spurgeon1

Documentary on C.H. Spurgeon

There is an excellent new documentary on Charles Haddon Spurgeon. From the website –

The lives of millions of Christians around the world have been changed through the ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. But how much do those of us who esteem him so highly really know about Charles Spurgeon, the man?

What were the events that shaped his life and made him the man who would be known as the Prince of Preachers? Through the Eyes of Spurgeon invites you to explore with us where and how Spurgeon lived, to follow his steps, to embrace the legacy he has left us.

Join us in seeing the world of Charles Spurgeon through his eyes.

The documentary can be viewed at http://www.throughtheeyesofspurgeon.com/

Enjoy.

 

brookspr

Thomas Brooks on Truth

“Ah souls, have you not found truth sweetening your spirits, and cheering your spirits, and warming your spirits, and raising your spirits, and corroborating your spirits?  Have not you found truth a guide to lead you, a staff to uphold you, a cordial to strengthen you, and a plaster to heal you?  And will you not hold fast the truth?  Has not truth been your best friend in your worst days?  Has not truth stood by you when friends have forsaken you?  Has not truth done more for you than all the world could do against you, and will you not hold fast the truth?  Is not truth your right eye, without which you cannot see for Christ?  And your right hand, without which you cannot do for Christ?  And your right foot, without which you cannot walk with Christ?  And will you not hold fast the truth?  Oh!  Hold fast the truth in your judgments and understandings, in your wills and affections, in your profession and conversation…You were better let go anything than truth; you were better let go your honors and riches, your friends and pleasures, and the world’s favors; yea, your nearest and dearest relations, yes, your very lives, than to let go truth.  Oh, keep the truth, and truth will make you safe and happy forever.  Blessed are those souls that are kept by truth.”  (Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1:59,60)

bible

Did Hosea Really Marry a Harlot?

There are three main interpretative approaches to Hosea chapters 1-3. The first is the symbolic view which treats the marriage as a symbol or a vision utilized by God to teach Israel lessons about His marriage to them. This view is held by a lot of the older commentators. For instance, John Calvin says, “There is no doubt but that God describes here the favor He promises to the Israelites in a type or a vision: for they are too gross in their notions, who think that the prophet married a woman who had been a harlot.”[1] The commentators who take this position indicate that if Hosea had in fact married a harlot, his ministry would have been undermined.

The second position may be called the proleptic view. The idea here is that Gomer was chaste when Hosea married her and then she engaged in unfaithfulness. This doesn’t really solve the potential problem; it still sets forth a situation where God commands Hosea to marry a woman that He knew would be a harlot.

The third position is the literal view. I believe this is the correct interpretation for several reasons. First, the narrative reads as straightforward history. The LORD commanded Hosea, “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry” (1:2a). The prophet then went and married Gomer the daughter of Diblaim and she bore him a son (v. 3). She conceived again and bore him a daughter (1:6) and “when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son” (1:8). Secondly, the “children of harlotry” spoken of in 1:2a were more than likely the children born to Gomer prior to her marriage with Hosea. The three children referenced in 1:3-9 are best understood as children born to Hosea and Gomer, and thus they would not have been children of harlotry. Verse 3 makes clear that Jezreel was a son born to Hosea. We have no reason from the text to suppose otherwise concerning Lo-Ruhamah and Lo-Ammi. Thirdly, the woman Hosea marries according to 1:2 is “a wife of harlotry” and the same woman he is called to recover in 3:1 is guilty of adultery.[2] Hosea married Gomer who had been guilty of harlotry. He had three children with her, each of which carried a particular message through their God-determined names to the northern kingdom, and subsequent to this, Gomer engaged in adultery and thus the prophet was commanded to recover her again (3:1-5). Fourthly, the priests of Israel were prohibited from marrying harlots (Lev 21:7, 13-14), but prophets were not subject to the same prohibition according to God’s law. Therefore, it is best to understand that this was in fact a literal marriage between the prophet and Gomer and it was contracted according to the command of God to serve as an acted parable of the LORD’s relationship with Israel.

