I recently went to a museum of natural history while on a family vacation. I knew what would be portrayed, especially since the exhibit was called “The Evolving World.” So I was prepared to be irritated by what would be on display. But I wasn’t prepared for how much it would break my heart to see the hundreds of people filing through the exhibit hall blindly accepting this fanciful storyline that we are the hapless product of time plus chance plus matter. It is a story that fails to satisfactorily answer any of the deep penetrating questions of mankind (like why are we here, what is the meaning of life) and fails to satisfactorily explain anything about our existence (like how we have morality, a spirit, and design).
Ironically, this exhibit was right down the hall from an exhibit about the amazing wonder of DNA. The museum never attempted to reconcile the two exhibits – one showing irreducible complexity with coded information as the blueprints for all life, and the other implying all complexity and variety of life was a product of blind, random processes stumbling out of chaos. Nowhere do they recognize that those two options exclude one another. If we are to stand in awe of the mechanism of DNA replication, a true machine involving the integration of multiple parts working together to accurately copy information, then we cannot go with such nonsense that it arose from a blind force of nature. Nature cannot generate information on its own, much less put it in a coded form. E.H. Andrews, professor of materials at the University of London, says, “It is not possible for a code, of any kind, to arise by chance or accident. A code is the work of an intelligent mind…Codes do not arise from chaos.” And without god, chaos is all there is. The two portraits of life could not be more different; they cannot both be true. We cannot be amazingly designed, yet the result of an undirected process from chaos.
So I wanted to take a moment to put some critical thinking to the idea of our “evolving world.” One of the first displays described the differences between asexual and sexual reproduction. However, no explanation is given for how life changed from asexual to sexual reproduction, much less for why it would change to a less reliable method of reproduction. Just wave the magic wand of time and chance and Darwin, and *poof* we have two members of the same species that evolved, or rather genetically mutated the exact same gene at the exact same time in the same population in the same location with fully compatible reproductive organs, the urge to mate, and the ability to grow another species and give birth. A lot of people will try to point to examples of species that produce both asexually and sexually to say this was how a species could evolve to produce sexually. But finding two reproductive systems coexisting does not explain how those two systems came into existence in the first place. Evolutionists would have to show the step by step transformation to build up to sexual reproduction. Just putting the words “this evolved” in front of it does not actually explain it. Consider the complications involved not only in finding compatible mating species, but in our case as mammals, one gender of the species being able to grow and sustain a new life inside of it! And all of those features – in both genders – must happen at the same time in order for the next generation to be produced. In other words, it does no good for one generation of a species to genetically mutate a specialized sac to store sperm, if it has to wait millions of years to genetically mutate a way to actually dispense the sperm. Its mate then has to genetically mutate – at the same time – a way to develop and mature an egg, release an egg, and have a way of encountering a sperm; then it must have a way to hold and protect the fertilized egg, to give it nourishment in utero, to have a way to birth it, and even a way to nourish it after birth. Meanwhile each one of those individual mutations must be beneficial in some way to the organism, even though at that point, it doesn’t lead to sexual reproduction yet. What benefit could there be to a species genetically mutating the ability to ovulate if there is no way to fertilize the egg until millions of years later? Because if any one of these parts of the reproductive system were not there, then sexual reproduction could not occur at all.
Those are super simplified explanations of all the components necessary for reproduction, but not everything reproduces in the same way. Look at one explanation from a site about the “evolution” of sexual reproduction: “Non-mammals, such as birds and reptiles, have a common body opening, called a cloaca, for the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems. Coupling between birds usually involves positioning the cloaca openings opposite each other for transfer of sperm. In mammals, there are separate openings for the systems in the female and a uterus for support of developing offspring. Depending on the type of species, there are differences in the uterus. In species that produce large numbers of offspring, the uterus has two chambers. In other species that produce one offspring, such as in primates, there is a single uterus.”[i] So even the locations of openings for sperm transfer must genetically mutate in a compatible way between genders in the same species. And the species must even genetically mutate to have the appropriate number of uteruses. Interestingly, the article doesn’t actually explain how those would develop independently as a result of random genetic mutation, it simply puts the word “evolved” at the beginning of each paragraph. But that doesn’t explain how it could ever have happened that way!
