Ask Your Preacher
What’s your view on abortion? And what stance should the church take?
Looking For Answers
Dear Looking For Answers,
Abortion is a sin, and churches that support abortion are wrong. Children are already alive in the womb. John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb (Lk 1:41). God specifically said that John was a child dedicated to Him from before birth (Lk. 1:15). Ps 139:13-16 makes a clear statement about life within the womb of a mother. Unborn children are credited as living, feeling humans, and therefore, deserve just as much protection as any other human life. The abortion movement is a movement that seeks to deny rights to a silent and innocent segment of human society. Abortion is murder (1 Pet. 4:15). Any preacher or religious leader that promotes abortion is promoting murder.
Hello. I've prayed to God on this subject many times, but I do not seem to get a clear answer either way. I'm hoping you can help. What do you think is God's view on embryo adoption? Many infertile couples undergo IVF treatments, and as a result, many surplus embryos are left over. These are either frozen indefinitely, destroyed, or used for scientific research.
We are unable to have children of our own and would dearly love to adopt one of these embryos which would otherwise never be given the chance of life.
Do you think it is morally wrong to bring a child into the world this way?
Surely it's better for them to have a life and be loved and cherished rather than just destroyed. Okay, we may not be the biological parents, but we would love them with the same intensity. I know it's an unusual question, but I'd appreciate any guidance on this matter.
Dear Maternal Instinct,
What a wonderful heart for children that you and your husband have! Very few people realize that there are tens of thousands of fertilized embryos that exist in America and are being stored because of in-vitro fertilization procedures. This poses a huge ethical dilemma. Since the Bible never tells us when a human life begins, it is impossible to simply treat fertilized embryos as waste. As far as we know, life begins at conception (this is the same argument used against abortion – read “A Voice For The Voiceless” for further details), and that would include these embryos. So what is to be done? Embryo adoption is becoming an increasingly popular option for couples that are seeking to have children and also feel morally compelled to save these children. Adoption is a wonderful option.
The Bible is very pro-adoption. In fact, the greatest adoption story in history is the church. Jesus died, so God could adopt us as His children (Eph 1:4-5, Rom 8:15). What a wonderful legacy of love that you can provide your children with. Your children will always know that they were loved from the earliest stages of life and that their parents chose life.
Since all sickness is a consequence of sin, why are some innocent children dealt a greater portion of this consequence than others? Why might one child be born healthy and another not? Is this random chance, or are some favored divinely?
Sickness is a consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden. One of the curses of their sin was that we all must face our own mortality – life is finite. Sickness, disease, and pain are a part of the human existence. Sadly, this is true even for children. Though, as you mentioned, sickness isn’t doled out equally. Some people suffer greatly, and others face relatively few health problems. There are several reasons that someone might have a greater portion of sickness.
- We reap what we sow (Gal 6:7-8). The choices we make have consequences in this life – and in the next. What you do affects you and those around you that you come in contact with. When you behave godly, certain things happen; when you behave sinfully, other things happen. That is a universal principle of life. If a woman drinks while she is pregnant or a child is neglected and malnourished because of ungodly parents – they will suffer the consequences of the choices their parents make. Some children face health issues that were totally avoidable if the parents had simply lived moral lives.
- Sometimes bad things simply happen because they happen. Job suffered greatly, and his children died, but it wasn’t his (or their) fault. Job hadn’t done anything wrong, nor had his kids. It all happened because Satan wanted to do evil (Job 1:6). As long as we live in this world of sin, there will be troubles. Sometimes, there isn’t anyone at fault… just time and chance wreaking havoc in a sinful world (Eccl 9:11).
- Sometimes people suffer so that God can be glorified. Jesus’ disciples asked Him why a certain man had been born blind, and Jesus answered, “So that God’s works might be revealed in him.” (Jhn 9:1-3) This man’s ailment provided an opportunity for God to show His glory. There are times that we suffer, so God can teach us and teach others through our pain (Eccl 7:2-3).
Is it wrong for Christian parents to lie to their children about Santa Claus and the Easter bunny, etc.?
The Truth Hurts
Dear The Truth Hurts,
It is always wrong to lie; the question is whether telling your kids about Santa Claus is lying or not. Many christians have many different views on this. Some christians tell their children that Santa is imaginary because they feel that is honest. Other christians allow their children to believe in Santa and simply don’t dissuade them from the notion until they ask point-blank. No matter what, christians must in good conscience do what they believe is honest. Lying is always wrong (Rev 21:8). The debate isn’t over whether or not lying is a sin; the debate is over whether or not allowing your children to believe in something imaginary counts as being deceptive. Each must do what they believe is faithful and right… it would not be good to be too dogmatic on this point.
I am a mother of two, and we don't attend church. I tell them as much as I know about God and Jesus and the Bible. I am scared, though, every time I start to think about the end of days… not because I am not saved but because I heard that when the rapture comes, in heaven you will not know anyone. I want to know my kids. I want to watch them grow up and have babies of their own. I think I may be misunderstanding something. Please help me understand what is going to happen and if we are all going to be together and know each other. Please, I get so sad about all of it.
Dear Maternal Instinct,
The Rapture isn’t a biblical teaching, and it won’t actually happen (read our article “Up In The Air” for a detailed explanation of what the Bible teaches about the Rapture). However, you are still left with your concern about what heaven will be like (heaven is still very real! – 1 Pet 1:3-4). In heaven, we have every reason to believe we will know each other. In fact, if the transfiguration is any indication, we will know everyone in heaven, not just those we have known in this life. When Jesus was transfigured on the Mount of Olives, both Moses and Elijah appeared and talked to Christ (Lk 9:30). The remarkable thing is that Peter recognized both of those men even though they had been dead for many centuries (Lk 9:32-33).
Now, if we may, we’d like to address your statement that you don’t go to church. It is a sin to not attend church; the Bible says so (Heb 10:24-25). God uses the church to strengthen each of us individually, and He expects all of us to provide our effort to help strengthen others in His church (Eph 4:16). The church is the pillar and support of the truth (1 Tim 3:15). Every faithful christian of the Bible was commanded to be a member of a congregation because God knew that we shouldn’t stand alone. It is a wonderful thing that you are teaching your children about Jesus and training them up to love Him (Pr 22:6). We would be happy to help you move forward in your service to Christ by putting you in contact with a faithful congregation in your area. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us help you fill in that piece in the puzzle of your spiritual life.