I recall when I was a child that whenever I saw a little birdie lying dead on the ground, I felt my heart break. That sweet innocent little creature was now so lifeless, lost and alone! It all seemed so cruel, meaningless and out-of-control. I would pick up that precious tiny feathered form and then crying I would carry it in my hands to my Dad and Mom so that they could grieve with me. Somehow it helped. I can still hear them trying to comfort me by quoting the words of Jesus about the birds in Matthew 10:29,
“…And yet not one of them will fall to the ground
apart from your Father.”
I was assured by Dad and Mom that the Heavenly Father was taking care of my tiny departed friend, and that he or she was safe in His hands. I believed every word they said then, and I still do today. It was written in my heart by tears, for I always noticed those tears welling up in my parent’s eyes in moments like those. Their crying with me somehow comforted me the most. Neither I nor the bird was so alone anymore.
Now that I have become a man, I reflect back upon those moments which I realize much more now were God’s way of coming to me, loving me and teaching me. My knowledge of and love for Him have grown considerably since then, but I remain a child at heart.
I realize now that what Jesus was also saying to me was that nothing in this world is a victim of random chance. Nothing and no one escapes God’s mind or falls through the hands of His omnipotence. There are no contingencies with God, and no accidents in His universal and detailed providence. Even to the extent that Jesus tells us about our Father in Heaven in Matthew 10:30 that He numbers the very hairs on our head. In my present case, it is subtraction. God’s omniscience is as much above our brains as it is beyond our arithmetic.
HUMAN REPRODUCTION – NOTHING LEFT TO CHANCE
It all comes into transcendent and yet minutest focus when we confront human reproduction. For the world, conception, pregnancy and maternity are nothing more than biological facts. For the Christian, the entire process is a progression of spiritual wonders. It is all God’s domain! It isn’t ultimately sexual intercourse or pregnancy that explains life. Rather, when it is all finally said and done, God is all that man has to show for his life. God and God alone! God is where humanity begins again and again. So the Psalmist David says to God in Psalm 139:13,
“For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb.”
The male and female reproductive organs are but the tools of the Creator’s trade, and the womb is His miracle workshop. That is where the Divine Weaver does his intricate weaving of every human life. We are truly the fruit of the loom, the Heavenly Weaver’s loom that is.
Children over the centuries have casually been referred to as offspring, or springers-off. As if they just suddenly or even accidentally spring up like dandelions in the cracks of a cement driveway. How did that little thing ever get there? Whoops!
Offspring! Offshoot! Any word that begins with the prefix “Off” gives me the heebie geebies. One of the meanings of “Off” is “Irregular,” or “Out of the Norm.” Sort of like “Offshore,” “Offstage,” and “Offtrack.” It all reminds me of “Off The Wall.” An unplanned interruption! What can I say! It happens.
I even picked up on the fact a time or two in my younger life that I was looked upon as a mistake. I just sort of sprang up unexpectedly from nothing out of nowhere. It was almost made to sound as if I was the mysterious product of non-intercourse. Anybody have any weed killer?
Not according to the Word of God. There are no mistakes with God. The frustrating surprise of “Whoops” doesn’t exist in God’s heart or vocabulary. He formed the wonders called “Us” on the Divine Potter’s wheel of the womb. You can tell when Heaven’s Artisan has moved in. He expands his work-room for nine months, while the ballooning expectant mother becomes the stage for God’s private and yet conspicuous drama.
So it makes the question, “Who came first, the chicken or the egg?” totally irrelevant. The truth is, neither. The real answer is, “God was there first!” He always is! That is up until now. Cloning is about to replace the Divine Architect of life with human engineering. Much more on that later!
We must first allow the Heavenly Weaver to weave some more powerful facts first. Be patient! After all, the expectant mother has to be super-patient for nine long months.
For you see, it is far more detailed and involved than this. The Psalmist goes on to make more astounding statements of much deeper and more mysterious impact that must always take precedence. They all must be heard loudly again and again in today’s society and church! They must be shouted from the secret place of the earth. What secret place? He says in Psalm 139:15,
“My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret,
and skillfully wrought….”
