Today's blog is another one from the archives, written by Carl Kerby.
One point I always try to make when speaking is that what we believe about where we come from has a profound effect on how we think and act. For instance, IF one believes life is the result of billions of years of random chance processes, how does one justify placing value on human life?
According to the 2011 PBS documentary entitled, The Journey of Life, humans are here because, “Over the course of 14 billion years, hydrogen gas transformed itself into mountains, butterflies, the music of Bach, and you and me.”
If this is the case, we have no real value; our perceived value is determined by man’s fallible opinion, which means that it comes from how pretty, smart, strong, or wealthy we are. It’s all determined by WHAT we bring “to the plate”—by what we offer.
... Our value comes from the fact that the Creator of everything made us in His image—NOTHING could give us more value than that.
Think about it, if we don’t have much to offer (according to arbitrary standards set by the opinions of somebody), then we could be classified as “useless eaters.” This was the case in Germany, which led to the killing of millions of human beings, many of whom were German citizens. Most people don’t know that Hitler’s Nazi regime didn’t just execute Jewish people; they actually started with mentally and physically handicapped Germans and continued from there.
On the other hand, what are the implications IF we believe God created man in His image? IF we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), and God literally knits a human together in his or her mother’s womb, that changes everything. If THAT history is true, our value comes from the fact that the Creator of everything made us in His image—NOTHING could give us more value than that. In fact, it’s because God loves us and made us in His image that we have great value.
After speaking at a youth camp, a gentleman suggested that I watch a documentary entitled Killing Us Softly by Jean Kilbourne. Ms. Kilbourne is a pioneering activist for women, as well as speaker and author. She’s well known for her work on the image of women in advertising, and uses the powerful message of this documentary to show how ad agencies exploit women. (Interestingly, this is something that I’ve spoken about for a while now, but had never heard of her work. I’m also very concerned that the messages we see in the media are having an extremely detrimental impact on this generation.) Even though I would be in agreement with much of what I saw in the documentary, I’m not able to use the video because some images are pretty explicit.
There is one area that I believe is noticeably hypocritical, though, and thought I should comment on it. Ms. Kilbourne made the following statement:
We all grow up in a culture in which women’s bodies are constantly turned into ‘things’ and ‘objects’ … And this is everywhere, in all kinds of advertising, women’s bodies turned into ‘things’—into objects. Now of course this affects female self-esteem. It also does something even more insidious: it creates a climate in which there is widespread violence against women. I’m not at all saying that an ad like this directly causes violence—it’s not that simple. But turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step toward justifying violence against that person. (Emphasis mine.)
Here’s where I see the hypocrisy: Ms. Kilbourne is very supportive of abortion rights.1 The "turning-people-into-things" approach, which she rightly condemns, is exactly what “pro-choice” proponents do in order to justify their actions. They dehumanize humans—they turn humans into “things.” That’s why instead of calling the unborn child a “child,” they call him or her a “fetus.” Let's look at some definitions to illustrate what I'm saying.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a fetus is:
An unborn or unhatched vertebrate, especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind; specifically : a developing human (emphasis mine) from usually two months after conception to birth
Yet, when you go to the 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary, a fetus is:
The young of viviparous animals in the womb, and of oviparous animals in the egg, after it is perfectly formed; before which time it is called embryo. A young animal then is called a fetus from the time its parts are distinctly formed, till its birth.
In the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary, a “fetus” only pertained to animals. Today, however, unborn CHILDREN have been turned into “things” to help justify the greatest violence that can be taken against a human being—murder!
Please don’t misunderstand, we need to speak loudly and clearly against the exploitation of any human being because it’s wrong. But, if Ms. Kilbourne truly wants to be consistent, she needs to take a stand—as we all must—for ALL human life, and that includes the unborn child.
The truth is, because God made us in His image, we have value. This is why Ms. Kilbourne, (even if she doesn’t realize she’s borrowing from the biblical worldview) makes her point that women shouldn’t be treated as “things.” This is also why she has compassion and finds the courage to stand up for this cause—she believes there is an objective right and wrong. If everything (including us) is an accident, then nothing (including us) has any real value, and there is no objective right or wrong. That means the virtue we call compassion is no different from hatred, and courage is no different from cowardice.
We want you to KNOW that you are special because God created you. True, we live in a fallen world where babies are killed in their mother’s wombs, and women are exploited. Those things are wrong. Those things are sinful. And the fact is, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All of us are guilty of rebelling against a just and holy God, and we deserve death and separation from Him for all eternity. But because God is also gracious and merciful, He has provided a way, through Jesus, for us to be saved from the consequences of our sins (Romans 3:23–25; Romans 5:9; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8).
Ephesians 2:4, 5
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.
Because God loves us, we have great value, so much so that He died on a cross to pay for our sins even while we were rejecting Him (Romans 5:8). He died to pay the price for our rebellion (1 John 2:2). His shed blood pays the price for ALL of our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21; Col 1:19–20; Hebrews 9:22). This is why, if we repent and place our trust in Christ alone, we can spend eternity with Him in a place that He has prepared called Heaven (Acts 3:19; John 14:2–4; 1 John 5:13).
If you’ve not turned yourself over to Christ, may we ask you to consider giving it all to Him today. Right now! And if you have already trusted Christ as your Savior, always remember, Christian, you’re a child of the King.
1 Margaret Fosmoe, (April 12, 2017) “Author says Saint Mary’s College rescinded speech invite over Planned Parenthood award,” South Bend Tribune. https://www.southbendtribune.com/story/news/education/2017/04/12/author-says-saint-marys-college-rescinded-speech-invite-over-planned-parenthood-award/45907861/ (Accessed March 9, 2022).
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