See, I prefer to use a term that more accurately describes what must take place: genetically mutate. The word “evolve” is so vague and is used to gloss over so many complexities and difficulties that this theory must explain. How did we get these two species? Oh, it just evolved! Poof! Problem solved. In reality, the changes involved in Darwinian evolution all must be from a genetic mutation. The change to a species must come from within its genes in order to be passed along to the next generation (because we know “acquired characteristics” does not affect the next generation – a horse cannot stretch and elongate its neck to then give birth to a giraffe; its offspring would still genetically have the neck length of a horse). The mutation in the gene must come as an error in the DNA replication of the organism. However, with the built-in proofreading capability in the DNA replication, the probability of having a mutation is very low and occurs in only a few organisms at a time. There is even a repair system in the cell that will recognize and attempt to fix any genetic mutations.
Furthermore, when a mutation does occur, it is typically harmful to the population and rarely beneficial. Studies of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster suggest about 70% of genetic mutations have damaging effects, and the remainder are either neutral or weakly beneficial. Many organisms with genetic disorders do not survive long enough to reproduce themselves, meaning they are less likely to pass on that mutation to the next generation. Just think about the conditions that come from human genetic mutations: cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, hemophilia, Klinefelter’s syndrome, spina bifida, Tay-Sachs, or Turner syndrome. As you can see, genetic mutations do not have a creative aspect – generating new information in the DNA, which is necessary for Darwinian evolution to be plausible. The reality is that mutations rarely occur. When they do occur, they are usually repaired by the body. If the mutation does persist and is expressed in the organism, the mutation is typically detrimental to the organism. This is adding up to be a very difficult statistical thing to accomplish for a mutation to be advantageous AND to be passed along to the next generation of offspring.
The statistical odds of Darwinian evolution are so implausible, and there are more things to consider. In order for species A to evolve into species B, there must be enough of species A to have the same gene mutate with the same physical affect for it to spread through the rest of the population by interbreeding. In other words, there must be enough of the same mutation across the population to not be stamped out in the next generation. If you put a few numbers to it, consider just one individual having a genetic mutation in a population of 2 million. When that individual mates, that genetic mutation will be suppressed based on how genetic reproduction works. There must be enough organisms in the same generation to have the same random mutation of the same gene with the same resulting change so that we can reproduce that mutation and pass it along to the next generation. But further still, each mutation must be entirely random and therefore completely blind to whatever effect it may have on the function or structure of the organism. That trait acquired by mutation can never subsequently be lost or transformed in any radical sense by any future genetic mutations. And the acquisition of new character traits must leave previously acquired character traits essentially unchanged. Once this change has been realized, then it must make the species more advantageous to survive, even though natural selection actually works to conserve the population by preventing extreme differences in the species.
To provide an example of how all this must work, the organism can’t decide it needs another leg and then mutate its genes to create one. The species must rely on blind, random genetic processes. It must wait until its genetic reproduction incorrectly copies a gene, that the error is not repaired, that it happens to result in an extra limb, and that the extra limb is advantageous for it to survive through natural selection. However there also must be enough other organisms that had the same gene mutate to result in an extra limb so that it could mate and pass on this extra limb to the next generation. The rate at which this occurs is dependent on the mutation rate, generation time, and total population number. Without knowing all of these factors it is impossible to determine whether the transition from a one-legged to two-legged organism could have possibly occurred by natural selection in the time available. Darwin provides no quantitative evidence of this kind to show that any one major evolutionary transformation would in fact have been possible in the manner he outlined.[ii] It is this aspect of the genetic change that makes the theory of Darwinian evolution so preposterous. Evolutionists may argue that given enough time, anything can happen; I've even heard someone say, "well, someone has to win the lottery." But this is like the same person winning the lottery every month for 4.5 billion years. If that were to happen, then the most logical conclusion would be that someone has rigged the lottery, not that given enough time anything can happen.