Where we read the English word frame, it comes from the Hebrew noun yetser which means formation, as well as from the Hebrew verb yatsar which means to frame or to constitute. Yes you are right, God is referring to each baby’s skeletal frame and shape being constructed by the Divine Constructionist. He is talking about the forming bones and muscles and tendons taking shape in and on the tiny body of the now materializing human being. The little fella or gal has no choice in the matter as to how he or she will look. They can only yield in complete compliance with every move of the Divine Former’s hands.
To be handsome or beautiful, or to be just average or less in appearance is not our choice! You know the saying, “Now there is a face that only a mother could love.” I enjoy sitting in Wal-Mart and watching people walk by. The really knock-down handsome or drop-dead gorgeous are rare! Most like me are just plain average. Only the exceptions have that universal symmetry that makes them really strikingly awesome. However, we all have been framed! God has his reasons.
In the secret place! At least for most of the history of the world, God’s framing and forming took place in secret. But the secret place is no longer very secretive. Ultra-sound technology! The secret is out! Man just cannot keep secrets anymore. Not even God’s! For centuries no one would even think of asking, “Is it a boy or a girl?” Today, no one can resist asking? I personally feel it has taken much of the celebration out of the moment of birth. I mean, the real spontaneity and joy of Christmas is the not knowing what you are getting by way gifts. Oh yes, I know, there are huge medical advantages in today’s ultra-sound telling of secrets. Each to his own I suppose.
But there is more to be shouted from the secret place! The Psalmist then affirms in Psalm 139:16,
“Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance, and in Thy book they were
all written, the days that were ordained for me….”
The English noun substance comes from the Hebrew noun golem which means embryo or fetus. Of course, what the Bible means by embryo and fetus is entirely different than what the ACLU and all the anti-God secularists and abortionists mean by the same terms. The truth is that the Bible teaches us that embryos or fetuses are human beings, not just blobs or POCs – products of conception.
David says, “When I was made in secret, not it!” He states again in personal terms, “My unformed substance, not ITS.” At the earliest stage of conception, i.e. substance but without form, the mother is already carrying inside her not merely tissue. She is pregnant with ME, MYSELF, I! Generally speaking me, myself and I is the unholy trinity of self-absorption. Here it is legitimate! A human being! A human person! Shout it!
Let’s review! Long before, in fact, eternally long before the brand new human being became an embryo and took shape at the Creator’s workstation, God knew exactly what the baby human would look like, and what would be the shape of his or her torso.
But now here comes another most profound fact. How many days each one of God’s human-handiworks will live on earth has already been predetermined by Him. No one comes into the world too early and no one stays too long. Oh yes, I know that it is sometimes said that he or she was born a month early, or that he or she should not have lived that long. However, whether we understand it or not, or whether we like it or not, we do not schedule arrivals and departures! With God nothing is premature or overdo. In every premature birth He has the preeminence. In every overdue birth He has the oversight. Or as we read in Job 9:12,
“Who could say to Him, “What art Thou doing?’”
Well then, in every human reproduction there are not merely roving sperms in the midst of which one sperm has a chance union with a lucky or unlucky egg, as the case may be! There are many who look upon expectant parents as gamblers who are taking a huge chance on either producing a winner or a loser, an upper or a downer. And when they produce a Down Syndrome baby, they then are looked upon as undone gamesters who must now stare shame in the face. Hear me! Godless mentalities! Godless thinking!
Of the millions of sperms, that one Divinely ordained sperm supernaturally finds its way to that one Divinely ordained egg, and the miraculous human life is begun. Nothing is casual or missed with God. Every detail was outlined to the smallest cell, the slightest curve and the last lifetime second by the Divine architect. In other words, each one of us has been framed and formed according to the Divine Blueprint! We just didn’t spring up and then fall out. This is such a powerful and absolute truth in this world of abortion and cloning where conception and life no longer have any theological content:
“WE ARE EACH CONCEIVED ACCORDING TO A DIVINELY PRECONCEIVED DESIGN.”
