FIRST-PERSON: Hate what God hates
OKLAHOMA CITY (BP)--Christians are hardwired inside their spiritual DNA to love what God loves.
Jesus said, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make our abode with him," John 14:23 (NASV). The truth is, we love the people God loves and hold precious what God holds precious.
Part of loving what God loves is hating what God hates. There are some specific things that God hates. We really don't have to guess what God hates because God's Word reveals to us some things God really hates. One such list is found in Proverbs 6:16-19. One of the six things included is "hands that shed innocent blood."
Repeatedly, throughout the Old Testament is record-after-record of nations that were condemned by God because they shed innocent blood. The blood of a disabled, special needs person is on the hands of our nation's governmental leaders. Since we elect our national leaders or elect those who appoint the judiciary, we are people with blood on our hands.
At the death of Terri Schiavo, Craig Mitchell, instructor of Christian ethics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, succinctly captured the challenge when he said, "I understand what the courts were trying to do, but everyone missed what the government was supposed to do and that is to preserve the life of the defenseless. ... We have confused what is legal with what is moral."
James Dobson didn't mince words either, "Every Florida and federal judge who failed to act to spare this precious woman from the torment she was forced to endure is guilty not only of judicial malfeasance -- but of the cold-blooded, cold-hearted extermination of an innocent human life. Terri Schiavo has been executed under the guise of law and 'mercy' for being guilty of nothing more than the inability to speak for herself."
As a consequence of Schiavo's death, disabled, special needs and elderly people should be fearful that they may not be deemed worthy to live by a judge. The Schiavo case takes our nation further down the slippery slope toward moral chaos and no one is safe from unrestrained governmental abuse. Ask the Jewish community about unrestrained government in 1930s Germany.
This event exposes some very powerful philosophical agendas. One is the humanistic, naturalist view of life that people are just living beings passing through like plants and animals. The other is the Christian worldview that values every human life as special, purposeful and valuable.
We may not be able to see the value of every human life as God sees but our finite inabilities do not change the truth that according to God, every conceived person is "fearfully and wonderfully made."
The primary role of government is to protect its citizens, especially those who are innocent and defenseless. Many of our enemies will mock us because our democratic government has now set a precedent whereby the weak cannot trust the courts to protect them. Had our enemies examined our recent history a little more closely they would find that we have exterminated many millions more through the abortion industry, and a generation ago prophetic voices told us this day would come. We have moved from killing the child in the womb to extermination of the helpless.
God will not be mocked. He says He hates the shedding of innocent blood. As American Christians, we too should hate the shedding of innocent blood. We must learn from this event:
One, we must awaken from our lethargic attitude toward those who have special needs. God wills His people to protect and cherish those who face debilitating medical conditions. Watch out! The next group to face attack on the quality of life issues is our senior citizens. Let's face it, barring a significant revival in our nation that reforms our national morality, our culture will move very quickly from exterminating the Terri Schiavos to making room in the nursing homes by means of limiting expensive life-sustaining medications.
Two, our nation's judiciary is populated with too many judges who have a polluted view of the role of morals in decision-making. We could help this process locally by voting "no" every time we are asked to retain a judge unless there is disclosure of the judge's view on moral issues. We could also contact the United States Senate and plead with them to confirm judges on the basis of Constitutional law instead of precedential rulings. In other words, we need judges that listen and interpret cases in light of our best understanding of the Constitutional framers instead of recent rulings by lower courts.
Three, weep tears of repentance for our nation's cold-heartedness and beg for God's mercy. Every nation that God condemned for shedding innocent blood perished. Our very existence is suspicious unless we repent of behavior that God hates. Repent, while there is yet time to do so.
John Yeats is editor of the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger, online at www.baptistmessenger.com.