Why The Preborn have a Right to Life

Why The Preborn have a Right to Life

Why The Preborn have a Right to Life

The discussion of why Human Beings have a “right to life” or not has been discussed for a long time. In the Judeo-Christian worldview, a view that is reflected in the very beginning of The Declaration of Independence and is the presupposition of this article, it is maintained that the argument in favor of the “right to life” derives from the belief that God imbued mankind with such protections.

However, our discussions of the epistemology of the right to life and its implications tend to stop at God’s having granted it by fiat. As a result, it is often overlooked why this right exists. Therefore, understanding why the right to life ensures the continuation of pregnancy to term without premature termination is paramount.

First, right to life in particular must be defined in relation to another human being because nobody truly has a maximal “right to life” as is commonly understood since God can freely take that life as He sees fit without any trial; a Christian dies the same as a non-believer, even if they have their soul saved. In other words, God has no more obligation to sustain a man’s life than to take it since God owes man nothing; God may take our lives as freely as you might step on a cockroach. Thus, the “right to life” is not best understood as a positive right that someone has been bestowed, but rather it is the assertion that the taking of human life at will is an authority that we as a race do not have. This is argued by citing God’s bequeathing of dominion over all life within the world (Genesis 1:26; 1:28) but allotting for the caveat that this authority is not extended laterally (Exodus 20:13).

However, it should be noted that judicial sentencing of capital punishment for a crime such as adultery or murder is not an exception but rather an extension of this model: judicial executions derive their authority to take a sentenced man’s life by virtue of the authority of God via His prescribed punishment for that specific sin (Leviticus 24:17) and thus the executioner it is not a murderer as long as there is an accompanying due process via an appointed governmental authority (Romans 13:4).

Therefore, murder is not the infringement of some illusory or platonic “right to life” that is somehow applied uniquely to human beings, but rather it is the disordering of one’s proper authority within a divinely appointed chain of command. Hence, lynch mobs are evil while judicial executions moral. However, why capital punishment is prescribed by a Holy and perfect God as the legal and moral remedy for a murderer is of primary importance to this discussion, the justification of which is fortunately revealed explicitly: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” (Genesis 9:6, emphasis mine).

The image of God places mankind uniquely into a protected class, unlike sheep or trees, that their lives are not impugned. However, to understand why being made in God’s image explains our “right to life”, an investigation of the divine image is necessary.

First, this topic has been discussed for a very long time. The problem, however, is that many of the attributes included within common definitions fall short of remaining exclusive to human beings. For example, while Humans have souls, ensoulment is likewise a property of animals (Gen 1:24) and thus cannot be a criteria for the imago dei. In fact, there is no robust set of attributes, combination of properties, or composition of abilities that can uniquely define what makes up an Image of God.

This is a photograph of my son, Eliezer Tarr, right after he was born.

Artificial intelligence will someday supersede our best geniuses while the love and devotion of dogs can often dwarf the love and devotion of fellow men, but neither the mind, body, nor spirit that compose a person can give that person their worth: personhood is irrelevant to the discussion. Michael S, Heiser says it best in His book Unseen Realm when he claimed: “The image is not something we have, but a status” (Heiser, 2019, pg. 43).

In his book, he argues that the word “in” is a loosely utilized word that can be more clearly translated as “as”– man was made as the image of God (Heiser, 2019). This view of man intrinsically being a representative of God shows that every distinct human life has the same legal status before God regardless of capability, capacity, or state of development (a child and adult are both entirely made bearing God’s Image).

The “right to life” is not the logical or legal result of possessing the proper set of constituents; it is solely the result of divine grace crystalized by legal fiat. Thus, it is not what one has but what one is. Moreover, the universality of this understanding of the divine imaging status implies that it is one’s stage in the developmental process is likewise irrelevant. This view is reflected explicitly by the Psalmist in Psalm 139:13-16, where the Psalmist discusses a continuity of their indivisible self both within the womb as they were being formed as well as prior to it via God’s foreknown plans (McQuilkin, & Copan, 2014). 

This principle is applied even further in Hebrews 7:9-10, wherein the author argues that the Levitical priesthood paid tithes to Melchizedek by virtue of being within the loins of their ancestor Abraham when he paid his tithes. By implicitly accepting corporate agency, the bible thus argues in favor of a very strong continuity of any given person extending prior even to their own birth! It is this continuity of an individual identity is that explains why all individuals gain the protected status common to man at conception: by the Bible’s standard, all spermatozoa are considered a form of seed.

