It never seems to end. On the one hand, our culture’s appetite for death in the name of life is not surprising because it is nothing new; on the other hand, applauding the murder of babies in the name of progressive values and enlightened ethics will always be shocking.
This week, I asked Nathan if he would be willing to write a reflection on thinking biblically about life and creation since these are some of the things he has been teaching on in his Sunday School class. What follows is a good foundation from which to build our thinking on God’s gift of life….
God’s good plan to extend the Garden of His presence across the earth was interrupted at Genesis 3. In response to the “craftiness” of the serpent, the woman took fruit from the tree and ate. Genesis 3:6 reads that, “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 desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” But wait. This shows us a world built on the good (“for food”), the beautiful (“delight to the eyes”), and the true (“to make one wise”). Where is the problem?
To be crafty, Paul explains in 2 Cor. 12:16, is to work to get the better of someone by deceit. The crafty use words in a way that is calculated to steal, kill, and destroy. Here, the murder in the serpent’s words was the idea that Eve could enjoy the good and the beautiful on her own terms, quite apart from what was true—the truth of God’s word, “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Like cut flowers that no longer draw life from their root, severing what is good and delightful from what is true leads to death. This death strikes particularly hard at the family. As result of sin, Adam and Eve knew enmity in their marriage. Eve knew pain in childbearing. Most horribly, the blood of Eve’s son was shed in Genesis 4. Taking the “fruit” threatened their “fruitfulness.” Instead of multiplying and filling the earth with Edenic joy, there was murder and the agony of isolation.
What might Genesis 3 help us see in the fact that the New York legislature recently legalized up-to-birth abortion, only to be out-done by the Governor of Virginia supporting “post-birth abortion” or infanticide?
To take one response, we can be led to reflect on the life-giving importance of truth; specifically, allowing God’s word to govern our vision of the good life. Abortion is often the result of pursuing goodness or beauty as they are defined by our own dictionary. Pressure from the father, the preference of the mother, or even a recommendation from a doctor, can suggest abortion is necessary to secure the good life (for mother or baby) threatened by the birth of the child.
But there is another way. A way of sacrifice. A way of considering others more important than ourselves. A way of loving our unborn neighbor. A way of obedience to the Word of God. This is the way of life. The way of Christ, who has come as the seed of the woman, the last Adam, to crush the head of the crafty serpent by his life, death, and resurrection. He can extend forgiveness and healing. He is not only the Truth, He is the Way to Life full and everlasting.
One concrete way you can respond is through our partnership with Gateway pregnancy center. Consider contacting them at email@example.com.
If you are interested in learning more of how the early church responded to the issue of abortion so prevalent in their culture, as well as how their response can equip us to respond faithfully and compassionately today, see this article written for the Journal of Discipleship and Christian Ministry.