On the Origin of Your Life
Think DNA + EPA.
Lucy: Hi, Carl. It's good to see you again. How are you?
Carl: I was doing pretty well until I ran into that Pro-Life rally over by the University Center. Those people really annoy me. A woman has a right to choose and that's it. Period. End of sentence.
Lucy: Would you prefer women to make informed or uninformed choices?
Carl: Informed choices, of course.
Lucy: I agree. Information is key to any wise decision.
Given that we've been talking about the origin of the universe and the origin of life for a long time now, Carl, why don't we talk about your origin. When did you come into existence?
Carl: I suppose it was the day I was born.
Lucy: Are you sure you didn't exist the day before you were born?
Carl: OK. If you insist, I'll give you another day.
Lucy: I don't insist, Carl. It's simple science. You had the same DNA after your birth as you did before. Whether you were inside or outside your mother's womb doesn't matter. The real question is, "When did your unique DNA fingerprint come into existence?"
Carl: Fine. It was the moment I was conceived. Birds, bees, sperm, egg. I get it. Is that what you wanted to hear?
Lucy: I didn't need to hear it, Carl. But everyone needs to understand that if they want to make an informed choice. Follow the science. Follow the DNA.
Carl: But a woman still has the right to choose what to do with her own body. "My Body. My Choice", you know.
Lucy: Yes, I've seen the signs and they are signs of ignorance.
Carl: Ouch! What do you mean by that?
Lucy: It's pretty obvious, Carl. You are not your mother's body nor have you ever been. Of course, you lived inside your mother's womb because you needed to be nourished and protected, but you have been a unique human being since the day you were conceived.
Carl: But I was originally just a blob of tissues.
Lucy: As a matter of fact, you were originally just a single cell. That's how we all began life. It was an absolutely vital and necessary step in the development of every human being on our planet. From the moment of your conception, however, you were never part of your mother's body. You were merely under the environmental protection of her womb. Think EPA.
Carl: EPA? What the ...
Lucy: I thought you were an environmentalist, Carl. What do you think your woman's womb was designed to do if not provide environmental protection for you?
Again, think EPA. A woman with a new and unique human life inside her womb is an Environmental Protection Agent. Her womb was designed to be an Environmentally Protected Area. Scientifically, that's its function.
So when do you think you needed the most environmental protection: your first, second, or third trimester?
Carl: I don't know.
Lucy: I don't think you want to know, Carl. But think about it. When would you have been the most viable outside the environmental protection of your mother's womb? When would you have most likely survived in the world outside?
Carl: Probably the day before I was born.
Lucy: I'll take that as your third trimester.
Carl: Fine. So what?
Lucy: Simply put, Roe vs. Wade got it backwards. When we were least viable we needed the most protection. In fact, it may have been part of the reason that Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe in Roe vs. Wade, ultimately became Pro-Life.
Carl: She did?
Lucy: She did indeed.
Carl: But what if I had become a threat to my mother's life. What if she would have died giving birth to me? I wouldn't have wanted that to have happened.
Lucy: Nor would any Pro-Life advocate I know, Carl. Our laws have always placed the mother's life first even if her child could potentially live a longer life. The life of the mother is always of utmost importance.
Carl: What about cases of rape or incest?
Lucy: That's a good question, Carl. On one hand, we are dealing with a unique and valuable human life irrespective of who the father was. On the other hand, I can imagine the emotional burden that a woman would carry throughout nine months of pregnancy with the constant reminder of her rape. Keep in mind, however, that abortions resulting from rape and incest account for less than 2% of the total number of abortions and should never be used to rationalize abortion-on-demand for the other 98%.
Let's just say that I would greatly admire, respect and support the woman who chose life for her child and I would also support and pray for the woman whose burden was too great to bear and ultimately chose to have an abortion.
Quite frankly, I would support laws that saved the most number of lives possible by allowing three exceptions: the life of the mother, rape and incest. Saving 98% is a lot better than losing 100%. Penalties should also be strengthened for those committing rape or incest. In all other cases, the parents of the unborn child have already made their choice; they have consented to having sex. With that comes the possibility of pregnancy. No birth control is 100% effective. If that makes me Pro-Life and Pro-Choice then so be it.
Carl: Wow! You would even support and pray for a woman who had an abortion?
Lucy: Absolutely, Carl. We all fall short of doing God's perfect will in our lives, but knowing that we have a loving and merciful Father who has offered the forgiveness of sin to everyone, it brings me joy to bring the Good News to those who have been burdened with guilt. As the prophet Isaiah wrote, “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool" (Isaiah 1:18). Could there be any better news?
Carl: So what about a couple of friends of mine who find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy on their hands?
Lucy: My parents told me that that I was unplanned and that while they had to work to make ends meet, they always often reminded me that all of their professional accomplishments in life didn't compare to the love they have for me.
Carl: I'm happy for you, Lucy, and glad that you're here. Despite our differences, I always enjoy our discussions. Well, most of them anyway. That said, I can't say the same for all of those self-righteous Pro-Lifers who think they're standing on some kind of moral high ground.
