“For the word of God is living and active….Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” – Hebrews 4:12-13
Gender roles, gay marriage, abortion, immigration reform, gun control, health care, climate change, racism and terrorism: These are nine of 2017’s hot button issues that many people assume are beyond the scope of the Bible. But as I mentioned in last week’s column, the Bible has proven itself time and again to be the most relevant book on the planet. Not convinced? Let’s put God’s word to the test with three more hot button topics.
Hot Button Issue #1: Abortion. God’s word is clear that the pre-born baby inside a mother’s womb is a child created by God. King David writes in Psalm 139:13-16: “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…..When I was woven together…Your eyes saw my unformed body.” In Jeremiah 1:5 the Lord speaks bluntly to Jeremiah saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”
These passages reinforce what modern medical technology has discovered: Human life begins at conception. Although the Bible doesn’t specifically say, “Thou shalt not abort a pre-born baby,” it doesn’t really need to. After all, God’s Word is clear that the life inside a mother’s womb is a human life, lovingly knit together by God. And the Bible speaks clearly in Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17: “You shall not murder.” So, is it a big leap for Christians to claim that abortion is murder? Not at all! Abortion is—without a doubt—the ending of a human life. Although abortion is not the unforgiveable sin, it is a terrible sin that requires our repentance and Christ’s grace. And once we experience that grace, God’s Word calls Christians to support and defend human life at all stages (i.e., from the womb to the convalescent home).
Hot Button Issue #2: Gun Control. Obviously, guns didn’t exist in Bible times. But the following verses give us some general principles that are of help to us. For starters, in Luke 22:36 while Jesus was celebrating the Last Supper, he told his twelve disciples, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” This instruction has puzzled Bible scholars for centuries. Why did Jesus instruct his disciples to purchase a sword yet just a few hours later rebuke Peter for using his? Although we can’t be certain, it seems most likely that Jesus was advocating using a sword for self defense. In the
received Christ’s rebuke for going on the offense. But perhaps he wouldn’t have
had he been defending himself from a violent attack. Garden
So, presumably, Christ advocates possessing a weapon for self-defense. But verses like Matthew 5:9, Matthew 5:38-39 and Romans 13:1 command us to pursue peace, turn the other cheek, and submit to the governing authorities. Taken together, here are some general biblical principles to keep in mind when considering the issue of gun control. #1: Christ never commands us to get rid of our weapons. #2: However, he wants us to be peacemakers. Christ calls us to practice turning the other cheek in our personal relationships. #3: The Lord expects us to abide by the laws of the land. Therefore, I don’t believe it’s biblically defensible for Christians to break gun control laws or stockpile illegal weapons.
Hot Button Issue #3: Health Care. As health insurance premiums have shot up over the past ten years and the Affordable Care Act hasn’t panned out as advertised, health care has become one of the biggest hot-button topics in political circles. What can we do to improve our health care situation in the
? Well, here are a few
Scriptures to consider. In Matthew 14:14 we read, “When Jesus…saw such a large crowd, he had compassion on them and
healed their sick.” And in Matthew 10:8 Jesus told his twelve disciples, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse
those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely
give.” United States
Bottom line: Jesus prioritized caring for the sick. Jesus called his disciples to prioritize caring for the sick. And the New Testament reinforces this command for you and me. But at the same time, God’s Word doesn’t say that this is a job for the government. Perhaps, if Christians cared for the sick to the level that Jesus told us to, we wouldn’t feel such a pressing need for universal health care.
Yes, there are many hot button issues in our nation that aren’t easily remedied. But without a doubt, the Bible has answers: timeless principles that can be applied to any modern issue or challenge we face. Sadly, in our arrogance many of us stubbornly struggle to solve our problems on our own. We rack our brains trying to discover the solutions to our most pressing problems. All the while, many of the answers are waiting patiently in the pages of God’s Word.
Dane Davis is the Lead Pastor of First Christian Church in Victorville. For more information,
visit www.fccvv.com and join us for worship Sundays at 10 am.