Why is this literal view significant? In the first place, the reason given by God for Hosea’s marriage to Gomer is stated 1:2b, “For the land has committed great harlotry by departing from the LORD.” McComiskey comments,

The clause ‘because the land has committed great fornication [which has led them] away from the LORD’ (1:2) states the reason for Hosea’s marriage – it was because the people were guilty of spiritual fornication. They might have pointed the finger at Gomer and gossiped about the prophet who married her, but they were no better than she. The marriage of Hosea and Gomer was an eloquent depiction of Yahweh’s marriage to His errant people.[3]

Secondly, though the LORD condemned the conduct of the people of Israel and used the preaching of the prophet to call them to repentance, He also communicated a message of hope concerning the restoration of Israel. In 1:3-9, the names of Hosea’s three children indicate that the northern kingdom would come to an end (1:4), the people would be judged without pity (1:6), and they would be considered not God’s people (1:9). As if anticipating the possible objection, “what about the LORD’s promise to Abraham?” the prophet looks forward to the days of the New Covenant in 1:10-11. The latter half of chapter 2 (vv. 14-23) also looks forward to the New Covenant when the names of the three children would be reversed and the blessing of God would come upon the church.[4]

Finally, the marriage of Hosea and Gomer is probably intended to shock us a bit. The literal view of the marriage may cause a degree of discomfort among New Covenant Christians. We are, after all, supposed to be equally yoked and a godly man should never marry a harlot. While I am certainly not condoning marrying harlots, we should appreciate that this was a unique command given by God in a specific redemptive historical situation. With this necessary qualification given, what is more shocking – Hosea’s marriage to Gomer or God’s marriage to Israel? As faithful as Hosea was, he was still a sinner. For God the LORD to take such a bride demonstrates His grace, mercy, and lovingkindness. The fact that He saves such people IS shocking. The first century Jews were scandalized by God’s redemptive plan (1 Co 1:23); no doubt 8th century B.C. Jews were shocked as are modern readers of this ancient love story. As McComiskey notes,

The prophecy of Hosea is a tapestry of grace. As the prophet loves a woman whose crudeness and brazenness must have hurt him deeply, so God’s grace comes to His people in their unloveliness. Our spiritual condition is never so low that God cannot woo and receive us back to Himself as Hosea received Gomer.[5]

So to answer the question posed in the title of this post, yes, Hosea did marry a harlot. The important thing to remember concerning this incident recorded in Hosea 1-3 is not that Hosea married a harlot, but that God did.



[1] John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, Volume XIII (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, re. 1996), 123.

[2] Some posit that there were two different women the prophet was commanded to love. I do not believe this is the case.

[3] Thomas Edward McComiskey, “Hosea,” An Exegetical and Expository Commentary on the Minor Prophets, ed. Thomas Edward McComiskey (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, re. 2006), 1:16.

[4] See Paul’s use of this passage in Ro 9:25-26. Cf. 1 Pe 2:10 also.

[5] Thomas Edward McComiskey, “Hosea,” An Exegetical and Expository Commentary on the Minor Prophets, ed. Thomas Edward McComiskey (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, re. 2006), 1:17.

exp_johnbunyanchristian1

The Good News

The word “gospel” simply means “good news.”  The gospel is the historic, revealed message concerning Jesus Christ. It is that record of events which focuses upon Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for sinners. It is important to understand this as some Christians with good intentions maintain that believers should “live the gospel.”  Technically, one cannot live the good news of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for sinners – it is a message, it is a declaration, it is good news. One can live in light of it or one can let his conduct be worthy of it or one can pursue holiness; but to live out the events of Christ’s redemptive work on behalf of sinners, is simply not our calling. J. Gresham Machen said,

 We can preach the gospel, they tell us, by our lives, and do not need to preach it by our words. But they are wrong. Men are not saved by the exhibition of our glorious Christian virtues; they are not saved by the contagion of our experiences. We cannot be the instruments of God in saving them if we preach to them thus only ourselves. Nay, we must preach to them the Lord Jesus Christ; for it is only through the gospel which sets Him forth that they can be saved.[1]

In 1 Cor 15, the Apostle Paul addresses the doctrine of the resurrection. In verses 1-4, he sets forth the gospel of Jesus Christ as the foundation for the argument that follows. We note several things concerning the gospel in this section of Scripture.

In the first place, the gospel is rooted in history. Before the foundation of the world, God decreed to save a people by His Son Jesus Christ. The gospel is the execution of that decree in history. Paul says that Christ died, was buried, and rose again. These are historic, dateable and non-repeatable events. In fulfillment of the Old Testament word of promise, Christ came in the fullness of the times, was born of a woman, and born under the law. He lived in obedience to the law of God, died to satisfy divine justice in the place of sinners, and rose again.

