Posted by Gary on July 20, 2006
Today President Bush vetoed legislation that would have provided federal funds to conduct stem cell research, for the time being the tide of moral evil has been stemmed. If you follow the debate that surrounds stem cell research, you know that the constant refrain of research advocates is the benefit such research might provide for those suffering from various diseases. The obvious question this debate begs is, "Does the end justify the means?" The Biblical answer to this question has been and must always be, "No!"
Romans 3:7-8 "But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner? And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), "Let us do evil that good may come "? Their condemnation is just."
The Bible could not be more clear, we are not to commit evil, even if would appear that good comes from it. The immediate charge is that stem cell opponents do not care about the plight of the suffering; nothing could be further from the truth. However, the Law of God must not be violated in our pursuit even of the end of suffering. The unsaved will not understand the following comment (and unfortunately, many Christians do not either): "It is better to suffer than to sin". Do you believe this?
1 Peter 2:20-21 "But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps…"
1 Peter 3:17 "For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong."
Time after time, an individual is held before us and we are asked, "Would you rather see them die?" It is unfortunate that people will resort to this emotional appeal when it comes to right and wrong. But if you are going to force the question upon me I am morally bound to give an answer. "As much as I hate your suffering (or the suffering of your loved one) God must be obeyed." (Take a moment to read some poignant thoughts along this same line from Tim Bayly here.)
When we read in the Bible the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and find them willing to be cast into flames to remain faithful to God do we call them fools or admire them? Don’t we realize they were going to suffer if they chose to obey God? Should we have told these three men that it would have been better for them to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s idol instead of experiencing suffering? Do we think that we are going to be spared such furnace choices in our lives with God?
There are two reasons that the unsaved do not see things this way. First, they do not see things this way because their hearts and minds are at enmity with God and therefore, with God’s ways:
Romans 8:7 "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot."
Second, because unregenerate man’s heart is at enmity with God his thinking is not eternal but temporal. Of course the unsaved man is going to do everything and anything to stay alive because his has staked everything on this life and must and will do everything to preserve it. When a person comes to understand that there is life beyond this one and that they possess God’s gift of eternal life, this life is put in its proper place, precious yet not our highest object.
Ultimately, this is a matter of our willingness to submit to God. If God chooses us to suffer and places us in the position of either ending our suffering through sin or obeying Him what are we to do? We are always to obey Him. Yes, I realize this is very difficult but the moment we allow our personal circumstance to become the focus, obedience is out the window. Hasn’t God arranged your circumstance? Do you trust that He knows what is best? Do you love Him more than life? Will you entrust your loved one to Him if it concerns them?
I am weary of people holding forth the "It’s so hard" argument. Of course it’s hard. Do you think because others and I speak with a certainty about what must be done that we don’t realize how hard obedience might be? That we wouldn’t find it heart breaking if we were put in this position with our loved one? The great need of our day is for God’s people to look at truth not through the lens of their personal situation but through the light of God’s Word. Will you be such a person? The end does not justify the means.
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