But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 5:14 (NKJV)
Hebrews 5:14 (NKJV)
In an article broadcast and published Oct. 7th, 2013 on Break Point, entitled, Of Mice and Men, and The Abolition of Both, Eric Metaxas makes a brilliant point concerning stepping over boundaries between what we want and what is good for us. In his article he exposes the direction and intent of some of the responses to the research and discovery of the ability to create life (eggs for implantation) from the skin of a mouse. This discovery was made by the brilliant molecular biologist Katsuhiko Hayashi of Kyoto University. Mr. Hayashi was able to create baby mice using the skin cells of a female mouse. He was also able to replicate this using the skin cells of a male mouse. See "Of Mice and Men" at www.breakpoint.org
In the article, Metaxas exposes two responses to Hayashi, one from an infertile woman in England and the other from the LGBT journal "Nature." He states, "This technology would allow anyone to produce either male or female sex cells, meaning (theoretically) that women could become biological fathers, and men biological mothers. Thus the interest in the LGBT community." Wow!
The reason I wanted to highlight this is to head off up front the evolutionary and, in most cases, atheistic belief, which already emphasizes that man is nothing more than a beast, or an animal. One author wrote the following of the famous atheist Nietzsche, "According to Nietzsche, man is an animal evolving from a beast to what he referred to as the “superman”, a race of men and women unchained from the shackles of religion, belief in God, and morality, who will use their intelligence and will to create their own world, any world they like. Nietzsche wrote: “Christianity must be ruthlessly destroyed in order to make way for the race of supermen who would rise above Christian superstition”1 Nietzsche would have loved Hayashi's discovery because it would add fuel to his misguided theory that we are becoming a "superman" in our own created world.
Metaxas concludes his article with, "What ultimately sets us apart from the rodents in Hayashi’s laboratory is not our technology or power to cheat nature. It’s our ability to say “no” to things we want to do, but maybe shouldn’t do. It’s the intuition that the way our parents brought us into this world is good. It’s the love that values children for their own sake and not because they fulfill our dreams and wishes.
Which is why, in our rush to bypass making babies the truly human way, we’ll likely miss how much we’ve begun to look like the laboratory animals."
Metaxas makes an excellent point! The technology today is growing at warp speeds (Dan. 12:4) and it is doing so in a world that in many places was first seeded with Christian thought and Moral. Because of this, and the innate cognizance of many that something could be morally wrong with the direction of articles such as this one, "Replacement Part's,"2 authors will often hide the public uneasiness of technological acceptance with a more palatable and beneficent purpose meant to appeal to the mind's emotional side. For example the sub-heading of the article states, "To cope with a growing shortage of hearts, livers, and lungs suitable for transplant, some scientists are genetically engineering pigs, while others are growing organs in the lab." Of note is the use of the beneficent word, "Transplant." Genetic engineering now allows us to grow our own parts to fix our own bodies. Even though this can be used for good it underscores the point of Metaxas' article concerning "our ability to say "no" to things we want to do, but maybe shouldn’t do" and "that we've begun to look like animals."
Man's quest to be God
One might ask, "How far will a man go in his race to be like God?" Nietzsche and his followers would say as far as is necessary and farther, but in reality the only true answer to that is as far as Gods longsuffering will allow.
As noted above, the technology facing the world today can be couched in situational terminology that is not necessarily moral but meant to appeal to the emotional side of humanity. There is a difference. The old saying, If there is a will there is a way" makes a lot of sense when applied to the subject of Human suffering. Our emotions can drive us to find new ways to survive or even recover from illness and there is nothing wrong with that per se'. In most cases these are good, but the same technology can be used to fill a desire be it good or evil. As a Christian I must realize the High Road of Morality and Ethic goes beyond the fickle emotions which can play on our heart for either good or our bad. It teaches us to discern between "good" and "evil" -- "contentment" and "pursuit."
Defining Moral, Ethic, and Emotion
Using the Websters 1913 dictionary3 I have chosen to submit the definitions of three terms, Moral, Ethic, and emotion.
Moral - 1. Relating to duty or obligation; pertaining to those intentions and actions of which right and wrong, virtue and vice, are predicated, or to the rules by which such intentions and actions ought to be directed; relating to the practice, manners, or conduct of men as social beings in relation to each other, as respects right and wrong, so far as they are properly subject to rules.
Ethic - Of, or belonging to, morals; treating of the moral feelings or duties; containing percepts of morality; moral; as, ethic discourses or epistles; an ethical system; ethical philosophy. See also Ethics, The science of human duty; the body of rules of duty drawn from this science; a particular system of principles and rules concerting duty, whether true or false; rules of practice in respect to a single class of human actions; as, political or social ethics; medical ethics.
Emotion -A moving of the mind or soul; excitement of the feelings, whether pleasing or painful; disturbance or agitation of mind caused by a specific exciting cause and manifested by some sensible effect on the body. Emotion is of the mind alone, being the excited action of some inward susceptibility or feeling; as, an emotion of pity, terror, etc.
It is so easy to mistake the more rigid and authoritative "Moral" with the fickleness of the softer "Emotion." Biblically speaking, moral predicates a set of rules that can be obeyed (vice or virtue); whereas Emotion exhibits reaction to an event based up an innate set of triggers that all living creatures, including animals and insects, are born with. For instance, a newborn baby will exhibit the emotion of crying when the brain senses something abnormal to its normal and known existence such as going from the enclosed womb to the open air. In the same way pinching that baby, or a dog for that matter, will also illicit a response. Emotions are then sensual in nature and are driven by internal triggers of the senses.
