Christian Ethics

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INTRODUCTION (DEFINITION)
Christian ethics are theological teachings which govern decision making and the moral position of the Church based on various sources of guidance. These are traditions, church authorities, human experience, the Natural Law, the Bible; in particular Jesus’s Commandment of love, the Beatitudes and the 10 Commandments “You shall not steal” (Ex 20:15).

HISTORICAL SETTING
Christian ethical teachings vary between denominations for example, the Catholic Church places particular emphasis on Natural Law and authoritative bodies. The Protestant Church turns to scripture as its main source of ethical guidance due to the belive in “sol scriptura” (salvation through scripture alone, a belief originating in the Reformation of the Church.) Despite these differences, the Bible remains the common source of morality among all denominations.

SPECIFIC EXAMPLE: ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS/CLIMATE CHANGE
Christian environmental ethics are specifically concerned with the belief in humanity’s role as stewards of the Earth and how this role should be responsibly undertaken being a privileged bestowed by God. Prominent issues within Christian environmental ethics include Climate Change and deforestation.

Climate Change is defined as a long term change in the Earth’s climate, especially a change due to an increase in the average atmospheric temperature. There are many factors believed to be contributing to Climate Change. These include an overconsumption of fossil fuels which when used emit greenhouse gases. The Church’s stance on Climate Change is that it is the result of humanity abusing the role as stewards of the Earth by taking more than they need from it.

Using the words of Pope John Paul II, Climate Change is caused by modern society being given to “instant gratification and consumerism.” There are many national and international Christian initiatives which aim to address Climate Change such as Caritas Australia’s “A Just Climate” campaign....
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