I read an article recently about two young people who volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center. One was, of course, anti-abortion and pro life. The other, though, said something that got me thinking. She said she was pro-choice, but felt that the choice to abort was wrong.
So, I’m wondering, what if we pro-lifers all decided to be pro-choice, but pro-life at the same time? After all, isn’t that kind of God’s position?
Back to the Garden – God is on record as saying he does not want us to murder. Yet from the very beginning, He set conditions for living for us. He said that He had provided every kind of tree that was “pleasing to the eye and good for food”. Two of the trees were mentioned specifically – the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And he gave these instructions: “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2)
There it is – choice. Eat of the rest of the trees and live. Eat of THAT one, and there will be a terrible price to pay. But you decide. So Adam and Eve made their choices, and there has been Hell to pay ever since. We absolutely insist on doing things our way. Yet the single most often repeated lesson of history is that we choose badly – over and over again. The Bible says clearly that there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
So today, after thousands of years of learning from our mistakes and our ancestors’ mistakes, it’s still not the way it’s supposed to be. Our problem is that we are still trying to discern how we should live based on our own understanding. That’s tragic on multiple levels. The Bible says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5, 6)
Two kinds of people – C.S. Lewis said that there are two kinds of people – those who say to God ‘Thy will be done’, and those to whom God says ‘All right then, have it your way’. He has told us how to ‘have life, and have it to the full’, yet we reject it – indeed we reject Him.
God has made a way for us to live. But He is the one who made us, and He knows that when we lean on our own understanding, we mess up. Big time. We insist on defining morality on our own terms. Yet each of us has different perspectives, cultural influences and values. As a result, we can’t agree on much of anything. Yet God still grants us free will. When will we learn that one rational, logical and well thought-out response to that freedom is to finally admit that we need help? We have met the enemy, and he is us. We cannot save ourselves. Someone else must do it for us.
God’s design for marriage – Left to our own rationality, we can’t even agree on something as basic as what marriage should be. Yet God laid out the basic design from the start. Back in Genesis 2, immediately after forming man from the dust and breathing life into him (verse 7), he created woman (verse 22). Adam said “This is now bone of my bones; and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’, for she was taken out of man” (verse 23) Then immediately after that, in the very next verse (24) God said “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” If you blink, you missed it.
That’s God’s plan. Woman was made for man and the plan was for the two of them to become one flesh. That was God’s idea, not man’s. It was a holy covenant between one man and one woman. Our idea is to create something the government calls marriage, and to endow it with special privileges: a special kind of joint property ownership, survivor rights under pensions and Social Security, joint tax returns, etc. There’s nothing holy about it – it’s all about the perks. That’s what homosexual couples want. They really don’t care very much about the covenant aspect of marriage. They obviously don’t buy in to the aspect of marriage that’s about the miracle of procreation. They may want to acquire a baby, but they see gratification of their own “orientiation” or sexual proclivities as having a higher level of importance to them. They reject out of hand the idea that they have any responsibility to procreate.
Now, I grant you, God also condemns heterosexual sex outside marriage – what He calls fornication – and yet our society mostly looks upon that as permissible or normal, and upon homosexuality as a horrible sin. Yet the truth is that both are contrary to God’s design for life. But that’s just another illustration of how wrong we can get it when we try to make up the rules of life on our own. We want to have sex when, where, how and with whom we want, and we simply cannot accept life on any other terms.
So God is letting us have it our way. Happy with the way things are turning out? If you’re inclined to say you are, perhaps you should consider that many of the problems we have as a global community stem from the lack of our global procreation. We are simply not having enough babies, which leads to all kinds of economic problems. Japan, for example, once thought of as being on a track to overtake and pass the U.S.A., has been struggling with the forces of deflation and stagnation for over two decades now, and it is only going to get worse. And China is going to be even worse. But I digress…
Unity in Diversity – God also is the one who came up with the idea of diversity. He wants us to be different. Every one of us is unique, which to me is a never-ending source of amazement. We all have the same basic design features, yet after the creation of literally billions of us, no two are alike! He wants us to achieve unity in our diversity. Diversity comes not only in what we look like, but where we live, how we speak, what shapes us culturally, etc. So what are we supposed to do with all that diversity? How do we learn not only to tolerate each other, but to have the kind of abundant life God says he wants for us?
I think the answer is that we are supposed to learn how to live in harmony with each other in spite of our differences. Yet without submitting to a higher authority, it will never happen.
How can we human beings, so proud of our superiority over all other beings, come to accept the idea that we must submit to a higher authority? There is only one answer. We must become humble enough to accept that we cannot do it on our own, and trust our creator to show us the way. It is not easy. We do not come to humility easily. Some of us live an entire lifetime without ever getting around to it. The strongest among us must be beaten by life with many blows before we come to the point of admitting that we can’t do it on our own. Yet surrender is the point at which we must arrive. And humility is the only way we get there.
No, it is most definitely not easy. Yet “Christianity”, G.K. Chesterton wrote, “has not been tried and found wanting. It has not been found difficult and not tried.” I submit that it’s time we tried it.