The Word on the Week

Medical Termination.

A private members Bill, this week, tried to raise the unfinished business of the X case where 20 years ago the Supreme Court decreed that a pregnant minor be permitted to travel to the UK for an abortion. No Government has re-visited this subject to legislate for the procedure to be carried out locally and with a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights against us we await yet another report due in June to tell us what to do.

It’s a long time since Francis Schaeffer co-authored a book “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” which made the plea to stop killing our young. The likelihood of any secession taking place in the West is remote as the numbers mount to astronomical proportions.

Two cases were mentioned in the press. The first, a married couple, had received a diagnosis in effect stating that the baby would not be likely to live. The second discovered that she had got her dates wrong and the baby was that of a former partner. However as neither the new nor the old partner wanted a child the question as to who the father was seemed irrelevant.

These accounts, appearing in cold print, to some extent masked the enormous emotional experience that those involved went through. The newspaper stories ended but of course they do not end in the lives of those involved but remain indelibly etched in the conscience. The knowledge as to how you dealt with a very vulnerable person cannot be eradicated. It was part of you and, in some ways, always will be.

What help can be obtained from the Bible?

Towards the end of his life the Apostle Paul claimed, “I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” This means that he had to work at it. It doesn’t happen by chance. Self-control is required. Decisions have to be worked out.

People need all the help they can get.

If St Paul had removed the God dimension and simply wanted a conscience clear before men he would be in our secular humanist world – adrift in a sea of ideas in a rudderless craft! `Reason` would be at the helm and the `feel-good` factor would set the course. There is little equipment on such a ship to help the couples make life and death decisions. One poignantly cried for her mother. But she was in another country.

The Bible says that God hears these cries and in Jesus Christ has come into our sin-sick world which rejected him, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” St Matthew 23 verse 37.

But for those today who recognise their need and hear his voice the invitation, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” St Matthew 11 verses 28/30.

His yoke is easy because He bore the ultimate yoke of our sins on the cross that we might know the peace that comes from a cleansed conscience and the promised presence of the Holy Spirit to guide us in the rest of our lives.