Distinguishing between morals and ethics is not as simple as it looks. For some, morals and ethics are not quite the same (Johnson, 2012). In their book, Ethics for a Brave New World, Feinberg, Feinberg, and Huxley (1996) contends, “to act ethically or morally means to act in accord with accepted rules of conduct which cover moral (as opposed to non-moral) matters” (p. 17). While there are many overlapping issues that make the concepts similar, there are distinctions between the two words that should be understood. In a general sense, ethics is the word used to describe acceptable behavior.
In the grand scheme of ethics, the most important components fall under the norms of Scripture, as it is the Word of God. These are the norms and for me, I take my norms for Scripture because the Scriptures are God’s revealed word, and the source of my norms is revelation, not reason. God revealed what is right and just. On the other hand, if you look at God and all that He made, one can reason that there are right and wrong acts that man commits. It is clear the only people that have difficulty with using the Bible as the component to define ethics, are those who do not believe or those who deny that Scripture can be used in ethics. For them the Bible is simply a confusing mess of conflicting statements. It is interesting that Johnson (2012) refers to the Bathsheba syndrome (p. 43) as an illustration to describe ethical failure of leaders. It is important to establish a base line for ethics and I believe that the Scripture does that. If you take God out of the equation of Ethics, there is no basis for even understanding ethical behavior.
Feinberg, J. S., & Feinberg, P. D. (1993). Ethics for a Brave new world. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
Johnson, C. E. (2012). Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership: Casting Light or Shadow. SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.