Summary: We may not agree on the details of how life came about, but hopefully we agree on Who and Why.
“I Believe-A Sermon Series on the Apostles’ Creed
“Designer Genes” (”Maker of Heaven and Earth”) -Pastor Bob Leroe, Cliftondale Congregational Church, Saugus, Massachusetts
Newsweek magazine ran an article about the controversy over Creation vs. Evolution. In response, a letter to the editor offered this observation: “While physicists are probing and deciphering the secrets of the universe, a higher question yet remains: why does the universe exist?” This is most important; we may argue over how things came to be, but there remains a greater question—why things came to be.
If our world is the result of chance; in other words, if life came about by accident, then life is devoid of meaning. This is the central teaching of the book of Ecclesiastes—if there is no Creator, and if life is simply the result of random molecules happening to mix and form life, then our existence is pointless, meaningless, and we are trapped in the chaos of an insignificant, futile life. Sounds pitiful? It is. For anyone who rejects belief in God as Creator, the only logical outcome is despair.
Let’s take this scenario one step further: If there is no Creator of heaven and earth, it matters not how we live. Without purpose (causality), there can be no basis for values or ethics. Any rules or laws we devise become arbitrary, without moral authority to back them up. If life is an accident, how we treat others and the planet no longer matters. There’s no way to determine whether we should help an elderly person across the street, or run them over in our car. If there is no purpose for life, then we’re free to “do our own thing”. The motto of our times has become: “Question Authority and Challenge Everything”.
Let’s apply this to medical ethics. We question the morality of genetic engineering, of cloning, of surrogate mothers, of abortion and euthanasia. As Christians, we claim that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and how we treat them matters. We believe all human life is sacred. But if life is merely an accident, the only question regarding any medical procedure or experiment is: “If it can be done, why not?” Not “should we do this?” but “can we do this?”
This past week I heard expressed on Talk Radio moral outrage over an alleged White House leak regarding a CIA Operative, and outrage over local blue laws in Boston forcing bars to close at 2 am. What could these 2 issues possibly have in common?
The matter is one of morality. If we assume there is an external, absolute standard, then it matters what we believe and how we live. If not—if life is just a cosmic accident, than nothing matters, and anarchy is OK—it’s all we have left. We lose any basis for human law other than maintaining order. If “right and wrong” are true concepts, then we should seek divine guidance to determine how to govern. We can learn whether compromising national security or allowing unrestricted access to bars is OK or not. If there is no Creator, then anything is permissible, and morality is just an outdated mistake. Even our thoughts are accidents--they are the result of a chance movement of atoms. Sound depressing? There is an alternative view…