A recent news story informs us that Dr. David Stevens of the Christian Medical Association is concerned about a test, developed by British doctors, which can screen embryos for nearly 6,000 diseases. Dr. Stevens is concerned that such information will probably be used to convince more women to abort babies with problems. Stevens asserts that scientific discoveries, not guided by Christian ethics, will inevitable lead to tragedy and destruction.
The good doctor is absolutely right, but his observation can be applied beyond the confines of science. On my radio program, we often refer to the fact that several of our Founding Fathers commented specifically that the very limited government they were suggesting, back in the late 1700s here in Philadelphia, would be "wholly inadequate" to govern anything but Christian men of good character. The implication, of course, is that those of our faith would be governed first by the tenets of SELF-control; we would, therefore, need many more rules and laws to restrain the unbridled desires of men without Christ in their hearts. That’s why America was established as, indeed, a CHRISTIAN nation; it is also why our country is referred to as the "American Experiment."
Truly no other country had ever dared permit such liberty for its people, and it was his observation of this fact--and the obvious religious fervor of Americans--that led Alexis deTocqueville to comment so favorably on democracy in this country back in 1835. But Tocqueville also knew the importance of association--having interests in the well-being of others--in warding off the dangers of individualism. Rick Santorum renewed this caution in his recent book, "It Takes a Family." If we are not governed by a common ethic, we will be subject to the ethics of, well, the most common among us.
The abortion epidemic is a prime example of the reason for such a Godly ethic. Abortion is, by its very nature, a concern for the rights of the mother over the rights of the unborn child. So it—like every other matter of life, in my opinion—MUST be held in check…then, transformed by those of Christian faith…lest the tyranny of the one, might continue to outweigh the needs and rights of the many. For, just as a government that defines the affairs of Christian men can remain small, or get smaller, a government that is charged with controlling the unbridled lusts and desires of the unrighteous must, by its very nature, continue to grow in the direction of either totalitarianism, or anarchy. So--as we await the perfect government of Jesus Christ, in his millennial reign--we must fight to assure that our temporary government of the people, by the people, and for the people continues to be informed by His followers.
Today’s headlines offer a clear example why such a battle must be joined. Senator Bill Frist asks us to consider embryonic stem cell research, but asserts that such an undertaking must be governed by a strict system of ethical oversight. But whose ethics would oversee such research? Those of someone who has already determined that an embryo must die?