I read an interesting quote in a good friend’s blog earlier today:
Have you ever wondered why people will say they’re having a baby when they’ve been trying to fall pregnant and the pregnancy test comes back positive but when they’re having an abortion, it’s just a foetus? ~ Dermot Cottuli – “The Question No Pro-Choicer Will Answer”
Unlike the marriage debate, I haven’t probably been as vocal on the discussion raging around Tasmania recently since Michelle O’Byrne tried to introduce new abortion legislation. That’s not because I don’t have a view on it, but rather because it’s so much harder for me to tackle this issue from a purely intellectual point of view, which is where I like to take my perspective from as much as possible, especially when publicly vocalising it like I do in writing here.
But here I am, getting involved and putting forward my thoughts on this.
I know that I’m not a woman – I think that’s pretty clear, but just in case anyone needed clarification, I’m not. Therefore I’m not entitled to an opinion, right? Wrong. This is also my country. This is also my state. I plan on having children one day and what we do with our society now is going to be what impacts on them as they grow up. The world that I help to create is the world that my children, my nieces and nephews, your children will grow up in.
This is why I stand against it, because it’s not just about me – it’s about everyone. It’s about the world we create, the society we form and the legacy we leave for our children.
I don’t like, though, to say I’m standing against abortion. What I’m doing is standing for life. I loved a meme that I saw going around Facebook over the past few weeks, saying that we define the end of life being when the heart stops beating, then why do we not define the start of life as being when it starts beating?
As a part of writing this, I’ve just done some reading about the early stages of pregnancy. The baby’s heart starts beating at around 6 weeks – which is actually, apparently, only the four week mark after actual conception. The child is, at this stage, not even the size of the eraser on the end of a pencil, but it has a heartbeat, a brain, a nervous system and even the beginnings of facial features developing. This is four weeks after the conception.
Reading this just makes me realize how miraculous it is.
This is a life.
A friend and I were speaking recently, and she made the comment to me that when her parents realized she was sexually active, they simply confronted her with the question of, was she ready to have a baby?
Another friend commented on my Facebook post about how 12 year olds shouldn’t be protesting at anti-abortion rallies, because they are too young. Yet that same friend commented only minutes later that they would be providing information to children the same age on how to put on a condom to help curtail the potential spread of STIs. Nothing to do with the most important consequence of unprotected sex: the child.
This is such a deep topic, but ultimately it’s simple. A baby is a baby. I’ll say that again: A baby is a baby. That heart starts beating only four weeks after conception. At the moment of conception, that zygote has 46 chromosomes – it is a blending of the mother and father’s genes.
It is not an inconvenience. It is not a medical procedure. It is a responsibility.
We have a responsibility to our children, both now and in the future, to provide them with life, love, liberty and a legacy.
Wrong is wrong. As adults we like to muddy the waters, we like to create grey areas.
And just to conclude, I want to share one final thing. I have a very good friend who, several years ago, was the victim of rape. She fell pregnant; she carried the baby to term, birthed her and has raised her to be one of the most entertaining, beautiful children I know. When I asked her if I could share this story, she told me that, “I honestly feel God gave her to me as a testimony.”
The testimony of that great friend, and her amazing daughter, speaks so many more volumes to me on this topic than anything else.
A child is a gift, people. It is the most beautiful blessing that we can hope to receive. It’s not something to be taken lightly; it’s not something to be considered an inconvenience or an unfortunate consequence.
If you don’t want a child, don’t get pregnant. If you don’t want to get pregnant, don’t have sex. It’s actually really simple.
Today was flat out.
Apart from issues still flowing on from yesterday, there was a lot of work going on as well.
I don’t mind busy days, though. The time just goes fast. Before I knew it, it was 4PM, and I was due to go home (after starting early and skipping lunch). So I finally left fifteen minutes later, not too bad really.
But that’s the extent of my day. Barbecue this evening with some wonderful people.
I’m doing alright, really. Or trying to!
There’s a definite focal point of this chapter. It sort of flows on from last night about the priests being required to live more spiritually than physically in some perspectives.
However as I read this chapter I found a slightly different focus. It wasn’t about the priests themselves, but about the people. Chapter 21 basically said to the priests, that they were to be holy before God; that they weren’t to have the same level of concern for the things of the world as the every day Israelite.
Chapter 22, though, speaks about the people.
