|Volume 22 Number 1 January 2020||
Another Super Bowl has come and gone , celebrating the 50th one that has been played. Over the years, approximately 4.5 billion dollars have been spent on the commercials shown during the game, and a large contingent of viewers watch the game for the commercials more than the actual game. Each year the ads try to grab one’s attention, presenting products in a way that both entertains and fixes them in the viewer’s mind.
One commercial for this year’s game was presented by Doritos, and it showed a husband and wife having an ultrasound of their unborn child. Part of the comedy used in this commercial was the child’s interaction with what was going on with the parents. While meant to be entertaining and funny, and to fix the Doritos brand in people’s taste buds, one group claims to have been insulted by it. NARAL, a pro-abortion group, tweeted they found the ad offensive because it promoted the “humanization of the fetus.”
What an interesting way this group chose to voice its opposition, referring to an unborn child as such. If the child in the womb is not human, then what is it? Nature reflects the order God instilled in creation from the beginning, with everything producing “after their kind.” Have men and women produced anything other than humans? I know of no woman giving birth to a dog, a cat, a monkey or anything other than another human being. It is rhetorical nonsense to speak of an unborn child as anything other than human. The commercial did not humanize a fetus, since a child conceived by human parents is human.
So, why talk in such a way like this? Simply put, if this group that advocates abortion admits to a child in the womb as human, then abortion is murder. Taking life through the ghastly procedures that are used in performing abortions, and selling body parts afterwards, is a reprehensible act and criminal in nature. It is a grisly industry which has become part of a society that no longer has a conscience. Of course, the child is human and alive! Many mothers, contemplating abortions, but seeing their unborn child through the marvel of technology of an ultrasound, decide otherwise. Why? It is unmistakably obvious it is a living human being, formed from the union of two people, but distinct in his or her own identity.
The Center for Disease Control statistically affirms abortions have declined over the past two decades. Those who advocate abortion, when they act as NARAL has over a TV commercial, show it is a lifestyle—a mindset, and they will use any tactic to deceive others into thinking it’s simply a “glob of tissue,” not a human being, not a child with an eternal soul. This is what happens when society denies God and His will for life. Sin knows no end, and Satan will fight relentlessly to stop losing any ground that he’s gained. Sin deceives and hardens the heart (Hebrews 3:13), and it is an effective tool for keeping people from seeing just how great an atrocity abortion truly is.
May we seek to have hearts that are tender and guided by the truth of Scripture. May we understand all life is valuable, from conception to its end. May we see abortion and euthanasia for what they truly are. Further, may we seek to restore the dignity inherent in life as it is created by God and sustained by Him. Those in Christ will live with Him eternally. “For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well” (Psalm 139:13-14).
When Jesus lived on earth, the Pharisees and the Sadducees were the two most popular religious sects among the Jews. They felt threatened by Christ’s plain and truthful teaching. So, they often tried to embarrass Jesus by posing ensnaring questions to Him. They were always scheming with how they might entangle Jesus in His talk. Therefore, they would often bring to Him very tricky and mischievous questions with such intentions. Jesus, however, refuted their arguments each time and reduced them to silence.
On one occasion when Jesus had silenced the Pharisees by giving a very fitting answer to their question, we read:
The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, saying, “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. Last of all the woman dies also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.” Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. But concerning resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:23-32)
Thus, we observe that Jesus gave them a most scriptural and appropriate answer to their question. Had they known the scriptural doctrine of the resurrection, they would have known that it did not involve the continuance of marriage, and had they known the power of God, they could have known that He could raise the dead without those carnal propensities on which marriage is based. However, here I would like for you to notice what Jesus told them, before answering their question. He said, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.”
People have often wondered why there are so many conflicting doctrines and faiths in Christianity today. Some have contended that it is just a matter of interpretation. Yet if so, it is sinful, because the Bible teaches that no prophecy or teaching of the Scriptures is of any private interpretation (2 Peter 1:21). The real problem, however, lies in the fact that most people have never studied the Scriptures as they should be studied, and therefore, they have not learned to handle aright the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15). Most people want to understand a verse or a passage of the Scriptures through their denominational preconceived view or belief. Instead of searching the Scriptures themselves (John 5:39), they have often consulted commentaries and other such books written by uninspired men and “Bible scholars.” Hence, they believe things written in them as God’s truth.
Now, there is nothing wrong in consulting a commentary or a book, as long as one is not carried away by the thoughts and belief of the author, if they are not contained in the Scriptures. In most cases, though, people do not want to consult the Scriptures as much as they want to consult a commentary to understand certain teachings in the Bible. Instead of leaning on God’s book, they rely heavily on the books written by men. Moreover, people are overly impressed by the popularity and the educational background of the authors and would rather accept them as the authority on Scripture. Thus, if the commentator or the “scholar” teaches error on some subject, then they uphold that error, not as error, but as truth. This is exactly what has happened in the last few hundred years, and we are reaping the consequences even now.
Uninspired men, so called scholars and founders of various denominational churches, years ago advocated the doctrine of salvation by faith alone, the doctrine of inherited sin, baptizing infants, sprinkling of water for baptism, using mechanical instruments in the worship of God and calling the Lord’s Supper a sacrament. Instead of observing the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week, as the Bible teaches, many observe it only once a month or only once or twice a year. Many people observe Christmas and Easter as holy days as well as adopt several other unscriptural teachings. Millions of people today around the world follow and uphold these teachings and doctrines of men, not knowing what the Scriptures teach about them—or that many of these tenets are not included in the Bible.
All denominational churches have different beliefs and convictions from each other. If not, they would be all together in one church and not be divided. They all believe in the Bible, but they also believe as much or more in their creed books, catechisms, confession of faith, manuals and books of disciplines. In fact, they are not divided on what the Bible teaches but on what men have taught in those different creed books. There is not a single denominational church on earth that follows the Bible only. And if a church follows the Bible only, it cannot be a denomination.
We can all agree on what the Bible teaches, but we cannot all agree on what men teach, because men teach differently from each other as well as from the Bible. For example, we can all agree to be called Christians only, because the Bible teaches that in the beginning this is the name by which the followers of Christ were called (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16), but we cannot all agree to be called Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans or Pentecostals, etc. Moreover, all denominational churches on earth today exist contrary to the will of God (1 Corinthians 1:10-13; John 17:20-21). They err not knowing the Scriptures.