This online seminary course was based on a book by Georgia Elma Harkins (21 April 1891- 21 August 1974). With an original copyright of 1957 some of the chapters contained very dated material giving the reader older narratives and some outdated history. Because a revision was not possible. it does leave out more modern problems that the church and the world are now facing. Ms. Harkins was an ordained Methodist cleric and considered as a leader in Christian Theology. The book Christian Ethics was one of thirty she wrote over the years. She wrote with a desire that all peoples would gain an understanding of the Christian faith. The questions at the end of chapters added to the text by the Reverend Johnny Erato made one think about the given material and do additional research.

The subject of ethics is very involved and hard to understand as 1 concept. There are many different areas of ethics that have been part of church and world history throughout the ages. It must be remembered that the church was governed by many people with different backgrounds and outlooks. Therefore, one must stop to think of what part of religion, world, and national ethics would cover a given situation or time in history and not base their thoughts on current events, understanding, and advances in historical studies.

We can not, without doubt, state that the Church used only strictly Christian ideals over the years as there were numerous leaders of the faith in the beginning that added to the tenants of the church, in some cases to further their own selves. The original idea of community, love for all, and helping your fellow man was not always the idea of those in high office. Even after the Reformation there was not much change in the teachings of the churches. Today there are Apologists that are working on the theology of the church and trying to explain away any contradiction of what is expected of followers. It has become a situation that if something doesn’t work we will try this to please the congregants not this is what we are to believe, teach, and follow to be good Christians.

So what are Christian Ethics? It has been written by some that Christian Ethics tend to stress a need for love, grace, mercy and forgiveness because of sin. It is thought that with divine assistance, the Christian is called to become increasingly virtuous in both thought and deed. Church now is not conducted like it was. It is almost a multimillion dollar production. It is everything to everyone and must provide glitz and glamour. The music must be just so and the church teachings and sermons must be what people want to hear. It reminds me of a mall with a little something for everyone. In this day and age I am not sure that people understand what Christian Ethics means. I’m not sure they understand what “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself” means. It is sad to see and it is sad to write.

There are some great people out there who are working very hard to help others, and there are people who are trying very hard to help the world. We need to get back to basics and teachings. If Jesus came right now and preached his Sermon on the Mount and asked that we love one another, he would not be listened to by those who need to listen most. We are not an ethical people -- we are a group of self-indulged people in need of good moral ethical training given with tough love. --Rev Sharon J. Mayer

The Universal Life Church Seminary is an outstanding source of religious education and free ordination. You can become ordained online, get free sermons, kind words and a comprehensive chaplaincy program.

Author's Bio: 

Amy is the President of the ULC Seminary and author of multiple books and courses on ceremonies and various spiritual belief systems.