The Jesus COMPASS June 23, 2013

Paul Regnier shared a handy acronym he uses to help students remember the range of considerations that might be relevant to Christians seeking to reflect on ethical issues from a Christian perspective.


The acronym stands for:

Jesus – Are any of Jesus’ sayings or actions relevant to the question?

Church – What are the teachings of different Christian churches / denominations?

Obey Conscience – What might an individual Christian’s conscience tell them to do?

Ministers & Priests – How might a minister or priest advise a Christian to act?

Prayer – How might praying help a Christian to make moral decisions?

Agape – What is the most loving thing to do?

Saints – How might the lives of famous Christians inspire others to behave?

Scripture – What Biblical quotations or teachings are relevant?


I thought I would share it here, as I suspect that the range of Christian and non-Christian readers here may find that aspects of it are worth discussing. Which of these feature in your ethical decision-making, if any? Which are given the most weight?

Do click through and read Paul's post, as well as discussing in the comments section here!


"Please send me a copy - I am incredibly eager to read it, review it, ..."

Reviews of Theology and Science Fiction
"Ah, but when can we get your review of Kismet, Man of Fate, eh?"

Reviews of Theology and Science Fiction
"I have enjoyed hypotheticals over whether aliens would need evangelising - is the Gospel relevant ..."

The Book of Strange New Things

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Erp

    I see philosophy whether Christian or not was left by the wayside.

    • James – thanks for the link.

      Erp – There is no reference to philosophy because this isn’t
      explicitly covered in the GCSE Religious Ethics course that my students study. The way the grading scheme works, students have to show that they understand Christian perspectives (or those of other religions, depending on the module being taken) to get the higher grades. Once they’ve done this, they could then explain why as an atheist, Muslim, existentialist etc, they disagree with the Christian view and still get good marks for it, but they need to include the religious content, and that’s partly what the Jesus Compass (hopefully) reminds them to do.

      The GCSE exam is the main high school exam studied by 14-16 year olds in the UK. If students go on to take a Religious Studies course at ages 16-18 (A level), the emphasis in Ethics moves very much towards ethical theories – Utilitarianism, Situation Ethics, Kantian Ethics etc.

      • arcseconds

        Do you have many existentialists in your class?

        • At times when I teach my year 10s I can barely hear myself think for the heated debate about Kierkegaard’s influence on Sartre.

          At least, I assume that’s what they’re talking about…

          • Gary

            Or, just for fun, you can mention that true north (north axis of rotation) and magnetic north (the compass indication, or Jesus, which ever you prefer), are two different things. Magnetic north moves around, and has to be corrected for, to get true north. And ever so often in geologic time, it totally flips. Must be some lesson learned from that in philosophy, maybe? Maybe different religious frames of reference. Or the 10 year olds will go out and buy a GPS.

          • That’s actually a very interesting for a plenary… I’ll be
            sure to “borrow” it 🙂