Going back to our issue of changes in reproduction, evolutionists never describe the detailed changes required to go from one type to another. For example, evolutionists claim that reptiles evolved from amphibians yet they don’t explain how the drastic changes in egg types could have slowly evolved over time through incremental genetic changes. And there are hardly two eggs in the entire animal kingdom that are more drastically different than the reptile and amphibian.[iii] Picture the difference between an alligator egg and a frog egg. The reptilian egg has a tough impervious shell; two membranes: the amnion and the allantois; and a yolk sac containing a food source in the form of the protein albumen. None of these features are found in the amphibian egg, which is a soft gelatinous egg that must stay in the water. Most notably though, consider what comes out of the two different eggs. The amphibian egg yields an organism that goes through a metamorphosis (tadpole changing to frog) while the reptile yields a fully formed organism, basically a miniature adult (a baby alligator emerges from the egg).[iv]
There are at least eight major changes necessary to go from the amphibian egg to a reptilian egg:[v]
The irony of evolution goes beyond just the lack of explanations in its theory. It claims to be the “science” of our day, but science is the last thing involved with evolution. Science is supposed to be the search for truth about how things work. But that is not allowed with evolutionists. Critical thinking is discouraged because it inevitably results in criticism of its own ideals. Logical criticisms of this ideology are met with cries of heresy instead of intellectual debate. At this museum as well as in a majority of articles you read about evolution, the statement “it evolved” is made with no legitimate explanation as to how it evolved, or even why. Making the statement “it evolved” does not explain anything and certainly does not make it so.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Read Science vs. Evolution, part 2
Read Science vs. Evolution, part 3
[i] Source: Boundless. “The Evolution of Reproduction.” Boundless Biology. Boundless, 26 May. 2016. Retrieved 23 Oct. 2016 from https://www.boundless.com/biology/textbooks/boundless-biology-textbook/animal-reproduction-and-development-43/fertilization-238/the-evolution-of-reproduction-888-12139/
[ii] Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Chevy Chase, MD: Adler & Adler, 1986), 61.
[iii] Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 77.
[iv] Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Chevy Chase, MD: Adler & Adler, 1986), 218.
[v] Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Chevy Chase, MD: Adler & Adler, 1986), 219.
[vi] Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1996), 233.
Many people question the validity of the Bible because of the accounts found in the Old Testament. Honestly, it was on that point, that someone first really challenged my faith. I’m sure you’ve heard questions coming from the same point of skepticism. How can you believe Jonah was really swallowed by a whale? Did Moses really meet God in a burning bush? Did God really create everything in six 24-hour days? Those are certainly valid questions, particularly for an unbeliever to ask. However, there are many things in the Scriptures that unbeliever will not understand, as Paul tells us in two of his letters to the Corinthians.
But where I struggle when I encounter this disbelief in Old Testament occurrences is when it comes from a believer, someone who already believes in the supernatural and accepts the Scriptures as being the inspired Word of God. There is a real issue when a believer still wonders how Jonah survived in the whale, how Noah built the ark, and whether Adam really could name all the animals. It seems they want to find a naturalistic explanation to those things. And that usually results in their searching for some “new” understanding of Scripture. Or they just decide to only believe in the New Testament and the life about Jesus and the church, as if you can separate the two. But Jesus said Himself that He came not to abolish the law or the prophets but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17). If He is here to fulfill something, then that something must be a real thing. Jesus fulfilled the law given to Moses and He fulfilled the prophecies given by the prophets. Therefore, if you begin to unravel the reality of Moses, the Prophets, and the rest of the Old Testament, you start to unravel part of the identity and purpose of Jesus. You cannot separate the Old Testament from the New Testament.
So why is it that the believer may struggle with the Old Testament accounts? If we truly believe in the virgin birth of Christ, that Lazarus was raised from the dead, and Zacharias was mute for 9 months, why do we doubt the accounts of Jonah, and Daniel, and Noah? If Jesus could change water into wine, calm a storm with a word, and walk on water, why can He not create according to Genesis? If we as believers do have such confidence in the New Testament, then maybe we should consider what the New Testament has to say about the Old Testament.
