The purpose of these questions and scenarios is to develop interest and discussion for situations which always call for Biblical solutions and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. They are meant to illustrate that there are few “textbook answers” to many of life’s problems and dilemmas.

SEXUALITY

Birth Control and Contraception
Abortion
Stem-cell Research
Artificial Insemination
Celibacy and Abstinence
Masturbation

HOMOSEXUALITY  

What Causes Homosexuality?
Children in Homosexual Homes
AIDS
   
EUTHANASIA

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Sexuality

~When a couple is dating, how are boundaries established?
~Why do people flirt?
~Why is flirting becoming increasingly socially acceptable?
~How does a Christian react when a co-worker makes an inappropriate sexual comment to him/her? 
~Why is Biblical literacy essential to a balanced personal sexuality?
~Why should Believers allow the Holy Spirit to counsel them concerning sexual issues? 
~To what extent should a Christian girl allow design and fashion to influence her choices regarding clothing purchases (I Peter 3:4)?

Birth Control and Contraception

~Is there a Bible verse that prohibits the use of contraceptives?
~How do you respond to someone who states that if premarital sex doesn’t result in pregnancy, it’s not a sin?
~How would you counsel someone considering a vasectomy or a   hysterectomy?
~Does preventing the life of a child make the potential parents guilty of thwarting God’s plan for the child who was never born?
~Is child-prevention the same as child-abortion?
~If a couple cannot produce natural children, can they ethically consider a sperm donor or implantation?
~How should a Christian parent react if their teens are issued contraceptives at school?

Abortion

Most abortions are performed for social reasons which may include convenience, the child is unwanted, poverty (the parent(s) cannot afford the child), pregnancy outside of marriage, rape, and contraceptive failure.

~Why are more human deaths caused by abortion than by any other single cause of death in America?
~Is abortion really murder?
~Is an unborn child actually “human”?
~If so, at what point do they become so?
~What did David mean when he wrote that “God knew him in his mother’s womb” (Psalm 22:10)?
~Does a fetus have a consciousness?
~If a fetus is a conscious human being, does the fetus have “patient rights”? 
~What does Jesus mean by His statement it would be “better to have a millstone hung around a person’s neck and be cast into the sea than to hurt a little one” (Mark 9:42 & 10:16)?
~What would be your reaction if a convicted pedophile moved into your neighborhood?
~What laws should be enacted to prevent date rape?
~How should a girl react if she becomes pregnant as a result of date rape?
~If the conception was a result of rape, does this change the ethical/moral
considerations of abortion?
~If a birth would result in the death of the mother and she aborts the child, is the abortion a sin?
~If a qualified medical team concludes a baby had a very slim chance of survival or quality of life, is an abortion justifiable?
~What are the potential psychological aspects of an abortion on either or both parents?
~Most potential mothers who have an abortion say they never want to go
through it again. Why are so many haunted by recurring nightmares?
~Why do doctors and nurses in abortion clinics have a much higher suicide rate than others in the medical field?
~Why do abortion doctors seldom pursue abortions as a life long career?
~Why are hormonal imbalances a common occurrence after an abortion, frequently resulting in post-partum psychosis and depression?
~Does Exodus 21:22-25 establish a premise concerning the value of the life of both mother and child (Exodus 21:22-25)?
~Why does the Old Testament command punishment for a person who injures a pregnant woman (Ex. 21:22)?
~Why, if her injury is so severe her fetus dies (v. 23) is there a more severe retribution and the “‘eye for an eye” law is obligatory (v. 24)?
~Do these verses demand capital punishment for infanticide? 
~Does this passage establish that the living mother has more value
than an unborn child?

Stem-cell research

~Is it morally and ethically wrong to use fetal tissue for research?
~Can stem cell scientific research help save lives? 
~How should a Christian respond to the argument that the fetus is already dead?
~Suppose the fetus died accidentally or from a “Jane Doe” victim?

