Friday, May 22, 2009

Creation Ordinances

It seems to me that there is a certain amount of tension between the Pro-Life movement and the various manifestations of the orthodox Christian Church. Claiming to be a righteous cause, and believing this cause to be firmly based in the Christian Scriptures, I think it only natural for Christians active in the Pro-Life camp to feel a keen sense of disappointment when encountering the ambiguity and obfuscation on the part of many churches, let alone the silence and outright resistance of some, when it comes to taking a strong and public stand for the Sanctity of Human Life! Sadly, this has been the case with other issues in the past as well, slavery being a prime example.

Naturally, a question arises – What right has the Pro-Life crowd to call the Church to task on this issue? Is it not the mission of the Church to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world? Is the Church not wise in avoiding such a “controversial issue” for the sake of this mission?

What about the need for peace among believers? The battle over slavery caused sharp divisions in Christendom that are still healing even today. Resistance to the tyrannies of fascism and communism created conflict in the Church in more recent times. Is the Church not justified in avoiding such a "divisive issue" for the sake of Unity?

I for one believe the Pro-Life movement is correct to contend with vigor that the Christian Church has an obligation to take a strong and public Pro-Life position - because I see this obligation as the universal duty of every man and woman, being rooted in what are sometimes termed the “Creation Ordinances.” (And it is absurd, at least to me, for men and women to assert that the priorities of a group to which they belong somehow relieve them of a universal duty that is incumbent on everyone else. And, of course, if the laity and clergy are individually taking a strong and public stand for the Sanctity of Human Life, their Church is also – de facto…)

Obvious next question - What are Creation Ordinances?

Only God has the power of Being in Himself. Everything else that exists is dependant on Him for that existence. He is the Absolute Sovereign. He has the undisputed right to govern what is His. And - He exercised that right immediately, instituting and communicating to the father and mother of us all, ideals and instructions which because of their issuance in such close proximity to the creation events can only be described as Prime Directives – or in theological terms – "Creation Ordinances."

In doing so, God made the following crystal clear.

He had created Human Beings in His own Image.
He made them male and female.
He instituted marriage to bind them together.
He directed them to have children together.
He gave them the use and care of all the rest of His Creation.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. It is intended to demonstrate that ranking high among these most important principles of the created order is the Divine Proclamation that each human life is somehow an intentional reflection of the Creator. However mysterious this truth may be, the implication (which becomes explicit in later revelation,) is that any unjustified attack upon a human life is in the most real sense an assault against God Himself.

Thus we can say that Creation Ordinances are those fundamental principles given at the very beginning, vouchsafed to man and woman in their innocent state, before there was a Fall – before there was Mosaic Law or Christian Gospel. These Creation Ordinances are the bedrock ideals of life on God’s green earth – obviously meant to apply at all times, in all places, to everyone.

The rebellion of humanity, the curse of death, the coming of Christianity, the Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ – none of these things relieve anyone in the world, much less those of us in the pew or the pulpit, of one jot or tittle of Responsibility to adhere to these founding principles inaugurated by God at the dawn of time. Nor does any subsequent development in history from creation past till eternity to come, allay the solemn Duty of each cogent member of the race human to resist any and every assault upon these cornerstones laid down by the Lord God Almighty.

And Never, NEVER can concern about Evangelism or longing for Christian Unity or desire for Church growth, (or any other number of pretexts - however noble in themselves,) serve as a legitimate justification for any of us to ignore this Responsibility or shirk this Duty!