Continuing our series on The Treasure in the Field, The Kingdom and Life
Our world is filled with strange contradictions. We love life and resent death, and will go to enormous lengths in pursuit of immortality. We arm ourselves with exercise programs and dietary regimes to try to fight off the assaults of that ever-advancing enemy, death, for as long as possible. Yet there may be 50 million babies killed across the world each year, and countless people “euthanized”. Staggering numbers are killed in war or violence.
So, we believe in the sanctity of “my life” rather than in the Sanctity of Life. When we say that we love life, we probably mean mostly that “I love my life”. We certainly don’t appear to love the principle of Life enough to truly love our unborn or ageing neighbours as oursleves. So, rather than defending Life as an absolute commitment, we are reduced to debating what kinds of life are worth preserving. The kind of life at the top of the list is “my life”! So, whereas the Bible simply says that God is the author of life, we prefer to talk about the quality of life. What sorts of life are worth living?
In this, man is now playing God. When life was in God’s hands, the sanctity of life was secure. But now, it is man’s defintion of “quality of life” that has sanctity. None dare question the received wisdom of a culture that is determining what kinds of life are to be preserved. Pharaoh, Herod and Hitler all decided that young Jewish life was expendable, and ethnic cleansing still defiles the planet. But there are many other kinds of life that become endangered when choices about life and death are wrested from God’s hands and invested in human power.