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Friday, 5 December 2014

Personhood, and human rights!

We live in a society, and a culture, in which there is considerably more emphasis placed on "Human Rights" than on personal responsibility.  So, we are informed, violent killers; Islamist hate-preachers; illegal immigrants, including an Algerian illegal immigrant who was barred from seeing his family after threatening to burn them alive – and who won his appeal against deportation on the grounds that he is entitled to a family life; et al, are entitled to their "Human Rights" - regardless of the rights of the community at large!

However, it would seem that at least one group does not have any "Human Rights".  I refer to the unborn!  It has been widely reported that a child who was left disabled because of her mother's alcohol abuse during the pregnancy, is not entitled to a payout from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board because, according to the Court of Appeal, she was "not a person" at the time!  Lord Justice Treacey is reported as having stated that "Parliament could have legislated to criminalise the excessive drinking of a pregnant woman - but it has not done so."

An unborn child, at any stage during the pregnancy, is not a person!  This begs the question: "What is such an unborn child?"   There was a time when many were convinced that it was nothing more than an amorphous mass of cells - the "blob of jelly" to which reference was sometimes made.  However, with the advent of medical, and scientific, techniques such as ultrasound pictures, we now know that, from its earliest days in the womb, what is forming there is a unique, individual, human being!  Have the learnèd judges at the Court of Appeal failed to keep up with contemporary developments?

Of course, as the old adage has it, "It's an ill wind that blows no good" so, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (an organisation that supports abortion for any reason) stated that, "This is an extremely important ruling for mothers everywhere.  Women must be able to make their own decisions about their pregnancies."

Many rightly condemn the Hitlers, the Stalins, the Pol Pots, and others for their activities that led to the deaths of so many.  However, not one of them ever came close to the numbers of unborn children, murdered in their mothers' wombs, almost always because they are seen to be "an inconvenience".

The following is from a letter by Billy Graham posted, a few years ago, on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website:
"Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologise to Sodom and Gomorrah.” ... ... ...

"I wonder what Ruth would think of America if she were alive today. In the years since she made that remark, millions of babies have been aborted and our nation seems largely unconcerned. Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle."
Sadly, the same kind of comment could be made about much of the western world.  We stand condemned in the eyes of the Creator and Sustainer of all that is.

However, there is hope!  Writing to the early church, the apostle John states: "This is the message we have heard from [Jesus] and proclaim to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth;  but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." (I John 1:5-10; emphases added).

Did you notice those words that I have emphasised?  They are the assurance that, if we come to Jesus, confessing our personal sins and sinfulness, then He is able to make us new creations (II Cor.5:17), and to live our lives, ever after, for Him!

If we do so, then we have the further amazing promise: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Rom 8:1).  That word 'now' is so important.  Salvation, in and through the Christ, is not "pie in the sky when you die"!  It is for here and now.  I have eternal life, in Him - it's not something that I will only receive when I have done with this mortal body.

You, too, may have eternal life.  Not, necessarily, a 'bed of roses' - in spite of what some tele-evangelists appear to promise - but a life that makes Him more important than anyone, or anything else.  If you wish to know more, then please feel free to contact me using the e-mail address at the top of the page or, alternatively, check out some of the links at the bottom right-hand side.

Regardless of the decisions of the UK Court of Appeal, you have been a person since the moment of your conception - and you have been loved by Almighty God since before the world was even formed!!  Now, that's Good News!




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