Peter Horrobin

International Director of Ellel Ministries

The Sanctity of Life, Marriage and Death

We are living in days when the secular governments of our western nations are trying to rewrite the statute books in order to eliminate the ideas of morality and moral boundaries from every area of society.

A recent paper on Medical Ethics argued that because there is no fundamental difference between the life a baby has inside the womb and the life a new-born baby has outside of the womb, that there is also no fundamental difference between terminating the baby’s life before or after birth. Once this argument has gained acceptance, then the legal barrier to infanticide, if the baby is found after birth to have any obvious birth defects, can be eliminated from the mind of our legislators.

But I also read in our papers this week about a secret under-cover report on a well-known abortion clinic, highlighting the fact that the life of some babies had been terminated (illegally at the present time) simply because they were the ‘wrong sex’. As far as the parents of those babies were concerned, the wrong gender was a birth defect! Gender-cide has reached the shores of our nation.

At the other end of life we have also had to endure increasing pressure from our legislators for adopting the specious arguments for euthanasia. Reasons for the elderly and the infirm to feel distinctly unsafe in their beds are gaining ground.

When a child goes to a boarding school, the parents delegate responsibility for the care of their child to the school authorities. The school then becomes “in loco parentis” (in place of the parents) while the child is in their care. It seems that we are very rapidly moving to a situation, where governments are putting themselves “in loco Dei” (in the place of God) and legalising killing at both ends of life – in direct rebellion against the sixth commandment. Crimes which in earlier centuries would have been labelled as murder, and punished accordingly, are today being legalised in the name of choice!

In the UK we are also in the middle of a major national debate about the government’s intention to introduce something called “gay marriage”. There are obviously many forms of relationship which people can have, but the purpose of the marriage relationship is different from every other sort of relationship that people can ever enter into.

This is expressed most clearly in the Book of Common Prayer which, since 1662, has enshrined the teaching of Scripture in its pages and has stated unequivocally that “marriage is an honourable estate instituted of God . . . and first it was ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy Name.”

The first objective of marriage, therefore, is that it should provide a safe spiritual environment in which to conceive, have and bring up children. There are other objectives, of course, but this is the first objective and unless this first intention is respected, in the knowledge that children are only conceived through normal male-female sexual relations, then whatever you want to call same-sex relationships they cannot ever be referred to as marriage.

Only if it were possible for two men or two women to be stranded on an otherwise uninhabited desert island, and nine months later produce a baby, would I have to reconsider my theology and my opinions! But I don’t think I’m in any danger of ever having to change my understanding of marriage on these grounds!

This week I am thanking God that the Archbishops of the Roman Catholic Church in the UK have come out so clearly and strongly against the government’s objective of authorising ‘gay marriage’. For the reasons stated above this very terminology is a contradiction in terms – the word gay (in its modern meaning) and the word marriage are mutually incompatible. Would that all the other denominations would stand shoulder to shoulder with the stance adopted by the Catholic Archbishops.

There is only one reason why government after government has tampered with the statute books and systematically eliminated the authority of God’s Word and God’s law from legislation – it’s because there is no longer any fear of the Lord in the land. No wonder the Scripture tells us that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). The absolute sanctity of life, marriage and death is no longer respected. Wisdom has departed from the corridors of governmental power.

When any nation believes that it can stand in the place of God, and play fast and loose with God’s Word, then it is putting itself on notice to get ready for the consequences, for Scripture also says that “God cannot be mocked — a man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7). When we mock God, His Word and His laws we lose the protection of God and move out from under the covering which is the source of His blessing (Psalm 91).

Never before has our nation faced such head-on attacks on its spiritual foundations. It’s time for our spiritual leaders and all our intercessors to drop to their knees and remind themselves of 2 Chronicles 7:14: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.”

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