Artificial Insemination

~Is it a sin for a couple to decide never to have children?
~Is it a curse to be infertile?
~Is it OK for a Christian woman to use fertilization drugs or have surgical procedures performed to improve the chances of pregnancy?
~If the biological parents who have given a baby up for adoption want their baby back, how would you respond if they asked your advice?
~What does the Bible say about becoming pregnant through artificial
insemination?
~Is this practice ethically or morally wrong?
~Is it OK for a Christian man to be a sperm donor?
~Since he would have to masturbate to produce the sperm, is this a sin?
~Is it OK for a Christian woman to be a surrogate mother?
~Is it wrong, either Biblically or ethically, to select the sex of a child if a couple chooses artificial insemination?
~Is it sin for a Christian woman to have an embryo-transfer?
~If a man uses another mans sperm, who is the true father of the child that is born?
~If a woman uses another woman’s egg, but her husband’s sperm, is she really the true mother?
~Would this scenario introduce a “third parent” into the marriage who is not actually a part of the marriage?
~What specific legal rights does an embryo have today?
~Should a child born via artificial insemination have the right to meet the biological parents one day?
~If a couple comes to you for counseling regarding artificial insemination, could you give them Biblical passages to consider? If so, which ones?

Celibacy and Abstinence

~What are some pragmatic ways singles can cope with sexual temptation?
~What situations might a single person find her/himself in that could be considered “compromising”?

Masturbation

~Since no second party is hurt, is it morally unhealthy to do it?
~Although masturbation may not be physically harmful in any way, is it harmful spiritually?
~It is true that no Biblical passage deals with it directly?

Sexuality Scenario # 1

A 15 year-old boy confides in you that he was molested by one of his male teachers. He believes that if his dad finds out, he will take matters into his own hands and kill the teacher. What is your next move? How do you handle this situation?

Sexuality Scenario # 2

A couple that you know want to have children, but she is infertile. They do not want to adopt. She has been considering using a surrogate mother, but wants her husband to physically impregnate the woman, thus making the baby “more a product of their own marriage.” She has asked you if this would be an act of adultery or an act of grace. How would you respond?
           
Sexuality Scenario # 3

A young girl you know claims she was date raped by a boy in the church. She has threatened to tell his parents, but she is afraid to tell her own parents. What action do you take, if any?

Sexuality Scenario # 4

An under-aged girl forges a birth certificate in order to get married. The marriage is technically illegal. If she asks you if her marriage is recognized before God, how would you respond?

Sexuality Scenario # 5

A male black friend is going steady with a co-worker of yours who is white. He has two mulatto children from a previous marriage. Her family is very close to her, but is very prejudiced against minorities.  She is seeking your advice concerning possible repercussions if they get married. What would you tell her?

Sexuality Scenario # 6

A female friend of yours has recently become a Christian. Prior to her salvation, she and her husband drank a six-pack of beer together every night. Since she is now an abstainer from alcohol, he has become verbally and physically abusive. She loves him and wants him to come to know the Lord, but is afraid for her life. Believing that the escalating situation may eventuate in her untimely demise, she wants to know if she is free to divorce him. How would you respond?

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Homosexuality

Homosexuals claim that “gays are born, not made.” But most researchers agree that the gay lifestyle begins at home. Almost all gay men describe their dads as distant, uninvolved in their upbringing, and were often scary and unapproachable. Most gay men also describe their mothers as controlling and overbearing.

Gays claim homosexuality is “a healthy choice for some people.” Time has proven that, of all possible lifestyles, it is actually the least safe. There are spiritual, physical, psychological, and emotional dangers, including decreased life expectancy and the very real threat of STD’s, HIV and AIDS.

Contributing factors to the gay lifestyle can include a strong self-will, spousal abuse in home, the belief in moral relativism, failure of leadership within the home, imbalance in parental adultery, living close to or in a gay community, pornography, seduction by peers, molestation, pedophilia, media-influence (such as viewing of gay movies as a normative lifestyle), and chemical imbalances.

Discussion Questions Regarding Homosexuality:

~What causes homosexuality?
~How can we ensure children have a healthy gender-identity?
~Since gays have a very high suicide rate, is suicide a “healthy choice”?
~Is the homosexual marital issue really about one’s right to choose?
~Homosexuals argue that banning gay marriages is the same as banning interracial marriages: is this true?
~Why do most countries allow interracial but not homosexual marriages?
~Why, in any country, are interracial marriages almost always heterosexual?
~Since I Corinthians 6:9 states no fornicator will enter the Kingdom of God, does this include gay fornicators (Leviticus 18:22 & Jude 1:7)?
~If homosexual marriages became legal throughout America, on what criteria could a gay couple be denied a marriage license?
~Can the same standards be applied (concerning denial of a marriage license for gay couples) as for heterosexual couples?
~Why would a gay couple need a blood test, since biological children are not possible, except by laboratory-generated insemination or fetal implants in the case of lesbian women?
~Given the staggering average number of partners homosexual males have per year, what would prevent polygamous homosexual marriages?
~If there were children involved, wouldn’t parenting be a “group activity” and pedophilia become potentially epidemic?

