Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Stem Cell Millstone

That didn’t take long.

According to an AP article this past week, Geron Corp. of Menlo Park, CA, “gained federal permission this week to inject eight to 10 patients with cells derived from embryonic cells.”

The article claims that the change of administration had nothing to do with the FDA’s approval. The stem cells involved were part of the exception loophole in President Bush’s policy. But while that slant seems to be directed at stemming controversy, the timing of the news release cannot be coincidental. Abortion proponents must be euphoric. During the anniversary week of Roe v. Wade, their greatest legal victory, they have been able to celebrate the inauguration of the most pro-abortion administration in American history. Now, with this news, they are also able to justify themselves with the promise of a greater good. After all, they might reason, what could be better than using unwanted tissue to enhance the life of someone who is suffering?

In reality, what is happening is an exponential increase of selfishness. Embryos from which stem cells are harvested originate from one of two sources (most are cloned after the fact, but that does not detract from their original source). They originally either come from abortion or are “leftovers” from certain fertility procedures. Either way, life is conceived out of selfishness and then destroyed out of selfishness.

While abortion in all its forms can easily be recognized as selfishness, embryonic stem cell research is not as easily recognizable. But make no mistake about it—it is the worst type of selfishness. What can be more selfish than desiring to improve one’s life by destroying the life of another?

In the Old Testament we are disgusted as we read the prophesies of women eating their own babies to fend off starvation (Jeremiah 19:9). In history, we see how those prophesies were fulfilled during at least two sieges of Jerusalem, the final one in AD 70 (Lamentations 2:20; Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 6:3:4). But how is that unimaginable act worse than what is being done in the modern laboratory? It isn’t. As a matter of fact, even if evil is judged pragmatically (which it isn’t), at least the baby-devourer of the past knew that she would receive physical benefit. That cannot be said for the baby-devourer of today.

Researchers readily acknowledge that the only stem cells proven to generate effective results have been taken from either adults or umbilical cords. Even the study reported in today’s AP article is being conducted with the lowest expectations. “The study is aimed at testing the safety of the procedure, but doctors will also look for signs of improvement like return of sensation or movement in the legs.” In other words, babies are being devoured primarily to see if it is safe to devour a baby. And as an unexpected bonus, the devourer might get a slight physical benefit. At least when the selfish Jewish women devoured their own children, they knew it would preserve their own life by fending off starvation. Today, we are killing and devouring our children with far lower expectations.

As Ed Baetge, the chief scientific officer of Novocell Inc. said, “It’s a milestone and it’s a breakthrough for the field.” He doesn’t know how right he is—except the word he should have used was “millstone”.

Luke 17:2


  • Cheryl D. says:
    January 26, 2009 at 6:00 PM

    Thanks, Pastor Jim.

    Sober, sober topic, but the comparison to women devouring their children is a good one.

    Cheryl D.

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