Where Do You Stand?

from Sola Scriptura Magazine

In the Summer 2003 issue of Sola Scriptura Magazine, Ken Ham's article A Tale of Two Castles (pp. 9-13) took a close look at the problems facing the church today. At the end of the article, we asked readers to consider their views on several statements.

People tend to see themselves and the world through a particular set of beliefs, attitudes, and values. These operate as a filter or grid through which one processes all information. These thought processes, beliefs and values are often shaped and influenced by culture, including science, psychology, modern education, and the media. However, the Christian's values, attitudes, and beliefs are to be based on and shaped by the truths taught in the Bible. One can call it a biblical worldview. Developing a biblical worldview requires three essential elements: knowing what the Bible says (observation), knowing what the Bible means (interpretation) and knowing how to apply biblical principles in today's world (application). Each of these elements requires diligence on our part as well as the illuminating ministry of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 2:15; John 16:13).

The eight issues below represent some of the complex issues our society presently faces. On some of these issues you may hold strong opinions; others may never have crossed your mind. Nevertheless, all of these issues are discussed and debated today within the Church. As you read along in our magazine, for which questions did you agree or disagree with our conclusions? Consider the Scriptures we offer to inform your final decision.

1. Abortion should be permitted when the life of the mother is threatened.

Did you agree or disagree?

God views all human life as precious. He alone is the creator of life and He alone has power over life and death. Scripture makes it clear that life begins at conception, not at birth. See the following passages: Ex. 20:13; Psa. 127:3; 139:13-16; Prov. 6:16-19; 24:11-12; Jer. 1:5; Luke 1:15, 39-44.

2. A person’s sexual orientation is determined genetically at birth.

Did you agree or disagree?

All human beings are genetically predisposed at birth to be sinners. Society's reclassification of sins as a modern lifestyle choice changes nothing. Scripture makes it clear that homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle and is a result of rebellion against God. The Bible condemns any sexual relationship outside of marriage between a man and a woman. See the following passages: Lev. 18:22-23; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:8-10.

3. The preciousness of human life makes the death penalty an unacceptable form of punishment.

Did you agree or disagree?

While human life is precious, God Himself instituted capital punishment as a penalty. God ordains human government, and gives the government the authority to punish evildoers, even to the point of death. See the following passages: Gen. 9:5-6; Ex. 21:12-14; Lev. 24:17; Num. 35:31; Rom. 13:3-4.

4. Love and tolerance are the best responses to confrontation and problems.

Did you agree or disagree?

Clearly, Christians are called to love one another and even love our enemies. However, our society often defines love very differently than the Bible. True biblical love includes speaking the truth, confronting sin, and preaching the gospel. We are to tolerate others in amoral areas, but loving those who break God's commands includes speaking the truth to them about their sin and their need for repentance. See the following passages: Rom. 12:9-21, 13:8-10, 14:1-23; Gal. 5:13-15; Eph. 4:14-16; 1 John 3:10-20; Jude 1:22-23.

5. Genetic cloning is okay if its primary purpose is to reduce birth defects and cure disease.

Did you agree or disagree?

This question is open for discussion only because the abortionists have successfully redefined the point that one considers a human being as a human being. To cause life only for the purpose of killing it in order to save life is irrational and the ultimate injustice. It is the ultimate example of the survival of the fittest. All genetic cloning of humans should be resisted. This is simply another step on the road to degrading the value of human life created in God’s image. See the following passages: Gen. 1:26-27; Deut. 32:39; Psa. 100:3.

6. Civil disobedience is permitted when one feels their conscience has been violated.

Did you agree or disagree?

The violation of our conscience is not a biblical warrant for civil disobedience. The principle of obedience to the civil authority is taught in several places in the New Testament, and this at a time when the civil authority was a very corrupt and immoral one. There are, however, examples of civil disobedience in the Bible that are commended by God. The applicable biblical principle seems to be that civil disobedience is only acceptable, and perhaps even required, when it is to protect innocent human life. See the following passages: Ex. 1:15-20; Prov. 24:11-12; Acts 5:27-29; Rom. 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:13-14.

7. The Bible should be the only guide for determining the rule of law in America.

Did you agree or disagree?

There are those who would want our country to adopt the Mosaic civil law, along with all of its prescriptions and punishments. They argue that this divinely established government is the model for all human government. While our nation was rightly founded on biblical principles such as impartiality in justice and freedom of conscience, to adopt the Mosaic civil law would be unbiblical for several reasons: 1. There are vast areas of human thought and action where the Bible gives no detailed blueprint, such as art, architecture, literature, culinary arts, medicine, technology, etc. In these endeavors, and in the area of civil government, we are to order ourselves and our society based on the light of nature, Christian discretion, and according to the general principles of the Word of God. 2. The Mosaic Law was given to Israel alone as God's peculiar people and His own possession. As a theocracy it is a typological foreshadowing of the coming Kingdom of God, not the model for all human government. 3. The shadows of the Old Covenant with its rules and regulations have been replaced by the New Covenant and fulfilled by the Word made flesh. 4. For a Christian today to desire the state to wield the sword on behalf of the church is at cross-purposes with the church's present evangelistic mission and contrary to God’s patience with unbelievers as He delays His judgment. 19:5-6; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6; Acts 15:13-21; Gal. 3:19, 4:1-11; Col. 2:16-23; Heb. 7:12, 8:13, 9:8-10; John 3:17; Tit. 3:4; 2 Pet. 3:9, 15.

8. Pornography should be protected by the government as long as it is limited to adults.

Did you agree or disagree?

God has made it very clear that he is Holy and he expects holiness of His people. Beyond this, God has made it abundantly clear that sexual perversion and sexual sin is self-destructive to both an individual and a society. Our cherished freedom of speech should not extend to the protection of personal or societal practices that are destructive and degrading and that are an affront to God and His holiness. Ex. 20:17; Job 31:1; Prov. 6:23-32; Prov. 14:34; Matt. 5:27-28; Rom. 1:16ff; Rom. 13:14; 1 Tim. 2:9; James 1:14-15; 1 John 2:16-17.

In these and all matters, we encourage you to study the Scriptures to understand God's perspective and to "be renewed in the spirit of your mind" as you develop a truly consistent biblical worldview on all things. (Rom. 12:1-2).

 

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