If we start with the second half of the chapter, from verse 17 onwards, we see what God expects from the people when they bring a sacrifice. The animals are to be perfect, flawless. They aren’t to be deformed or blemished, they aren’t to be blind or lame.
It’s a lot easier to give away something that we don’t really have use for, isn’t it. We’re coming up to Christmas, and one of the greatest times of the year where we find ourselves inundated with things that we’re probably never going to use, or look at again after they’ve been cleared off the table in the week after Christmas. I know I’ve known people in the past who actually store their unwanted Christmas presents away, and then pull them out as gifts for other people next year. Of course the danger with that is forgetting who gave you what, and giving a present straight back!
A lame cow, or a blind cow, or one that was deformed probably was a bit like those unwanted Christmas gifts. It wasn’t really worth keeping. So of course, it would be easy to just give the deformed one as a sacrifice. It’s better off – that way it’s not actually chewing up the food that could be used by the animals who would one day provide money back to their owner.
But God didn’t want the deformed cows. He still doesn’t. God wants to be given the best, he wants to know that he’s actually more important than our resources. That we trust him to continue to provide for us even if we give away the best of what we have.
Going back to the first part of the chapter, though, the priests are also told that they are to treat these sacrifices with the respect deserved of someone offering the best of what they have to God. The priests aren’t to be unclean in any way. They are the representatives of God who accept the sacrifices on his behalf, so they are to be holy and pure, not only for God, but also for the people offering them.
The offerings that the people brought were special, and weren’t to be enjoyed by just anyone. That would be disrespectful to the one who brought the offering.
I think we need to remember this thing about the best. God doesn’t want to be just the leftover in our lives. He doesn’t want to be given the deformed cow. He doesn’t want to just receive some Christmas gift that we got last year and recycled this year. God wants to be placed above all of that. He wants to be cherished. He wants to be special. He wants to be respected.
I only have one more day of work until holidays.
Which, unfortunately, means that I’m probably equally distant now between going on holidays and getting back. Tomorrow will drag as if it’s going on forever, and then my holidays will flash by in what seems like a matter of hours!
Must find a way not to enjoy the holiday period!
I jest. Can’t wait. Melbourne and Perth here I come!
More seriously, I went to life group tonight (and got birthday cake – felt so special! It was actually home cooked and everything! Thanks Anna!), we had some interesting discussion topics come up throughout the course of the evening.
One of which, though, was about salvation – and the ‘moment’ of salvation, or the moment a person enters the body of Christ is probably more accurate than the moment of salvation. Where does a person become a ‘member’ (so to speak) of the body of Christ? Is there a defining moment,or is it something more gradual?
For me, and this is just my perspective, but Jesus didn’t give grey areas on this. He said straight out that no one comes to the father except through him. To me that says that without actually accepting Jesus’ gift, and without acknowledging him as Lord, a person isn’t necessarily a part of his body. I see that some things in the bible, in doctrine, in theology are and can be completely grey, but not here.
Just my thought for the evening. Feel free to comment with disagreements or points of consideration.
I don’t get this passage.
Why is a woman unclean after giving birth? This is perhaps one of the most rewarding and amazing moments in two people’s lives, when their child is born, but the woman is ceremonially unclean for actually quite a long period (forty one days if I calculate right for male children and double that for women.
Now I have heard, and I think I’ve referred to before, that there are actually very valid reasons for some of the laws that exist in the Levitical law. Laws that come under necessity of hygiene or prevention of illness, etcetera (I have no specific references on hand, this is just what I’ve heard); and that’s fine with me if it’s the case. I could look up something now and see what reasons there might be not to eat camels or badgers, or what reasons there might be for a woman to be ceremonially unclean for a month after having a baby.
Perhaps she’s more vulnerable to illness? I don’t know.
The thing that also stands out to me is the requirement for a sin offering.
Now as I read this I wondered why a woman would have to offer a sin offering after giving birth to a child. What sin has she committed? Leviticus 4 talked about the sin offering and said it was for sins people had committed without actually realising it. Well, what was the sin?
But just as I’ve been writing this, I wondered something. What if the sin offering isn’t actually for the mother? What if it’s for the child?
The concept of being born into sin is fairly well established throughout the church; and was certainly one struggling point and topic of interest for me in my time away from God. How could God judge guilty babies, infants and toddlers who really don’t have a concept of right and wrong? Well, ask ten people that question and you’d probably get ten different answers.
But I just wonder, is the sin offering a covering over the child from birth until they come of age to be responsible for their own actions?