I try to observe all factors possible in learning the truth that is in the Bible. I believe it is the most important book. There is also a lot of conflict over it that I’m not sure is necessary. Galileo was forced by the Church to renounce his discovery that Earth revolves around the sun based on Joshua 10:12-14 (and b/c of the Church’s struggle for control). Do you think it’s possible that the ongoing controversy over abortion and Psalm 139:13 is of the same nature? Thank you for your time.
I know this will not be a popular opinion among Christians: but I personally believe it’s morally evil to use a Bible verse to influence a public policy, especially when it’s about abortion or homosexuality.
In answer to your question: it’s very possible that we often use the Bible for the wrong reasons in all the wrong ways. It doesn’t make the Bible wrong, but only exposes our human nature.
To be clear, issues like marriage and abortion have moral dimensions which I believe require the wisdom of God. But when David wrote Psalm 139, I totally doubt that he intended this verse to support the pro-life position.
I understand the logic here and I’m certainly not condoning abortion: but I would hope that Christians can make their appeals with much more grace than cherry-picking verses and tossing them like grenades. This is an irrational technique that spits in the face of a God who longs to communicate His heart to us.
To twist a verse into an emphasis for government law both obscures God’s heart and turns Him into a legislative monster. If we really wanted to endorse the dignity of a baby’s life: we can’t do it like this. The church is a place of invitation to a life with God, and many of us have turned it into an anti-polemical machine of neo-conservative isolationism.
When I’m asked if I am pro-life or pro-choice, I have often described myself as pro-people on the issue. I get crap for that because it appears elitist, hipster-ish, and liberal. It sounds like I’m being soft or dodgy. I would counter that “pro-life” or “pro-choice” is actually soft and dodgy. They hardly accommodate for the life stories of lifelong struggles. The “debate” on abortion deteriorates into a focus on a specific window of nine months, which is the most shortsighted viewpoint on any issue ever.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a sane conversation about it: because we’re all so wired up with this binary way of thinking that we automatically assume the other side is an enemy. You see how that’s worked out so far.
People have done what we always do: We’ve taken a very important human issue and set up two sides in opposition, all while neglecting the living breathing human beings caught in the crossfire. We rarely find another way, so you have pundits and talking heads and picket signs and stupid visual aids and manipulative sentimentality.
Just think: Why are we “for” or “against”? Are we “for” some abstract theoretical concept of morality? Are we “against” some faceless caricature that doesn’t exist?
I hope we search deep on this. You’ll be threatened by being so honest with yourself. You’ll be surprised by the ugliness of your soul. I know I was, and am.
I know you didn’t ask, but let’s be specific about abortion here. Your average everyday person is not very thoughtful. I’ve certainly met women who went through emotional hell about abortion, but I’ve also met women who never gave it a second thought.
We can pretend like everyone is as nuanced as the super-sensitive socially-aware blogosphere, or we can be real about this broken world and recognize: many people out there don’t have the same access to education on human value. They are not informed on either side of the debate. They don’t even care about your debate.
Some women choose abortion because it’s so ingrained in the common culture, and NOT because they’re evil. I’ve met women who have had multiple abortions because they didn’t know anything else. I’ve met women who have been vilified by the church for getting pregnant or having an abortion: so where do you think they’ll go? Fathers are largely absent and parents are largely angry and churches are largely aversive.
The church is simply NOT helping the discussion; they just sound like angry balcony critics shaking a tiny fist at the lives of real women with tough problems. Instead of enlivening the conversation, churches have mostly just condemned.
While we’re yelling clever arguments on our blogs, there is a very real sixteen year old pregnant girl who needs some help in the midst of our misdirected outrage. Let me ask: What looks safer to them? A pregnancy center or a church? Most of the ladies I know would never step foot in a church to ask about their options, and that’s our fault.
I don’t mean to sound like I’m above this. I don’t mean to be one more blogger getting on a soap-box at everyone. But we forget that not all of us are well-versed in all the semantics here. Not everyone is a blogger or even likes to read. Not everyone thinks like me or you.
It’s fruitless to throw around a Bible verse. We can’t pretend to act like we care about children when we don’t do a thing the moment they’re born. A birth is NOT a victory in and of itself — it must also continue with the steady perseverance of raising a human life.
Let’s be even more real then. Pro-choice people who act comforting are occasionally full of crap: they don’t care about the women, they just care about “rights.” Pro-life people who act concerned are occasionally full of crap: they don’t care about babies or dignity, they just care about “rights.”
When pro-choicers say it’s “always a tough decision,” I feel like sometimes they’re paying cheap lip service to a pseudo-thoughtfulness that only appears like a conscionable struggle, when it’s just a passing remark to cover their own throne of convenience. Just as equally, when pro-lifers appeal to Bible verses as “God’s authority” over human dignity, I feel like sometimes they don’t even care about the baby’s life but really just want to dominate the political square with unilateral power.
Both sides of this argument are full of it, and I’ve never seen either side admit it. If they would just come clean — gasp! — maybe they could build a common bridge and ignite a productive conversation. But that would make too much sense.
I really hope we can turn our priorities back to the people and the God who created them: not one at the expense of the other.
Do we really care about the lives of children? Then care about the foster system, education, good parenting, proper welfare, and the inner-city.
Do we really care about women’s rights? Then don’t forget to speak up against the rape culture, for equal economic opportunities, and for abused women.
Do we really care about God’s Will? Then quit using the phrase “God’s Will” like a trump card, because the Bible is not ammo for your agenda.
A microscopic debate on one section of an issue will end up with defunct ministries that are ill-equipped to offer viable options for mothers and their children. It will look like what we have today, with zero momentum on helping the sixteen year old girl who is swirling in a world of guilt and guesswork. She doesn’t need the version of a Christian who robotically strings Bible verses to spit out preprogrammed dogma.
This girl needs Christ, and she needs you.