The author of Hebrews describes how God made this universe and everything in it out of nothing, ex nihilo (Hebrews 11:3 “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”) which takes us to the opening line of the Bible; that in the beginning God created everything. Then in the genealogy of Jesus, Luke lists Adam as the first man created, describing him as the “son of God” (Luke 3:23-28). Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, in his book uses Adam as a reference point in the genealogy of Enoch. Both of these men saw Adam as a real historical person, the first man created by God from whom all others descended, including Jesus.
Throughout many of Paul’s writing, Paul refers to Jesus as the “second Adam,” which only makes sense if there were a “first Adam.” In 1 Corinthians 15:45, Paul writes, “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.’” He is referring to a literal person of Adam as the first man and the literal person of Jesus as the life-giving spirit, or the last Adam. He says again in his first letter to Timothy, “For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” Why would Paul say all of this if Adam and Eve were not literal, physical people formed in the beginning according to Genesis? He explains it more fully in Romans 5:12-19:
Even John the apostle in 1 John 3 reaffirms Adam and Eve by discussing the sin brought in the next generation. He discusses the sin of Cain when he murdered his brother. He is discussing it as a real historical event found in Genesis 4. If we accept that Paul, Luke, John, and Jude were writing words inspired by God and that they had apostolic authority to preach the truth of Jesus Christ and provide sound doctrine for us to follow, then we must accept their teachings of Adam and Eve as literal, physical beings that were the first male and female specifically created by God. This ought to rule out any origins theory that includes any of type of evolutionary progression of man – whether it’s from apes or just from a Neanderthal pre-historic semblance of man. If you’re struggling with that because it came from Paul, Luke, John, and Jude then consider what Jesus Himself says about the creation of man and woman.
Jesus even talks about the account of Cain and Abel. Matthew 23:34-35 “And Jesus said, ‘Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.’” You can read the same account in Luke 11:49-51. And the event is affirmed again in Hebrews 11 and 1 John 3.
Jesus affirms the account of Jonah. Matthew 12:39-41 “But He answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.’” This can be found in Luke 11:29-32 as well. He says in Luke, “For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation…The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.”
In the book of Mark, Jesus upholds the prophecies of Daniel. In Mark 13:14 Jesus says, “So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” And he refers to the life of David as he is fleeing from the rage of Saul, “But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?” (Mark 2:25-26).
What about Noah and the ark? Did the flood really destroy things and was it really over the whole earth? First, take a look at what it says in Genesis 7: And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive.
It says repeatedly that “all” things were destroyed, “every” thing that had breath, “all” living things so that “only” Noah and those on the ark remained alive. That seems pretty clear to me that the intent of the flood was to literally destroy everything that was not on the ark. Of course that’s the Old Testament description. What does the New Testament say? Jesus said in Matthew 24:37-39, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Jesus used the flood of Noah to compare to the Second Coming. Do you think some will be spared in the Second Coming? Or that only a portion of the world will be aware of the Second Coming? Jesus is using the analogy because both the flood and the Second Coming will be global and will affect all living things. Jesus said that the flood took “all” of them away just like the coming of the Son of Man will do. The same comparison is used in 2 Peter 3:1-7. Peter says in the days of Noah that “the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.” Peter also says in 1 Peter 3:18-20 that only “eight souls” were saved through water, meaning all other souls perished who were no on the ark. And he affirms again in 2 Peter 2:4-10 not only the global judgment of Noah, where only Noah, “one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness” was saved, but also the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, “condemned to destruction” where God only “delivered righteous Lot.”
