Further thoughts: 6/15/08
In thinking more about this post, I have been convicted by the Holy Spirit to clarify a couple of things. I want it to be very clear that I do not believe that there is “more than one truth” out there in terms of views on abortion. I realize that the statement, “You have your own definition of human life, I have my own definition of human life…your neighbor has her definition, my sister has her definition, the lady behind you at the grocery store has her definition, and on and on” could definitely be construed as saying that all of these definitions are somehow “true” and valid. There is only one definition of life that is truth and that is God’s definition as presented in his Word. However, reality is such that not all human beings will accept this definition, and that is what I believe cannot and should not be legislated by human governments. I fear that some Christians believe that the Biblical definition of human life must be legislated or somehow it is not valid. Rather, Christians have the responsibility to reach out to society with compassion and conviction to share God’s word and let the truth therein do the transforming work in the hearts and minds of others.
Thanks to my two friends – R and S – who kindly responded to my last post. Ladies, I appreciate you so much! Let me respond with a few more thoughts:
To R: You answer your own question “Why attempt anything ‘good’ at all if Christ’s return is the only true solution?” in the same way that I would: “Redeeming this fallen earth is what we’re called to do.” The work that I suggest: education, support, and most importantly witnessing for Christ and His saving grace, is all towards that end. However, we may differ in that I do not believe it is the role of the United States government to assist in redeeming this fallen earth. I rely only on God and Christ to do that, realizing that we (ie, Christians) are the hands and feet of the gospel.
You also say: “I’m wondering if you and I disagree on the point of human life rather than the worth of women (because surely we agree on the latter).” Exactly one of my main points. You have your own definition of human life, I have my own definition of human life (I am quite sure they are the same; cf. Psalm 139), your neighbor has her definition, my sister has her definition, the lady behind you at the grocery store has her definition, and on and on. This is the mark of being a sovereign human being in our democratic nation. We get to define human life for ourselves based on our faith (or lack thereof) and act accordingly (ie, have as many children as you wish, or don’t). This is a right that can easily be stripped by any human government, namely China. When I spent a month in China in 2003 I talked in very hushed tones with several Chinese women on a train about their own government-enforced abortions. This is the reality of a nation where the notion of human life is dictated by a government. I believe that we must vehemently protect ourselves from government intrusion in the most personal of decisions. (Being a Democrat, I realize this last statement is traditionally a “Republican” point of view. But for some reason, not when it comes to reproductive choice.)
And S responded: “We are called to love women, not the decision.” Amen! For me, part of this love is not insisting that a woman define human life in the same way that I do under the threat of criminal penalty and forcing her to have a child against her will. I want to love her by making sure that she knows that there are options, that adoption is an extraordinarily courageous act, and hopefully if she comes to faith in Christ she will choose to define human life on God’s terms instead of her own. I am so happy to hear that you have amazing stories from your own family’s experience about good things arising out of bad situations! I know that I would be encouraged by those stories, and I hope that someday you might have the opportunity to also share them with a woman in crisis.