Secondly, the gospel is revealed by God. The Scripture speaks of two types of revelation, general and special. Ps 19 and Rom 1 set forth the truth that God reveals Himself to His image bearers through the created order. The heavens declare the glory of God (Ps 19:1) and what God has manifested of Himself to man leaves man without excuse for his sin and disobedience (Rom 1:19-20). However, general revelation does not communicate the necessity for blood atonement. It does not reveal the work of Christ on the cross for sinners. Special revelation is God’s having made Himself and His ways known through the Scriptures. Paul highlights this in 1 Cor 15:1-4 by indicating that Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection happened “according to the Scriptures” (vv.3,4). The work of Christ was not an after-thought or a reaction in the mind of God; the Old Testament conspicuously promised a coming Redeemer who would crush the head of Satan through His redemptive work which Christ carried out in His first coming.

Thirdly, the gospel is the record of Christ’s work for sinners. The Triune God is actively involved in salvation (Eph 1:3-14) and the gospel message is the outworking of the Father’s decree to save the elect. As well, it is the gospel that the Holy Spirit brings to bear upon the elect:  when sinners are born again by His power, they believe the gospel of Christ.  Because of this, the church and her preachers must set forth Christ in His person and in His work to all mankind. Paul determined to know nothing among the Corinthians “except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2); the modern church does well to imitate the Apostle.

Fourthly, the gospel is received by faith alone.  Christianity is not moralism; it is not a message of “try-harder” and you will be accepted by God.  The gospel addresses the root of the matter:  man before God is completely undone because of his sin.  There is no ability in the sinner to gain acceptance with God. The gospel is the revelation of the One who kept the law; who always did what pleased His Father; who died as a sacrifice and a substitute for His people.  The means by which His people are justified is through faith alone.  Paul highlights the role of faith in 1 Cor 15 — “which also you received [by faith] in which you stand” (v.1), “by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain” (v.2) and “so we preach and so you believe” (v.11).  Verse 2 also indicates the absolute necessity of the gospel for salvation, for if one does not believe and hold fast that word, one is not saved.[2]

The final observation is a very practical one:  the gospel is powerful to save the worst sinners.  In verse 9, Paul writes, “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”  Paul declares in Rom 1:16 that the gospel “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.”  He highlights his own sinfulness in Gal 1:13 and makes a wonderful declaration in 1 Tim 1:15, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”  In light of these observations, we should praise God Almighty for His wonderful gospel!

 

[1] J. Gresham Machen, Education, Christianity, and the State (Jefferson: MD, The Trinity Foundation, 1987), p.21.

[2] Other passages speak to the absolute necessity of Christ and His gospel for salvation.  See for example, Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom 1:16-17; Eph 1:13-14; Jas 1:18; 1 Pet 1:23.

wheatfield

The Cessation of the Miraculous

In Joshua chapters 3-4, the children of Israel cross the Jordan into the Promised Land due to the wondrous power of God. In chapter 5, the children of Israel celebrate by the sacramental signs: circumcision and Passover. During the Passover celebration, the author emphasizes that the children of Israel “ate of the produce of the land” (Josh 5:11, two other references in v.12). This emphasis highlights an important point: the God who promised the gift of the land with all of its attendant grain, was now fulfilling that promise and His covenant people were reaping the benefits of His faithfulness.

In Josh 5:12, we read “Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year.” This highlights an important principle: the cessation of the miraculous (God’s provision of manna) does not imply the cessation of God’s active power in sustaining His covenant people. Whether through the extraordinary manna or the ordinary produce of the land, God is faithful. It is a curious fact that we are inclined to see God’s power displayed when He spares a young man’s life in an automobile accident, but less likely to see God’s power in keeping most of us from automobile accidents each and every day.

If I may draw a parallel: the church today in some quarters seems discontent with the produce of the land and appears to be seeking manna from heaven. Of course, God is still sovereign, still omnipotent, and still able to perform the miraculous. However, in this new covenant setting, the gift of the Spirit in the normal, ordinary events of church life is still our Sustainer and Shield. God is as present in a corporate prayer meeting that is conducted without bells and whistles, as He was in the prayer meeting recorded in Acts 4. The absence of tongues and prophesying, the absence of miraculous displays of healing through human instruments, and the absence of the sort of things we read regularly in the book of Acts does not mean the absence of God. We are to faithfully employ the means of grace given by our good God and enjoy His sustaining power, even if it is just the produce of the land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LBCF1689

