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The Pastor’s Piece – July 3, 2022

The Pastor’s Piece


July 1, 2022

Sometimes, I’m asked what kind of advice I have to give during tough times? Well, good advice for hard times is the same thing as good advice for good times – Worship God faithfully. Tithe. Minimize debt. Save. Invest in people. And cultivate practical skills that will always be useful. 

There will never come a time in your Christian life where you can just coast along. You will never reach an age where it will be unnecessary to trust God. There will always be something that you need to trust God for. We never grow out of our need to believe in the God who raises the dead. 

As you know the Supreme Court handed down a huge decision last week overturning Roe v Wade. For the last 49 ½  years, this has been a point of ideological division in the U.S. In a very thought-provoking article I came across this week, Pastor Doug Wilson from Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, articulates very well what I strongly believe. He writes: “We need to understand that our rights come to us from God and not from the government. And I think many in the church get this wrong. When a government is behaving wisely in the rights that God has given – they do their part in protecting those rights – but they do not originate those rights, they do not bestow those rights. Rights are from God. 

This means that SCOTUS did not just now take away the constitutional right to an abortion, rather the effect of this decision was to say that Roe was wrongly decided in the first place and that nobody ever did have the constitutional right to an abortion. 

This is exactly right because in order for an abortion to be a right, God would have to be the one who gave it. But He did not give it because He is the One who said, “Thou shalt not murder.” 

There is no right to an abortion that comes from God and therefore there is no right to an abortion. Right to life is a genuine right and life really is a gift from God. It is therefore the duty of civil magistrate to recognize life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

It is crucial that we do not fall into the trap of thinking that the government has the authority to grant the rights that overrule the Word of God. The government has no place to issue the right to an abortion or take away the right to an abortion. That is how pro aborts think and we must not think that way. They believe that the right to life is actually the privilege of life and by their calculus it is a privilege dispensed by the government. But rights are not privileges. 

If we have a Creator then we are endowed by certain inalienable rights – by Him. If we have no Creator but evolved out of the primordial goo, then we have no rights, only privileges. And with the number of those steadily diminishing, we are not just battling over whether to protect life or not, we are not fighting simply for life, we are fighting for the right to life. We are battling over whether or not the government has an obligation to recognize such a God-given right which cannot be done without recognizing God Himself. 

The only alternative to this is to consider the state as the fountainhead of all our privileges – such as they are. This is a war between two completely different conceptions of rights – rights for one party always come along with corresponding obligations for others. And this is how you can see the stark difference between the leftest viewpoint and the Christian view. When we say someone has a right to their property, this means, necessarily, that everyone else has an obligation to respect that right of ours to our property. They do this by not stealing from us. But when the left says someone has a right to affordable housing, this means that somebody else has an obligation to provide that affordable housing. And if he’s not generous enough, the state comes and puts him in jail. 

These two conceptions of rights are diametrically opposed to one another. A right to life means that everyone else has an obligation not to kill you. This is not considered burdensome by reasonable people. But a right to abortion means that one particular person has an obligation to die for you. If you have a right to abortion, someone else has an obligation to let them kill you. It sounds perverse when you put it so bluntly, but that’s the way it is.

In short form, if there is no God above the state, recognized as such, then the state becomes God. If there is no transcendent authority over human government, then human government will claim such ultimate authority for itself. If there is no absolute over the state, the state becomes our working absolute. 

And so our witness as Christians, must include the fact that we do not get to kill the babies … because of what Jehovah God said to Moses on Mt. Sinai – ‘Thou shalt not murder.’ 

As wisdom puts it in Proverbs: ‘All they that hate Me, love death,’” (Proverbs 8:36).  

(Kevin Cernek is Lead Pastor of Martintown Community Church in Martintown, Wisconsin)