Retrospect for Life


Isn’t Life Life?

Just How Pro-Life Are You Really?
Michael Horton

Not long ago, a friend and I went through the drive-through window at a fast food spot. The fact that the server had a thick foreign accent, characteristic of fast food franchises in Southern California, and that my friend never shied away from making his racism a matter of public record, made me cringe as I prepared for the inevitable. Sure enough, this friend made some typically racist remark. The sad thing is, he’s a pastor. The odd thing is, he’s a rabid opponent of abortion. But is he consistently pro-life?

Evangelicals raise no qualms when the United States commits millions to Israel or spends millions on a military campaign to free a tiny, but wealthy, oil state with no regard for democracy, but when it comes to talking about the emergency in Somalia, Africa, with hundreds dying every day from starvation, the sentiment seems to be, “We have our own problems here at home.” Evangelicals rightly protest the murder of the unborn and decry the silence of those who refuse to defend those who have no voice to defend themselves. Nevertheless, that same silence hovers secretly over the same impassioned group when children die senselessly after they are born. Shouldn’t there be an outrage of equal proportions? Isn’t life life? Or are we just caught up in the glitz and glamour of political debates? Are we really pro-life?

Link: Complete Article

A Kind of Death Which Leads to Life

John Stott

Romans 8:13

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

…there is a kind of life which leads to death, and there is a kind of death which leads to life…What the world calls life (a desirable self-indulgence) leads to alienation from God which in reality is death, whereas the putting to death of all perceived evil within us, which the world sees as an undesirable self-abnegation, is in reality the way to authentic life.

The Image of God

Genesis 1:26a

[26] Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…

Man and woman are made in the image and likeness of God.  When our children look like us we are proud.  We may feel differently if a pigeon or a ferret resemble us, yet despite the infinite distance between us, God chooses to make man in His own image.

No other creature is made in the image of God.  Lions are regal and powerful, but they are not made in God’s image.  Eagles are majestic and graceful, but they are not made in God’s image.  Angels never grow old and have a glory that causes people who see them to bow, but even they are not made in the image of God.  There is a special value to humanity.

Everyone does not agree on this point.  PETA President Ingrid Newkirk once said, “When it comes to feelings like hunger, pain, and joy, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”  I’d imagine her intention was to increase the value of animals, but a statement like this instead ends up devaluing human beings.

In Genesis 9:6, God says “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”  The value of human life is directly related to the fact that man is created in God’s image.  When we believe humans have no special dignity – that we are simply a mass of cells or an accident of evolution – human life means very little.

And we see the fruit of this.  In our world, more than a million children are victims of sex-trafficking every year.  The leading cause of death in America is not heart disease, but abortion.  In America alone, one million children are killed in the womb every year.

A little boy or little girl is not a pig or a rat, but the crowning achievement of God’s creation.  When one person repents, all of heaven rejoices.  The value of human life and the human soul is immeasurable, for all people are made in the very image of God.

Genesis 5

[21] When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. [22] Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. [23] Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. [24] Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

– Genesis 5:21-24

Genesis 5 is a genealogy, a family history from Adam to Noah.  Each generation is described as having lived, fathered a child, and died.  When the pattern is broken, the author of Genesis is drawing our attention to something.

6a00d834890c3553ef01b7c6fb216e970bWhen the genealogy gets to Enoch, we find that he “walked with God” and he did not die, but “God took him” (v. 24).  We are not told any details of Enoch’s life, simply that those who walk with God escape death and are taken by the Lord.

Following the fall, generation after generation succumbed to death.  Enoch is only one man, but he escapes death and gives humanity hope that perhaps there is a way out of the endless cycle of death and destruction.

If nothing else, this would be too good to be true.

Genesis 3

[4] But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. [5] For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” [6] So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

– Genesis 3:4-6

In verse 5, the serpent tempts the woman with the prospect of being like God.  Yet man and woman are already like God, made in His very image.  What could the serpent mean?

Eve-and-serpent_christianimagesourceIn Genesis 1, God looked at his work after each day and declared that it was good.  Part of being God is determining what is good and what is evil, what is right and what is wrong, what is beautiful and what is ugly.

Satan is essentially saying, you can determine for yourself what good and evil is.  And in verse 6, we see that the woman does.  In Genesis 2, the Lord had told the man and the woman that the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would lead to death but she sees it as “good for food,” “a delight to the eyes,” and “desired to make one wise.”

We are not “sinners” because we do awful things like Hitler or Pol Pot.  No, we are aiming to be God, to take His place if it were possible.  What else but death can result from the  rejection of the Giver of Life and disobedience to the One who Defines Reality.

But then what else but life can result from pursuing and following that same God?