An Immoral Proposal: A Case Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research
In the eighteenth century, an Irish minister by the name of Jonathan Swift wrote a powerful satire, entitled, “A Modest Proposal.” In the most serious language, Swift suggested that Irish babies be sold for food, and that their skin be used as a kind of soft leather. As a result, there would be fewer mouths to feed, more food to go around, and a new industry that would create many jobs. This was his ‘modest’ proposal. In reality, Swift did not intend what he was recommending. Actually, he was attacking a common philosophy of the day, called “utilitarianism.” This philosophy taught that “the ends justify the means.” Any moral act can be justified if gives the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people. Swift’s purpose in offering a ‘modest’ proposal was to show people just how far utilitarian philosophy would lead them if they followed it through to its logical conclusion.
Swift’s modest proposal was not carried out in his day. You and I, however, are faced with a very similar proposal today in our own country. Only in our case, it’s not satire. On July 11th, 2001, representatives for the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine of Norfolk, Virginia, announced that they are intentionally creating human embryos with the express purpose of destroying those embryos and extracting their stem cells. Their goal is to develop these stem cells into therapeutic cures for human diseases, and then to market these cures. According to their ethics committee, “The creation of human embryos for research purposes was justifiable [since] it was our duty to provide humankind with the best understanding of early human development.” This is only one among hundreds of companies that are engaged in this kind of research.
Perhaps the most shocking thing of all has been the response of the American public. Swift’s generation was shocked at his proposal. But for many Americans today, the killing of human embryos not only seems reasonable but even desirable. A recent poll indicated that at least two-thirds of the American public supports this kind of research. In light of this real proposal facing our society, I would like to address the subject of embryonic stem cell research.
An Immoral Proposal: A Case Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research
On April 6, 2001, President Bush promised not to support embryonic stem cell research and articulated his position as follows:
As a result of private research, more than 60 genetically diverse stem cell lines already exist. They were created from embryos that have already been destroyed, and they have the ability to regenerate themselves indefinitely, creating ongoing opportunities for research. I have concluded that we should allow federal funds to be used for research on these existing stem cell lines, where the life and death decision has already been made.
Leading scientists tell me research on these 60 lines has great promise that could lead to breakthrough therapies and cures. This allows us to explore the promise and potential of stem cell research without crossing a fundamental moral line, by providing taxpayer funding that would sanction or encourage further destruction of human embryos that have at least the potential for life.
But in April and June of 2007, the Senate and the House of Representatives passed a bill (legislation S5) that would permit federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. President Bush assured the congress and the American public that he would veto that bill, which he did. But the debate continued. And when Barack Obama assumed the office of president, he didn’t waste any time repealing the eight-year-old ban on embryonic stem cell research. On March 9, 2009, President Obama said at the signing ceremony in the White House, “We will vigorously support scientists who pursue this research.”
The great Reformer Martin Luther once said, “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ.” So too, I would not be faithful to Christ or to you if I purposely avoided such an important and relevant topic, especially as we’ll commemorate the infamous “Roe vs Wade” decision (January 22, 1973) that effectively legalized abortion in our country. Consequently, I’d like to argue that stem cell research that requires the destruction of a human embryo is an immoral proposal that we as Christians should oppose. I would like to develop our topic under three questions: What is embryonic stem cell research? Why are many people pushing for embryonic stem cell research? Why should we be opposed to embryonic stem cell research?
What is Embryonic Stem Cell Research?
One reason why some Christians avoid discussing this issue is that they don’t know what it’s all about. For this reason, I’d like to begin by defining terms and explaining what is meant by “embryonic stem-cell research.”
What are “embryonic stem cells”?
Within a few hours after fertilization, a woman’s egg begins to divide into what are called stem cells. The first stage of stem cells are called totipotent, the second, pluripotent, and the third, multipotent. These stem cells are the generic, less-specialized cells that eventually give rise to the more specialized cells of the body, such as brain cells, blood cells, muscle cells, skin cells, etc. Furthermore, these stem cells are not just found in human embryos. Multipotent stem cells continue to be present within the body throughout human development. Therefore, scientists distinguish “embryonic stem cells” from what are called “adult stem cells,” which you and I have right now in our bodies.
What is “embryonic stem cell research”?
