Friday, February 15, 2008

Putting It In Context

God morning my friends,

If there is one thing most people can quote from the Old Testament it is the “eye for eye” bit. This has been used out of context so often that people assume they know what they are talking about when they quote it. However, it is more often than not a simple excuse for revenge. The death penalty advocates often use this verse out of context. I am opposed to the death penalty because I believe only God has the choice over life and death. You rob a man of his life and you have robbed him of the opportunity for repentance and forgiveness. What I find important with verse is that it reveals to us the holiness of God and what sins he finds to be particularly repugnant.

We only find reference to the “eye for eye” three times in the Old Testament. Once is in Leviticus 24, in the context of personal injury. If I hurt my neighbour then I would need to be hurt in the same manner. In Deuteronomy 19 it is used in the context of a malicious witness who was perjuring himself to try to get someone in trouble. He was to have done to him whatever the judgment would have been against the one he was lying about, including life for life.

The third one, which was actually the first that I left to last for dramatic purposes, is found in this morning’s reading, Exodus 21. It may surprise some people to see the context in which it is found. It is used in the case of someone injuring a woman during pregnancy and something happening to the baby. Note how I refer to baby and not fetus. This was a crime that our God thought to be important enough to apply the “eye for eye” ruling. Perhaps some people would be surprised by that.

I have not often spoken of our society’s attitude toward unborn babies. I have not had a lot of personal cause to do that. However, in recent months abortion has come into my hearing on a number of occasions and I am reminded of the evils of our society that are accepted without much thought. Some would not call it murder because they have dehumanized the baby by referring to him/her as a fetus. Our laws do not even protect this precious gift. If I injure a pregnant woman today I would have to face charges for her injury but not for any injury incurred by the unborn child. My harm to the mother could result in the death of that child and I would not have to answer for it; or, at least not in this present place.

This debate has gone on for a long time and as long as the rights of one individual are held up to be more important than another person’s there will be no end to the debate. Under the law women have the right to choose. After all, it is their body. Our laws do not recognize that the unborn child also has rights that should supersede the rights of the woman upon whom he/she is dependant. Instead the law sees this child as an appendage of the woman, life a kidney. If she chooses to give away her kidney no one will stop her. However, that is not how the Word of God tells us to consider this unborn child.

We have come up with so many ways of “aborting” this new life. There are the traditional methods of going into the doctor and having the baby surgically cut out or vacuumed out of the mother’s body. There is also a pill that women can now take that will do the same thing chemically so that the woman can just flush the new life away. It sounds gross and it is. Our callus attitude toward it is horrifying. The thing is, it is something that matters to our God. He is responsible for life. He says who will have life and when that life will end. Anyone who takes that into their own hands is acting like God and there is a penalty to be paid for that.

The fact is we live in a hurting world. We live in a world where people are looking for the wrong things in the wrong places. We live in a world where no one wants to face their mistakes and they believe they should be able to just wipe their messes away instead of dealing with them. We live in a world where young girls are hurting, lost and confused and are just adding confusion on to top of confusion. Kids are playing adult in the same way that some play with matches. When you play with things you are not equipped to handle bad things are going to happen. Unfortunately too many of us choose to ignore it. But our God is not ignoring it.

Understanding the context of the “eye for eye” puts things into a better perspective. Respect of life matters. Respect it by not injuring your neighbour physically or maliciously. Respect it by protecting it from the moment it begins to the moment when God brings it to an end.

11 comments:

Ray said...

that's is probably one of the iffy-est issues there is... and it's really sad... I've seen some statistics on it before... 3% of abortions are for the mother's safety... I don't think abortion is ok (I have lots of siblings, and I can't imagine my life without them... (: ..), but what that three percent to save the mother's life?

Anonymous said...

It is very important; not to use the saying "eye for an eye" because we as a people dont have the best judgement as God would have - KAYLA

Olivia said...

Okay, so I'm all for the we should be able to do what we want with our bodies, but I do think abortion is wrong. Although I do think there are exceptions, like the 3% to safe the mother's life.

Naomi S. said...

I think that both abortion and the death sentence are bad. Yeah sure its the mothers body, but I do remember their being a law against murder, and abortion is just plain murder. Babies are people too and should have rights like everyone else, rights that take priority. And the death sentence is wrong aswell, because, like you said, it takes away a persons chance to repent. And plus the death sentence is murder too, and sometimes they dont even have the right person. I've heard about that happening a couple times.

Niki said...

I think abortion is wrong. All those babies that get killed every year because of abortion ... it's really sad. Abortion is murder ... I just wish the world saw it that way.

Brandon said...

Happy after Valentine's day!!!! Anyway strange blog this morning. I think abortion is very bad. I think thats all Im going to say today. Oh and the eye for eye is bad too because jesus said turn the other check so there is no revenge.

audrey said...

Abortion is one of those subjects that become more common to talk about these days because it is used more frequently. I do think it is wrong and i think that there is one thing we have to be careful about: it's not the be`"in the face" of those who made that wrong decision. Hmmm, how could i formulate that differently...well you know all those "pro-life" people, I think they are doing it too much. I was downtown this summer and at a corner of two very important streets, there were people standing there with huge posters with pictures of aborted babies and some messages like : don't kill... i thought that was too much. Althought i believe that those images are important because the illustrate the reality of things, i dotn think that standing at the corner of a street with posters like that is wise. What if there is some girl who had an abortion and she really regrets it and she suddently drives past that intersection and is deeply distrubed by those images, she might enven do an accident.

so i think that we need to say what we think, but with tact and in favorable circumstances.

Kendall said...

Abortion is the worst thing that can happen to a mother its also called MURDER. So right away if you have an abortion you broke the "do not murder" rule

Anonymous said...

well I think most people think abortion is wrong, including me, like why do people even get abortions? mabye because they are teenagers and think there parents would be mad at them for having a baby? im sure their parents would be even more mad if they killed their baby, well at least babies who aren't old enough to understand christianiry go to heaven. - Stephen

Anonymous said...

okay, I know i left a comment earlier but i didnt mention my opinion on abortion and how i feel on the situation i mean, it is very easy for us as people who havent been in the situation to say right away abortion is wrong. or that its a sad thing, so on and so forth but we need to put ourselves in there postions; the biggest thing to a "Typical teenage girl" is who is the cutest guy, or how am i going to get the t-shirt at stitches things like that, okay but then one day you decide to make a decision that could possibly change your life forever. you find out the ur pregant; and you make a choice you choose to have an abortion; Okay Yes you could have jut easily just avoided the situation and not have sex at all, and everything would have been fine the common cold would be ur bigest issue to deal with, but people make mistakes, i dont think that the baby should suffer for a mistake that a girl; made but we should not EVER judge them; you put urself in the waiting room for 7 hours all the while nervous scared and confused trying to figure out all the while how did i get myself into this situation, did you ever think that she didnt think there was any other way.yes it is a sin against God. it is written in black in white the bible says that killing is wrong. but we should not be naieve as people and says oh i wish the world could see that its wrong. because when it comes down to it they dont know that its wrong some people even think that it is right you dont know how a person got themselves into that type of situation so yeah im done now lol

sasha said...

I thing that abortion is mostly wrong but in some case there's exception...
People how abort a baby- killed a baby that not just for those people who can't have a baby.People who are going to abort they babies should put them in a foster home so other people could adop them.