During a debate concerning intelligent design theory, an unidentified woman lamented, “I’m facing chaos everywhere I look. I want to go to a church but they’re going to tell me what’s right, what’s wrong, and there’s no in between.”
Because moral discernment is difficult, Christians often abdicate their ethical positions to the authoritarian dictates of their faith tradition. Such a response raises a host of morally pertinent questions: “Do we have a moral responsibility to make our own ethical decisions?” “If we decide to abdicate all moral decisions to others, are we in some way rejecting our God-given gift of reason?” “Can we rest assured that God will accept, “I did what they told me to do,” as justification for our ethical behaviors? If not, then how do we decide what is right and what is wrong?”
Where Christ Presides: A Quaker Perspective on Moral Discernment presents a guide for readers to examine their own method of moral discernment within a Christ-centered continuum of moral development. It encourages readers to assume personal responsibility for resolving ethical dilemmas without telling them what is right or what is wrong. Christians of all denominations, clergy, students, and even nonbelievers will find this unique psycho-theological examination of Christian moral reasoning a useful guide for making ethical decisions. Jack Ciancio, RN, MA, MTh. combines his education in psychology and theology with his years of experience in medical ethics to present a Christ-centered model of ethical decision making. He serves on the Peace and Social Concerns Committee of the North Carolina Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and is a member of Ararat Friends Meeting.