Lucy: Now you're sounding like Jesus.
Lucy: Why are you surprised? Jesus made it quite clear that there is no room for self-righteousness. The religious leaders of his day hated him for exposing theirs. If you're interested, be sure to check out his parable about the Pharisee and the Publican.
Carl: I will. In the meantime, why all this emphasis on sin? It all sounds so judgmental.
Lucy: Christians are warned not to judge others lest they be judged (see What Does "Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged" Mean in the Bible?). This doesn't mean, however, that we should lack discernment or good judgment or never give good advice, so think of it as someone warning you of a pending danger. Wouldn't that be a loving thing to do?
Carl: I suppose it could be. But I like to think of most everyone as basically good. The vast majority of people don't rob banks or commit rape or murder. That seems pretty obvious to me.
Lucy: I would agree that we were created to be good. In fact, after the creation of Adam and Eve, "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." The problem is that just as the creation of the Universe should be obvious to everyone, so should the fact that there's something seriously wrong with our particular corner of the Universe. All is not good. Don't you agree?
Carl: It all depends upon what you mean by good.
Lucy: You are so right! It all depends upon who sets the standard. If you had created the world, Carl, I would certainly look to you for an answer as to what good we should do and what evil we should avoid.
Carl: Humility has never been my strong suit, Lucy, but I'll have to pass on assuming the role of creator here.
Lucy: Good call. Given that Jesus claimed to be in perfect unity with his Father in Heaven, exhibited control over nature, healed the sick, raised the dead and forgave sin (something only God can do) I'm going to go with his standard.
Let's consider what he had to say about murder and adultery in his Sermon on the Mount.
On murder: “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment" (Matthew 5:21-22).
On adultery: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28).
Carl: Wow! Nobody is ever going to meet those standards.
Lucy: You're spot on, Carl. If any of us could be righteous enough, there wouldn't have been a need for Jesus' sacrifice on the cross to pay the price for the judgment we all deserve. The Hebrew prophet, Isaiah, wrote about the coming Messiah, 700 years before Jesus fulfilled this prophecy.
"Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him" (Isaiah 53:4-6).
If our iniquity fell on him, we can be sure that our sins are forgiven. No longer a crimson stain, they will be as white as snow.
Carl: Not to change the subject, Lucy, but why all of the self-righteous condemnation of those who support a woman's right to reproductive health?
Lucy: The issue isn't reproductive health; it's anti-reproductive death. It's also not any self-righteous judgment of other people. It's a judgment against deadly choices. No Pro-Lifer should ever be self-righteous. The vast majority of them simply want the best for women and their offspring. That involves education to help women make informed choices: choices that they will never regret. It also means supporting them in their time of need: emotionally, spiritually, and financially. If you ever run across a Pro-Life advocate who treats you as their enemy, remind them of Jesus' words:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:43-48).
Lucy: Would you prefer them to be less than perfect with you?
Carl: I suppose not, but in this imperfect world ...
Lucy: Just keep in mind that this imperfect world is temporary. Better things are promised for those who seek the forgiveness that God still offers. We get a glimpse of that in the closing chapters of the Bible and the revelation that Jesus gave to John.
"Then I saw 'a new heaven and a new earth,' for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4).
Carl: If it's true, it can't come soon enough.
Lucy: Amen to that, Carl.
I've got to get going now, but before I do, I wanted to add a PS to my "Pro-Life-Pro-Choice" position. Even more important than saving lives here on Earth, God is concerned about saving lives eternally and has left us with a choice to accept or reject his free and undeserved gift of eternal life.
Hope to see you again soon, my friend.
In the meantime, I'll email you with a few closing thoughts.
I hope you understood my message yesterday that while abortion is obviously an extremely important life-or-death decision, the vastly more significant issue is one's eternal life or death. Ultimately, the real question comes down to whether a person wants to do God's will, seek his forgiveness, and accept his gift of eternal life or turn away from the author of life and lose everything.
There is a popular saying that "all roads lead to God". Ironically, that's true, but only in the sense that all roads lead either to God's love and mercy or to the judgment and punishment which we all deserve.
In his letters to the early churches Paul warned about the dangers of losing one's inheritance in God's kingdom. Here are just three of many warnings found throughout the scriptures:
"Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19–21).
"For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God" (Ephesians 5:5).
"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul also touches upon many of the same themes we discussed yesterday including the lusts that too often lead to unwanted pregnancy and which resulted in the deaths of well over 60 million unborn children in the United States since Roe. vs. Wade. He also destroys any notion of moral superiority or sense of self-righteousness that anyone can earn or somehow deserve salvation by their "good" works. Indeed, our best is none too good.
"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them" (Ephesians 2:1-10).
Allow me to close with the Lord's prayer. In light of all we have discussed, it seems more than appropriate.
"Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
"For if you forgive other people for their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive other people, then your Father will not forgive your offenses" (Matthew 6:9-15).