THE IMAGE OF GOD – ONE OF A KIND
How could God forecast us with such spot-on detailed certainty and accuracy? Because it is all in His eternal blueprints! We must get that through our heads in this thick headed and spiritually dead world. What many don’t know, and what many more do not even want to know, is that God’s blueprints for our human-beings are contained in every cell of our human bodies. God the Divine Architect didn’t just sketch His intricate drawings for each human structure externally and internally on a piece of Heavenly graft paper. Rather, He increated His blueprint for each one of us in every human cell of our beings.
Each human cell has within it the Divinely super-animated and super-detailed drawing that contains our complete bios and personality profiles. Those profiles in each cell are what we call the cell’s nucleus or nuclei.
In each cell-nucleus there are contained the Divine geniuses called genes or chromosomes which hold the Super-microscopic patterns for each and every complete new life. How often have you heard someone say, “It’s in the genes?” Of course it is, all of it! It’s in there! God put it there! None of us are victims of being at the unfortunate end of some nebulous and unkind gene pool.
Now then, when the husband and wife become one flesh in the sexual union of intercourse, God through this one-fleshness creates a copy of that which was eternally in His mind as the perfect original. The sperm-fertilized egg now produces a totally unique nucleus and genetic code each and every time.
This is where the mystery thickens, and where Heaven’s Artist paints with such infinitely imperceptive and diverse brush strokes that no one else in Heaven or on earth can detect let alone fathom. No two humans are ever alike either, not even those that we call identical twins. This is truly where the Divine Artist signs His Name of distinction on every new painting. Only God could be so infinitely, singularly and patently diverse.
Now I know that if we go any further, we will have mental exhaustion. That is what the Bible writer meant when he said in Psalm 139:6,
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it.”
Allow me to stay right here for a moment, namely, with this exotic one-of-a-kindness of each created human being. The traditional viewpoint concerning the human being as created by God is that man is really a union of two worlds. Whether spoken or unspoken, rattling around in many minds, religious and non-religious, are the notions that man’s body only relates to the earth. After all, it is a dusty thing from the very beginning, and will not escape its dustiness in the end. In other words, the body of man is without the image of God.
On the other hand, the soul of man relates not to the earth but to Heaven, and is the sole recipient of the image of God stamped upon it. When we think of man’s soul, we think of his ability to think, decide and feel like God thinks, decides and feels. Many think that there alone is where man images God!
Wrong! Man’s body bears the image of God as does his soul. Total man is created in the image of God, not just part or half of him.(Genesis 1:27) Man in the cradle of human history was created with a flawless body and soul which both reflected the perfections of their Creator in their form and function. Yes I know, I am saying that the physical (man) can image and reflect the spiritual (God) in order and performance. This is hard to understand because what man’s body and soul are today in his sinful state are but the shadows of Adam and the rudiments of Paradise.
God’s creation of man is never generalized, but always specified to the minutest detail. No two bodies are identical. No two brains are identical. No two hearts are identical. Nothing identical! When that Divinely ordained unique sperm joins with that Divinely ordained unique egg, it produces that one-of-a-kind person. That unlike-anyone-else characteristic is a major part of the image of God stamped upon man.
We read about God as He revels in His own singularity in the words of Isaiah 46:9,
“…For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me.”
And there is no one like you or me either! That’s the point! That is how we image Him! We each share in this Divinely created absolute singularity and total dissimilarity from anyone else as the essence of His image written upon us. One me points to one God! That’s His image also! More than one me, more than one God! Do you see it?
Cloning and cloners attempt to copy, replicate and undistinguish the unrepeatable distinctiveness of God’s being and image in each man. By its very essence cloning violates God’s exclusive and singularized prerogative. On the black market there are cloned and therefore fake copies of major works of art. Cloners seek to do the same thing to God’s works of art. Cloning God’s masterpieces is plagiarism of the worst sort.
