Monday, July 20, 2015

The Image of God: Sold for Parts

"Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.  And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it."  --Genesis 9:6-7

There have been so many who have already commented on the video released by the Center for Medical Progress.  Given my particular leanings, I always find commentary from Denny Burk, Al Mohler, Jared Oliphint, Russell Moore and this time, I found Joe Carter particularly helpful in two recent posts here and again here.  One of the benefits of waiting to write is reading some of the best commentary out there and letting your mind marinate in it.

When I first saw the video, it was Wednesday, July 17th.  My wife and I were about to start morning catechism and morning worship with our daughters and several thoughts came racing in my mind.

1)  The importance of catechism.  I'll never forget Sinclair Ferguson's "Velcro-Theory" (my terminology, not his) re: catechism.  I was at one of the National Ligonier conferences (I think it was 2014) when he explained that catechism helps shape the mind of children with biblical categories.  But it also acts as Velcro, providing a place for the Holy Spirit to attach more biblical truth into the lives of our children in the years to come.  Dr. Ferguson explained that more and more, he was convinced that many of the doctrinal errors and un-Christ-like behavior of younger believers comes from one source: the failure of parents to catechize their children.  I realized that if I didn't want my daughter to look/sound like Dr. Nucatola, I had better get down to the business of serious praying and catechizing.

2)  I was immediately grateful for every body part of both my daughters.  Nuff said.

3)  If the behavior and attitude of Planned Parenthood's leadership in this video is somehow morally justifiable, then humans are not made in God's image.  In years past, I had come into contact with ideas/writings that linked abortion with slavery.  I understood the basic connection point between these two great evils in U.S. history to be this: there is a necessary and fundamental denial of the full-humanity of the slave that must precede the view of slaves as mere property.  The same is true regarding the unborn human child.  You can't end the life of a person based on the convenience/preference of another.

But the surfacing of this video showed me another link that I hadn't considered before: human abortion, like human slavery before it, reduces the value of a human to the profit experienced or benefits accrued to other humans.  In other words, the slave, like the unborn human child is only as valuable as someone else says they are.  They are not valuable in and of themselves for simply being human.

While abortion and slavery are linked in this way, there's at least one way/aspect that this video shows abortion is worse: at least when the slaves were sold, they were purchased as one whole and not in parts.

I have the scripture above and yet have done to show how it directly applies to my thoughts.  I didn't intend to do any work with it but it's there for another reason, two in fact:

A) A reminder to believers that we ought to take notice of the ways in which we have contributed to the wholesale disrespect of God's image.  Railing against murder in the womb or the atrocities against Africans and others used as slaves is right... but not if we ignore how things like pornography and sex-trafficking are also an attack against the image of God in humans.

B) A warning to unbelievers that God isn't winking at this one.  The Bible's flood narrative is one of the oldest stories in recorded history.  But that's how far back God made it known that He is the guarantor of defense re: His image upon humanity.  His judicial options are varied in form, but one in it's effect.  So beware: for the measure you use will be used against you.  A calloused view of humanity in the womb on your part may some day invite a similar gaze upon your own life.  Therefore, repent and seek the Lord while He may yet be found.  May He have mercy upon you.