Back in seminary I took a class on Postmodernism. The basic tenet of “postmodern thought” is that truth is relative, your truth isn’t my truth, so who are you to tell me what to do?
The big, evil, nasty idea from this was “situational ethics.” Situational ethics, to most observers, said that right and wrong change based on what situation you are in.
Christianity viewed this as big time trouble.
However, let me just say, there is some truth to it. Not always, but some times. That’s right, there are certain situations where situational ethics are correct!
Rahab lying to protect the spies is a classic example. The midwives lying and hiding the Jewish baby boys is another.
Jesus Himself shows a tremendous ability to shift what He does based on the situation. The woman caught in adultery is told to go, I won’t condemn you. The Canaanite woman who begs for a miracle is called a dog by Jesus.
Is there really a situation where someone should be called a dog? Apparently so, unless you think Jesus made a mistake.
The Gospels are filled with examples of treating people as individuals, there is no cookie-cutter approach that fit all situations.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” It’s up to us to, by faith, figure out what fits the season we and others are in. Discern the times and speak a well-fitted word.
If your response to people is always the same, no variation, you know exactly what to do all the time and it’s always __________(fill in the blank with your go-to thing), faith has probably left your life.
Shake it up a bit. Think things through, don’t just whip out the old routinized habit. Something tells me your old life being replaced by a new life is going to result in some new actions in old situations!