We need to wake up to the reality of what’s going on in our country! About seven years ago (2001) Johnny Farese, a quadriplegic brother who forwards prayer letters to churches, sent an email that begins with these frightening words:
Did you know that since the United States of America legalized abortion, that 750,000,000 children have been murdered through this means? This number far exceeds those who have been killed in all the wars of mankind since Adam.
I have had some difficulty confirming those statistics on the internet. Most statistics I’ve seen place the amount somewhere around 50 million since 1973. But that’s still a huge loss of human life! Abortion was only legalized 34 years ago. Millions of innocent human beings murdered in such a short period of time. Doesn’t that remind you of what we read in Genesis 6:11: “and the earth was filled with violence”? And we haven’t seen anything yet! With the push for embryonic stem cell research, we can be sure that the violence is only going to increase!
Abortion has some emotional appeal, because it pretends to uphold a woman’s rights. The emotional appeal for embryonic stem cell research, however, is far greater. As scientists and genetic research companies and the media wave embryonic stem cells before the eyes of Americans as a potential panacea for every disease and illness, you can be sure lots of people are going to bite. Before long human embryos will be a prime commodity on Wall Street Stock Market Exchange.
President Bush opposed Federal funding for any further research that results in the destruction of embryos. He only agreed to fund research on existing stem cells that have already been taken from human embryos. It’s also true that President Bush opposed human cloning whether for reproduction or research. But it’s still legal to create and destroy human embryos. I don’t believe President Bush sufficiently addressed the question of whether the practice should be illegal—whether funded by private dollars or taxpayer money. It shouldn’t surprise us, then, that federal funding for such immoral behavior is now a reality. The end has justified the means.
We must admit that embryonic stem cell research is a good way to learn about the human body. But so were many of the horrendous procedures performed by Nazi Germany upon Jews and other minorities. The Germans learned a lot about the human body by experimenting upon live humans and destroying their life. And they justified their horrible acts on the basis of the overall benefit to mankind. Right now, Germany like the United States is debating embryonic stem cell research. Those who still remember the Holocaust say ‘no,’ and I believe that Germany’s present position is even stronger than that of the US. If I’m not mistaken, Germany currently bans the destruction of human embryos. But others in Germany, like former Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, are willing to allow such research because of its potential cures and because of the boost it will give to the economy. Sadly, the Germans appear to be adopting the great American ethic, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Shall we do evil that good may come?
In his testimony before the U.S. Congress, Dr. Nigel Cameron, an opponent of embryonic stem cell research, closed with these words:
As we stand on the threshold of the biotech century, we could hardly confront a decision that is more onerous, since the promised benefits from this technology may be great. Yet that is of course simply to focus the moral question. If there are things that we should not do, it is easy for us to refuse to do them when they offer no benefit. When the benefit they offer is modest, the choice is still not hard. The challenge to morals and to public policy lies precisely here, where the benefits seem great. Yet it is here also that our intuitive respect for the early embryo requires us to pay a price…. Shall we do evil, that good may come?12
I hope we know the answer to that question. When Eve looked at the forbidden fruit, it held lots of potential for good. It was good for food. It was a delight to the eyes. And it had the potential of making one wise. In fact, by eating that fruit Adam and Eve would attain to the knowledge of good and evil. But that’s not the way God wanted them to attain that knowledge. God wanted them to attain that knowledge by obeying his command. God said, “Of all the trees in the garden you may eat; but of this one tree you shall not eat. For in the day you eat of it, you shall die” (Gen. 2:17).
There are many ways that we may fight disease, improve life, and strengthen the economy. But the destruction of a human embryo is not one. As Christians, we should view any attempt to legitimize such murder as a lie from Satan’s mouth. It’s an immoral proposal, and it must be rejected out-of-hand!
12 Stem Cells 2001, First Session 96–97.
Dr. Robert Gonzales (BA, MA, PhD, Bob Jones Univ.) has served as a pastor of four Reformed Baptist congregations and has been the Academic Dean and a professor of Reformed Baptist Seminary (Sacramento, CA) since 2005. He is the author of Where Sin Abounds: the Spread of Sin and the Curse in Genesis with Special Focus on the Patriarchal Narratives (Wipf & Stock, 2010) and has contributed to the Reformed Baptist Theological Review, The Founders Journal, and Westminster Theological Journal. He blogs at It is Written.