• sonnyholmes

Not long ago a friend related an article about the sanctity of human life. The author was totally pro-choice in his thoughts and comments about abortion. He articulated the pro-life stance and noted that he had tweaked several of the points of anti-abortion thinking and arrived at his conclusions. My immediate conclusion was that he really had not tweaked anything. He had twisted the biblical doctrines of the sanctity of human life in almost every category. His basic argument was one of the twists we've all heard: a pro-life conviction is hypocritical if adherents support the death penalty or any kind of warfare. Of course, his positions were reflections of his own personal views without the benefit of biblical truth, or factual data truth for that matter.

The twists on the sanctity of human life are numerous. At the same time they are totally puzzling. Of course the twist happy media elites have methods of lacing truth and error in their reporting so that their preferences weigh on their readers, the voting public. Yes, our nation is sharply divided on any of the sanctity line items, abortion at the top of the list. What is totally perplexing to me is how many of the pro-choice population also check the box beside "Christian" when noting their religious preference. Once again, this twist is dealing with such a momentous topic without a standard. Scripture should be, without argument, the final determination in any selection regarding the value of life. If you would like some polling stats on American views about abortion click here. Be warned: the pollsters are champions of gathering opinions. You may get a twist or two in their data as well.

The sanctity, that is the sacredness, of human life is a strong biblical theme. From the creation epics of Genesis to the last verses of Revelation, where the water of life is promised without cost, human life remains the pinnacle of creation and the heavenly aim of redemption. Scripture does provide guidance in those twist areas like the death penalty, and just war. But, human life in valued as sacred throughout the Bible---

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and

female he created them.

Genesis 1: 27, ESV

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated

you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

Jeremiah 1: 5, ESV

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Psalm 127: 3, ESV

And, many, many more. Many Christians twist the sanctity of human life in these and other Bible accounts as ancient Jewish or early Christian thought of times gone by. Yet, there is the promise that God's Word, our Bible, is eternal (see 1 Peter 1: 25). It is our truth today. Even more, most of the scientific and medical community affirm that human life begins at conception and fertilization according to God's design.

You can tweak this doctrine to make it agree with your preferences, religious or political, all you want. Eloquent as you may be, it's just more twist, faulty at the core.|&mediapopup=68263823

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  • sonnyholmes

OK, I know it's old. But, I remember how fresh and accurate it was when I first saw the phrase on a church sign in rural South Carolina. It's slightly comforting to encounter so many new references right now. Do a Google search and you'll access 31.4 million possible hits in .47 seconds. Maybe it's not just Geezer memory after all. Some pretty current minds are writing books and articles about Truth Decay at the moment. My take is that it is still in the public domain because it's still a element of cultural concern. Day by day and moment by moment we find ways to skew deeply held beliefs. My personal take is that we twist them. They still have meaning. But, it's not the meaning that identified the concept in the first place.

Truth Decay is "diminishing the role of facts and analysis in American public life" (see Jennifer Rand and Michael Rich, Rand, 2018). In this space, let me take a more limited view. Truth decay in this sense in the abandonment of the authority and inerrancy of Scripture in church and religious life. This kind of twist is so visible in our secular world, where truth is defined as science and the personal views of the people in it. In a broad sense culture exists today under the question marks of human opinion rather than the dictates of Scripture or any other established spiritual guidelines. Yes, most churches have statements maintaining the authority of the Bible in religious and personal life. But, the decreasing influence of Christian principle and precepts in daily life leaves room for interpreting truth. Even those affirming a biblical Christian worldview will hedge in the discussion of absolute truth.

The truth decay is our nation right now extends farther than biblical authority. Many scholars and historians question the reliability of our founders thoughts, the ruling documents of our nation, The Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence. Each twist challenges our population with an anything goes mentality that threatens the basic tenets of faith, our system of government, the laws that guide us, our judicial system and courts, economic policy, educational processes, and nearly every dimension of American life.

Basic to any understanding of truth is the existence of truth as a governing human principle. And, ultimate truth is that which is provided by our Creator---

Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Proverbs 30:5, ESV

Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait

all the day long.

Psalm 25: 5, ESV

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as

of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1: 14, ESV

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are

truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8: 31-32, ESV

Yes, our culture lives under the whims of truth decay. And, we must grasp truth, God's truth, if we are to live in harmony under a rule of law.|&mediapopup=68263823

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  • sonnyholmes

So, I've been gazing at the Atlantic Ocean all week. That's not a complaint. What a blessing to tune out the rest of the world for a few days and just stare at the sea, great and wide (see Psalm 104: 25). Even more than the storm-free calming motion it is a teaching plan about life. When King David wrote the Psalms he often referenced the sea because he saw the physical, emotional, and spiritual lessons God laced into the currents and waves. As Harriet and I have enjoyed our week in our beach front condo, staring at the sea has been devotional time. God's eternal Word in one hand, and his forever sea lashing the coast in front of us, inspiring and challenging moments of Bible study and thought have given spiritual underscore to some time away. Glory. Nice!

Many of King David's Psalms honor God for the masterful work of creation. One of his texts spoke to me early this morning---

Blessed is he whose help in the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord God, who made

heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever...

Psalm 146: 5-6, ESV.

Mr. Quibbler was especially captured by the phrase "...the sea and all that is in them". So, there I am, staring at the Atlantic Ocean wondering at the tenses of this verse..."the sea, and all that is in them". Of course, that was before scientific classification and the numbering of our oceans, seas, and other water systems. The meaning of Psalm 146: 5-6, references the water that covers more than 70% of our earth, the sea, representing all of them. That was a quick quibble. What captured my heart and mind was the simple phrase "...all that is in them...". King David wanted to honor God for the seas, and the creatures he had created to occupy them.

Today, I stared at the sea. Right up front this morning Harriet and I saw dolphin grazing just offshore. Meaning that, there were also smaller aquatic creatures, perhaps fish, in those same waters. On the beach were shells tiny animals called home, beach worms, minnows swimming in the shallows, and a few star fish washed ashore. Now, we know nothing of fish species or the vast array of sea life. We do know flounder, shrimp, scallops, oysters, crabs, and some of the other edibles. Still, it's a mystery world to us, life under the currents and waves.

Scientists estimate more than 1,000,000 species of sea life, mostly invertebrates with no backbone, like jelly fish or shrimp. Common vertebrates are the bristlemouth, a tiny fanged glow-in-the-dark fish. There are Jaws, whales, eels, rays, sea lions, sun fish, and thousands more. Scripture mentions sea monsters like Leviathan (see Job 41:1; Psalm 104: 26, and others for example). But, there is only debate about them.

The point? Staring at the Atlantic this week has given me new appreciation for the lessons King David learned from the sea, His mention of "...all that is in them..." is another wonder of our creator God, the God who thought of everything and prepared his earth for you and I to occupy and govern.

Here is the sea, great and wide, and here am I thankful.

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