Civil Authority and The Christian

We ended the month of June with a post that I had entitled “Stand or Cower” with the intent of determining how we as Christians should respond to the many evils of day. It was further noted in the post that immediately followed in early July, the issues that we would later discuss would show us that evil is the real enemy, not the folks that may be adverse to our perspective and opinion. However, we have certainly attempted to prove what God has to say about the issues and I think we have been somewhat successful in doing so. Our discussion on homosexuality in the series “The LGBT Deception” we saw that God considers that lifestyle as sin and even more than that, an abomination. The series “Abortion, America’s Genocide” that we just completed answered the two main questions that surround that issue. It was first determined that human life begins at conception and secondly that abortion is murder. As a reminder to us all, it is always God’s perspective that ultimately matters and His perspective is well documented in His Word.

The next topic we will cover is that of civil authority and how we as Christians should act towards such authority. I’m sure there will be a number of questions that will arise but I believe that we will find the answers we need in God’s Word. I want to make sure that we understand the intent of our civil liberties and how those liberties interact with civil authority. And we want to also understand when it may be necessary to engage in civil disobedience, but do so in the proper way. There are a number of scriptures that we will take a look at and what they mean in context. We will also see some examples of Bible characters that defied civil authority and why and then what the results were. This should be an interesting study and maybe we will become more confident in how to respond when we have to make a choice between government and/or our Creator God. So next week we will jump in with both feet.

Romans 13 contains a few verses that most of us have heard and read so that is where we will probably begin and then see where we go from there. You might want to read ahead and see what God has to say about the subject.

I look forward to what God is going to reveal to us as we consider this issue in the new series. 

 

   

Abortion; Is It Murder?

Last week we posed the first of two questions surrounding the abortion issue that we attempted to answer from both a biological and biblical perspective. The question as to when human life begins was unequivocally answered as the moment of conception in the mother’s womb. With that settled we can move on to the second question and in fact the ultimate question surrounding the whole issue. So here it is; “Is abortion murder?” And this evening we will attempt to answer the question based on what the Bible affirms as God’s perspective of this atrocity. As we stated in last week’s post the only thing that matters is what God says. What anyone else thinks, says, or does is of no value.

Let’s begin by taking a look at what society accepts as the definition of murder. The one of the most recognized dictionaries defines murder as “The unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought.” And most legal definitions of the word are very similar with some variations that result in the categories of first degree and second degree murder. This certainly creates additional confusion in the basic definition. However, we must realize that based on a legal definition of murder, legal abortion does not fit the requirements. Therefore, that is to say that under the law of man instituted by civil government, abortion is not unlawful and would not be defined as murder.

With that said, we need to realize it has not always been that way. But we also know that legal definitions can change as laws are enacted. And, as a matter of fact, that is exactly what happened in the case of abortion. We all are familiar with the famous Supreme Court Decision (Roe vs. Wade) in 1973 that made abortion legal. However, before that time abortion was legally considered a crime in many if not most states. Even under common law rules abortion was illegal. Because of all of this a strict legal definition can no longer be universal, timeless or absolute. Therefore legal definitions can then change the undeniable and accepted principles of “morality.”

We see from the previous paragraph that man can change whatever he desires to change in order to satisfy his selfish desires. So let’s consider what is really behind the abortion mill. Statistics prove that a very small percentage of abortions are performed because of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s health. As a matter of fact it is less than .2% in the state of Florida which likely represents the national average. So the question becomes “Why are there so many abortions (1 every 30 seconds)?” I believe there is one major reason. Convenience. Any way you slice it or spin it the simple explanation is just that. Convenience. That’s why the argument has become it’s about the woman’s right to choose what she does with her body. The discussion contains no moral sustenance to it at all. It’s not about when life begins, it’s not about the question of murder. It’s only about the woman’s right to choose.

Let’s now consider the possibility that there may be a far greater and more accurate definition of murder. It is not only a possibility it is a fact. There is a definition that transcends the law of man and is determined by the law of nature, nature’s true God, and God’s Word. Men of every civilization has understood there was a universal law that all reasonable people intuitively understood. The Bible says it is written on the hearts of men. There is no doubt that there are irrefutable, universal, and absolute evils and murder is one of them. The fact is that since this moral law exists then there must be a law giver. It stands to reason that it can only be Almighty God Himself.

Before any laws were ever written down by humans God had already defined murder. By taking a close look as what the scripture calls murder it becomes obvious that it is the willful killing of an innocent human being. In John 8 Jesus described Satan as a “murderer from the beginning.” In Exodus 20 God instructed Moses to write this law down when He commanded, “You shall not murder.” So from God’s perspective murder has existed from the beginning and is a universal wrong that applies to all people. This is reinforced in the book of Romans where in the second chapter Paul explains that each person has a moral compass embedded in our minds and we know it as our conscience.

