This post, and the following post, will look at the substance of an excellent article in the July 2023 issue of Decision Magazine by Dr. Michael Brown entitled “God’s Word Defines Reality.” The link is God’s Word Defines Reality (decisionmagazine.com).
Let’s look at the article.
Dr. Brown begins with a discussion of society’s redefining the concepts of “truth,” “morality,” and “reality.” Years ago, many Americans believed in the biblical truths of “absolute truth,” “absolute morality,” and “absolute reality.” This means that at one time, people believed notwithstanding one’s belief system that some things were true and others were false. There was a difference between “truth” and “error” no matter a person’s worldview. By its very nature that “something” was true or false. What a person thought did not make something true or false. The phrase “You have your truth, and I have my truth” doesn’t make something right. It is a phrase that is a lie!
American’s earlier beliefs also meant that some things were “moral” and some things were “immoral.” Again, regardless of one’s opinion, an action or other things were either “moral” or “immoral.” A person’s opinion had NO IMPACT on whether something was “moral” or “immoral.” People doing right in their own eyes did justify their conduct and did not change the sin nature of immoral conduct. The expression “It may be wrong for you, but it’s right for me” doesn’t make something moral. Such a phrase expresses a lie!
In days gone by Americans believed that some things were “real” and some things were “imagined” no matter one’s belief system or worldview. A person may believe the earth is flat, but that does not make the earth flat. Reality remains constant no matter what a person thinks. What a person believes does not make it true. The expression “I am whatever I perceive myself to be” does not make such a self-perception real. This phrase represents self-deception.
Dr. Brown then points out that today’s society has redefined these absolute concepts as relative. He writes:
Today we have relative truth (as in, “You have your truth, I have my truth”), relative morality (“It may be wrong for you, but it’s right for me”), and relative reality (“I am whatever I perceive myself to be”).
Dr. Brown then moves into God’s perspective. Because God is the Creator of the universe and sovereign over it all, it only makes sense that God’s perspective, as expressed in the Bible, controls. We are to pay attention to God’s Word and not for what society cries out.
God’s perspective has not changed. See Malachi 3:6. What this means is what the Bible taught years ago remains true today. There is truth and there is falsehood. There is morality and there is immorality. There is reality and there is fantasy. He quotes Hebrews 4:12-13, which reads in the NET translation:
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from God, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.
Dr. Brown then moves on to consider what God’s Word says about “the controversial issues the media reports on.” These issues are abortion, homosexual practice, and “biological sex.” This post concerns abortion. Post 2 considers homosexual practice and “biological sex,” i.e., transgender issues.
About abortion, Dr. Brown cites some passages that present God’s perspective of a baby in the womb. A baby in the womb has personhood per:
Genesis 25:21–23 (NET) – 21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 But the children struggled inside her, and she said, “If it is going to be like this, I’m not so sure I want to be pregnant!” So she asked the Lord,23 and the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples will be separated from within you. One people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”
Jeremiah 1:4–5 (NET) – 4 The Lord said to me, 5 “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”
To characterize babies in the womb as “two nations” reveals their personhood. To appoint Jeremiah a prophet before he was formed in the womb establishes personhood of a baby in the womb. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to to appreciate the extremely high value of a baby in the womb.
The passages that pertain to Mary’s visit to Elizabeth show the personhood of a baby in the womb:
Luke 1:39–43 (NET) – 39 In those days Mary got up and went hurriedly into the hill country, to a town of Judah,40 and entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.42 She exclaimed with a loud voice, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child in your womb! 43 And who am I that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me?
The fact that John the Baptist leaped in the womb upon the entrance of the baby Jesus in the womb demonstrates personhood of a baby in the womb.
Note that John the Baptist would be filled by the Holy Spirit while still in the womb per Luke 1:15 (NET):
15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth.
The act of being filled with the Holy Spirit shows personhood of a baby in the womb.
Psalm 139:13–16 (NET) shows the love and care God has for the baby in the womb:
– 13 Certainly you made my mind and heart; you wove me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give you thanks because your deeds are awesome and amazing. You knew me thoroughly; 15 my bones were not hidden from you, when I was made in secret and sewed together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb. All the days ordained for me were recorded in your scroll before one of them came into existence.
Like the above texts, God’s care for a baby in the womb proves the personhood of a baby in the womb.
Dr. Brown points out that some pro-abortion proponents cite Exodus 21:22-25 and Numbers 5:11-31 to support a pro-abortion position. Exodus 21:22–25 (NET) reads:
22 “If men fight and hit a pregnant woman and her child is born prematurely, but there is no serious injury, he will surely be punished in accordance with what the woman’s husband demands of him, and he will pay what the court decides.23 But if there is serious injury, then you will give a life for a life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
Clearly, this passage establishes the personhood of a baby in the womb if a murder is the penalty for the death of the baby.
