Thursday, October 8, 2009

Take a Stand for Life, Part 4

What is the measure of a human life? In Western Civilization today the tendency is to measure the value of a life in terms of its economic or utilitarian value. A life that can contribute more is more valuable than one that cannot. Is this the way to measure the value of a life? An unborn child's life is left subject to the whim of a mother who may either view the fetus growing inside her as a blessing (net positive) or an unwanted burden (net negative). If the fetus' mother sees the child as a net gain, then that child has a shot at life, but if she sees it a net loss, then that child is more likely to be reduced to "biological waste" and discarded as trash. What's the difference between the two fetuses? Physiologically they both have human DNA. They both came to be through the joining of man and a woman in the act of sexual relations. The difference is nothing other than the whim of the mother.

At the other end of the life spectrum people speak of "death with dignity," by which they seem to mean, "you take charge of your own destiny and end your life on your terms." There is a tendency in our society today to avoid pain and suffering at all costs, even if it means suicide to avoid the physical pain of a terminal disease. Little regard in this setting is given to the possibility of endless suffering in the afterlife. The prevailing notion in our world seems to be either (1) there is no afterlife (nihilism) or (2) everyone gets to go to heaven except maybe the really bad people (functional universalism). The notion that God may have a good purpose in someone's suffering doesn't even enter the equation. Individual self-determination, a concept from the Enlightenment, is the guiding principle.

In the middle of it all now in the United States we have the debate over government allocated health care. When you have the controlled allocation of limited resources based on government criteria, each life, and the care it will receive, have to be weighed on utilitarian grounds. How much will this life contribute to society versus what will it cost to maintain it? In that kind of equation, the elderly, rather than being honored as the Scripture says (Lev 19: 32), are viewed as a drain on the system and should be given less care so that they may cease to burden the system sooner rather than later.

In short, what is missing is a moral center from which to make beginning and ending of life decisions. Throughout the history of Western Civilization no nation's laws until now have allowed for abortion. The Code of Hammurabi banned it. The Assyrians outlawed it. The Babylonians and Egyptians forbade it. The Greeks and Romans proscribed it. The Church opposed it. But today life is not seen as a blessing in and of itself. Humans are no longer treated as persons created in the image of God. We've had a century (more or less) of evolutionary indoctrination, and it has brought us to this sad point. Life is cheap. So we kill in the clinic or through "assisted suicide" with legal sanction, and we gun down our fellow man in the street without it. Survival of the fittest has become the rule of the day.

It is time for the Evangelical community to stand in the gap for life, not just in opposition to abortion or euthanasia, but for the dignity of every life as created in the image of God. That means taking a stand against violent crime in the inner city and getting our hands dirty making a difference there. It means teaching young people about the reality of humans as created in the image of God in ways that may have to work around the government educational system. Think outside the box and take a stand for life.


  1. Interesting that you should write about evolutionary indoctrination. I just shot an email to our minister of education yesterday about teaching a creation course for adults and youth alike. I wrote to him that i thought the belief in evolution was one of the main problems with youth leaving the church. What kind of mixed messages are we sending? Go to school for 14000 hours in your life to learn about everything from a secular point of view and then we wonder why they don't believe the bible. Well, we have spent 14000 hours teaching them it is not important enough to even mention in school. How are we going to turn out children with a biblical worldview when we are brainwashing them into having a secular worldview? How can we be surprised that they do not value life and that our society does not value children or see them as a blessing from God. Carry that on to the elderly. As a society we don't see the value in them either. We don't try to glean wisdom from them, we just pay other people to take care of them and treat them as if they are a burden. Talk about net negative. I think it all goes back the RAMPANT belief in the church that belief in evolution is compatible with a belief in the God of the bible.

  2. Great comments. I also checked out your blog and the video there. It was quite powerful.