Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Today's scripture: 2 Chronicles 25:3

I'll expand today on a scripture I addressed back in 2001:

2 Chronicles 25:3 "...The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, or the children be put to death for the fathers..."

I most often cite this scripture as a response to the argument that abortion is justified if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest -- though I don't think such abortions can be justified by a secular perspective, either. Killing the family members of people who have wronged you is the act of a mafioso, not something to be enshrined in law.

But here I am specifically addressing people of faith. When you're tempted to hem and haw and concede "hard cases", think what you're saying -- that it's okay to put an unborn child to death because his or her father committed a rape.

And this goes even further than rape or incest. Women are often driven to the abortion table by the men in their lives. These women, likewise, are having the children put to death for the sins of the fathers, be the sin abandonment, abuse, or just plain being an unsupportive jerk. Or -- the most common sin leading to abortion -- if they are just fornicators. Should an act of fornication committed by your father mean that you get the death penalty?

"Well," you might object, "that's easy for you to say. You're not the woman in that situation, coping with that man."

No, I'm not. And I'm not saying that it's easy. And what I'm about to say applies to women of faith, not to unbelievers.

You are the steward of your body and of its awesome power to take part in the creation of new life. The time to avoid the sin of abortion is, first of all, when you're tempted into sexual sin. I can recommend Dawn Eden's excellent book, The Thrill of the Chaste, as a starting point for how to avoid sexual sins that so often lead Christian women to compound their initial sin with the additional sin of abortion.

But what if you, or your girlfriend, your friend or sister or daughter, is already pregnant through sexual sin. Scriptures are clear: You are not to put the child to death for the sins of the parents -- whether as punishment or as a cover-up. And you can't cover up the sin from the people most intimately involved: Yourself and God.

The believer will not only shun abortion herself, but will not counsel such for a friend or relative. The remedy for sin isn't more sin; it's repentance. It's a turning away from the sin and back to God. And that's always a painful process. But here's an interesting thing I just discovered.

I checked an online concordance for the Hebrew translated "repent" -- and found this (emphasis mine):

to be sorry, console oneself, repent, regret, comfort, be comforted
to be sorry, be moved to pity, have compassion
to be sorry, rue, suffer grief, repent
to comfort oneself, be comforted
to comfort oneself, ease oneself
(Piel) to comfort, console
(Pual) to be comforted, be consoled
to be sorry, have compassion
to rue, repent of
to comfort oneself, be comforted
to ease oneself

It is through repentance, not through covering up sin, that we find comfort and consolation.

All of which has fried my brain.

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