In reference to the Numbers passage, Dr. Brown writes:
The passage in Numbers says nothing about abortion at all. And even if it did (which, to repeat, it does not), it would be an act of divine judgment for adultery, not a woman’s prerogative if the pregnancy was unwanted. No wonder, then, that the early church took such a strong stance on abortion.
At the end of the article, Dr. Brown gives out a strong call for Christian leaders, especially Pastors, to biblically treat those who have had abortions and to PROCLAIM TRUTH:
As for women who have had abortions (or men who have participated in abortions), … Jesus shed the same blood for each of them as for each of us. All of us come to the cross as lost sinners, all of us need God’s amazing grace, and all of us can be cleansed and forgiven and transformed. That is the power of the Gospel. That is the power of the blood of Jesus.
It is imperative that Christian leaders, especially pastors, lay out the Biblical teaching on these critical subjects with both courage and compassion. As I have often said, we need hearts of compassion and backbones of steel. That’s why it is crucial that parents and educators give their children and students clear Biblical foundations. And that’s why, in all things, we need a fresh baptism of the love of God for those who differ with us.
America can only be saved and changed by the Gospel, and as much as we must advocate for good laws to replace bad laws, our ultimate goal must be the changing of hearts and minds through the power of Christ. With God it is possible!
America is at a crossroad about abortion. The recent Dobbs decision by the SCOTUS permits states to determine the scope of abortion rights. Sadly, many states permit or are on the road to permit abortion. I agree with Dr. Brown that the ultimate goal is to proclaim the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
If you are unsure about your salvation or are not a Christian, it is vital that you continue reading.
IF YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT YOUR SALVATION
If you are unsure about your salvation, you need to check out my book The Salvation Meter: Biblical Self-Diagnostic Tests to Examine Your Salvation and Spiritual Growth (book link at Xulon Press: https://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781662828638 ). At Amazon the book link is https://www.amazon.com/Salavation-Meter-Biblical-Self-Diagnostic-Spiritual/dp/1662828632 . I also have a website in which I am updating the content in the book. The link to my website for the book is https://thesalvationmeter.com .
IF YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN
… please (1) read through “God’s Plan of Salvation” so you can understand what God did for you through His only unique Son, Jesus Christ, and (2), from the bottom of your heart, pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” meaning every word. If you do, you will be reconciled to God – saved – through Jesus Christ.
God’s Plan of Salvation
In the beginning, God, who is holy, created the entire universe. As a part of His creative actions, He made humans (male and female) in His image to know Him. For a while, everything was right between God and our ancestors, Adam and Eve. But Adam and Eve sinned, whereby sin was passed down to all of humankind so that we became sinners separated from God. Nothing we could do on our own could bridge that separation so that without God’s intervention, hell would be our eternal destination.
Fortunately for us, in His great love and mercy God provided humankind with the only means of salvation, which is through Jesus Christ who is God’s only unique Son. While retaining His deity, God the Son became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died a substitutionary atoning death on the cross, thus fulfilling the law Himself and taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever repent and trust in Him for their salvation. Jesus rose from the dead, showing that God the Father accepted Christ’s sacrifice and exhausted God’s wrath against every believer. He now calls all unbelievers to repent of their sins and trust alone in what Christ did to save them.
If we repent of our sins and completely trust in Christ alone that He died for our sins and rose to life from the dead, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.
Scripture References: Genesis 1:1, 26, 31; Habakkuk 1:13; Genesis 2:7-25; Genesis 3:1-7, 22-24; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:19-20, 23; 5:17-19; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Colossians 1:15; 2:9; Matthew 1:18, 20, 24-25; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 2:17; 9:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 John 4:10; John 3:16-18; Mark 1:15; Acts 17:30; 26:20; Romans 1:4; 4:25; John 3:5-8; 1 Peter 1:3.
Lord, Jesus Christ, the only unique Son of God, thank You for Your free gift of eternal life. I know I’m a sinner who cannot save myself no matter what I do, and I deserve to spend eternity in hell. But, I know that because You loved me so much, You voluntarily died on the cross for me taking my sins upon Yourself, and You physically bodily rose from the grave showing that Your sacrificial death was sufficient payment to give me eternal life in Heaven. I now repent of my sins and completely trust alone in what You did for my eternal salvation. Please take control of my life as I now receive You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You so much for saving me. I am now Yours forever!
(Scripture references: John 1:1-4, 11-14; John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:21-26; Isaiah 53:4-6; Mark 1:15; Acts 16:31; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-10, 13; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; John 10:27-29).
NOTICE OF PERMISSIONS
I am mindful of and respect the rights other authors and/or publishers possess in their works. I thus try my best to not violate any copyright rights other authors and/or publishers possess in their works. The below copyright permission statement is the result of my best efforts to understand that limited usage or “fair use” is available and/or to secure direct permission for specific works. The quotations from commentaries are considered to be “fair use.”
Scripture quotations marked “ESV” are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture marked “NASB95” are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.” Scripture marked “NCV” is taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson