“Son, your sins are forgiven” (Mk 2:5b). These are the words a paralyzed man heard right before Jesus made him walk.
What kind of person has so much ownership over all humanity that He can expect us to behave according to His standard, and when we don’t, He considers it a personal affront against Him, which only He can forgive? The religious leaders of the day were offended at Jesus’ words of forgiveness because they understood that only God can forgive another man’s sin. To clarify to the unbelieving scribes that He is God fixing a sin-sick world, Jesus says to them, “‘But so that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ turning to the paralytic He declares, ‘I say to you, get up’” (Mk 2:10-11).
What makes Jesus’ words so amazing is that “He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Mk 1:22). Everyone knows that no one possesses a moral authority that can stand alone. But why were so many people jammed into the house where the paralytic was healed? It was not a magic show or even something so fantastic as to make a local paralytic walk. No. It was because Jesus authoritatively “was speaking the word to them” (Mk 2:2b).
Why is CompassCare so adamantly pro-life? How do we know what choices to make, which direction to go, or how to guide another person’s decision-making? And if we have no higher reference point than man’s reason or experience to determine right from wrong, which man’s version of morality has the authority to prevail over others? And what mere mortal is qualified to arbitrate questions of such universal importance?
Who possesses the right to claim exclusive authority or the comprehensive knowledge necessary for total objectivity? Or, more to the point, who is anyone to say whether abortion is right or wrong?
Our principles must be rooted in an authority that is more concrete than the vapor of personal views, deeper than the creek of individual experience, more substantial than the shifting sands of public opinion, straighter than the winding streams of philosophy, and far beyond the sight of science. Yet when people foist their personal standards of behavior upon others based solely on their finite understanding of the world, irreconcilable differences result.
Scripture teaches that mankind wallows in the midnight swamp of abject moral poverty, the only solution being a direct infusion of light from on high. Jesus came, “To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Lk 1:79). Without Christ we are so lost that we cannot discern accurately with our heart (Jer 17:9), nor properly interpret the world with our mind (Rom 8:6a).
And yet “God created man in His own image” (Gen 1:27a), designed to reflect His character as the moon reflects the sun. This presumes God, not man, is the model under whom all humans must submit. Finding a way back from sin and depravity apart from the direct revelation of Jesus defies Scripture by presuming man is not all that bad or unreasonable. On the contrary, Scripture admonishes, “Let no one deceive you with empty words. . .for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord” (Eph 5:6a, 8a).
Being people of Light, how then ought we live? “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them” (Eph 5:11). Because of the light of Christ, CompassCare exposes these “deeds of darkness,” the things about which “it is disgraceful even to speak of” (Eph 5:12) — things like abortion. The light of Jesus is the standard by which all people everywhere, across all the ages will be measured. No sin will go overlooked. Either He pays for our sins through the cross or we will pay for them forever. CompassCare compassionately cajoles women to awaken to the truth of their condition, seeing unplanned pregnancy as a sovereignly ordained moment when God calls her to reorient herself to Him through Christ’s sacrifice for sin on the cross. Then He empowers her to be in right relationship to others too, starting with her baby. For the unassailable and infallible word of God insists all humans are equally valuable, without qualification or favoritism (Gen 9:6; Lk 10:25-37; Jas 2:8-9). And His word, not ours, is authoritative: “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation” (2 Pt 1:20). Abortion demonstrates that moral authority is a life-or-death matter. Submission to God always results in life. Submission to man’s authority ultimately results in death (Mt 7:13-14).
Confidently erasing the need for abortion in Christ,
Rev. James R. Harden, M.Div.
P.S. “These things speak…with all authority” (Ti 2:15a).
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