Children in Homosexual Households

National statistics continue to verify that child abuse is lowest when children live with their (straight) biological mom and dad. Same-sex parenting makes it impossible for a child to live with his/her true biological mom and dad, thus increasing the risk of abuse.

~Since homosexual couples can’t have children naturally nor provide them the benefit of the Biblical model of a Christian father and a mother, how can they look to the Scriptures to spiritually rear any children under their care?
~Isn’t denying children a God-fearing mother and father slanting them away from Biblical norms from the start?
~Can even the most loving gay mom teach a boy how to be a man or the most loving gay man teach a girl how to be a woman?
~How does a lesbian mother teach a girl what to look for in a good husband?
~How can a lesbian mom explain her daughter’s menstrual cycle as normative for having future children, especially if that girl grows up and marries another woman?
~Some argue that children are better off growing up in a homosexual home rather than in an abusive home. But is it not an abuse of God’s protective standards to let them grow up in a gay environment?

AIDS

~Is AIDS a plague God has sent to stem the rising tide of homosexuality or just another disease?
~Why is the gay community hiding the fact that HIV/AIDS is still largely contracted via homosexual activity?
~With AIDS on the increase, what is to stop people in homosexual marriages from receiving heath care benefits?
~Wouldn’t the civil authorities and taxpayers have to keep up with the perpetual changing of gay partners and the accompanying complex medical benefits and payments?
~Is it not ultimately the taxpayer that will bear the rising costs of health insurance due to claims from homosexual married couples, especially HIV/AIDS related claims?
~It is not ironic that the very group that has so greatly helped to promote the spread of AIDS seeks to con the taxpayers into paying for more and more pro-active AIDS research?
~Can homosexuality be prevented? If so, how?

Homosexual Scenario # 1

A married male homosexual couple begin to attend the church in which you are ministering. They want their two children to begin attending children’s church. Other families in the church are aware of their sexual preference. How would you counsel them? What are the possible repercussions of your advice?

Homosexuality Scenario # 2

This note was sent to you by a lesbian who knows that you are a Christian:

Dear MS,
My girlfriend told me that you were very rude to her at the place where you both work. She has informed me that you have made crude remarks about her sexuality. I see this as a slam on my character as well. This is sexual harassment. I demand an immediate apology in writing. If you fail to do this, I shall report you to your boss.”  Do you respond to her note?  If so, how?

Homosexual Scenario # 3

A gay couple has moved in next door to you. Your children play with their children. By some of the children’s remarks, you suspect there is pedophilia in the home. Although you have no direct proof, what action should you take or not take?

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Euthanasia

Financial concerns are usually the primary factor concerning the choice to sustain a life. Huge and continuous medical bills often bankrupt entire families. The lines defining euthanasia often become blurred because people do not understand the difference between the two fundamental forms of it.

“Unnatural Passive Euthanasia” is allowing someone to die unnaturally by deliberately withholding the natural means of sustaining life, including food. This is the most common form of euthanasia.
~Will God hold someone accountable for starving this person to death?

“Natural Passive Euthanasia” means allowing someone to die “naturally” by withholding life-sustaining medical equipment.
~Is the person with the medical power of attorney guilty of murder if they do not permit the necessary medical treatment?

Common to both these forms of euthanasia is a person or group of persons who have made the decision to not allow this person to continue living. This leads to the issue of quality of life.  Because of artificial life support, “death” is becoming harder and harder to define today. Hospitalization usually does not require an ethical decision, but taking a patient off of life support always does.

~Some argue that if one can never regain consciousness they are not really alive in the true sense. Is this true?
~Is an electro-encephalogram, which proves the cessation of all brain activity, always valid justification for euthanasia? 
~Is a patient’s own rational decision to refuse life-support a form of suicide?
~If so, will they be held accountable by God?

~Is depriving a terminal patient of the full disclosure of their medical information wrong?
~Do the dying have the right to know all the facts?
~Is a terminal patient “cheated” of their preparation time if we withhold information?
~Should they not be allowed the time to “put their house in order”? (II Kings 20:1)
~By hiding the facts, are we not really trying to make it easier on the survivors, rather than the one who is dying?