Scientists have developed techniques to extract these stem cells from the embryo. Once isolated from the embryo, these stem cells are able to reproduce indefinitely, making them an inexhaustible resource. Scientists are also working on techniques that will enable them to direct these stem cells to produce specific kind of tissue to help fight various diseases and disorders.
Where do the scientists obtain the embryos to do the research?
There are basically three sources:
- Embryos from fertility clinics: these embryos were originally created by means of In Vitro Fertilization (i.e., fertilization in a test tube) for the purpose of reproduction. In this procedure, however, more embryos are created than are actually needed. Those not used are frozen for later use or discarded.
- Embryos from contrived conception: sperm from a male and an egg from a female are purchased from consenting donors and then joined in the laboratory for the purpose of research.
- Embryos from cloning: the nucleus from a female egg is removed, and it is replaced by the genetic information from the cells of a donor—perhaps the person who will receive the stem cells as treatment. An electrical current is then applied to the egg, which causes it to begin dividing into stem cells.
That’s a thumbnail sketch of embryonic stem cell research.
Why Are Many People Pushing for Embryonic Stem Cell Research?
For some (perhaps many), the goal of embryonic stem cell research is less than noble—they’re basically in it for the money. For others, however, the goal is a more noble one. Scientists hope to use these re-engineered stem cells to treat Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Diabetes, and a host of other human maladies. But the problem with this research is that it results in the destruction of a human embryo. When the stem cells are removed from the embryo, the embryo dies. It no longer has the potential of being born and enjoying life. Yet, many people are still pushing for this research! We need to ask ourselves, “Why is this the case?”
Utilitarian pragmatism is an ethical theory, which asserts “all moral, social, or political action should be directed toward achieving the greatest good for the greatest number of people” (Webster’s II, s.v.). According to this theory, the destruction of a minority is justified if it will benefit a majority. Thus, the destruction of human embryos is warranted, because it holds the promise of helping countless thousands of people with diseases. I believe this is one of the driving forces behind embryonic stem cell research. In an article entitled, “The Cases For and Against Stem Cell Research,” Fox News writes, “Advocates of embryo research say that the potential medical benefits of the research outweigh moral concerns about the embryo.” Some even go further and say that the refusal to support such research is unethical and unmerciful. Before his death, the late actor Christopher Reeves, told Congress, “No obstacle should stand in the way of responsible investigation…. It is our responsibility to do everything possible to protect the quality of life of the present and future generations.”
We must admit that those who argue for embryonic stem cell research seem to have emotional appeal on their side. That’s because it’s much more difficult to feel sympathy for a nameless, microscopic embryo than it is for a family member or friend who is suffering with a disease. Those who are in favor of embryonic stem cell research capitalize on this emotional appeal. For example, Anna Quindlen, a pro-abortion advocate, writes, “Some who believe that life begins at conception may look into the vacant eyes of an adored parent with Alzheimer’s or picture a paralyzed child walking again, and take a closer look at what an embryo really is.” Even pro-life Senator Orrin Hatch has given in to this appeal. Speaking to the New York Times, he says, “I just cannot equate a child living in the womb, with moving toes and fingers and a beating heart, with an embryo in a freezer.”
Perhaps this explains why many pro-life advocates and professing Christians are supporting the research. According to recent polls, more than half of Roman Catholics and Protestants support embryonic stem cell research. One poll even alleged that 53% of those claiming to be ‘born-again’ Christians support the research. That leads me to my third question.
Why Should We Oppose Embryonic Stem Cell Research?
Opponents to embryonic stem cell research usually present four arguments against it. I’d like to survey these four arguments and then add a fifth.
1. We are told to oppose this research because its funding is illegal.
According to legislation written both in 1975 and again in 1995, federal funds may not be used to support “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.” Those who advocate the research argue that the federal ban only applies to the destruction of the embryo, not to the research of its stem cells. Therefore, while federal funds may not be used for the actual destruction of the embryos, they may be used for research on the stem cells of the destroyed embryo. But is it possible to separate the research that requires the destruction of embryos from the actual destruction itself? I don’t think so. I believe it’s correct to say that according to current law, the funding of embryonic stem cell research is prohibited.