All of these people and their real histories are recorded first in the Old Testament, honored for their faith in Hebrews 11, spoken of by Paul and Peter in the founding of the early churches, and most importantly, reaffirmed by Jesus in the New Testament. Why do we struggle then with believing what is written to us from the Old Testament? I know in the church now, this is not considered the “popular” belief. But are we called to base our doctrine on what is popular or on what is in God’s word? If we believe as fact that the virgin Mary gave birth, Jesus cast out demons, and Peter made a lame man walk, then why can we not believe that God parted the Red Sea through Moses, He conquered Jericho through Joshua marching around the city, He took down Goliath through David’s slingshot, He judged the sinful world saving only the righteous through Noah, and He spoke every living thing into being out of nothing, uniquely made reproducing each according to their kind, and that He formed man from the dust of the ground in His own likeness and image and breathed life into him. In Martin Luther’s day, the church compromised what the Bible clearly taught. So he nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of the church to call them back to the authority of God’s Word. In the same way, the church today has, by and large, neglected what the Bible clearly says in the Old Testament. It’s time to call the church back to the authority of God’s Word, beginning with Genesis 1.
In John 18 Jesus stands trial before Pontius Pilate. Pilate is questioning Jesus in an attempt to understand the charges that have been brought against Him. He wants to determine why the people are so desperate for an innocent man to be crucified. He asks Jesus, “So You are a king?” And Jesus says in verse 37, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” And Pilate said to Him “What is truth?”
What a profound and relevant question posed by Pilate. What is truth? I actually had a conversation the other day about this very issue. The discussion started around the verse Romans 1:25 “They exchanged God’s truth for a lie.” It prompted the very same question that Pilate asked: “What is truth?” In the case of this passage from Romans, it is talking about the truth of who God is. The rest of the verse says that people chose to worship the creation rather than the Creator. So they exchanged the truth about who God is – His power, His authority, and His rule over creation – in order to worship something that is false. If you are giving godly worship to something that is not god, then you have exchanged the truth for a lie. But the deeper question is about truth in general. Is truth knowable? Is there such thing as absolute truth?
Many people claim that there is no truth. Yet in that statement they are making a truth claim. They are claiming to know the truth that there is no truth. It is a contradictory idea. You can’t truthfully say that there is no truth. If there really is no truth, then the statement would be false, and therefore there would be truth. And now you see the simple circle we have danced around. So while it might seem handy for an atheist to say that there’s just no such thing as truth, the appropriate response is, “Is that true?”
But aside from pointing out the failings of the argument, we can also look at how we live our lives in reality. Is there really a truth to the way our world operates? First we should understand what we mean by the word “truth.” Truth is that which affirms reality, regardless of how one feels about it. That is what makes it an objective truth. It exists as truth outside of man’s opinion. Now, there are certainly subjective truths, such as my preferred ice cream flavor, which is a truth according to my opinion. And that truth may change from person to person and even as my own tastes change. But there are such things as objective truth, things that are what they are regardless of personal opinion. There are objective truths that we accept every day. We all know that 1+1=2 objectively, outside of our opinions. Regardless of how you may feel about that sum being equal to 2, it will remain equal to that value. And it would remain true even if we weren’t here to observe it. So objective truth is independent of observation. It exists absolutely and separate from man’s opinion.
So even though some people may question objective truth, we certainly live as though there is an objective truth to be known. It is pretty much what we define as science; that there are certain facts about how the world works, regardless of your opinion on it. Subatomic particles will function as they do whether I agree with it or even whether I choose to believe in their existence at all. And they act that way whether we observe them acting that way or not. So objective truth does not depend on someone observing it, agreeing with it, or believing in it. I might claim I haven’t observed gravity, don’t agree with it, and don’t believe in it, but the objective truth of it will make itself known when I jump off a bridge. So while some people may like to believe that truth is irrelevant or nonexistent, that is not reflective of reality.
Math and science are not the only places where we find objective truth though. Atheists may want to philosophize that objective truth does not exist, but they inevitably live their lives in pursuit of it. Our justice system is supposed to be devoted to finding the objective truth about the past with regards to the defendant. We ask it of our children every day to tell us the objective truth of whether or not they broke the vase in the living room. We demand it from our relationships so that other people are honest with us in their actions and emotions. In each of those situations we are searching out an objective truth. Yes, each of those has a subjective truth tied to it. The jury’s opinion (subjective truth) may be that the defendant did not commit that crime or maybe that the crime was justified. But the objective truth exists of whether he did or did not commit that act. So I find it very interesting that some may question if truth exists while at the same time live their lives in pursuit of it.