The relevance is as follows: by two witnesses, the Apostle Paul and the incarnate Lord Jesus, we know that the death of a seed creates the new life (1 Corinthians 15:36; John 12:24). This is a view of biology that conflicts with our current understanding, however as not only Paul but God incarnate himself asserts this biological paradigm, we must accept it wholesale. Moreover, we cannot dismiss Jesus’s usage as metaphorical as John 12:24 formulation relates directly to the literal crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and in context of John’s gospel, Jesus uses mundane natural truths to explain deeper heavenly truths (John 3:12). Moreover, Paul labels those who reject this model of biological reproduction as fools (1 Corinthians 15:36). Therefore, when applied to human beings, we find that the new human life begins after the death of that seed: fertilization.

The bible lays out that seed that must die at conception for the new child to be produced, but after conception and into the posterior stages of human development any cessation of that biological life would be a considered either a stillborn and/or a miscarriage even by biblical standards (2 Samuel 12:22-23; Exodus 23:26). Moreover, all instances of a pre-born child posterior to conception are referred to as a child (Luke 1:44; Galatians 1:15; Genesis 25:21-22) with Job calling still-borns “infants who never see the light” (Job 3:16, ESV). Furthermore, a zygote (fertilized ovum) is undeniably a living cell (regardless of whether it’s a person, a part of the mother, a tumor, a parasite, etc.).

Therefore, the new life that results from the death of the seed of the man must begin immediately at fertilization/conception rather than implantation or later and as any death posterior is permanent, a human in the zygote stage of development as well as all later stages fully bears the Image of God. Given these facts, it is undeniable that taking of life at this stage is outside the domain of man unless the pre-born life can be given a due process for some crime and then sentenced to death. For this reason, abortion is the purposeful shedding of the blood of the Image of God and thus according to Genesis 9:5-6. Since it is impossible to legitimately convict a pre-born child of any wrongdoing, it is thus innocent blood being shed.

To summarize, Human life has the status of bearing God’s Image intrinsically at every stage of development as a result of divine fiat, and any death posterior to conception is referred to as a permanent death (biblically considered the death of a child). By God’s Law, taking the life of anyone who bears the Image of God is outside mankind’s authority unless it is prescribed by God. Finally, it is impossible to convict a pre-born child of any capital offense outlined by God. For these reasons, it is undeniable that Abortion is murder.

References

Heiser, Michael (2019). Unseen realm: Recovering the supernatural worldview of the bible. Lexham PR.

McQuilkin, R. & Copan, P. (2014). An introduction to Biblical Ethics: Walking in the Way of Wisdom. InterVarsity Press. ISBN 978-0-8308-6481-2 (digital). https://viewer.gcu.edu/QveWKa

 

Why The Preborn have a Right to Life

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The Christian Life Alone Is Worth Living

The Christian Life Alone Is Worth Living

The Christian Life Alone Is Worth Living

One of the most enigmatic verses in the entire bible is also one of the most intuitively obvious once someone is honest with themselves about the state of this world, the great wickedness that we witness daily, the injustice of war, the corruption of authority, and all other horrors of humanity.

Indeed, this verse captures the natural, Holy, and true response to the violence, sexual perversion, and delusion that we see, experience, and sometimes even partake in in our own shame.

“And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.” (Eccelsiastes 4:2-3, ESV)

What an obvious statement–its almost a truism or a platitude. This verse, more importantly, completely cedes to the Atheist the most poignant criticism against God that there is: God should not have created at all, if the known result was that the elements of His creation would go on to form the molecules of evil and suffering whatsoever.

This criticism is still the strongest in academia today, and it was also my own greatest criticism of a good God. It was what I shook my fist at God for. It was why I cursed him whenever I saw injustice and evil. It was why I resented all that was comforting, sweet, kind, and charitable, because I “knew” it was a fantasy and a lie.

Ultimately was why I laid all of the world’s dysfunction at God’s feet to blame, rather than men. Worse of all, it led me to become a very, very bitter person.

Therefore, you could imagine my surprise when I find that the bible itself completely cedes the premise that it is better to not be born and experience life if that experience includes any form of evil. Moreover, it fascinated me that this book could be inspired, and thus considered infallibly true, by Christians! However, my experience with deep thinking Christians in life and throughout history spared me the foolish and intellectually dishonest exercise of merely chalking it all up to religious doublethink.

However, in my fascination with the book of ecclesiastes as a book considered to be inspired literature, I considered not that it was merely some contradiction or limited human musing as many biblical teachers often lazily claim (my thinking was and is that if the bible is true, ALL of it must be true–infallibility is nonnegotiable).

Now, for many other reasons, the book of Ecclesiastes was the book that led me to salvation in the resurrected Son of God, the Jewish Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth. However, this verse was the wrecking ball that shattered my criticism.

