In a comment from a previous post I was asked to start a new line dealing with the idea of right/wrong/moral, etc. So here is my attempt at it.
I grew up in a very conservative denomination of Christianity where spirituality is defined morally. If one wants to please God then one must act in a predefined moral way. Of course the outcome of such thinking is legalism (as a side note, legalism is death to spiritual maturity). Legalism is a strict moral code with God as the final authority. But as I began to explore my own faith and spirituality I found that morality is not based in legalism, but rather righteousness.
Righteousness is striving to act in the right way in the right time. There are no set and hard rules, for each situation will be different requiring a different right action. Which brings us to the point of this post: How do we know how to act? How do we determine the right action in the right time? I believe it comes down to character development.
I am not sure if we are all good or bad from birth. I think much of it is learned over time. I think it comes down to finding that balance between good for the individual and good for the community. Finding that balance is no easy task. As I reflect upon writing this post, my mind keeps moving towards specific, but I am trying to keep it abstract. So how do we teach character development and moral balance without falling into the legalism of endless does/don'ts lists?
I will end this post here and wait for a few comments to help find a direction for further posts on this subject.