Euthanasia Scenario # 1

A prominent member of your church became terminally ill due to a brain tumor and she committed suicide. A division has arisen within the church family concerning where this person is spending eternity. Do those who commit suicide enter heaven? Was she responsible for her actions? How would you respond? 

Euthanasia Scenario # 2

A very elderly and dearly beloved man has been heading the hospital visitation program in your church. He has developed dementia and cannot remember names and faces. This has caused a great deal of embarrassment for those he visits as well as the hospital staff. A growing number of parishioners have sought your opinion concerning replacing him. How would you respond?

Euthanasia Scenario # 3

A ten-year-old girl had been diagnosed with only a 20% chance for quality of life should she survive her illness. Her parents and relatives are divided on the issue of euthanasia. How would you counsel them concerning this situation?

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Bibliography and Sources Consulted

Aaron, Elaine N. The Highly Sensitive Person in Love. New York: Broadway Books, 2000.

Anderson, J. Kerby. Moral Dilemmas: Biblical Perspectives on Contemporary Ethical Issues. Nashville: Word Publishing, 1998.
 
Anderson, Norman. Issues of Life and Death. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1978.

Barton, Ruth Haley. Equal to the Task: Men and Women in Partnership. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1998.

Clark, David K. and Robert V. Rakestraw, eds. Readings in Christian Ethics: Vol. I, Theory and Method. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1994.

Clark, David K and Robert V. Rakestraw, eds. Readings in Christian Ethics: Vol. II, Issues and Applications. Grand Rapids: Baker Books,1996.

Cosgrove, Charles H. Appealing to Scripture in Moral Debate: Five Hermeneutical Rules. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 2002.

Davis, John Jefferson. Evangelical Ethics: Issues Facing the Church Today. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1985.

Frankena, William K. Ethics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1963.

Geisler, Norman L. Christian Ethics: Options and Issues. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989.

Gill, Deborah M. “Called By God – What’s a Woman to Do, and What Can We Do to Help Her?” Enrichment 2, no.2 (Spring 1997): 32-35.

Gill, Deborah M. and Barbara Cavaness. God’s Women: Then and Now. Springfield, MO: Grace and Truth, 2004.

Grenz, Stanley. The Moral Quest: Foundations of Christian Ethics. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997.

Grenz, Stanley. Sexual Ethics: An Evangelical Perspective. Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1990.

Gustafson, James M. Christian Ethics and the Community. New York: Pilgrim Press, 1979.

Hartong, Dale and Valette. New Hope for Broken Marriages. Sturgis, MI: Dana Hartong Publishing, 1994.

Hauerwas, Stanley. The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983.

Hybels, Bill. Who You Are When No One’s Looking: Choosing Consistency and Resisting Compromise. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1987.

Maston, T.B. Biblical Ethics: A Survey. Cleveland, OH: World Publishing Company, 1967.

Matera, Frank J. New Testament Ethics: The Legacies of Jesus and Paul. Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1996.

Mott, Stephen Charles. Biblical Ethics and Social Change. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1982.

Pierce, T. Burton. Ministerial Ethics: A Guide for Spirit-Filled Leaders. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1996.

Preston, Ronald H. Confessions in Christian Ethics. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1994.

Rosner, Brian S. Paul, Scripture and Ethics: A Study of I Corinthians 5-7. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1994.

Rousselle, Aline. Porneia: On Desire and the Body in Antiquity. New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 1996.

Stafford, Tim. The Sexual Christian. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1989.

Stassen, Glen H. and David P. Gushee. Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003.

Thatcher, Floyd and Harriett. Long Term Marriage: A Search for the Ingredients of a Lifelong Partnership. Waco, TX: Word Books, 1974.

Thompson, Robb. Excellence in Marriage. Tinley Park, IL: Family Harvest, 2002.

Ward, Waylon O. Sex Matters: Men Winning the Battle. McKinny, TX: Allison O’Niel Publishing Company, 2004.

Wheat, Ed and Gaye Wheat. Intended for Pleasure: New Approaches to Sexual Intimacy in Christian Marriage. Old Tappan, N.J.: Fleming H. Revell, 1977.

Wilson, Earl D. Sexual Sanity: Breaking Free From Uncontrolled Habits. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1984.

Wright, Christopher J.H. An Eye For An Eye: The Place of Old Testament Ethics Today. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983


(Posted 21SEP14, the word count of this document is 3,342, consisting of 101 questions and 12 scenarios) 


Comments

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.