How so?

Well, as the late Dr. Chuck Missler was fond of claiming, whenever you find a supposed contradiction in the bible our reaction ought to be to rejoice because we are about to learn something!

Therefore, I turned to the only way of solving it that I could think of: making an equation.

Solomon as laid out the following dynamic: To be dead is better than being alive, and better is the one who experienced neither. Therefore I wrote the following:

Life < Death < Unbirth

However, the one who has died has also experienced life with evil, therefore death includes within it life with evil. So, I amended the equation as such:

Life < (Death + Life) < Unbirth

However, with not much else to go on, I left that to continue reading the rest of the book. When I got to the final verse, I found the following:

“For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiates 12:14, ESV).

Since I knew from childhood bible studies that Revelation described this judgment as a second death (Revelation 20:6; 20:14; 21:8), I realized that I could then amend the equation for those all man as the following:

Life < (2 x (Death) + Life) < Unbirth

However, all these really proved to me was that the situation was even worse than I originally contemplated. Not did evil make life not worth living, but this was death compounded on itself when all of us are eventually judged for the evil we ourselves did. I felt my despair and cynicism vindicated, but I still didn’t solve how in the right mind any Christian could happy believing this was true!?? And clearly they existed, but I could not find an answer that I found satisfying.

Discontent, I shelved it…and it wasn’t until I found myself reading the words of the Lord himself did I get my answer like a punch in the gut:

“Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’” (John 3:3, ESV).

Aha! My equation, Solomon’s equation, was incomplete.

I quickly amended it:

Life < (2(Death) + Life) < Unbirth < (2(Death) + 2(Life))

It was the second birth that changed the math in favor of God’s impetus to create. The second birth was the death of the old wicked sin, and the promise of eternal life in the presence of the Holy. It was the same crucifixion of Christ that made the second birth possible that also paid the cost of the wickedness that tarnished life. Therefore, it is the Christian life alone that is worth living.

Bonus:

In case you are a math nerd like me and need proof that this is even possible, you can also plug in numbers whose value represents moral betterness:

Life = 2

Death = 3

Unbirth = 9

Life < (2(Death) + Life) < Unbirth < (2(Death) + 2(Life))

2 < (2(3) + 2) < 9 < (2(3) + 2(2))

2 < (6 + 2) < 9 < (6 + 4)

2 < 8 < 9 < 10

Living Life < The Judged Life < The Lifeless < Life in Christ

 

The Christian Life Alone Is Worth Living

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God Retakes His Throne

God Retakes His Throne

God Retakes His Throne

The most scandalous belief in all of Christianity is that of the incarnation: that God would decide to take on flesh and live the human life common to mankind.

It is not lost of Christian’s how outlandish, almost preposterous, the belief sounds. It has been the criticism of orthodoxy since the very beginning, and it’s this very claim that caused the crucifixion in the first place.

Muslims, for example, leverage this attack upon Christians often by claiming that Christian’s have abandoned God’s transcendence and indivisibility. However, Christians reject this criticism by virtue of God’s simplicity and personality. 

For example, a sphere is an astoundingly simple geometric shape.

It is as homogenous as a shape can be, yet it still nonetheless possesses 3 spatial dimensions. Analogously, God exists possessing 3 persons that, like length, width, and height, are all co-equal.

However, the 3 spatial dimensions are not actually independent “things”, like a platonist might argue, but rather are our descriptions for the dimensional differentiation that exists within the homogenous and unchanging space they describe.

Nonetheless, length is still distinct from height or width in its descriptive power even if it is referring to the same essence of space as the latter two. Similarly, The Father and The Son are different expressions of the multi-personal divine essence that is God. And, since God is personal rather than geometric, the expressions of his divine essence are likewise personal and distinct while sharing in that divine essence. This is the doctrine of Consubstantiality in a nutshell.

Now it would be a denial of God’s immutability to claim that God became man in the sense that we typically imagine becoming.

Rather, it is the Christian assertion not that God put up his divine hat one day and decided to retire on the planet he created, but rather that God put on flesh while unchangingly remaining God.

More specifically, that one of the persons of the divine essence decided to live as a human being.

I will spare you the long church history of debate and the ecumenical councils that arose as a result and remind you that this is partly still a mystery to me–grasping higher dimensions is a difficult skill when we are talking about only mathematics, let alone the creator of the universe.

 

However, I would like to at least posit one reconciliation: that of neo-apollinarianism. 

Normal Apollinarianism is a heresy that argued that when the Logos, the Son, incarnated, Jesus possessed a human body, but that the human mind was replaced by the Logos.

