Every year about this time Southern Baptists focus on the Sanctity of Life with the focus usually on how they view abortion as murder.
For the longest time I believed the balderdash that unborn babies were just parasites until I was teaching a Sunday school lesson on this theme. I realized how wrong I was. Then came time for me to kill a snake, and I just crumpled inside when I took its life. Killing roaches doesn't make me crumple, but I do cringe. Taking life from something that God has blessed with life just makes me raw inside.
Two years ago, almost to the day, a father of four children, (four months old, one year old, two years old and three years old) drove them to the top of the bridge connecting Dauphin Island with the coast of Alabama and threw all of them off, 100 feet down to icy cold water. Only one child died of just drowning, the other three died of head and neck injuries as well as drowning.
He did it because he was angry with his common law wife.
The father, if that term can be used for this perversion of humanity, pleaded guilty to police officers and then recanted when he found out there would be a trial anyway regardless of the guilty plea. Through this act, a man destroyed a family, presented horror to rescue workers, volunteer searchers, police and sheriff deputies, not to mention all the marine workers involved in searching for the children.
Can you imagine being out fishing, doing what you loved to do, communing with God and nature only to find a four-month old baby floating face down in some grassy reeds?
I cry out in my heart and tears wet my cheeks at man's inhumanity to man. Headlines scream how mankind's love is growing ever colder, and the disregard to life is burgeoning into something far more sinister than murder, it is becoming accepted as a societal norm.
The murders in a small Mexican border town last year numbered 2,900, fifty-five murders per week or about eight murders per day. That is what greed is doing to our society. People are viewing something — money, power, pride, control — as more important than human life. Why? I can only ask the question, I cannot answer it except for a passage from Paul to Timothy.
2 Timothy 3: “Don't be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God.” (The Message)
Oh how familiar this sounds.
Take your newspaper this morning and compare headlines with this which was written almost 2,000 years ago. The truly sad thing is, it is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.
In the days of the kings, Solomon married seven hundred women and allowed their foreign gods to be worshiped in the land God had sanctified for Himself. There was one particular heinous demon god called Molech. To worship this god, and to get into his “good” graces, one must lay his first-born child into the stone hands, for the unseeing eyes to gaze upon as the burning fires in his stomach roasted the child to death. This would some how make everything right in the world of the person sacrificing his baby.
For what it's worth, the difference between fathers of King Solomon's day and the father who threw his children off the bridge is that there was a desire to quench the god-sized hole in the worshiper's heart which is why he sacrificed the thing most loved for appeasement , quite possibly never realizing he sacrificed to a demon rather than the one true God.
Because the kings did not keep the Law next to themselves, reading and studying God's word to His people daily, those kings allowed deception to permeate the land. God warned this would happen; and He also warned of the consequences. He commanded the children of Israel never to sacrifice human flesh when He gave Moses the law. The key here is if one never reads the law, then one doesn’t know what the law says, and can’t teach it to their children either. The father who threw his children off the bridge was doing it in drug-hazed anger at his wife, a senseless act done in retaliation.
Both are most heinous acts, and there is nothing to make either act right in the just eyes of God. One was misguided and misdirected, the other vengeful. Sacrifice of babies continued for almost 400 years with little remorse shown until one king named Manasseh.
His was deemed by the Kings chroniclers to be the most vile of all the kings who practiced this kind of sacrifice. He sacrificed his sons (that's plural, more than one son), to this god Molech. The Bible says he shed enough blood to fill Jerusalem. What I find especially interesting is that he reigned for 55 years which is a very long reign. He was taken prisoner by the captains of Assyria who put hooks in him taking him to Babylon. There he met God when he was in affliction. The Bible doesn't say what kind of affliction but it was torture most depraved because the Assyrians excelled at it. Manasseh humbled himself greatly to God as he prayed earnestly to Him. (Isn't that what we do? We seem to be fine until tragedy befalls us, and then we bow to God pleading for release from our troubles.) God eventually brought him back to Jerusalem as king, and Manasseh knew that He was God. He then tore down all the altars to other gods, tore down all the idols he had set up and commanded the people to only worship the LORD God Almighty.
How much longer will we sit idle while scientists sacrifice babies in the guise of embryonic stem cell research? To this day, not one illness has been helped by embryonic stem cells. On the other hand, many cures from adult stem cells and umbilical cord stem cells are well on their way to helping many people.
How long will we sit idle while doctors and misguided, deceived mothers sacrifice babies which is politely called “planned parenthood”?
How much longer will we stand stiff-necked not praying for the Gospel to permeate the globe so when people die, they will sit at the feet of Jesus rather than burn in torturous hell?
When will we be consumed with urgency to reach out to the bank teller we see every week, the store clerk who rings up our groceries, the waitress whom pours our coffee, the babysitter whom keeps our children, the boss, the co-worker all who may or may not know Jesus? That is the ultimate sanctity of life.
One Man walked the dusty roads and pathways with outstretched hands to the living to drawn them close. One Man stretched out His hands so that His blood would come between us and God's wrath saving us from eternal condemnation.
Time is short.
Will Jesus stand up for you as He did for Stephen? Will He place His nail-scarred hand on your shoulders, and with love-softened expression say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”?