of bringing the truth to the light and making the best decision, she will get the light of the situation. With the information from the scriptures, advice and opinions will help her to reflect on the case and later make the best decision.
According to the ethical implications of divorce, and the many ill factors associated with it, this woman should not divorce because the Principles of Christian faith do not give her the ground to do so unless when her husband dies. The marriage is still valid and the covenant still holding the woman into the relationship (Hugenberger, 2014). This woman must not succumb to the pressure of having a different mind from her husband. Actually, according to the teachings of Apostle Paul, she should stay and pray for the salvation of her husband.
The final take, in this case, is that the moral standing of the Scriptures does not allow for divorce. This only reason allowed for divorce is unfaithfulness which is not the case here (Baker, Sanchez, Nock, and Wright, 2009). Therefore the woman needs to understand the truth behind divorce and change her mind to accommodate her husband in her life flexibly. However, after all the information gathering, opinion seeking and self-reflection, the decision lies with the woman. When her moral standing is the defining point of any decision, the truth will be inevitable (Zsambok, and Klein, 2014).
Marriage is considered as a covenant and also as a sacrament. The institution of marriage ordained, by God is a critical analysis element of the society. It is considered as a covenant because two people make vows before God and before men to remain together for life. All the elements of a covenant are contained therein hence it fits in the theological approach of being a covenant. Marriage is viewed as a covenant so that it is respected and given its place in the society and church. As a covenant, marriage deserves attention and fulfillment of all the vows made therein. Marriage is also considered as a sacrament because God is its institutor. It is Holy, and its basis is in God. The sacredness of marriage leads to the Holy Matrimony consummation that shares the love in the marriage. In defining it as a sacrament, it is destined for the service of the Holy God. The family of husband and wife should keep the marriage holy by maintaining their vows and respecting the promises they made (May, Lawler, and Boyle, 2011). The Bible is against any form of promiscuity, and that itself brings a shield to the sanctity of marriage as portrayed by the two theological approaches.
Philip Wagaman’s Method
The ethical dilemma in this matter is very natural and also undoubtedly tricky. The young girls seem to be unapologetic about their actions which is sure a considerable factor in this regard. While it is essential to understand the implications underlying in the issues of concern, there is a need to discern the truth in this situation. The girls have for sure practiced unethical behaviors while in the church community. The leaders are also not any mistakes in their decision to excommunicate the girls. However, both parties have a place of connection; the forgiveness of sins that the girls talk it out.
The leadership of the church should consider summoning the girls to hear the side of their story. It will have a significant effect on the decision that both parties will come into a consensus. In an ethical dilemma, being familiarised with both side gives one the best ground to respond to a situation. Although there should not be any ground for moral compromise, there should be mutual understanding and flexibility in order to accommodate the right decision in this matter.
When there are difficult situations that need bold decisions, it is wise that all essential entities of a matter remain uncompromised. The essential entities in an issue include moral, legal and spiritual principles and aspects of the matter. Other light factors such as personal and physical elements can get a flexible approach. While there are serious issues related to sexuality in the church today, it is essential to understand that those issues are not worth the lives of people in the church (Foucault, 2012). Arrogance should not be allowed in the case of having any mistake; one should be remorseful and repentant. The leaders should, therefore, broaden their perspectives and look at this matter objectively. If objectivity takes the lead in this matter, then the truth shall come out apparently (Whitford, and Olver, 2012). The decision is in the hands of the leaders.
The question of the cautious take when addressing a homosexuality case is susceptible and requires Godly wisdom to address. There could be a need to understand the spiritual capacity of any person that is concerned with the matters because this will determine their capacity to hold or withhold. Being relatively under the capacity to let the ability to get to such people’s shoes and experience the pain of their situation is vital. Thus, being judgemental and condemning, in this case, might not help. Coming to the address an ethical situation like this should be accompanied by a subjectivity that allows the objective to take root in its appropriate time. In this case, an intense discussion to appropriately inform Susan about the implications of her practice would be needful.
The existential presupposition regarding Susan and Thandi is that they engage in immoral acts that need a rethinking of mentality. It is obvious to expect that both are still in the lesbian relationship. It brings caution to addressing their situation since it can be consented that Susan has accepted to be going to church (Niebuhr, 2013). The probability would be leaning on the side that they are not doing the right thing at the moment because their practice is morally unacceptable. Since this is a question of sexual orientation, it would be very controversial in taking the side that favors the two as that would make one feel compromising their moral stand. Considerably, the situation entails a moral question, an ethical dilemma and a real factor in concern.
It is natural that one’s environment is instrumental in shaping their presuppositions and view of any matter in life. Having been entangled related things once, one would find it appropriate to judge and condemn their practice in the effort to make oneself feel better of the situation. Realistically, the essence of pointing a condemning figure can gear in healing the situation but instead inflicting pain to the culprits of the situation. The society always gives a hand of direction and prediction on the approach to take regarding any ethical issue. Ethics and moral law are entities that grow naturally in an individual’s life and are embedded therein from the very beginning of their spiritual lives (MacArthur, Hughes, and Mayhue, 2011). These moral standings are the basis and the main reason being any presupposition pointing to a particular ethical issue like sexual orientation. Without knowledge and any awareness, what the mind get engaged with begins to define precisely one’s personality (Miguel, 2014).