However, this means Jesus was not fully man and thus denies the humanity of Christ.

Neo-apollinarianism, however, is a Christological model proposed by Dr William Lane Craig that argues that within the Logos are the components of humanity that allow the mind of the Logos to indwell the human body while maintaining the entire humanity of the person of Jesus.

He appeals to our having been made in the image of God, and thus the Logos’s personage can be conceived to be that of the archetypal man.

A way to perhaps understand this would be the difference between a working copy and an original. The working copy is degraded, used, written upon, ect., but the original is untouched, unchanged, and still holds all of its original meaning.

In the same way, God’s decision to make man in His image and likeness intrinsically facilitates the incarnation.

However, I heard a more recent objection to the incarnation by my Jewish mother.

It was not a theological or philosophical objection like I typically hear, but rather one that concerned motivation and ultimately legality: if God has appeared as a man in the past to Abraham before Sodom’s destruction, to Jacob when he wrestled til morning, or even when Moses when he asked to see Him, then why be born of a woman like Christians claim?

Surely an omnipotent God that wished to rule as a man like Christians claim could come down any time he wants, wave his hand in some displays of power, and then sit upon his throne uncontended.

He’s come in similar ways before, so why Jesus?

If all else was accepted, why should we accept that a perfect, Holy God would choose to endure the humiliation of human life in all of its ugliness. 

My first thought was: “How Jewish of an objection!”.

And I completely understand: Jesus had to be breastfed when he ate, he had to have his butt wiped when he defecated, he had to program his brain to learn to walk, and he had to endure the failure of his flesh when it would get tired and exhausted.

Surely the LORD of all creation need not take such a roundabout method to incarnate.

This is a really good contention, and one that I find particularly fascinating.

There is much to be said concerning atonement and salvation and the requirement of Jesus’s hypostatic union, but I would only get lost in the weeds getting into those discussions as there is a gap between Jewish and Christian understandings of sin and atonement.

If we accepted the plausibility of all Christian metaphysical claims about God, at the end of the day, why can’t God just take his throne?

Well, I responded, because the Jews rejected him as king!

No, not when Christ walked the shores of Galilee, but all the way back in Judges before Israel ever had a King: 

“And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.” (1 Samuel 8:7,  ESV).

Israel in its desire to be like the other nations dethroned God Himself, however even though God in his grace and mercy granted the request, God desires to rule over His people.

Thus, God promised to king David:

“When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.’” (1 Chronicles 17:11–14, ESV)

The Throne of David is to last forever and to be occupied by one of his offspring forever–an eternal dynasty.

This passage right here is the legal reason Jesus had to be born of a woman, because it was by birth that a King is given his throne.

In order to possess the birthright he promised to David;s line and fulfill his promise to the beloved King while also taking back His own throne, God thus had to be born in David’s line.

The only way this could happen is if He not only appeared as man once again, but appeared as the smallest and most humble form of man: an infant baby born of a woman.

With this plan, God is again King and Israel gets a human leader like the other nations. 

Everybody wins.

 

God Retakes His Throne

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Bridge Between Judaism and Christianity

Bridge Between Judaism and Christianity

Bridge Between Judaism and Christianity

Guest Blog by Lynwood Johnson

Many Messianic see our movement as a bridge between Judaism and Christianity.

To the Jews, we’re advocates of their own ‘favorite son,’ (though only a small minority of Jews now recognize that) who now reigns as their – and our – great High Priest who Himself was their – and our – Perfect Sacrifice who removes the sins of all who trust Him w their lives and eternity.

On the other shore we’re a place for many believers who have a (Spirit induced?) disquiet that has led them out on a search in the belief there is much more to their Christian faith than what they are hearing where they’ve been attending.

They say when they find our place, they are Amazed!  They start seeing a deeper texture in the Jewish heritage that’s so foundational to almost every NT event.

They learn from Messianic Jew (the apostle Paul) in Romans 11, that the future of Jews and Christians is inextricably bound together.

They learn that “the  Church is the New Israel, and God’s promises no longer apply to the nation of Israel any more, but to the Church”  is not only not supported Biblically,  but in fact heresy.

(Look up Supersessionism to learn more)

In short, it’s the heresy that the Church has superseded Israel.  Also known as ‘replacement theology.’

 

Bridge Between Judaism and Christianity

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Not Another Fish In the Sea

Not Another Fish In the Sea

Not Another Fish In The Sea

I have had an ongoing fish tank for the better part of 3 years.

It has been a very interesting journey of stewardship as this fish tank has gone through ups and downs in its history, generations of fish coming and going.

