In these five January Sabbaths (2016), we are reviewing our priorities of: ministering to children, defending human life, pursuing holiness together, holding up the word of God, and spreading the gospel of God’s grace to the ends of the earth. Today, Defending Human Life. Like those silly “It’s What They Do” commercials, this is (simply) What Christians Do and have done throughout history ~ God’s people acting courageously contra mundum to protect and preserve the lives of ALL people, and to teach God’s truth about that value to the many:
- When Canaanite pagans were sacrificing their children to Moloch, Israelites were showing hospitality to strangers in their midst.
- When Romans were exposing their unwanted infants to the elements and to wild beasts, Christians were coming out of their catacombs at night to scoop up the helpless outcasts, adopt them, and bring them to Jesus Christ. Christians spoke out against the murderous gladiatorial games for decades, until a Christian emperor could finally outlaw them.
- It took way too long, but eventually Christians (like William Wilberforce within the British Empire) saw the evil hypocrisy of the sale of human beings into slavery based on race, and insisted that a Christian civilization must put all that away. Again, it took way too long, but it was Christian ministers, largely, who led in effective civil rights gains so that basic human rights could be enjoyed by people of all races.
- While Darwinistic naturalism eventually led “educated” moderns to devalue human lives as purposeless products of time and chance, Christians continue to say contra mundum that we are made (together and individually) in the image and likeness of God, intelligently designed.
- So as eugenics becomes a working option for naturalists (scientifically manipulating the human species in order to give evolution a boost), Christians have insisted that the supposed benefits of genetic tampering be held in check by a humble stance and by care for the weakest among us.
- Godless forces enjoyed a temporary win in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling of 1973 as that legalized abortion in the United States. But in the 43 years since then, those holding to a Biblical ethic see in each individual fetus God’s handiwork, leading to protective legislation and care centers and a more life-welcoming culture. Yet much work remains: More vigilant now, observe how we did not throw a party over China’s new TWO child policy!
- And while huge industries like pornography (amazingly enjoying “freedom of expression” status) and human-trafficking (still skulking in the dark shadows) benefit from ignorant devaluation of certain human lives (simply to be used and abused for the pleasures of those who are wealthy enough), we push in the power of the Lord of life for accurate assessment of value ~ for all.
Once one opens the Bible and takes it seriously, it is easy to see this perspective which will always bless all humanity and dignify its weakest members. After all, the institution of the hospital, the profession of nursing, and the impetus behind so many medical advances and respect for the disabled and the advance of literacy came historically from the Bible’s view of high human value. Our critics read this Book lightly, see that it tells of Heaven and Hell and Eternity, then accuse us of being so other-worldly that we are of no-earthly-good. Jesus taught and lived otherwise, and so have His disciples. In fact, Jesus taking to Himself a real human body puts such life in proper light, and then His raising up of Dorcas (who merely cared for/about widows) by His Spirit’s power seals the life-affirming message!
So while investing generously in our neighboring Pregnancy Care Center [http://www.pcclawrence.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/pcclawrence/] is our simplest application (to work out our own high valuation of human life), that is merely the tip of the iceberg concerning our contra mundum mission.