Sunday, July 01, 2007

World Police

A wonderful community that I'm part of (both online and in person) recently had a discussion in abortion. It was amazingly civil and I know I learned things and I'm sure others did too.

As would be expected, religion was brought into the discussion. It wasn't done in a derogatory way (well, at least it wasn't intended that way), but there was the "God says so, so there" sort of feel.

Things like that always make me uncomfortable. I am a Christian, I'm even on the conservative side of Christianity. If I see someone who I know has professed to be a Christian living in a way that goes against the core of the faith I feel an obligation to do something to correct the issue (in Hebrews we are told to "spur one another on towards love and good deeds" - spurring isn't always fun), however, for those outside of the faith, I see no justification for expecting them to live as I do.

See, the Bible was written to those who already had at least some interest in God, if not some connection with Him. the things written there, the rituals, observances, principles, they're for those who believe. There is not one command that I am aware of that was not written either to the Israelites (in the old testament) or to the new churches (in the New testament).

So when it comes to issues like homosexual marriage, abortion, premarital sex etc. I have very strong, biblically based opinions. But I can't take those opinions any further than those who have submitted themselves and chosen to live a certain way.

I think of it this way - there is no reason to assume that my belief in God is any deeper or more meaningful to my life than a Hindu's belief in their gods is. According to Hinduism the cow is a sacred animal. I choose to eat beef, and so under their belief system I have done something wrong. However, I can't be held accountable to it, because I'm not under that law.

And the same holds true for Biblical law - I don't have the right to hold someone to a standard that they are not aware of, especially one that requires an intentional decision to be under.

I don't think national laws should be dictated by religion - by ANY religion. I don't think that Muslim states should require everyone there to live as if they are Muslim. In the same light I don't think that so-called "Christian" nations should require that everyone act as though they are Christians.

Yes, I believe there is a right and wrong. I believe there is a God who will at one point judge everyone on earth. I don't know the standard of that judgment, however, and I'm not going to pretend I do. As far as I'm concerned if a person is living life without connection to God for whatever reason then anything they do after that doesn't really matter as far as eternity is concerned. And if they have or are seeking a connection with God as I know Him, then He will deal with whatever "issues" there may be, regardless of what I say. I am here to spur, it is God who convicts.

So while I'm pro-life and given the chance will do what is necessary to support a woman in the decision to keep her child (meaning I'm willing to take in a teen mother, to support treatment programs for mothers with addiction, to help financially and to just be a friend to someone going through the crisis of an unplanned pregnancy), I still think it's much better for a woman to have access to safe abortions rather than put the life of the mother at risk as well. As can be seen globally, abortions will happen, unless something dramatic happens to change the culture. It's sad, it's tragic, it's bad, but it exists and we need a much better way to deal with it than turning away and pretending it won't happen.

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