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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Does the End Justify the Means?

Romans 3:8 - Paul had been falsely accused of teaching, "let us do evil that good may come."

Paul here denied believing this doctrine, but many people today do believe it, or they reason as though they do. The idea is that we evaluate the goal or end result that we hope to achieve, and if the goal seems honorable or upright, then we conclude that whatever means or methods we might use to achieve that goal would also be honorable or upright.

The idea has several names: "Situation Ethics," "Moral Relativity," "end justifies the means," "practicality," and other terms. One man called it "using the devil's tools to do God's work."

The purpose of this study is to consider what the Bible says about the idea that the end justifies the means.

Lying and Deceit

Our son Tim's company gave him two free tickets to a Cubs game, so he and I went. A professional photographer asked if we would like to have our picture taken for free. When we agreed, he gave us a card telling us how to access our picture online. But the site required us to pay $20 to get any useable picture. He "took the picture" for free, but he knew people would think they would get a picture for free. He deceived us.

Proverbs 6:16-19 lists seven things that are an abomination to God, and two of them involve lying: "a lying tongue," and "a false witness that tells lies." God hates a lying tongue!

Women's Role in Preaching and Church Leadership


Consider some changes that have occurred in church leadership roles in recent years.

* Some believe that women should be allowed to preach or lead prayer or singing in public worship assemblies.

* Some claim that women should be allowed to serve as elders/bishops or deacons.

* Some claim that women should be allowed to attend and speak in church business or decision-making meetings. Some claim women should have equal voice with men in such meetings.

* Some claim that churches must have "congregational meetings" in which all members, including women, discuss and make decisions. Some claim that such meetings must ratify or reject decisions made by the elders or men.

The purpose of this study is to examine the teaching of the New Testament about the role of women in such activities of church leadership and decision making.