Moral must be differentiated from emotion
Moral is not emotion. Moral can become emotional in our response or an emotion can spin a moral action to life; but nonetheless, they are still a separate entity. For instance, as a human I have the ability to discern what is right and wrong simply by virtue of being human via the innate self-preservation I am born with. Because innately, I know that to hurt another individual will cause pain, although I may do so, it is not my desire to do so. I know this because as a "Like in kind human" I know what pain is from my own senses; why would I wish it upon another? My emotional senses then, can teach me to do moral acts. It is here where the atheist will flinch. They do not want to believe that Moral is innate from birth, yet it is an inescapable fact.
Foundational to this truth, that humanity--even from birth, has built in emotional triggers that that can be obeyed or disobeyed is one reason the Bible declares all to be bound under sin (Rom. 3:23). God will not judge an innocent baby or young child, who only knows to make choices based upon emotion. But when the child becomes of age, where choices are not reactions but conscious decisions, he or she will then be held accountable.
As a human matures he or she may choose to act contrary to their emotion to try and disprove this fact through deliberately becoming emotionally cold to all around them, including the call of God to their heart. This is the real starting point of the atheists argument, the point of hardening.
Emotions can be best demonstrated through viewing a love-story or suspense thriller. These can cause my emotions to spin into action in a waterfall of tears or even induce me into yelling at the screen for an actor to hide or run from a killer lurking on the other side of a door. The brains ability to generate the emotions of empathy and fear, merely from a fictional story, can cause me to react as if I am part of the program. This amazing ability of the brain to react to fictional accounts, including imaginary consequences we may conjure, is underscored in the Christian Spiritual Warfare.
Spiritual warfare, thought, and emotion
The apostle Paul is quick to state that for the believer God almighty has put into to place a set of authoritative and rigid rules of truth that are found in His written revelation, the Bible. All that is written therein is based upon His promises and His power, which teach us that no other being or thought can ever overrule what He has ordered to be supreme, even though we, in our weakness, for a time, may entertain them. He states:
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments (λογισμός) and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled."
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (NKJV)
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (NKJV)
The Greek word λογισμός, is the word most often used for thought, imagination, and argument. Thus if our thoughts are brought toward obedience to the captivity of Christ's revelation, that is, they are judged by His incontestable authority then we can easily cast them down preventing them from bringing doubt and disbelief into our minds. The Christian who is studied in the Word of God will immediately, through the illumination and discerning work of the Holy Spirit, cast away any thought or imagination that would draw him away from the peace God has set firmly within his heart through faith in Him and His word.
If we then are to exercise our senses that we may "discern both good and evil," we then must take control over our emotional responses. We must not allow emotions alone to be to basis for making sound decisions, whether spiritual, physical, or even political. They are fickle and will present untruth as truth and lead us to feel pity, in many cases, where pity is undeserved. They can also lead us to believe a thing is "good" or from God, when in reality it is direct opposition to God.
So how are we different from animals?
Where we differ from animals then is quite apparent. If I let my dog watch a tear jerking program she will not even flinch. There is no reaction in the dog because the dog is not acquainted with my human ability to feel for another human based upon "Like kind." A dog is of the kind "Dog." My dog is oblivious what is happening. That said, a dog can illicit responses when ether trained to recognize them or intimately acquainted with an owner. But it is all taught through love and training. On the other hand, a human through sheer will and malice can deliberately intend to hurt another. It is then that we overstep what we know innately to be wrong. An animal through the senses of hunger, and instinct may attack another in deliberation but hardly out of malice. It is easy for psychologists to look at all the pain and the hurting of others in the world and say we are just a bunch of animals in a race for the survival of the fittest. That is not so. It is just a cop out. We may act animalistic but we are not animals in the same sense.
Nietzsche, and millions like him have unwittingly been led down a primrose path. In their search for meaning they have concluded against all of the intelligence in the design of creation that there is no true Creator. And why not? If there is a Creator than all humanity, by proxy, would be subject to His authority. I find Atheism to be the ultimate epitome of Narcissism. It is the product of pure selfishness--the poster child of a mind turned so inward--so enthroned with self that it cannot properly focus on anything that would allow itself to be freed from the chains of its own emotionally driven imprisonment. On its pseudo-godly perch it sits within its own virtual reality unbeknownst to the fact that the tiny world it rules over is only a dust speck in the greater and truer reality that is held in its spin by Jehovah our Lord. In the atheists world there is no one to be accountable to but self. But one day they will realize their world was just a world within a greater world that is completely subject to the justice and rule of God.
As a "Born Again" (born from above) believer, John 3:3, I find myself not only a part of the physical world around me but also a part of the unseen spiritual world of faith that exists in the Fathers universe. As a Christian believer in a world held spinning by God, I am able to live two joyful lives. I enjoy the spiritual richness and peace in this earth-bound life gifted to me by Christ as a foretaste of the eternal life that spills over from above, while also living the eternal life that Christ lives in me, Gal. 2:20. The Bible teaches this eternal place of peace, heaven, exists and it awaits all who will turn to God though Jesus the Lord of all life. Sadly, Nietzsche died a babbling madman, that need not be you.
Trust your life to Christ today.
1 - From http://www.arguingwithatheists.com/pages/Atheist_Perspectives.htm, Accessed October 10th, 2013 at 9:30 am. Jacob & Wistrich, Robert Nietzsch: Godfather of Fascism Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002.3 - Webster's 1913 Unabridged English Dictionary.
2. - http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/32409/title/Replacement-Parts/
2. - http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/32409/title/Replacement-Parts/