So Simple, Yet So Profound!

So Simple, Yet So Profound!

OR, What Is or Isn't Human?

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; and I ordained you a prophet to the nations."
-- Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV)

When does life begin? When is one considered to be "human," as opposed to the rather callused and impersonal terms of "fetus" and "embryo?"

For a long time heated debate has raged over this issue as to what is or isn't human in the stages of development. Near unanimous agreement doesn't take place until after birth and then most all persons, whether they are professing some sort of religious faith or they are of a very secular and materialistic mind in their views, agree that a baby/child has entered the world and we will now concede that this individual can be identified as "human!"

If a woman finds herself dealing with an "unacceptable" pregnancy of 4, 6, 12, or 20 weeks duration and decides to terminate the pregnancy, is she merely disposing of a mass of tissue and blood which is conveniently referred to as a "fetus?"

And in a laboratory when a company is in the business of uniting sperm and egg cells in a test tube and the developing embryo is later "harvested" for stem cell "research" with whatever material remains slated for destruction, have we merely ended the existence of a cluster of cells?

Meanwhile abortion clinics have expanded their bank accounts considerably by engaging in a side line after the termination of a female's pregnancy. It is the lucrative business of selling "baby parts!" Oooops! Sorry about that -- to be politically correct, I should say "fetal material." There are big bucks involved here -- an abominable version of going into an auto parts store and parking your carcass on a stool at the counter as you order a water pump, a muffler, and an alternator for your vehicle. Only at the baby destruction center you order a brain, a kidney, and a batch of those stem cells for doing "research" to enhance the future of the human race! Huh?

A proper and correct view of human life and all issues related to it can only be experienced after one has fully met the four demands which Jesus Christ has issued to all members of the human race. These are:

  • repentance (Luke 13:3)
  • becoming as a child in faith (Matthew 18:3)
  • experience a new birth (John 3:3)
  • establishing a faith/commitment relationship with Him (John 6:53-63)

These demands apply to all persons and all religious expressions in the world. The issue is not that of those religions outside Christianity finding a place for Jesus and permitting Him to exist on a level equal (or possibly a lower level) to that of other prominent religious personalities in their systems. Rather, the issue is total conformity to Jesus' demands and abandonment of all idolatry and allegiance to leaders and their teachings which deny the reality and fact of Jesus' deity, His atonement for the sins of each human, His resurrection, and His promised return to rule on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords!

Once these demands are fully met, then a whole new view of human life comes into crystal clear focus.

God's statement to Jeremiah takes on a significance of the first magnitude. Consider the statement and implications of the same:

    "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you..." God claims to be involved in the formation process of a human. But the identity of the person is known in God's mind before the uniting of a male sperm cell and a female egg cell has taken place! Ooooooh! Does this say anything at all about responsibility to guard carefully the safety and well being of those "cells" which God has identified in a rather unique way?

    "...before you were born I sanctified you; and I ordained you a prophet to the nations." Oh, Oh! God not only claims to be involved in forming a human, and identifying that human before the formation process gets under way, but He indicates that He has a clearly defined plan and purpose for that human after birth has taken place. As we attempt to ponder this, it makes a lot of sense to recognize that the Creator of this mighty universe does not do things in haphazard fashion. Each conceived human is special and, in spite of flaws in the form of birth defects, fits into God's master plan for His creation. The birth defect thing is sadly a part of the baggage we deal with from time to time because of the disaster which took place long ago in Eden!

    God's plan and purpose for each conceived human is further detailed in Psalm 139. Testimony of the wonder of God's personal interest in an individual is spelled out in statements such as,

    "Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them." (Psalm 139:16 NKJV).

    In the New Testament we encounter an incomprehensible statement as Paul was inspired to declare,

    "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved." (Ephesians 1:3-6 NKJV).

    So, what's the problem here? There is a simple explanation to that. The evidence is overwhelming that a majority of persons choose to ignore God's self disclosure and plain revelation concerning human life, His involvement and interaction with humans, and His holy purpose and design for humans during their lifetime on earth.

