February 27, 2013

Sustaining Moral Injury

While even in the church, we suffer from ill-defined and conflicting moral codes, there can be no doubt that some people sustain moral injuries. I see this especially when talking to some returning veterans. In  war, people are called up to perform acts that can be at odds with their sense of right and wrong. Yet out of duty and/or sense of fear, they see and do things they know are wrong.

Let there be no mistake, many people have moral codes, things they believe are right and wrong. In the church, we teach a code of morality. And some churches teach differently from others, but increasingly, for many, the lines between right and wrong are blurry. This is not to say that we live or should live in a black and white world. Seeing gray can be a sign of spiritual maturity. But when we do something that triggers our shame and guilt, even with the best intentions or the best sense of duty, we are injured. And I'm seeing more walking wounded every day. And it's especially hard to communicate your sense of injury and by be heard by someone else who holds a different moral code.

In a world with fewer standards, what should the church do? Is there such a thing as a universal moral code? Should there be? How can we adjudicate the differences?

What moral injuries do you see in your congregation? And how should we address them as Christians?


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