However, the growth of relativism has given rise to the persistent belief among people that all truth is relative. It is all purely opinion; no objective truth actually exists. Thus, the definition and understanding of truth can vary from person to person based on each one’s experience. We’ve lost the idea that facts can be anything more than just one person’s opinion. What’s true for you may not be true for me. This concept has been so subtly imprinted onto the minds of our society that no one even questions it anymore. Is it really true that there is no truth? Is truth really never definitive, knowable, or absolute? And why has this idea of there not being truth been pushed onto us without even a whimper of protest? Because once objective truth dies, so does ethics. And herein lies the problem. If objective truth can’t be known, then an objective moral truth is equally irrelevant. This is what lures people into this line of thinking. If there is no objective truth, then ALL things are subjective to our own whims and fancies. At that point, anything goes. I can do whatever I please because whatever I please just happens to be whatever I define as my version of truth.
But again, that is not really how we live our lives. We like to think truth and morals are subjective because it’s appealing to set our own personal standard of behavior. But eventually we identify certain behaviors that violate an absolute moral truth or ethic, things that are wrong outside of anyone’s particular opinion. A perfect example is the idea of slavery. Throughout all of history, there has been some people-group enslaved by another. Which means, at some point the popular opinion was that owning another person, devaluing them as a piece of property, was considered acceptable. Does that mean it was morally right? Or maybe, just maybe, there is an absolute moral standard that is violated when people are owned and enslaved by someone else. The founding principles of this nation acknowledge that objective moral truth. And look at the words our founding fathers chose to convey that: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” They recognized that there is an absolute truth and not only was it knowable, but it was “self-evident,” which means “clearly true and requiring no proof or explanation.” It was an objective, self-evident truth that people are equal, not slaves to one another based on any possible reason. Even the moral relativist would have to agree with that statement.
Now we can see the hypocrisy in saying that there is no objective truth. Without objective truth, there is no objective morality. And without objective morality, then there is no standard of ethics that says slavery, genocide, or even cruelty to animals is wrong. Consider the irony of the moral relativist participating in an organization called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (or PETA). If that group wants to impose a standard of behavior onto others for the treatment of animals, then they are admitting that there is an objective ethic. They won’t accept the excuse that maybe someone’s version of truth is to treat animals cruelly and someone else’s version of truth is to treat animals kindly. They would rail against someone saying treating animals kindly may be true for you but not true for me. So in effect, they are claiming to know the objective moral standard for the treatment of animals and they are insisting that standard applies to all people.
Going back to the words of Jesus in John 14:6, He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” What an interesting choice of words to say that He is the truth. In that statement He is telling us that truth is knowable and truth is absolute. Truth excludes the false. He is stating that He is an objective truth that would exclude all others. Why does it matter to know the truth? Because He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
This weekend I had an amazing opportunity to speak at a March for Life rally. It was a very powerful and moving event. And even though I have been pro-life ever since I understood the term “abortion,” this was my first time to actively participate in something like this. I’ve been outspoken about being pro-life, I’ve explained to others why we should be pro-life, and I’ve written blogs about the subject, but in all that time I had never taken an active role in this issue. So I wanted to share some about my experience because I think it is important to clarify how this movement is misrepresented by the media and even misrepresented by the church.
This particular rally was located right outside the local abortion clinic. So the first achievement by this group is simply to raise awareness about what that clinic actually does. After all, the sign on the facility just said “Women’s Clinic” so the average person would have no idea what goes on inside. People probably assume the classic lie that they are in business to do mammograms and “women’s health” when in reality they are performing abortions. And as I’ve said many times before, if the reality of abortion was spoken of in public (instead of just calling it “choice”), then the issue would take a very different turn at the voting booths and in our legislation. If they would say that a second term abortion is an in-utero dismemberment and extraction of a human that already has all of its body parts – a circulatory system, a nervous system to feel things, arms and legs, fingers and toes, and even tooth buds under its gums – then maybe people would think twice about calling it “choice.”
