By Maria Fontaine
Someone once wrote me with the question, “Is it right for medical science to ‘play God’?”
The case in point was a court case in the UK involving a pair of conjoined [Siamese] twins. If the twins were separated, the doctors involved told the twins’ parents, one would certainly die, but the other might survive; if they weren’t separated, they would both die. The parents abhorred the idea of sacrificing one child to save the other and believed that nature should be allowed to take its course. They opposed the separation, but their wishes were overruled in a highly publicized court case. The twins were separated. One died, and the other survived.
This case exemplified one of a growing number of moral dilemmas that people face as science and technology find new ways to sustain and manipulate life. Others include in vitro fertilization and related procedures such as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, cloning, stem cell research, and euthanasia, also termed “assisted suicide.”
For anyone who knows me well, my response to the “playing God” question was predictable: “I don’t know. Let’s ask Jesus.” So I did. Here are excerpts of what He had to say:
It’s difficult to make across-the-board judgments in these matters. Each case involves many factors, and I look at people’s hearts. Many people make wrong decisions, but if they don’t know any better and if they make those decisions based on love or unselfishness or wanting to do right, I take that into consideration and judge accordingly.
By the same token, there are those who are motivated by selfishness or pride, or who have rejected the truth of God’s Word or the voice of their conscience. I hold those people fully accountable for their actions.
Those who choose wrongly, without knowing, will receive instruction, gentle reproof, and training when they pass over to the afterlife. Those who knew better are more accountable, and they will have to suffer more severe consequences.
In the past, most people believed in and trusted God. They knew that life and death were in His hands. This faith and understanding brought peace of mind. But in this day and age, because so many people do not believe in God or look to Him and Me for answers, they have lost their point of reference, and therefore they have no peace. It is this lack of faith, coupled with pride and independence, which robs people of the peace I could give them and causes them to take matters into their own hands, to “play God.”
Many people are sincere, but sincerely wrong. They want to do what’s right and think they are, but because they don’t ask for divine wisdom in the matter, they go far astray. Doctors, scientists, politicians, and judges may think that they know what’s best and that it’s their right to decide such matters, but they don’t and it’s not.
The world is heading downward, moving toward an increasingly godless society where man’s system will make all the decisions based on so-called scientific evidence.
This is why it’s so important for people to hear these two messages: that God is love, and that they have a choice to do good or evil. These two messages could have a far greater positive effect on lives—and the world—than anything science or technology has or will ever come up with, because they are what put people in touch and in tune with God and enable them to make godly decisions. Then and only then can they be assured that they are acting as God’s agents, helping to carry out His loving plan in others’ lives, as well as their own.
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