Thursday 24 November 2016

Global Integrity 22

Christian Missional Integrity 
Moral Wholeness for a Whole World

Integrity is moral wholeness—living consistently in moral wholeness. Its opposite is corruption, the distortion, perversion, and deterioration of moral goodness, resulting in the exploitation of people. Global integrity is moral wholeness at all levels in our world—from the individual to the institutional to the international. Global integrity is requisite for “building the future we want—being the people we need.” It is not easy, it is not always black and white, and it can be risky. These entries explore the many facets of integrity with a view towards the global efforts to promote sustainable development and wellbeing.
Integrity in Christian Mission

Your throne, God, shall last forever and ever,
your royal sceptre is a sceptre of integrity;
virtue you love as much as you hate wickedness.
Psalm 45:6-7 (cited in Hebrews 1:8-9)

This entry features excerpts from the opening and closing parahgraphs in the Introduction to Serving Jesus with Integrity: Ethics and Accountability in Mission (2010), edited by Dwight Baker and Douglas Hayward. This book's sixteen chapters cover a wide range of important topics realted to integrity, collectively addressing some of the challenges, inconsistencies, guidelines, and virtuous examples that are all intertwined in Christian mission (protestant). It is organized into six parts. Integrity in: 1. Message, Finances, Relationships; 2. Personal Morality; 3. Insitutional Practice; 4. the Field; 5. Recrutment and Representation; and 6. Intentional Accountability. 

My take-away: Misisional integrity, like integrity in any area of work (e.g., business, humanitarian, education, politics), is founded upon personal integrity. And personal inegrity is founded upon moral wholeness.

“But ethical formulations and ethical instruction in themselves are not sufficient. Viewed simply as adherence to rules, ethics falls short. Even apart from our human penchant for evading or overstepping rules, we simply cannot manufacture rules enough…We need to be changed, to become new creatures, if our practice is to change fundamentally….” (p. xii)

“Ethical reflection is never finished. It is an ongoing discussion. In reaching for the ultimate, we are always enmeshed in and struggle with the penultimate, where we need careful thought, consultation with peers and fellow followers of Jesus, and guidelines if we are to make our way reliably and with integrity. As products of mature ethical reflection, codes, and guidelines are useful implements…assisting us in becoming people 'whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil' (Heb. 5:14 NRSV).” (p. xviii)

--In additon to the "human penchant for evading or overstepping rules," how is integrity affected by the human propensity to lie (intentionally, unconsciously and everything mixed in between), as well as to slant perspectives, memories, and issues in order to cast oneself in a favorable light or avoid scrutiny?

--"We need to be changed..."  Sounds good. But how does this happen?

--What do you do to practically help make your way "reliably and with integrity" in life and in life's challenging ethical situations? 

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