    The only other alternative is to take a position that humans are given new identities such as "embryo" and "fetus" and are considered expendable in the name of "research" and "convenience."

    One news release provides disturbing information on this issue under a bold headline reading, "Going for profits -- 3 companies try to develop stem cells." A photo accompanied the article with this caption:

    "Dr. xxxx works at xxxx Medical School in xxxx, where scientists have created human embryos for the sole purpose of harvesting stem cells to research their role in treating disease."
    Within the article was this information:
    "...Stem cells hold the potential to cure diseases and ailments from cancer to spinal cord injuries. If this dream can be realized, these companies stand to reap millions, if not billions, in profits. Each company employs different but still controversial techniques to harvest embryonic stem cells. One buys leftover embryos from fertility clinics. Another is working to create embryos by way of a cloning method similar to the one used to make Dolly the sheep. The third pays men and women for their sperm and eggs, then creates embryos in the laboratory. Each company's research involves plucking the coveted stem cells from 4- or 5- day-old human embryos, which must be destroyed in the process. Proponents of such research argue that these days-old, undifferentiated cells cannot be viewed as human, and they stress that they have no intention of implanting them in a womb and producing babies..." [1]

    At the heart of the controversy is the issue as to whether we're dealing with merely a cluster of cells indifferently referred to as an "embryo," or is there something much more significant happening to which a majority are blind and insensitive?

    Again, there is a rather simple explanation as to why a large number of persons in the scientific, medical, political, and other professional communities vehemently insist that we are dealing with a cluster of cells that began with the uniting of a sperm cell and an egg cell, and that's all there is -- just a developing embryo, a portion of which can be "harvested" for ultimately enhancing the quality of life of the human race in the future. And whatever you do, don't confuse the issue by injecting some question about the quality of life for the developing embryo! Even some from the community of those professing to be "Christian" in faith choose to go with the majority opinion on this matter.

    The explanation as to why such an abomination can take place is spelled out by the apostle Paul when he said,

    "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    (1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV).

    Will the controversy with its financial and political stakes ever be resolved? Not likely under present conditions in a nation that makes a lot of noise about being civilized and free, but falls far short in quality of the spiritual, ethical and moral fruit it is producing!

    First, there is a large majority/small minority ratio involved. Within the majority are persons with clout and influence in politics, medical and scientific fields, and the media culture. Persons holding the correct view of human life which agrees with God's view of humans and His identity of the same are in the small minority group. Influence and resistance against the "human life is expendable at all stages" juggernaut is extremely limited.

    Second, one must consider the One Who has perfect knowledge of all things past, present, and future as He warned that the human race will plunge into a "graveyard spiral" due to its having abandoned those values which are absolutely vital to a sane, sensible, stable, peaceful, and hopeful society. Said He,

    "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
    (Luke 17:26-30 NKJV).

    What can the faithful remnant do? Continue to bear witness to God's revelation and view of human life, how He is involved as it begins, and His holy purpose for each conceived and developing human! In order to do this one must adopt the unwavering conviction of the apostle Paul who stated near the end of his life:

    "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing."
    (2 Timothy 4:7,8 NKJV).

    Certainly a part of that witness should also include a warning that if there is not widespread repentance of the rampant idolatry and shedding of innocent blood which pollutes our nation, then we can only expect a just and deserving judgment at the hands of a holy God!

    Who knows but what along the way due to that witness someone may see the need to meet those 4 demands of Jesus, have their eyes really opened to see, be transformed, and begin to finally recognize God indeed knows each human before conception and has a clearly defined purpose for the life of that human on planet earth!

    Point to Ponder!

    "Decisions about the morality of human embryo research and human cloning are not for a few scientific elitists to make. This is about the future of humanity as we know it. This is about our children being used as research subjects. This is about our human progeny being used as guinea pigs in someone's big summer science project. The stakes are gargantuan, and together we have to decide how we will regulate this kind of research."
    --C. Ben Mitchell
    [Source: Federalist Brief 01-07-23]

    1. AP article in The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, PA July 15, 2001, Page A7

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