Two Helpful Sites for Reformed Baptist Theology

Brandon Adams has created an excellent site designed to explore the specific contours of Reformed Baptist covenant theology as summarized in the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. There are several interviews with Dr. Jim Renihan, Dr. Richard Barcellos, and Pastor Sam Renihan which contrast the 1689 Confession of Faith with the Westminster Confession of Faith, dispensational theology, New Covenant theology, and 20th century Reformed Baptist covenant theology. There are also some helpful charts and a section of recommended books. There is good stuff here — http://www.1689federalism.com/

Also, three “ordinary fellas” have put together a website called The Confessing Baptist (http://confessingbaptist.com/) which is designed to be “your one-stop shop for all things Reformed Baptist” (from the “About” section at the site).

 

10commandments.new

The Bible and Abortion

The late John Murray said, “Nothing shows the moral bankruptcy of a people or of a generation more than disregard for the sanctity of life.”[1] Abortion is an indicator of the moral bankruptcy of people in this generation and demonstrates the exceeding wickedness of sin. The Bible reveals that man is created in the image of God, and therefore to murder man is to assault the divine majesty.[2] The fact that man is created in the image of God is not true only of healthy adults, but is true of man in every phase of his life. Man is the image of God before the fall into sin (Gen 1:26-28), after the fall into sin (Jas 3:9), in the womb (see below), as a child (Lev 18:21; Eph 6:4), as one physically handicapped (Lev 19:14; Mk 10:46-52), as an elderly person (Lev 19:32; Prov 16:31; 1 Tim 5:1), and as having dominion over the animals (Gen 1:28; Ps 8:6-8).

With specific reference to the preborn, the Bible speaks of nations coming from the womb (Gen 25:18-23). Job highlights the providence of God in his life which began in the womb (Job 10:8-12; cf. also 31:13-15). When David confessed his sin before God and traced his native depravity, he did so to his mother’s womb (Ps 51:5).  David was not suggesting that marital intercourse was sinful, but that at the moment of conception he (David, not a product of conception) was a sinner.  The Psalmist marvels at the omniscience and omnipresence of God in Ps 139 and in verses 13-16 he rehearses God’s power in creating man in the womb.  The Prophet Jeremiah was called from his mother’s womb (Jer 1:5) as was the Apostle Paul (Gal 1:15).  In the birth narrative concerning Christ recorded in Luke’s gospel, John the Baptist was called “the babe” in verse 41 which is the same word used in Lk 18:15 for “out-of-the-womb” children.  In Lk 1:44, Christ is referred to as “Lord” while in the womb! If the modern proponents of abortion had their way and successfully influenced Rebekah, Job’s mother, David’s mother, Jeremiah’s mother, Mary, and Paul’s mother with the propaganda of “choice,” nations would not have been, Job, David, Jeremiah, and Paul would not have been, and all of us would have died in our sins.

The Bible does not only reveal the dignity of man; it also regulates conduct with reference to man. When we understand the personhood of man as summarized above, we must understand that every prohibition given regarding murder, applies equally to babies in the womb. In addition to this, there was a specific case law given in Ex 21:22-25 that demanded punishment for those who would inadvertently murder a baby in the womb. The law specified that if two men got into a fight and during the fight a pregnant woman was struck, if she went into premature labor and her children (the word is plural) came out (the OT language for birth) but were not harmed, then the guilty man had to pay a fine. If however, the children came out and there was harm to mother or children, then the guilty man was subject to the lex talionis (the law of retaliation) up to and including death for the guilty man. Before our modern sensitivities are violated by such a proposal, remember that most nations operate according to the lex talionis principle today; it is the basis upon which we say “the punishment must fit the crime.”

In light of this particular passage, it is interesting to note that the Bible demands increased protection for the preborn.  If men engaged in a fight were held legally accountable and punished for accidentally causing an abortion, how much more are state-licensed, government subsidized abortion “clinics” guilty of this horrendous crime?  John Calvin rightly commented, If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man’s house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.”[3] Solomon records what God hates in Prov 6:16-19 and one of them is applicable to the abortion situation:  “hands that shed innocent blood.”

Finally, abortion should be criminalized by the state. Not all sin is necessarily crime (covetousness), nor is all crime necessarily sin (preaching Christ in a Muslim nation), but abortion is both sinful and criminal. The modern state rightly applies the 6th word, “You shall not murder,” in most situations. In order to be consistent, abortion must be a criminal offense which is punishable by the governing authorities, not paid for by the governing authorities.



