Matters of Life
This week I intend to take a break from our series on being well formed by the Bible. We will return to it soon.
I’m long overdue in speaking out and teaching in matters related to life. I am especially referring to prenatal human life in a mother’s womb. As one of the few nations in the world that essentially allows the severing, dismemberment, and lethal evacuations of the developing fetus throughout the full ninth months of pregnancy, we need to reflect on this practice.
Two important questions need to be asked about this procedure. First, is that which is being aborted a human being? And second, if it is a human being, is that
human being a person with the inalienable dignity and worth to be loved and protected? Until those two questions can be answered, all other questions attendant to the procedure cannot be properly addressed.
Concerning the first question, science can provide a definitive answer. From the moment of conception, the fertilized egg has the full DNA coding that belongs to a human being distinct from the mother and father. It is a human being in the earliest stage of development.
Concerning the second question, science can help us understand the stages of development, but it is not in the purview of its discipline to determine worth and the question of personhood. It stands to reason in matters of life and death, the burden of proof clearly lies with those who support medically induced, elective abortions that the developing human being is not a neighbor entitled to protection under law.
Size would not be determinative; otherwise a toddler would not be entitled to the protection of an NBA basketball player. Stage of development is problematic as a consideration for we continue to develop well past puberty. Being in the environment of a womb, hidden from sight, hardly answers the question. A scuba diver under the surface of the sea, or an astronaut in space does not suddenly lose personhood or value... (to be continued)
SINCE YOU ASKED...
Why do we celebrate Holy Communion nearly every Sunday?
The celebration of the meal we call Holy Communion has consistently been the chief act of Christian worship since the age of the Apostles. The Lutheran Reformation did not break with this tradition of 1,500 years. In fact the Augsburg Confession (our principal statement of faith) declares Holy Communion to be the chief act of worship for Lutherans on Sundays and festivals (Art. 26). (from “Manual on the Liturgy” companion to the LBW, from Augsburg Pub.)
You might think of Holy Communion as spiritual bread and drink for our journey (pilgrimage), for our Lord’s Body and Blood is true nutrition indeed!