The argument world-wide for abortion is ‘a woman’s right to choose’, and the argument against it is ‘It’s a life’. Both sides are right – a woman has a right to choose what to do with her own body, and it is a human being growing in her womb. But neither of these arguments go to a deeper wisdom which all nations and people recognize as true, making the above arguments lesser truths, and not the real issue. Let us look beyond these peripheral arguments to the deeper wisdom…
Let’s start here…animals and humans
A man in Texas shot and killed a deer out of season, in English, poaching, which carries a heavy fine and possible prison term. Initially he was charged with a single count of poaching, but when the dead doe was examined it was discovered she carried twins, so the charge was changed to 3 counts of poaching.
A woman’s home in Fort Myers, Florida was raided by officers and animal control because she had nearly 100 cats in the home and the smell had reached the neighbors. Some cats were unhealthy, malnourished, and in an unsanitary environment not fit for the woman, her teenage daughter, nor the cats. The woman was charged with animal cruelty, abuse, neglect, and was handed over to mental health professionals for evaluation and counseling.
A man in Colorado regularly beat his chained up dog with a stick in the evening after he got home from work, taking out frustrations with a job he hated it was later revealed, on his dog. The neighbors could hear him yelling and could hear the dog’s cries with each thud of the stick. He was charged with cruelty to animals and other charges.
A babysitter of a toddler had several charges filed against her after she decided to invite friends over to the house and party rather than watch the child, who wandered out the front door, into nearby woods, and was eventually found dead from exposure to the elements a couple of days later.
A school teacher entered into a sexual relationship with 1 of her male students, and was fired from her job and charged with various charges, convicted, and sent to prison for at least 10 years.
The topic of abortion
All these cases ripped from America’s headlines have a common thread that runs through them: Adult human beings are expected to have a sense of responsibility and live with the responsibility to care for, protect, and nurture lesser animals, and care for younger human beings in their charge. In other words, stewardship, which can be defined as: “The careful and responsible management of something or someone entrusted to one’s care.” Each person above had a free will to do what they did, but in doing so violated a deeper law which is stewardship.
This is the deeper wisdom – being a human being, the highest form of life on the planet, carries with it a responsibility to properly manage animals and human beings with lesser maturity or ability as compared to a healthy adult in their care – whether that be and animal, a child, handicapped person, or the sick and injured.
Whether unbelievers acknowledge scripture or not, the first instruction given by the Lord to Adam had to do with being a steward over the whole planet, plants and animals included. Once that Prime Directive was given, all the animals and birds were brought by Adam to see what he would name them. Jewish writings and tradition state that Adam had all knowledge of the natural world and passed that on to Seth and Enoch. (Genesis 1:26-31, 2: 19-20, Josephus, etc)
This inborn sense of stewardship is recognized across nations, across cultures. But God took a risk when He delegated the care of the planet to man – a steward has the freedom to abuse the responsibility given.
The difference between a right and ability
A father loans his car to his teenage son, and the son burns thousands of miles/kilometers of rubber off the tires showing off for his friends, who spill food and drink inside the car – that is abuse of stewardship.
A man loans his lawn mower to a friend, and the friend returns a beaten up, dirty mower that needs repair - that is abuse of stewardship.
A man poaches a pregnant deer – abuse of stewardship.
A woman gathers cats beyond her ability to care for them – abuse of stewardship.
A man beats his dog due to frustrations at his work – abuse of stewardship.
A babysitter distracted with a party causing a child’s death - abuse of stewardship.
A teacher entering into a sexual relationship with a student – abuse of stewardship.
Each person has the free-will ability to abuse their stewardship, but they do not have the right to do so. That is because stewardship is recognized as a deeper truth than a person’s right to abuse that stewardship. To say it another way, the deeper truth of stewardship takes away one’s right to act independently of that responsibility.
For instance – a Trustee watching over an old man’s estate as the man declines in the ability to handle his own finances, has the responsibility to be a good steward and with that responsibility of stewardship comes the understanding he has no right to use that money for himself. Stewardship takes away one’s right to act on one’s own. But it doesn’t change the free will ability of the person to abuse their stewardship.
How does God view an unborn baby?
Let me set the stage: In Exodus 21:22-25 God is explaining His laws, so He is giving a hypothetical situation about 2 men fighting, and a pregnant woman witnessing the fight becomes injured as a by-stander:
“If men fight and hurt a woman with child to the extent she has a miscarriage, and yet there was no attempted rape or assault, he will certainly be punished according to what charges the woman’s husband wants to press and what the judges shall determine. However, if it was an attempted rape or assault then he will give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth…”
In our terms this is the difference between an accident that results in a death, accidental manslaughter, which in this case carries a fine and/or other punishment, and the murder of the unborn child if that mother miscarried as a result of being physically and sexually attacked.
Free will is a two-edge sword
Free will always have consequences, some intended, some unintended. Thus free will was designed to function with constraints – a hunter has the free will to hunt, but with constraints outlined by a hunting season. To elevate one’s free will above the responsibilities of stewardship can land the hunter in prison.
A woman has the free will to do what she wishes with her body, including at least in much of the west, to forfeit rightful stewardship of the amazing gift of a child growing within her, but there are consequences.
It does no good to tell an unbeliever this scripture for they don’t recognize God’s authority, so the arguments swirl around lesser truths – a woman’s right to determine what she does with her body, and it is a baby in her womb – but neither of these are deep arguments. Neither addresses the deeper truth that we are stewards of the planet, stewards of lesser forms of life, stewards of our own bodies. A person has the ability to be a good steward, or abuse that stewardship of that which is in their charge.
When a society and culture reject their responsibility of personal stewardship we end up with laws that protect unborn deer yet legalize the murder of unborn children.
New subject next week, as I said, random thoughts submitted for your consideration…until then, blessings!