[1] John Murray, Principles of Conduct (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans Publishing, [1957] 1984), 122.

[2] Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology:  Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans Publishing, re. 1991), 54.

[3] John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, Volume III (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, re. 1996), 42.

rocky-stream-background

The Story of Revival

Sola Scriptura Ministries will host a conference on revival at the Free Grace Baptist Church in October. Here is a brief summary of the event (taken from the Sola Scriptura website) –

“Two sessions will focus on what the Scriptures have to say about this amazing and spectacular out pouring of the Spirit of God. Mark Jones will focus on Acts 2, the first New Testament record of Revival and then followup with a session entitled Diligent Plodding. The periods of Revival, though dramatic and spectacular only encompass a small span of Church History. The Church still grows through the day to day hum drum practices of the local church.

The two other sessions will look at points of history that saw Revival but are little talked about today.”

Here is a link to the flyer for the conference.

http://solascripturaministriesinternational.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/sola_vancouver2012_draft3.pdf

bound_lamb_3

The Day of Atonement

In Leviticus 16, the Lord God commanded Old Covenant Israel to observe the Day of Atonement on the 10th day of the 7th month as a perpetual ordinance. The Day of Atonement was a type and shadow that pointed forward to New Covenant fulfillment in and through the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The stated purpose of the ritual of Leviticus 16 was “to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year” (v.34). The word ‘atonement’ means ‘to cover’ and is used in other contexts to refer to ‘forgiveness’ and ‘ransom’ and ‘cleansing.’ The ritual was also designed to teach Israel several lessons concerning atonement.

In the first place, the Day of Atonement demonstrated the holiness of God. The historical occasion for the instruction given in Lev 16 is found in vv.1-2 which refers to the death of Nadab and Abihu when they offered strange fire before the LORD (Lev 10:1-2). After the death of the two priests, the Lord nailed down a fundamental lesson that Israel needed to learn, “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified” (Lev 10:3). The floor plan in the tabernacle (where the ritual was conducted) further demonstrated the holiness of God: there were two rooms and the room behind the veil (the Holy of Holies) was where God manifested His presence. Access to the second room was guarded, restricted, and further revealed that sinners do not just wander into the presence of God without mediation.

Secondly, the Day of Atonement reminded Israel about their sinfulness. When the high priest entered the Holy of Holies, he did so in order to make atonement for sin. The ritual demonstrated the pervasive power of sin: the high priest made atonement for himself, his house, and the children of Israel. It is interesting to note that atonement had to be made even for the Holy of Holies, the holy place, the tabernacle of meeting, and even the altar. The lesson is obvious: even holy things are defiled when they come into contact with sinful man (cf. Hag 2:10-14). Andrew Bonar commented on atonement for the altar in this way,

Strange that the altar should need to be purified! And yet what spot had more connection with sin? Was not ever sin confessed there? Was not every sin laid down there? Was not that the spot where wrath was ever falling? Here is a strange combination – sin, and the atonement for sin. It may have been typical of the fact, that the foulest sin and the fullest atonement were found at the cross.[1]

Thirdly, the Day of Atonement taught the children of Israel that “without the shedding of blood, there is no remission” (Heb 9:22). The high priest did not enter behind the veil without blood. He brought blood to atone for his sins, his house, the children of Israel, and the tabernacle. Lev 17:11 indicated the significance of the sacrifice of blood, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” The Christian church ought not to reduce (destroy?) the gospel message by portraying it as a self-help message, a moralistic message (be like Jesus!), or one message among many. Furthermore, the Day of Atonement taught the children of Israel (and us) that we are not free to be innovative in our approach to worship; God alone determines how we may approach Him. While modern man seeks signs or wisdom like the Jew and the Greek before him, we must echo the Apostle Paul, “but we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor 1:23). Blood atonement through Christ the Lord is what sinful man desperately needs if he is to gain acceptance with a holy God.

Finally, the Day of Atonement instructed Israel in how blessed atonement really is. The high priest brought two goats for sacrifice on behalf of Israel (not for the nations surrounding Israel: it was a particular atonement). One of the goats was killed and the other served as a scapegoat. The children of Israel were forbidden from entering the tent of meeting while the priest offered the blood of the first goat, but the ritual concerning the scapegoat was witnessed by the children of Israel. The high priest laid his hands on the goat, confessed the sins of Israel, and then drove the goat into the wilderness. The action demonstrated substitutionary curse-bearing and the removal of sin. If the children of Israel had would have had Horatio Spafford’s famous hymn “When Peace Like a River,” perhaps they would have sung the third stanza in this way,

My sin – O the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part, but the whole, is laid on this goat and I bear it no more; praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul![2]



[1] Andrew Bonar, Commentary on Leviticus, (Carlisle:  PA, Banner of Truth Trust, re. 1998), 310.

