What Is the Christian Moral Code?

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  • 0:04 Morals in Religion
  • 0:43 Christian Code Origin
  • 1:31 Christian Code Principles
  • 3:14 Effects on Society
  • 4:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Michael Quist

Michael has taught college-level mathematics and sociology; high school math, history, science, and speech/drama; and has a doctorate in education.

Expert Contributor
Jenna Clayton

Jenna received her BA in English from Iowa State University in 2015, and she has taught at the secondary level for three years.

An estimated 2.2 billion people claim Christianity as their religion, but what does that mean? What is the foundation of Christian behavior? In this lesson, we will explore the behavior and standards established by the Christian moral code.

Morals in Religion

According to religious texts, many religious figures spoke about what was morally 'right' and what was morally 'wrong'. Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, Moses, and many other leaders have attempted to establish a way of living that is considered morally right for a given group of people.

The monotheistic Christian religion, professed by an estimated 2.2 billion people, is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, and includes standards of right and wrong known as the Christian moral code. In this lesson we'll explore the origin, principles, and impact of the Christian moral code as presented in Christian holy books.

Christian Code Origins

The Christian moral code is an extension of an earlier code given to the descendants of Jacob (renamed Israel), who lived in the Middle East area many generations before Christ. According to the Bible, the Israelites received their formal moral code in a set of laws written down by a priesthood under Moses, the man who led the Israelites away from Egypt and into the area that is now Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. The Mosaic laws form the foundation of the moral code for the Jewish people.

The Ten Commandments form a part of the Mosaic Law.
image Ten Commandments

When Jesus began to teach, he legitimized the Mosaic law, but he also indicated that there was a deeper set of principles, which formed the basis for the Mosaic law and the traditions that had grown from that law. These principles became the foundation of the Christian moral code.

The Christian Bible is the source of the Christian moral code.
image Bible

Christian Code Principles

According to the gospels, which are four books in the Christian bible written about the life and teachings of Jesus, the foundation of the Christian moral code is two principles: love God with everything you have; love your neighbor the same way you love yourself. According to the Christian moral code, everything that is right is in line with those two statements, and everything that is wrong runs contrary to those statements.

The most important principles involve the relationship between the Christians and God. The Christian God requires that his people love God with all of their heart, soul, strength, and mind. Although this means different things to different people, the fundamental principle is that the Christian must put their worship of and relationship with God first and foremost. Their lives have to be centered around God. Right behavior means orienting their lives to that center, and wrong behavior means orienting their lives around anything else, such as money, power, etc.

Devotion to God can include actions like worship, prayer, and studying the Christian bible and other religious literature. Certain ritual acts are considered important to Christian devotion to God, such as baptism in water and the sharing of food and drink. Gifts of money and time to the church are also considered important moral acts.

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Additional Activities

Christian Moral Code Activities

Christian Moral Code Essay Question

For this activity, you will explore how the Christian moral code affects our modern society. You will need to provide specific examples of how the Christian religion affects the world outside the walls of the church. Before writing, you want to brainstorm ideas. Create a list of several ways in which the Christian moral code impacts the world. Next, you will need a thesis statement. Your thesis statement should clearly and concisely express ways in which this religion and its moral code affect society. Here is an example of a thesis statement: From religious protests to getting certain days off from work and school, the Christian moral code continues to affect our modern world. After you have developed a strong thesis statement, organize your ideas with the help of an outline. Below is an outline you may want to use. Once you have created an outline, use it as a guide as you write your essay. Finally, proofread, edit, and revise your essay to make sure it is rid of any major or minor issues.

I. Introduction

  • Hook/Attention-Getter
  • Briefly explain the Christian moral code.
  • Thesis statement

II. Body Paragraphs

  • Example #1
  1. State an example of how the Christian moral code affects modern society.
  2. Thoroughly explain how this example affects the world.
  • Example #2
  1. State an example of how the Christian moral code affects modern society.
  2. Thoroughly explain how this example affects the world.
  • Example #3
  1. State an example of how the Christian moral code affects modern society.
  2. Thoroughly explain how this example affects the world.

III. Conclusion

  • Summarize main points/examples.
  • Re-state thesis statement.

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