In die Skriflig
On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441
GILES, S.P.. Gospel and constitutional imperatives: The right to life. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2011, vol.45, n.1, pp.57-76. ISSN 2305-0853.
In the Republic of South Africa, Christians are called to live out gospel imperatives within the legal framework of the Constitution. Ethical issues about the right to life are considered from the perspectives of selected gospel and constitutional imperatives. Gospel imperatives impose themselves as a consequence of Christian discipleship. These are many and diverse, both explicit and implicit. Christian vocation, discipleship, witness and perseverance, are foundational and integral to the praxis of Christian daily living. These facets of Christian life are illustrated by the selected gospel imperatives, "Follow me" (Matt. 4:19 and synoptic parallels), "Love God, and your neighbour as yourself" (Matt. 22:34-40 and synoptic parallels), and "Take up your cross" (Matt. 10:38 and synoptic parallels). The central theoretical argument of this article is driven from a reformed ethical perspective. Gospel imperatives have priority over constitutional imperatives since gospel imperatives are of divine origin and constitutional imperatives of human origin. Acknowledgement of these priorities informs the Christian ethical perspective on the right to life and on abortion.