[2] Horatio B. Spafford, Trinity Hymnal – Baptist Edition (Suwanee: GA, Great Commission Publications, 1995), #580.

the-law-office-sign

The Killing Continues

With the recent decision of a B.C. Supreme Court judge, the province inches closer to creating a macabre open season on human beings. In a strange twist of logic, Supreme Court Justice Lynn Smith ruled that the provisions of the Charter of Rights unjustifiably infringe on a disabled person’s life, liberty, and security.[1] If this logic were applied to liberty and security, the Justice would authorize freemen plunging themselves into slavery and secure men placing themselves in harm’s way. Why bother with a Charter of Rights at all?

This recent decision should come as no surprise: in light of legalized abortion (a feature of Canadian society since 1969), it was only a matter of time until other human beings were the lawful subjects of murder, whether self-inflicted or “physician” assisted. A society that justifies murdering the most helpless members of that society is certainly proclaiming its moral bankruptcy. It is an unfortunate and grim reality: “beautiful B.C.” is a place where those deserving increased protection are marginalized and disposable.

This disregard for human life is a further indication of how far society has devolved from an objective moral standard, namely, the revealed truth of God. I suspect some will question the validity of such a position, but follow along for a moment. The Bible reveals that God made man in His own image and wrote His law upon man’s heart. Man defected from God shortly after his entrance into the world, but he can never fully shake the law of God. He is conscious of certain truths, even though he tries very hard to suppress those truths when they conflict with his wishes. One of those truths is the commandment, “You shall not murder.” If a society excludes this particular commandment, there will be inevitable consequences: physician assisted suicide, abortion on demand, and any number of horrific crimes may potentially become accepted realities. The society in question is left without an objective defense against the encroaching tyranny of lawless men. After all, why shouldn’t the government declare open season on any or all groups within that society? Why shouldn’t the government commit any number of atrocities if there is no absolute standard of right and wrong? A society that authorizes the murder of the preborn and the disabled is a society that has created a culture of death; death becomes the solution for any who do not meet the societal standard of being wanted or having a certain agreed upon quality of life.

The law of God is the standard of right and wrong that will protect man from the always arbitrary and oftentimes murderous tendencies of governments.  Science effectively tells man what is, but science can never tell a man what ought to be.  Francis Schaeffer wrote,

In the flood of the loss of humanness in our age – including the flow from abortion-on-demand to infanticide and on to euthanasia – the only thing that can stem this tide is the certainty of the absolute uniqueness and value of people.  And the only thing which gives us that is the knowledge that people are made in the image of God.  We have no other final protection.  And the only way we know that people are made in the image of God is through the Bible and in the incarnation of Christ, which we know from the Bible.[2]

The Bible reveals that man is created in the image of God, and therefore to murder man is to assault the divine majesty.[3]  The fact that man is created in the image of God is not true only of healthy adults, but it is true of man in every phase of his life. Man is the image of God before the fall into sin (Gen 1:26-28), after the fall into sin (Jas 3:9), in the womb (Ex 21:21-25), as a child (Lev 18:21; Eph 6:4), as one physically handicapped (Lev 19:14; Mk 10:46-52), as an elderly person (Lev 19:32; Prov 16:31; 1 Tim 5:1), and as having dominion over the animals (Gen 1:28; Ps 8:6-8).

Instead of authorizing murder for the vulnerable ones in society, the Supreme Court ought to uphold the Charter of Rights for every person, for a failure to uphold the Charter is wrong in at least two ways. In the first place, it is wrong to permit the unlawful killing of another human being.  It is unfortunate that reasons have to be added to this most fundamental principle, but such is the hardness of man’s heart. And secondly, if the rights of one group are violated, it will not be long until the rights of all groups are violated. That potential open season on human beings may be extended in the next Supreme Court ruling and another group’s right to life, liberty, and security may be at risk.



[2] John Piper, A Hunger for God (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1997), 158.

[3] Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology:  Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans Publishing, re. 1991), 54.