Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Latest Abortion News...

OCEAN CITY, Md. — Genetic material from four dead fetuses found at an Ocean City home was being examined Tuesday in an attempt to see whether a 37-year-old taxi driver charged with murdering one of the babies is the mother of all four.

I am struck by this story for a number of reasons.

1. I am originally from Baltimore, MD and Ocean City was a favorite vacation spot for our family. In fact, I spent my honeymoon with my wife there.

2. Obviously this story presents all sorts of problems for the pro-abortion/pro-choice proponents. It will be interesting to see the legal wranglings over this case, and how the law treats this woman's actions in regards to the babies, born and unborn.

3. Mostly, though, the whole thing just makes me sick. And it makes me ponder about the ever more shocking news stories I've been reading in the headlines. Things that are unspeakable have become daily fodder for our media outlets. The Connecticut home invasion. This story, which I hate to even mention. There are so many horrific and increasingly disturbing accounts of sin gone wild in our world today.
What gives?

Before I sound like an old fogey, hankering for the good old days when everything was idyllic and placid... I know full well we have always had sin, and horrific crimes are nothing new.

But it appears to me there is an ever-increasing need to shock the American public with edgier and edgier stories. What might have outraged us years ago barely gets a shrug now. So how much further can we go?

I also wonder about the cumulative effect of all this on the spirit. It can't be good.

And to think, even for THIS sin, Christ has paid the price... wow.

Edit:  Found this interesting commentary by pundit Jon Sanders


Scott Scofield said...

Rev. Chryst,

You're not alone with your concern regarding these horrendous acts, as well as countless other horrors - and the constant media stream beating down the dignity of humanity.

A year or so ago you asked me to think a little more deeply about a theodicy as related to the Shoa, based on some writing I had posted. Well, I did think about it, and continue to think about it. What I concluded then, and I still believe now, is that evil exists proportionately to our human distance from Christ. A very general (and somewhat obvious) conclusion - to be sure.

But there is a synthesis to be had here. Alone, distance, evil. We're greatly troubled by these media accounts because we're not alone - we have a relationship with Christ and a fellowship of Christians - we're not distant (or, if we are, we get told about it pretty quickly).

As I think about these people that have perpetrated such brutality, they are alone (spiritually and emotionally if not physically), and they are distant - from us and from Christ. One consequence of this high-speed 'information' age has been a reording of what counts as 'community.' Ocean City residents must be stunned to discover this act within their community - "That's not us," would be an appropriate response. And it certainly doesn't square with your fond memories.

My point, but certainly not a defense or excuse for any of these acts, is that these people are the anthesis of community and the consequence of distance. No doubt, sin exists within tight communities as well, but rarely rises to the level of depravity characterized by those stories.

The media, as we experience it today, heightens the sense of displacement - of fractured social, person-to-person, networks. On a personal level - I know I absolutely cannot be the man that God is calling me to be left to my own devices - I am weak and beaten in that condition. If I watch the media and isolate, lose empathy and get focused on my problems - I'm capable of significant deceit and sin.

So, alone (spiritually bankrupt), distant (lacking accountability to Christ or fellowship) and bombarded by a daily stream of other atrocities - evil flourishes.

None of this excuses those acts - and our legal system should, appropriately, apply all applicable laws in arriving at punishment and justice - but I suspect at the root of many of these acts is a fundamental loss of community and a great distance from moral accountability. Both of which are perpetuated by the media (perhaps innately given our current technology).

I'm not a 'progressive,' necessarily - in that I don't believe all social ills can be cured by yet another 'program.' But I do believe when a trend emerges, we ought to consider fundamental causes.

As you say, sin and atrocities have been with us since Adam and Cain - and even there we see isolation and distance.

Thanks for your concern - I share it - thank you as well for being a member of your community and providing the anchor through Christ to the people of your ministry.

Preachrboy said...


Thanks for your comments.. thoughtful as always.

I would agree that aloneness and evil go together. In fact, I would couch it in scriptural terms. When Adam sinned he was immediately cut off from God (at least in the sense of losing his perfect relationship). Though God never completely withdraws his hand from creation - even the wicked he sustains.

However, most theologians have defined Hell itself as complete separation from God. Thus when Jesus cried from the cross, "My God, why have you forsaken me?" he was experiencing total separation from God, and the punishment of Hell itself.

But the great exchange is this - that by doing so, he repairs the broken relationship and we who were once "alone" are now "together" with God.

So far our vertical relationship. But we humans were also created to relate horizontally - and as you say - a violation of that created order (isolation) seems to go along with increasing evils.

Perhaps this is because community functions in a way that applies the curb function of God's law - stemming gross outbreaks of sin. Indeed, this is what government itself is charged with doing - and the isolation from all government (anarchy) would lead to total lawless behavior and outright wickedness. As it is, we are all kept in check.

I think even of God's institution of marriage - and how it keeps us in check - steering us clear from all sorts of sins. Witness the wickedness rampant in the unscripturally mandated celibacy of Roman Catholic priesthood. "Better to marry than to burn with passion" says St. Paul. Indeed.

Finally, your thoughts make me think (as a Lutheran, of course) sacramentally. One of our Lord's greatest gifts to us was a means of grace that is a community event - a meal. We even call it "Communion". There we are not alone, or even alone with God, but together with others who confess the same faith.

The church, it seems, is a glimpse of the ultimate restoration of togetherness intended by God for his people.

Not Alone +++ PAS said...

Pr. Chryst & Scott,

I find your comments interesting and have quoted you briefly at Not Alone. I did not repond here as I have taken a slightly different direction with my post, but I thought that I should let you know that I have quoted you.

God's peace,

ng2000 said...

Another resource for you: http://www.ng2000.com/fw.php?tp=abortion