A letter to Susan.
It is a delight that you have given yourself in the Christian community and are willing to get transformed. Every Christian has a past that none is proud. We all have a dark past from which if we severe and repent and give ourselves to Christ; our sins got forgiven. Your decision to be a member of the church is very noble and much welcome. The desire the church holds all the time is to see new members coming to church and gladly declaring their faith in God. Your step is very bold, and I wish to commend you to the grace of God. Importantly, we are called to righteousness when we become Christians, and that should let us shed off every corrupt practice in our lives.
In this regard, I would wish to let you be informed of the need to give out your cares, burdens and old practices to the God. Jesus said in Mathew 11:28 that come to me he who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest, take my yoke you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you shall find rest for your souls. It is a call of salvation and forgiveness of sins. Willingness to give up one’s sinful nature is the very beginning of being transformed into a true Christian. This should be your greatest desire at the moment as you are in the process of turn around (Tenbrunsel, and Smith?Crowe, 2008).
You mainly have been involved in a Lesbian relationship. This call demands a need to change your heart and mind regarding this immoral practice. As a society, the church is meant to welcome all the lost to come into the fold of Christ where they will find safety for their souls. You are welcome into this fold. However, it is Christ’s will and desire as it is ours, to have you forsaking all that would take you away from immoral life into the precious love of Jesus Christ. Begin to give out yourself to Him Sister Susan, lay your burdens and cares to Him for He cares for you. The work of the church will be to grow together with you in the journey of this faith. There is, therefore, a need for you to positively identify yourself as a willing member by sacrificing your old nature and letting Godly nature get implanted into your spirit man. Henceforth you will have a name that none has had; your salvation is a guarantee. Before signing as a member, I would, therefore, want you to understand that it will be against the convictions of Christian faith to commit to the faith and remain in the Lesbian relationship. The deliberate decision requires that you decide and keep the decision. Turning back will only lead to guilt and shame. You have the strength to let go what brings fear, doubt, shame, and sin. You have come to the throne of the heavenly father, we embrace you with love, while you decide to let go this relationship and choose Christ instead.
1. Baker, E.H., Sanchez, L.A., Nock, S.L. and Wright, J.D., 2009. Covenant marriage and the sanctification of gendered marital roles. Journal of Family Issues, 30(2), pp.147-178.
2. Blomberg, C.L., 2012. Neither capitalism nor socialism: a biblical theology of economics. Journal of Markets & Morality, 15(1).
3. Blomberg, C.L., 2015. Neither poverty nor riches: A biblical theology of possessions (Vol. 7). InterVarsity Press.
4. Boswell, J., 2015. Christianity, social tolerance, and homosexuality: Gay people in Western Europe from the beginning of the Christian era to the fourteenth century. University of Chicago Press.
5. Browning, D.S., 2008. Modern Law and Christian Jurisprudence on Marriage and Family. Emory LJ, 58, p.31.
6. Dennis, J., 2017. A Pentecostal Biblical Theology: Turning Points in the Story of Redemption, written by Roger Stronstad. Pneuma, 39(3), pp.388-390.
7. Dixon-Mueller, R., Germain, A., Fredrick, B. and Bourne, K., 2009. Towardssexual ethics of rights and responsibilities. Reproductive Health Matters, 17(33), pp.111-119.
8. Farley, M., 2008. Just love: A framework for Christian sexual ethics. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.
9. Foucault, M., 2012.The history of sexuality, vol. 2: The use of pleasure. Vintage.
10. Howell, M.C., 2009. Women, production, and patriarchy in late medieval cities. The University of Chicago Press
11. Hugenberger, G.P., 2014. Marriage as a covenant: Biblical law and ethics as developed from Malachi. Wipf and Stock Publishers.
12. Lewes, K., 2009. Psychoanalysis and male homosexuality. Jason Aronson.
13. MacArthur, J., Hughes, J.A. and Mayhue, R.L. eds., 2011. Think Biblically!: Recovering a Christian worldview. Crossway.
14. May, W., Lawler, R.,and Boyle, J., 2011. Catholic sexual ethics: a summary, explanation, & defense. Our Sunday Visitor.
15. McClintock, A., 2013. Imperial Leather: Race, gender, and sexuality in the colonial contest. Routledge.
16. Mies, M., 2014. Patriarchy and accumulation on a world scale: Women in the international division of labor. Zed Books Ltd.
17. Miguel, A., 2014. Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins: Revised and Expanded. Orbis Books.
18. Rateau, P., Moliner, P., Guimelli, C. and Abric, J.C., 2011. Social representation theory. Handbook of theories of social psychology, 2, pp.477-497.
19. Robinson, S., 2009. The nature of responsibility in a professional setting. Journal of Business Ethics, 88(1), pp.11-19.Niebuhr, R., 2013. Moral man and immoral society: A study in ethics and politics. Westminster John Knox Press.
20. Tenbrunsel, A.E. and Smith?Crowe, K., 2008. 13 ethical decision making: Where we’ve been and where we’re going. The Academy of Management Annals, 2(1), pp.545-607.
21. Van Ness, D.W. and Strong, K.H., 2014. Restoring justice: An introduction to restorative justice. Routledge.