As a chaplain, I care about people in crisis and try to be particularly attentive to "the least of these." As a denomination we talk about social justice, compassion, and mercy; but I sense that we are no longer giving a lot of attention to the immense issue of abortion.
I believe that Alistair Begg may be correct when he says in a recently broadcast sermon on the 6th commandment that there are no serious discussions going on between the pro-life and the pro-choice advocates of our society because we have simply resorted to repeating our slogans rather than inviting one another into a serious dialog. That dialog must begin, according to Alistair, with an understanding of creation and the image of God.
“Once you begin to dismantle the first 11 chapters of Genesis you are left with the most unbelievable implications.” Murder statistics skyrocket (including random violence by gang members) as well as deranged and premeditated death (Jeffrey Dahlmer and Silence of the Lambs becomes cinematic entertainment). Suicides also escalate, and might even be celebrated and encouraged by those like Dr. Kevorkian. And last, but not least, abortion becomes an accepted fact of life (over 30 million pre-borns snuffed out in 20 years).
Arguing that at some point the fetus in the womb is a child only goes so far. “Believe me, the day will come when they will decide that it is ok to murder children.”
But before we can have effective dialog, we must confess our own guilt of “hidden murder” (Matt. 5:22). Thinking or suggesting that someone with whom we disagree is simply a “fool” is to be guilty of a murder that is just as repulsive to God as a saline abortion. (You can listen to this very effective message at: truthforlife.org/resources/sermon/life-is-sacred).
What I fear has also become true (and I regret even more) is that we have simply given up on the idea that the church should say anything about this subject because it has become such a political hot potato. Or we resort to apathy, because it is too late to change the tide. But to not have these serious discussions is to accept that two things will inevitably result: 1) every life will be devalued, and 2) the moral decay that we see around us will continue unabated, with no reason to challenge it unless it simply becomes uncomfortable or interferes with our own personal pursuit of happiness. The issues of the image of God and the sanctity of life deserve more than that.
Well said. It would be ironic if discovering that evolution is a fraud, would save more lives than an actual pro-life campaign. As I am reading Exodus 21 and 22 right now, and re-discovering all the laws and rules and guidelines for living, it is clear that being fair and considering the welfare of others is fundamental to those laws. Those laws were the foundation of most of our western civilization laws, and even find parallels in other eastern societies as well. Those rules included a need to care for the widow and orphan. Imbedded in those rules was this one: If two men are fighting, and accidentally injure a pregnant woman, and she gives birth prematurely, then if the child is healthy, only a payment of damages to the family (husband) will be required as he stipulates. But if injury results, then eye for eye, foot for foot, etc. The unborn child was treated with respect and consideration.
Under an evolutionary system, the weak and helpless are worth less than others, because the fit survive. Dramatically different ethics. This difference is well masked by rhetoric and fine sounding words, but it impacts how laws are made and enforced.
The thing I remember about the Spartan civilization of ancient Greece, was the common practicide of infanticide through deliberate neglect. If this world survives another thousand years, what will be remembered about our civilization is abortion of millions of children.
Thanks Ron for your article questioning the loss of interest in the abortion debate. Although some of your concern is justified, I’m not sure if your (or John Zylstra’s) target of blame is altogether justified. I find that in many arguments a person who wants to justify their own position, does so by painting the other side at such an extreme that even the other side wouldn’t agree with the position painted. To think that if discovering evolution was a fraud would somehow remove the doubts in regard to committing abortions, that is going to such an extreme. I don’t think, for the most part, that committing abortions and belief in evolution are related. I can see how you might make such an argument, but I doubt that those who believe in evolution, Christian or otherwise, would agree with you. What discredits the Biblical creation account, is that it is tied so tightly to a very primitive perspective of reality that does not correlate to reality or reason as we experience reality today. Perhaps the creation account makes sense to someone explaining the sound of thunder as God bowling in heaven. But that doesn’t sit well with very many people today. So if evolution was completely disproved, that wouldn’t mean that people would return to a Biblical view of the origins of earth and life. People would still look for an explanation that correlates to reality as we know it today, and not some primitive explanation of reality. So, I doubt that abortion and doubts about Biblical creation really relate to each other, as you suggest John. I know that the issue of the image of God and the sanctity of life are embedded in the creation account, but I doubt that these issues will change the thinking in regard to the right to life debate. And I doubt, Ron, that questioning these issues will lead to the devaluation of human life or the unabated moral decay of humanity, as you suggest. Just a casual reading of history will call into question such a perspective. Perhaps, such straw men that you have presented will convince a narrow segment of Christianity, but not most people.
When one looks at an intricately crafted piece of jewelry, one knows there is a jeweler who crafted it. When one looks at the world in all its diversity and balance, one knows there must be a Creator. That's not primitive; that's logical.
Anita, it may be logical to say that after looking at the diversity and balance of creation one must acknowledge a creator. But it's not logical to say that he created it in seven consecutive days only some 8,000 years ago when science argues for a much longer process.
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