Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Should Abortion be Illegal Simply because the Bible Says it is Wrong?
In the few days since this blog went public, we have begun to see a surprising amount of resistance, but not from the usual culprits. We expected to see the illiterate and barely coherent ramblings from the pro-abort crowd. We expected to see the usual fomenting, insulting and name calling that we have grown so accustomed to from those who see their pro-abort bumper sticker slogans torn to shreds.
We were somewhat surprised, however, to see that our most vocal opponents so far are others who profess to support the right to life position – the very right to life position that we are defending. Of course, we are taking a different – more rational – approach to that defense, but we should be allies nevertheless.
In particular, many in the right to life movement are objecting to the fact that we are presenting a secular argument for the right to life position which is not based on Biblical doctrine. They seem to believe that this entire argument should go something like this: The Bible says abortion is wrong, and therefore, we must make it illegal.
Thus, we have decided to take another stab at showing why our more rational approach is necessary, and why one cannot enforce every doctrine from the Bible in a secular society. As we will show, not everything that is wrong should be illegal.
Let me give you some examples:
The Bible is pretty clear that homosexuality is a sin. Should that be illegal? Note that I’m not talking about whether or not marriage should be redefined here. I am simply asking if we should round up practicing homosexuals and toss them in prison (just like in the movie V for Vendetta).
In the Bible, God states that we are to have no other gods before Him. Does that mean that we are to allow only one religion in this country? Should we establish an official state religion and send government agents after all those who do not acknowledge and worship the God of the Bible?
The Bible makes it clear that we are to tithe, and to keep the Sabbath. Should we make it a law that everyone do so? Perhaps we should institute a tithe withholding and send the funds to that organized state religion?
The Bible states that children are to honor their father and mother, but the next time you’re at Wal-Mart, do you want government agents to sweep in and toss your kid in juvenile detention if they do not?
Of course, the answer to each of these is a resounding, “No, we should not.” That is not in keeping with the origin or history of this country. How then is it OK to try to argue that we should base other laws on Biblical doctrine without an accompanying secular argument to support it?
We have mentioned this and given examples such as those above several times and thus far, no one – and I repeat, no one – has even attempted to address it. The reason is quite simple – they have no response. They have no coherent answer for this observation that we cannot take everything that God considers to be sin, and make it illegal.
Sin should not be made illegal simply because the Bible says that it is sin.
In fact, arguing that something should be illegal simply because it is wrong means that you are looking to government as the arbiter of good and evil rather than to God. (Did you get that point? It has profound implications for conservative Christians, or at least it should.)
Government has its place and God has given government some authority over mankind, but government is not the entity that enforces right and wrong and brings all people to account for their wrong-doing. That entity is God and only God. Some issues of right and wrong fall under government's jurisdiction and some do not. The way you tell the difference is through the principle of inalienable rights.
The laws of the Bible deal with the heart and morality. The concept of inalienable rights deals with outward behaviors and government's duty concerning them. And while our faith and the Bible should definitely inform our behavior and how we interact with government, we shouldn't look to government as our salvation by expecting government to do God's job in outlawing wrong behaviors. Rather than outlawing wrong behaviors, government should outlaw harmful behaviors - those that violate the inalienable rights of others.