This argument, however, misses the real point. The real point is not whether the destruction of human embryos should be funded with federal dollars. The point is whether the practice itself should be allowed at all. The question is not whether taxpayer money should pay for it. The question is whether government should legally condone embryonic stem cell research whether with private or public funds.
2. We are told to oppose this research because its benefits are uncertain.
It is important for us to realize that none of the promised benefits of embryonic stem cell research has been confirmed yet in human beings. As far as I am aware, the beneficial stem cell-therapies have utilized adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells. Furthermore, there are potential dangers involved in the use of embryonic stem cells. One of these dangers is the greater potential of pluripotent stem cells becoming cancerous and growing into tumors. What is today touted as a “blessing” may tomorrow become a “curse.” Therefore, we must not give too much weight to the claimed ‘benefits’ of embryonic stem cell research.
Of course, the uncertainty of this research may change. Over time, scientists may prove that embryonic research is beneficial and they may overcome any potential dangers. Therefore, we need to move on to the third argument.
3. We are told to oppose this research because its procedure is unnecessary.
According to several of the reports and papers that I have read, there is increasing evidence that adult stem cells can provide the medical cures that embryonic stem cells are supposed to provide. Recent research has shown that adult stem cells can be coaxed into producing different tissues, just like the embryonic stem cells can do. Furthermore, one of the advantages of adult stem cell therapy is that it avoids the problem of transplanting foreign genetic tissue into the patient’s body. Instead, the patient can utilize his own stem cells to treat his own disease. But the very best benefit of all is the fact that using adult stem cells does not require the destruction of any human life. Currently, adult stem cells can be extracted from the baby’s umbilical cord or mother’s placenta after birth. They can also be extracted from a living person’s bone marrow, nerve tissue or fatty tissue. They can even be extracted from a cadaver. The bottom line is that we don’t have to destroy embryos in order to get stem cells!
This argument ought to carry more weight in the debate over embryonic stem cell research. Unfortunately, the advocates for the research often ignore it, or else they argue that adult stem cells do not have the potential that embryonic stem cells have. And that may turn out to be the case. We don’t know that to be the case, but it may be the case. Therefore, we need a stronger argument.
4. We are told to oppose this research because its method is unethical.
The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, consisting of doctors, scientists, and legal experts, sent a paper to Congress, urging our lawmakers to maintain the ban against federal funding of human embryo research and to provide federal funding for alternative treatments that do not require the destruction of human life. They used all the preceding arguments, but their strongest argument was the ethical argument. Let me give you the substance of that argument:
The prospect of government-sponsored experiments to manipulate and destroy human embryos should make us all lie awake at night. That some individuals would be destroyed in the name of medical science constitutes a threat to us all …. Human embryos are not mere biological tissues or clusters of cells; they are the tiniest of human beings. Thus, we have a moral responsibility not to deliberately harm them.
While we acknowledge that the desire to heal people is certainly a laudable goal and understand that many have invested their lives in realizing this goal, we also recognize that we are simply not free to pursue good ends via unethical means. Of all human beings, embryos are the most defenseless against abuse…. The intentional destruction of some human beings for the alleged good of other human beings is wrong. Therefore, on ethical grounds alone, research using stem cells obtained by destroying human embryos is ethically proscribed.
In my opinion, this argument brings us to the heart of the issue. If the taking of human life is wrong and if embryonic stem cell research results in the destruction of human life, then embryonic stem cell research is wrong, and it should not be allowed. Period! On the other hand, advocates of embryonic stem cell research object to this argument on the grounds that week-old embryos are not yet human beings, and therefore the destruction of such embryos does not constitute killing or murder. In a speech to Congress, one advocate announced that the human embryo is of similar moral standing to a goldfish!
This raises a very important question: when does human life begin? Those who oppose embryonic research say that it begins the moment of conception. Those who advocate this research offer different opinions. Some argue that human life doesn’t begin until the second week—when the nervous system appears. Others say that it doesn’t begin until the baby is actually born. Still others argue that we have no way of knowing when human life begins. This is the position taken by the Supreme Court in the case of abortion. In 1973, the Court stated, “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins.” This sounds humble. The problem is that the Court goes on to condone what it admits might be murder!
