FAITH & REFLECTION
With respect to Canada’s abortion laws and recent ruling with respect to euthanasia, (both of which I feel uncomfortable with) I feel compelled to write about the nature and worth of man.
Mankind’s historical record is dark, its current activities are dubious and its future is doubtful. Our lives are comparatively short, our strength is limited (trees outlive us and many animals can overpower us), and reflecting upon our existence within an expansive cosmos, we are miniscule. Yet, it is clear in Scripture that God places a distinctive and high value on man.
To begin with, unlike any other creature, man is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26, 27). Controversy surrounds what exactly is meant by this, but most would agree that it has essentially to do with the fact that man can acquire knowledge, think rationally, develop language and verbally articulate the same, discern between right and wrong, build community through relationships and possesses an innate propensity for creativity. There is, (in spite of often being obscured by incidents, individuals and circumstances) a basic dignity about man that other creatures in the world do not possess. And perhaps most notably, humanity senses that life has purpose (and seeks for this purpose) and typically, commensurate with this search, feels the need to worship.
Clearly, from a biblical perspective, man is the crowning glory of God’s creation and has been granted dominion and governance over all that has been created. Holding this lofty view of mankind should have a significant impact upon how we view life…from conception to completion!
Greek philosopher and mathematician Plato, defined humans as, “featherless, biped animals”. He was applauded for this description. However, his contemporary, Diogenes the skeptic plucked a chicken and brought it into the lecture hall saying, “Here is Plato’s human!”
Sadly, man’s worth, even within religious circles can sometimes be viewed prejudicially. Years ago, during the hippie era, a pastor burdened for the flower children, began an inner-city ministry to them. He affectionately viewed those he was working with as a group of disenfranchised young kids with great needs and a history of addictions. He loved them, taught them and brought them into a relationship with Jesus Christ and into the church.
One day, an influential member of the church asked, “How are you making out with the hippies, those longhaired pathetic, sad looking specimens you’ve been meeting with? They look to me like someone the cat dragged in!” The pastor responded, “These aren’t specimens, they are children of God! They look to me like someone the Shepherd brought home!”
The nature and worth of man must be foundational to how we view life, death…and euthanasia. Until next week then…