Entries tagged with: Ethics

Serving Jesus with Integrity (EMS 18)

By: Dwight Baker and Doug Hayward, editors

The word “ethics” carries an aura of countervailing views, overlapping claims, uncertain footing, and seductive attractions. Some issues are as clear as the horizontal versus vertical axes in Sawai Chinnawong’s striking painting, Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife, that graces the cover of this book. At the same time—because we are involved, because our interests, our inclinations, our plans and relationships are at stake—the issues that engage missionary practitioners can be frustratingly labyrinthine, curling endlessly back on themselves.

Evangelical missionaries and mission agencies are concerned about personal morality—and rightly so. But as the chapters in this volume attest, evangelical mission’s ethical engagement extends far beyond simply avoiding compromising sexual situations and not absconding with the finances. How should we talk about others’ beliefs and practices to ourselves? To them? How should we represent ourselves to others? What role does tolerance for ambiguity play in missionaries’ mental preparation? How should accountability be structured in intercultural partnerships? Are there ways to enable organizational justice to flourish in mission institutions? What might integrity in short-term mission outreach look like? How does care for creation relate to mission? What role can a code of ethics for missionary practice play?

Limited and fallible and marred by the fall, we need both guidance and admonition—and deep reflection on the conduct of evangelical mission such as is provided in this volume—so that we may serve Jesus with true integrity.