How do we know when human life begins? And if a human life does begin at conception, how do we know it’s wrong to take the life of an embryo in order to help the sick and needy? We come now to our fifth and final argument.
5. We should oppose this research because its practice is unbiblical.
I’m afraid that you’ll rarely hear this argument used in the debate. Even the pro-life advocates avoid using this argument out of an attempt to keep religion out of the debate. But why must religion be kept out of the debate? When the founders of this country established a separation between church and state, they did not intend a separation between religion and state. They did not intend to divorce the Bible from public life. They did not intend to make God’s Word irrelevant to social and moral issues like this one. The Declaration of Independence, which declares all men created equal, was informed by a biblical worldview that saw man as the very image of God.
And so, it is absolutely futile to keep the Bible out of the debate. In fact, the moment we take the Bible out of the debate, we’ve already conceded our opponent’s position. We’ve already admitted that man is the ultimate determiner of morality, and all we’re left with is our opinion versus theirs. We should oppose embryonic stem cell research not merely because we feel it’s wrong or because other good people feel it’s wrong. Rather, we should oppose this research, because it violates the ethical norms of God’s inspired Word! Our ultimate argument rests upon the written Word of God. Therefore, let us not be ashamed to bring our Bibles to the debate.
Let’s consider some biblical teachings have a bearing upon this issue:
“You shall not murder”
The sixth commandment of the Decalogue reads, “You shall not murder” (Exo 20:13; Deut 5:17). To appreciate the full significance of this command we need to go all the way back to Genesis chapter four. The first recorded sin after the Adam’s fall is murder—Cain’s brutal murder of his brother Abel (Gen 4:8). And God makes it very clear to Cain that what he has done is evil: “The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.” (Gen 4:10-11). Cain responded to God’s curse by pleading for leniency: “My punishment is greater than I can bear!” (Gen 4:13). And he goes on to complain that one of his siblings or relatives will surely take vengeance upon him and kill him (14). Certainly, Cain deserved to be punished. Nevertheless, God decided not to punish Cain—at least not in this life. So, in verse 15, “the LORD said to him, ‘Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.’ And the LORD set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.” On the one hand, God curses Cain for taking his brother’s life. On the other hand, God protects Cain’s life from vengeance.
But despite God’s leniency towards Cain, we find Cain’s descendants abusing God’s grace. In verses 23 and 24, Cain’s descendant Lamech makes a very proud declaration: “I have killed a man for wounding me, even a young man for hurting me. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.” In other words, “Let us sin that grace may abound.” Instead of leading men to appreciate the sanctity of human life, God’s protection of Cain caused some to treat human life with less dignity. And this depreciation for human life continued to increase until we read in Genesis 6:11-12: “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.” And as a result, God’s poured out His wrath upon humanity in a worldwide flood (chapters 7 and 8).
But in His wrath, God remembered mercy. In Genesis chapter nine, we find eight souls spared from destruction. Verse one begins, “So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” God is going to give humanity another chance—a new beginning. Only this time, God affirms the sanctity of human life by demanding capital punishment for murder. Note verses 5 and 6:
Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man (Gen. 9:5-6).
God institutes capital punishment as a means to restrain human violence and as a means to protect the sanctity of human life. And in this passage, He gives the very basis of this sanctity: “for in the image of God He made man.” This is why the sixth commandment of the moral law forbids murder and enjoins the protection of human life. According to the Bible, all human beings—male or female, black or white, adult or child, rich or poor, handicapped or healthy, Christian or non-Christian—are created as the image of God. This is what gives every human being dignity and worth. Secular humanism strives to exalt man, yet in the end it leaves him with no more dignity than an earthworm or a goldfish! Christianity, on the other hand, humbles man, yet it also gives him dignity. And because of this human dignity—because of the sanctity of human life, we must never unlawfully take the life of another fellow image of God.
The beginning of human life
Now at this point, we need to take the argument a step further and ask, “When, according to the Bible, does human life begin?” The Scriptures appear to answer that question by pointing us to conception as the beginning of human life. This can be derived from a number of passages in the Old and New Testaments. Let’s look at just one—Luke 1:8-44. Here’s a summary of this passage:
- vv. 8-15: An angel tells Zacharias that his wife, Elizabeth, would conceive in her old age and the child would be “filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.” A non-human entity cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit!