Then I got to hear some of these other women speak. And it made my heart ache to learn the reality of the industry of abortion. One woman back in the 80s had been lied to by an abortionist that what was inside her was just a mass of tissue. She is still heartbroken with the grief of knowing she was talked into aborting the only biological child she ever had. See, back then we didn’t have the technology to show us the real embryological development of a fetus. Back then, the abortion movement tried to convince women it wasn’t really a baby yet. Of course now, with all that we know and can literally see in the womb, they have to take a different approach. We know that at 8 weeks the baby has a nervous system and at 5 weeks that baby has a beating heart. That’s not just a mass of tissue; that is a life. And at that point, most women don’t even know they’re pregnant yet. One woman gave her story about being at her OB/GYN for prenatal care, yet the doctor directed her to have an abortion. So here you have a woman choosing the difficult road of carrying a baby that was unplanned and who wanted to give that baby life, yet her doctor was trying to talk her into an abortion – not for the sake of her health, but for the sake of her convenience. The true picture of the industry of abortion.
But sadly, so many people stand silent on this issue. Their silence is their consent. Not speaking out about the killing of 3,000 innocent unborn Americans every day is consent. That is equivalent to 115 kindergarten classrooms being slaughtered EVERY DAY. How can we as human beings ignore that? How can we just sweep it under the rug and re-classify it as a “women’s health issue”? This is a sanctity of life issue. How can we as a church stand idly by and do nothing? Think about the damage done by the church remaining silent in Nazi Germany. Think about how the church stood silent during slavery and the civil rights movement. One of the most difficult things to read in Dr. Martin Luther King’s letters was his plea to the church to stand up for racial equality. The church should have been first on the front line to fight for these causes. We know about Corrie Ten Boom and Harriet Tubman because they were the exceptions. If all the Christians during those times were standing on God’s principles in those fights, then there would be too many names to even list in the history books of those fighting against such atrocities. And now that we have the same slaughter of innocent people in our nation today, we see the people in the church cowardly hiding behind “choice.” They’ve hidden behind it by staying silent. They’ve hidden behind it by denigrating those who speak out against it. And they’ve hidden behind it at the voting booths by electing government officials who support this, in particular our current president who refused to vote against even partial-birth abortions. Those are abortions done in the third trimester where the baby is partially passed through the birth canal and then murdered, all for the “choice” of the mother.
So how should the church help? Well one way that most churches do help is by supporting pregnancy centers. And I wholeheartedly agree that the church should support those as well. In fact, I consistently have supported those by donating all of my baby items to the pregnancy help centers in my local town. So I see those as wonderful and necessary in the pro-life movement. After all, you can’t encourage someone to keep their baby but not provide them the help and tools necessary to do so. But the women going to pregnancy help centers are the women who have already chosen life for their baby. What about the women who have not made that decision?
And this is what I’ve found to be the most amazing thing about this pro-life ministry – the REAL pro-life ministry, not the one you hear about in the media. They want to meet these women where they are in their final moments of desperation – on the doorstep of an abortuary – and give them hope. They want to show those women there IS a choice for life for their unborn baby. Ironically, the “pro-choice” abortionists really don’t want the women to have a true choice. They want them to “end the pregnancy” or “get rid of the problem.” That’s not a real choice. A real choice involves telling someone ALL the options they have, like pregnancy help centers, donors who will help with their medical care, maternity homes, or adoption. That is the help and love offered by this pro-life sidewalk ministry. Those people are so generous and so loving to the mother AND the baby that they are willing to pay for their pre-natal care. They are willing to provide all the items for the nursey. They are willing to be there through the entire pregnancy and delivery. They are willing to adopt.
Those people out on the sidewalk are doing a very difficult task. They are the last voice of true counsel to save those women from a regrettable mistake. They are the last line of defense to plead for the life of that baby. And they are doing it in the face of a government who hates them, in the face of atheists who hate them, and in the face of so-called women’s rights groups who hate them. Don’t let it be in the face of a church who hates them too. You may not be called to this particular ministry, but at least give your love and support to those who are called and willing to do that battle.
Silence is consent. Do not let your silence be to the consent of abortion.