Everyone has those issues that make their blood boil. More than simply bothering you, some issues hit you at your very core. What may seem to some as a differing viewpoint is a deep, crucial doctrine that is definitive of who you are in relation to the surrounding world. Not only do such things give others a glimpse of who you are, but they also shed light on the God you worship: who He is in relation to the created order, how He created, and why He created man in such a way.
Three issues that grip me at any mention of them are ones having much to do with how individuals acknowledge Scripture--whether or not His Word is authoritative, true, and sufficient:
1)The view of God referred to as Open Theism-- i.e. God cannot know the future since it has not occurred and is, therefore, unknowable. The God of Open Theism is not sovereign, not all-knowing, and therefore, there is room for mistakes and surprises. An infinite God has been narrowed down to the comprehensible box that limited man calls understanding and experience.
"Remember this, and be assured; recall it to mind, you transgressors. Remember the former things long past, for I am God and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure'; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it." Isaiah 46:8-11
2)The belief by some that Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior, did not suffer a painful, horrific atonement-- i.e. How could a God who is so loving and compassionate cause His own Son to go through such a horrific death? Is that what a loving Father would ordain for His own Son?
"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21
"For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit." 1 Peter 3:18
3)The advocacy of abortion, pro-choice, and embryonic stem-cell research-- i.e. We are simply improving the quality of life, advancing in science and technology for a better world.
Embryonic stem-cell research, when one puts aside all of the support of such advancements, runs along the same lines of abortion. When we find it ethically acceptable to take embryos originally designated for fertilization, embryos that are already alive, and turn around destroy them for research, I have to wonder what it's going to be next... There are serious implications to be considered.
While I could devote entire posts to the above-mentioned issues, my original intent was to focus on embryonic stem-cell research. I must first confess that I have not kept myself informed up to the present on this issue. Because I was not informed, I was unable to engage in wise, careful discussion of such an ethical concern. However, after hearing increased news on the matter, I was compelled to do my homework and find out more of the details on this particular area of increasing interest in our society.
Here are just a few articles I read through this morning, all from well-known news sources. The first article discusses advancements in stem-cell research across the ocean in Great Britain. The country has continued to pride itself as the leader in stem-cell research, and one only has to read such updates on this area of study to see how far they have gone:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/01/05/stem.cells.ap/index.html -- "In a paper published last month by Britain's Department of Health on proposed revisions to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology act, which covers stem cell research, the government proposed outlawing the creation of hybrid embryos combining human and animal genetic material. Current restrictions on this practice, according to the report, are based on public concerns." Once you have passed the gross factor, consider what is currently going on in Great Britain-- "proposed outlawing" means that research currently involves the creation of hybrid embryos...If you read further in the article, experts have also requested the ability to use animal eggs.
In hopes of keeping up with other European nations, Switzerland has recently enacted its own law in regard to embryonic stem-cell research: http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/swissinfo.html?siteSect=511&sid=5566558 -- "The law allows researchers to take stem cells from 'supernumerary' human embryos, in other words embryos created for in vitro fertilisation but not actually needed for implantation." This article from a Swiss news publication offers hope for the future of curing Alzheimer's and other degenerative diseases...at the expense of human embryos that just "weren't needed."
The issue then comes a little closer to home when you read (or if you watched) news of the stem-cell bill that breezed through the House of Representatives yesterday: http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Jan12/0,4670,CongressRdp,00.html. The majority vote was against the bill, but by a rather slim margin. The bill only needed two-thirds the vote, and those advocating the bill barely missed getting what they hoped for.
Now that I have thrown out several news references, give yourself a moment to sit back and consider the implications. Consider the implications and the future of a society that condones the destruction of human embryos. If you're a believer, ask yourself what the authoritative Word of God says in regard to human life, and ask yourself what you are going to stand for at the end of the day... Readers, we are depraved, sinful human beings, marred by the stain of the Fall. We deserve a just punishment, and we are promised that this world is only going to worsen with the passing of time. For those who are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus, we have an eternal salvation and promise of victory. The time will come when this world will take creation into its own hands, worshipping the creation rather than the Creator, and I think such an issue has opened my eyes to such a reality as we read of in Romans 1. Oh, that we would stand for truth, for life, and for the precious, sufficient Word of God~