Integrity and Integration
Integrity comes from the same root word as integrate, which means “complete.” Hawaii joined the US as the 50th state. Integrity makes a person entire. Integrity means living what they say. Even a church congregation might become morally bankrupt without integrity. In the 1960s, theologians denounced the “Death of God,” a radical movement that held that belief in God is impossible or useless in the secular world.
The Death of God movement, also known as theothanatology, explains secularity and the decline of conventional religion. William Blake, a 19th-century poet and mystic, saw the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as a kenosis or self-emptying of God, culminating in God’s death. The Protestant theologians’ Death of God movement signified society’s growing dissatisfaction with religion and a move away from conventional values and customs. The 1970s brought the Charismatic movement and fundamentalism to the Christian church, but not before bringing existential anxiety, cynicism, spiritual doubt, and moral rot in American culture.
Some critics attribute the period’s sexual promiscuity, violence, and anti-establishment rhetoric to the Death of God movement. Modern moral relativism makes morality and truth a question of taste. The Death of God movement was paralleled by situation ethics and ethical relativism. Situation ethics, according to Bishop John A. T. Robinson and Professor Joseph Fletcher, holds that no single moral philosophy can address all situations and that each person must decide what is proper.
Situation ethics philosophers and the Death of God movement argue that integrity has withdrawn from the modern world because modern man has been too focused on obsolete mythology and not enough on quickly changing situations. Modern man has no compass or bearings since God is absent. This states that we all follow our birth religion, a cultural dice roll. The godlessness and secularism that followed this movement is understandable. The entire Christian community would need to be restored to its prophetic identity.
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