Would the ability to have children mean that a man could actually become a woman? Setting aside for a moment the awful potential for exploitation of children involved, if science could graft the reproductive system of a female into a male body, and it could function with drugs and hormones, does that make him a woman? A mother?
Last month, according to the Congolese military, a militant group attacked a Pentecostal church, killing at least 10 and wounding scores of others. Though incidents like this are hardly new, they rarely make the news. Many in the Western world simply don’t realize how prevalent Christianity and Christian persecution are outside of Europe and North America. Plus, the creeping influence of “the critical theory mood” leaves the impression that because Christianity has been so influential in Western history, Christians must always be villains and can never be victims.
This caricature of Christianity as a sort-of tribal faith of Westerners is flawed at the core.
Every day, you and I face a binary choice with eternal consequences: we can seek to be like God’s Son, or we can seek to be our own God. As fallen human beings, if we are not intentionally seeking the former, we are by default choosing the latter.
To be a Christian and to hold to Christian conviction about what is true about the nature and person of Jesus Christ, about human nature, and about the place of Christian conviction in the public square is to be more than out of step with the larger culture. It’s to be potentially at risk to some degree, something that Christians have faced since the beginning of the Church. It may very well be that we, too, will be forced to choose between our wellbeing in some sense and our convictions.
You may have seen the insurance commercials on television these days with the pitch, “Only pay for what you need.” This is a tempting way to relate to God in that it limits his activity in our lives to what we want him to do in our lives. When we need forgiveness for our sins or direction for our decisions, he’s waiting on the other side of our prayers, or so we think. But if he wants to point out sins we don’t want to stop committing or lead us in directions we don’t want to go, that’s another matter.
Here’s the problem: God knows our needs far better than we do. Limiting his benevolence to our ignorance is unwise for us and grieves our Father.
Too many Christians, even those who may not go as far as to call the Genesis account false, seem embarrassed by it. A purely naturalistic and neo-Darwinian account of human origins now dominates both the academy and the wider culture, and most Christians simply lack the confidence to engage the issue at all. So instead, they merely accept the claim that Genesis should be filed away under ancient creation myths with all the others.
Not only does this approach ignore the scientific doubts growing about these theories mistaken for fact and fail to take Jesus’ professed belief about the Genesis account seriously, it leaves unquestioned the assumed premise. Are the similarities between the biblical account of creation and other ancient accounts as obvious and conclusive as we are told?
In God’s eyes, every person is valuable as a bearer of his image (Genesis 1:27), someone for whom Christ chose to die (Romans 5:8). As a result, I should be concerned for those who have VEXAS whether I have the syndrome or not. And I should be troubled about the global consequences of the next pandemic whether I can prevent it or not.
Since 1938, the Harvard Study of Adult Development has followed two groups of men. One is a group of 456 boys from Boston’s most troubled families and roughest neighborhoods. The other consisted of 268 Harvard College students, chosen by a professor of hygiene specifically for their potential to become healthy, well-adjusted adults. The focus of the longitudinal study has been to discern the factors that best predict a long, healthy life.
The researchers who have followed these young men have maintained a stunning 84 percent participation rate over eight decades. They have visited homes, spoken to parents and siblings, tracked medical exams, and followed marriages and careers. The study, which is currently tracking a second generation of participants, has produced a wealth of significant data. However, in a recent article published in The Wall Street Journal, director Dr. Robert Waldinger and associate director Dr. Marc Schulz pointed to the most significant contributing factor for physical health, mental health, and longevity.
A basic fact of our fallen nature is that we all seek to “be like God” (Genesis 3:5), to be in charge of our lives so we can do as we wish. As a result, we resist authority of any kind that tries to tell us who we are or how we should live.
This has never been more true than today. Our “post-truth” culture assures us we can define truth however we wish, do with our bodies (including those carrying unborn babies) whatever we wish, define gender and marriage as we wish, and end our lives whenever and however we wish.