Our discipleship class continues to meet on Sunday evenings. We’ve met for 4 weeks, and after general discussions regarding the relationship between Christians and government, we have jumped headlong into the specific issues that have defined public policy in politics.
The Protection of Life
In a survey of our class participants, taken in the 1st meeting, one question was asked “Do you support abortion?”, 100% responded no. The next question asked, “Do you support capital punishment?”, 80% responded yes and 20% responded no.
Is there a contradiction?
There is much biblical teaching that establishes the unborn child as a person. The Greek word brephos is used in Luke 1:41-44 – “the baby in my womb leaped for joy” – as it is in Luke 2:16 – Jesus was a “baby lying in the manger.” Grudem states that the writer of the Psalms (51:5 and 139:13) indicates that “he thought of himself as a distinct human being, a distinct person, from the moment of conception.”
In Exodus 22:21-25, Grudem says that God placed “a higher value on protecting the life of a pregnant woman and her preborn child than the life of anyone else in Israelite society.” If this passage outlined the penalty for accidentally killing a pregnant woman and preborn child, how much more significant is the intentional death of a preborn child in God’s eyes?
According to Scripture, the life of a preborn child, and the lives of those living, are treated equally, and the penalty for taking a life of either is the same.
All of us will agree that murder is wrong, and based on the laws of this nation, illegal. So much so that, in some cases, capital punishment, or death, is warranted. Is there a contradiction?
Grudem says no, and I agree. The Bible addresses this in the Romans 13 passage we’ve discussed already in regard to the authority of government, and two additional passages – 1 Peter 2 and Genesis 9 – reinforce that position that there is significant penalty (death) for murder.
Marriage between a man and a woman is the most fundamental institution created by God. Only two other institutions have been created by God – government and the Church. Marriage, established in Genesis 1-2, was created in the beginning, even before Mosaic Law, and it was intended for people of all societies.
Marriage gives benefits to society that no other relationship can give, and it is in the best interest of government and society to encourage marriage.
Legally, US Courts have repeatedly held that States have a legitimate interest in protecting marriage between one man and one woman, and restricting marriage in this way does not violate anyone’s fundamental rights. There is no right to polygamy found in the US Constitution, and, furthermore, there is no right to same-sex marriage found. Those who claim they want to marry someone of the same sex are claiming, as Grudem says, “a new right that had not been available to anyone in this society.”
As Christians, the basis for our belief is the Bible. It influences our worldview and, thus, our view of political issues. So, as we move forward in the days and weeks ahead, let us affirm that we must hold firmly to the authority of the Bible, and, in doing so, be a “significant influence” in our society.