Friday, January 07, 2005

Suspicions about "Ethics Training"

It's time that we enlarge the focus of our church apologetics classes. Christians should be prepared to address Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the major religions of the world. But another worldview is sneaking into the lives of, I'd venture to say, most of the business men and women of corporate America (which are also many of the folks in our churches). It comes in mainly through mandatory ethics training in the workplace.

Most of the ideas that we're taught in these ethics classes philosophers would call either Kantian Deontology or utilitarianism. Since that's too scary sounding, it's usually just described as "common sense". Ethics classes are an annual requirement for my job. In past years the training seemed harmless enough, but this year's material included powerpoint slides titled "Problems in Following the Golden Rule", and printed statements like "Theological Ethics -- a Non-Starter" and "in principle, looking to God's will is unnecessary in thinking about ethics". WHAT!?!?!

Since so many of the folks in our churches are being fed similar, yet perhaps more subtle ideas through formal training in the workplace, we need to be prepared to respond to these strawman attacks. Church leaders would do well to give some attention to what is going on here, because if folks are told a lie for long enough they're likely to start believing it.

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