Recently, however, the switch that controls the power source of my fish tank accidentally disconnected.

This meant that the filters, the light, and the automatic filter all ceased to function.

What this caused was a massive near-extinction event of the population in my tank as nearly all my fish died.

This left only a handful of guppies left, my proverbial Adams and Eves, by which to restart my tank after giving it some TLC.

Nothing to restart my tank but 2 young pairs of guppies in a glass bowl on my table until I restored the tank to livable conditions.

I am in charge of their world.

Bring them food.

I defined the times they have light.

Laid the soil that brings nutrients to their plants.

I provide for them.

By removing my provision for the tank, most perished as the tank decayed.

Our world likewise is having the majority perishing, however the removal of provision from this world is not by the accidental flipping of a switch like in the case of my tank.

In our world, it is judicial as mankind dives further into his sin, making it evermore like the days of Noah.

This period of time is heavily documented, more than the time that Jesus walked the shores of Galilee.

Those who are saved will not go through this period of time; instead they will be like the survivors of my fish tank, resting safely away from the tank as it is sifted clean.

This sifting, the Day of the Lord, the Time of Jacob’s trouble, this Great Tribulation is not a mere warning or threat.

We are going into darker times, and our world is experiencing changes and technologies that will change everything about life (more than even the last 100 years).

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened (Matthew 24:22, KJV)

But why would it be that the elect should care if those days not be shortened?

For the same reason that the days of my fish tank were shortened when, nearing certain death, those who were still alive were taken up and out.

God is intervening.

However, God didn’t set up a clockwork universe that is slowing losing its momentum.

No, God set up a paradise and then, unlike me who accidentally doomed a fish tank, cursed mankind’s world when Adam sinned.

God then intervened to save some from the certain death of his world through the patriarchs down to Moses, then Moses to Christ who died on the cross for our sins.

There was the first Adam and the second Adam.

While the first brought death to the entire world, the second brought life.

It is Jesus Christ, preeminent in all things, who brings salvation and judgement to the world.

To Him all will bow and confess, whether they like it or not. Unlike my fish, we are not some frustratingly replicable pet.

God knows each and every one of us by name, and he calls his own to him.

And he asks the very simple question:

Do you want to be in the decaying tank or in the bowl outside?

 

Not Another Fish In the Sea

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Crucial Relationship of Life

Crucial Relationship of Life

Crucial Relationship of Life

Guest Writer Alan Tai

Your most important relationships in life should be to whom you were from and to whom you will be with.

When you extend your life’s time span to your beginning on earth, and assume the biological consideration of the relationships to whom you were from, they were your parents!

Life is more than just biological aspect, there are also psychological and spiritual aspects.

Based on the revelation of the Scripture, I use a “Roadmap of Life’s Relationships” to share the four crucial relationships that not only can affect your life on earth but also the future life after your human life end on earth.

On the other dimension, beside the physical dimensions, there are spiritual considerations of the relationships with God, from whom your origin came.

Using a computer as an analogy to the biological and physical body of a human being, the body appears to be the hardware part only.

The body needs the software or the soul to function and behave as a human being.

The soul needs a lot of nourishment, education, learning, experiencing, and interacting with others to build even more relationships.

However, the source of the origin of your relationship is more than only the biological consideration.

Your spiritual relationship began with God, from whom you were created in the image of God (Genesis 1: 27 -28).

As described in the Scripture, God breath the breath (Spirit) of Life into Human (Genesis 2: 7), the best in His creation!

Roadmap of Life’s Relationships

Any serious relations can experience up and down. The most crucial relationship are with the Creator! We will have peace and joy when Christ became the center of our life relationships.

1) Creation: Beginning Relation

Relationship with God: Human Life was created in the image of God. God breath the breath (Spirit) of Life into Human, resulted in the best of His creation!

2) Fall: Judgement Relation

Broken Relationship: Law center Life under Judgement of God for sin in disobeying God’s Word.

Sin is like a spiritual virus that deceives and corrupt human life.

3) Redemption: Love Relation

Recovery Relationship: God’s Love in Christ to Sacrifice His Life in the Cross so that Christ gives His resurrected new Life to whoever receives Him.

Christ is like the spiritual vaccine/antibody that gives immunity to the power of sin.

4) New Creation: Forever Relation

Glorify Relationship: Kingdom of God with Christ center Life.

Christ’s Spirit and Word guild us to the Way, Truth and Life according to God’s purpose of creating Human in His image!

 1  Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name (Jesus Christ), he gave the right to become children of God—  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1: 12 – 14)


 

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Crucial Relationship of Life

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