So let’s get down to the brass tacks. We have already determined that human life begins at conception and therefore a fetus is a human being. Now we can answer the main question. Is abortion murder? And the answer is an emphatic yes! Abortion is the willful and unjustified killing of an unborn child. It doesn’t matter if abortion is legal by human laws it is a violation of the universal law of God. And His law supersedes man’s law. So, abortion is morally wrong and a sin according to Almighty God.

As we come to the end of our discussion about abortion there are some other facts we need to consider. If abortion is murder as we have shown, there must be a murderer to be charged. Is it the woman who elects to have the abortion? Is it the person performing the physical act of killing the baby? Is it the one who assists the abortionist? Could it even be the ones who made it legal? Or the ones who defend it? The answer is yes. Yes to all who have had a part in this atrocity. And one day they will stand before God and give an account of every life they took and hear Him say “Depart from Me you workers of iniquity, for I never knew you.” However, if they repent and put their trust in the only One who can save them from God’s wrath He will hear their plea and forgive them of all unrighteousness. May it be so.

One last word. We also are going to be held accountable for how we leave this society and this world for our children and our grandchildren. Homosexuality or abortion. Are we going to stand or cower?

Abortion; The First Question

In order to continue our discussion of the issue of abortion there are two basic questions that must be answered. As a matter of fact these two questions go hand in hand because the answer to one question supports and resolves the issue found in the second question. So tonight we are going to spend our time answering the first one: “When does human life begin?” We will attempt first to answer this critical question from a scientific, biological perspective because this seems to be the only perspective that proponents of abortion want to consider. Then we will answer the question from God’s perspective which is the only perspective that ultimately matters.

As we consider this question we can start by making a number of observations. First, if the unborn is growing, it must be alive. I’m not aware of anything that is dead that continues to grow. We know that from the moment of conception there is continual cellular reproduction and division that occurs with the fetus and growth is the result. It is also a well-known fact that the unborn fetus can react to external stimuli and internally metabolize food that creates energy. So it is obvious that what is growing inside a mother’s womb is certainly alive.

Now some would say all of that may be true but animals and plants are alive. Well, they certainly are but they were not conceived by human parents. We must remind ourselves we are talking about the beginning of human life not some animal or plant. The Biogenesis Law states that all living things reproduce after their own kind so therefore two human parents can only reproduce another human. And the DNA of the human fetus is undeniable proof that this is so.

There is another argument raised that goes something like this. Although the fetus is human tissue and DNA it is no different from the sperm or the egg that also contains DNA. What a weak position this is. It is true, of course, that both the sperm and the egg contain human tissue and DNA. However, they are not a whole human organism because neither can function or even survive alone. We know that at the moment of fertilization the sperm nor the egg continue to exist and a new and unique human organism begins to exist. In addition there is no more essential material or DNA required to be added for the fetus to develop.

I think we all can agree that at the moment of conception a new human being is created and will continue to grow and develop if allowed to do so. Biologically speaking, the human fetus is a growing human being. Therefore, there should be no doubt in any rational thinking person’s mind that life begins at conception.

Now that we have answered the question from the biological perspective let’s move on to the perspective that counts. God’s perspective. And to get His perspective we must turn to His word, the Bible, and see what God has to say about when life begins. There are numerous biblical passages that prove that God sees unborn babies as human beings. There is no mistaking this. The word “children” that is used for unborn babies is the same word that is used  for young infants and young children in both the Old and New Testaments. Examples include Exodus 21:22, Luke 1:41, and Luke 1:44. The word used for child or baby in these passages certainly indicate that the unborn is alive.

The Bible also states that the unborn are created by God Himself. Psalm 139:13 says ” for You formed my inward parts, You wove me in my mother’s womb.” And in Genesis 1:27 it is very plain that we (man) are created in the very image of God. If you read further in Psalm 139 it becomes obvious in verses 15 and 16 that the unborn are known intimately and personally by God just like He knows those already born. This same revelation was given to the prophet Jeremiah which can be found in chapter 1, verse 5 of his book.

In Luke 1:44 we see that unborn babies can have personal emotions such as joy which is an emotion that is unique to humans. In Matthew 1:20-21 the Bible uses personal pronouns to describe the unborn as if the child has already been born. The previous passage in Jeremiah also uses personal pronouns. Over and over again in His word we see the undeniable proof that life begins at conception. David in Psalm 51:5 describes himself as being alive at the moment of conception when he writes “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity. And in sin my mother conceived me.”  This is God’s perspective and He never changes.

It seems to me that we have answered the first question I posed both from the biological perspective and from God’s perspective. And as we have previously stated, the truth is that the only thing that matters in any issue is what God says. The truth revealed in His word holds the key to the answer to any question. His word is absolute. His word is the standard to live and die by.

With all this said, next week we will address the second question. And I think we will all agree that the answer to the first makes the answer to the second a slam dunk. But you will have to wait until next week for the rest of the story.