Wow, The last eight weeks here have been intense! For the first two weeks, we were helping the school get operational at SBS: That meant lugging boxes of books and equipment to classrooms and to storage. A tremendous amount of work has taken place in order to share a school building. I was also trying to get my head round teaching a new subject: Ethics, to the senior and junior classes (16-18 year olds). We failed to recruit a teacher for the Religious Studies department so my teaching load has nearly doubled.
Ethics is a fascinating but somewhat frustrating subject. It has to do with what is morally right and wrong. In class we have traced philosophical thinking on morality from ancient Greek to modern times. If people haven’t given up on moral standards altogether, what most would now adhere to is a form of Utilitarianism (what is moral is what produces the greatest happiness for the greatest number). Teleological ethics considers that the ends justify the means. In class we watched the movie ‘ Spooks’ the Greater Good. MI5 agents constantly had to make decisions in order to bring about what they perceived to be the greater good. Sir Harry Pearce was constantly choosing between several calamitous alternatives in order to do the greatest good. At times he was forced to lie, steal, murder etc, in order to protect his country.
Today telelogical ethics and the ‘death of God’ (Nietzsche) has resulted in a loss of objective morality, (man has to step in and do his best to be God) objective beauty and objective value. The film star Raquel Welch said, ‘I am just a piece of meat.’ Where do you get your worth from if there is no God? From your job? From how many likes you get when you update your Facebook status? From your looks? From being loved by another? From the power you hold as a bureaucrat? All of these are transitory.
As a Christian, my value comes from being made in the image and likeness of a God who loves me. This doesn’t mean, however, that decisions and choices are easy. Right now we need to make choices about our future, guided by God. We are looking at applying for jobs in the UK to start in September. I don’t know where we should live and work and we need a miracle to get all the kids into the right schools if we are to return to the UK. Perhaps we should stay in Thailand but we need to raise more support following the devaluation of the pound. I am very grateful that God knows the future and we trust He will work everything together for our good.
Psalm 25: 8-9
“Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.”