- vv. 24-25: Elizabeth conceives just as the angel had foretold.
- vv. 26-38: The angel Gabriel comes to Elizabeth’s cousin Mary and announces the miraculous conception and the birth of the Messiah. According to verse 31, Mary would conceive in the womb “a son” [Greek-huios]—not a mere “embryo” or “fetus”! And in verse 36, the angel informs Mary that her cousin Elizabeth has also “conceived a son” [Greek-huios] and is in her sixth month.
- vv. 41-44: When Mary greets Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s “baby [Greek-brephos, ‘unborn or newborn child’] leaps in her womb.” Elizabeth explains the baby’s reaction in verse 44: “for indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.“ Here a human emotion is being attributed to an unborn child.
This passage along with many other texts strongly suggests that human life begins at conception (cf. Job 31:13-15; Psa 51:5; 139:13-16; Matt 1:20). And if human life does begin at conception, then such life deserves full protection against harm. In the words of Proverbs 24:11-12,
Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?
Some pro-abortion advocates have tried to undermine this conclusion by appealing to Exodus 21:22-25. This is a key passage, so let’s turn there and examine what it has to say. I’d like us to read this passage first in the KJV, then in the NAS:
If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe (KJV).
The key phrase is the one in verse 22 translated “so that her fruit depart from her.” That phrase is somewhat ambiguous. Literally, the Hebrew reads, “so that her children come out,” which is precisely how the English Standard Version renders it. However, many other English versions aim to remove the ambiguity of what this verse is describing. Here is how the New American Standard Version renders verse 22:
And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges decide (NAS).
Douay Rheims Version, the New Jerusalem Bible, and the New Revised Standard Version also render the phrase “so that she miscarries.” In this case, the passage seems to be teaching that the forced miscarriage of a baby is not worthy of capital punishment. The conclusion drawn by pro-abortionists is that a human in the womb must not have the same value of life as a human outside the womb would have. Even a number of Christian theologians have drawn this conclusion. Citing this passage of Scripture, Norman Geisler asserts,
In the case of killing a baby, child, or adult, there was more than a fine exacted—the life of the murderer was demanded (Ex. 21:12). Apparently, the unborn baby was not considered fully human and, therefore, causing its death was not considered murder (i.e., the taking of an innocent human life.1
This conclusion, however, rests upon a faulty translation. As I pointed out, the Hebrew phrase literally reads, “so that the child come out.” [Note: the plural for “child” is used, but it should probably be treated as a plural of indefiniteness and translated as a singular: “so that the child come out.”] In every case but one, this expression is used to describe the birth of a living child. The one exception, Numbers 12:12, explicitly describes the child “as dead” before birth. With this in view, we do better to follow the rendering of the NKJ, NIV or Updated NAS versions which correctly interpret verse 22 as a reference to premature birth rather than miscarriage: “if men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.” However, as verse 23 indicates, if there is injury, then you shall appoint life for life. In other words, if the man causes the death of the child or the mother for that matter, then he is subject to the death penalty.
To sum it up, this passage in Exodus 21 does not undermine our thesis; it supports it! Thus, to destroy the life of a human being at any point subsequent to conception is a violation of the sixth commandment—whether by tearing apart a human embryo, or sucking the brains out of a fetus, or abandoning a newborn infant in a garbage can. Once a child has been conceived, “You shall not murder”—no, not ever!
Wake up call
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 Gehard 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?
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 they 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!
Where do we go from here?
(1) Pray for this country and its leaders
(2) Keep informed about this issue
- Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity (http://www.cbhd.org/)
- Ben Mitchell, “Old MacDonald Had an Embryo Pharm” (http://www.cbhd.org/resources/stemcells/mitchell_2001-07-23.htm)
- Focus on the Family Issue Analysis (http://www.citizenlink.org/FOSI/bioethics/)
- Answers in Genesis-Stem Cell Research (http://www.answersingenesis.org/media/video/ondemand/cloning-stem-cells/cloning-stem-cells-value-of-life).
(3) Let your voice be heard
(4) Proclaim the gospel of Christ as the ultimate solution to our problem.
- Ethics: Alternatives and Issues, 218-19. [↩]