Protesting Too Much
We are amused whenever Unbelievers try to make out they are theologians or they have something beyond the comical or the trite to contribute to a religious debate. They tend, as a herd, to pontificate with loud declamations about what they do not know.
A Republican candidate for the US Senate has had the temerity to suggest that one should treat with great care and respect the life of an unborn child, even when that child has been conceived as a result of rape. He has argued that even that conception is of God.
At this point all Christians who understand the Bible’s revelation of the all controlling power of Almighty God will know immediately what is being referred to and meant. This is Christian faith 101.
Christians know the Psalms. They know the Book of Job. They know that suffering and calamity comes from evil and wicked agencies–even as it did to Job. Yet they also know that behind the wickedness of the Accuser is the permissive will of God, the Almighty.
Moreover, Christians know that the only comfort in life and death, particularly amidst suffering, is to believe that hard and difficult providences also come from God’s hand and are meant for the ultimate good of His people. When Christians stand in grief around a coffin of a man murdered by contumely thugs the only final comfort is to know and believe that even this, too, has come from God’s hand and by His will. It is not some random act beyond the control and will of God. It is not meaningless. As the old catechism so powerfully puts it:
What is your only comfort in life and death?
That I am not my own, but belong–body and soul, in life and death–to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. . . .
Rape must always remain a capital crime. It is a grossly evil act–whether committed by men or women. However, as a result of rape sometimes a human being in the image of God is conceived. That human being is innocent of all sin, except that of our first father, Adam. That human being is not guilty of rape. Therefore, that unborn child must be treated with the utmost care and respect–otherwise society would be arguing that the sins of one of the parents must be visited upon the child and that child must die, be executed, for the sins of the father or mother, sins of which they are not guilty, but completely innocent.
What mad and utterly immoral society would punish the child for the gross sins of the rapist parent?
It goes without saying that victims of rape, having now a child conceived and growing within one’s womb, would always be suffering deeply. But the only comfort is to believe that out of this terrible affliction, God will bring good. He will bring comfort, ensuring that this thing, too, is in His hand and will work together for my salvation. And exactly the same realities apply to the innocent, defenceless human now quickened within the womb. Do not do evil, that good may come, we are told. We must take up all such children, conceived through rape, and ensure that the sins of a rapist are not visited upon the innocent child as if he or she were guilty.