USURPING GOD’S ROLE – THE CRUX OF THE MATTER
What we must never lose sight of is the following. Abortion destroys God’s one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Cloning destroys God’s one-of-a-kind blueprints. Abortionists murder God’s babies. Cloners destroy God’s means. Every artist and sculptor protects his tools, even as the violinist carefully and jealously guards as well as meticulously fine-tunes his instrument. So likewise infinitely much more does the Creator. But man now intends to usurp the role of the Divine Musician, rewrite his musical score, and redesign his final masterpiece. Cloning is filled with discordant notes and sounds. It is not Divine harmony. It is human disharmony.
How does man do this? Cloners remove the nucleus from the fertilized egg containing God’s eternal blueprint for His new creation, and replace it with the nucleus from a cell of the person that the cloners intend to clone. God’s original blueprint is then disposed of. The creature’s dishonoring of the Creator is now doubled, as He not only uncreates what God has created by abortion, but redesigns what God designed from before all worlds by cloning.
We now potentially have two holocausts in America and the world, namely, abortion and cloning, murder and manipulation. Secularists of course describe it as advancing medical science. It is anything but!
More than that, man is on the brink of altering the entire Divinely instituted reproductive system for all of humankind. All that we so carefully and painstakingly outlined in the lengthy aforesaid concerning God’s intricately designed blueprints is being shredded and replaced with human concoctions. The implications of cloning are massive. The puny creature once again attempts to usurp the role of the Almighty Creator.
Whether it is abortion or cloning, it always comes down to this:
“ONLY THOSE WHO HAVE DEEP REVERENTIAL RESPECT FOR GOD’S MASTERPIECES
WILL ALSO HAVE DEEP REVERENTIAL RESPECT FOR GOD’S MEANS.”
God’s name has, is and always must be inscribed upon every cell, nucleus, gene, chromosome and God-created baby boy and baby girl. Up until this post-Christian era in American society, wherever God looked He saw His own superscription on every swimming sperm to every fertilized egg; from every sperm’s divinely ordained destiny to every fertilized egg’s springing forth into that exotic new life.
Now man is attempting to sign his own name in place of God’s name! Whatever we are, we are not our own, but God’s, from beginning to end. Now man again seeks to be his own, from beginning to end. Man the Divinely authored one now tries to be the author himself. The book of life then loses all true meaning.
Allow me to quote from David W. Cloud of Way Of Life Literature when he writes, “Those attempting to clone human beings have not answered the hard questions pertaining to the moral and spiritual aspects of their efforts. Man has no authority from the Word of God to clone himself. God is the sole Creator and Master of life, and men who attempt to usurp the place of God are idolaters and foolish in their vaunted ‘science falsely so called.’”*
Man has no authority from the Word of God to clone himself. I agree, and I said it again because it bears repeating. The dominion of God is based upon the greatest and most undeniable prerogatives – His creation and providence. It doesn’t take a lot of brains to know and realize that whoever is the Creator is also the Supreme Governor. If you will:
“WHATEVER AND WHOEVER HAS BEEN MADE AND PRESERVED BY GOD
CAN ONLY BE CONTROLLED AND COMMANDED BY GOD.”
In others words, cloners go home and keep your hands off God’s property.
To err is human, to forgive is Divine. Whatever imperfection undertakes, it will produce and in this case reproduce more imperfection. And when man steps outside of God’s moral and physical boundaries, the impact that he has upon society is catastrophic. The violence that modern men has done to nature and God’s total creation is horrendous. Pollution! War! Abortion! And now cloning!
Again David Cloud writes, “Animals have been cloned since the mid-1990s, but fewer than 3% of the cloning efforts succeed. And the cloning process, even when successful, creates random genetic errors. Cloned animals have developmental delays, heart defects, lung problems, malfunctioning immune systems, and other serious problems. Some of them grow grotesquely fat when they reach young adulthood. Responsible voices in the scientific community are speaking out against human cloning.”**
Man is trying now to be god of his own cells, and thereby separates himself from God. Then as Solomon states in Proverbs 18:1,
“He who separates himself seeks his own desire, he quarrels
against all sound wisdom.”
I hope and pray that we have answered here some of the hard questions and given thoroughly Biblical answers. Our people need immediate help in all of this from the pulpit as they try to navigate through many hithertofore untravelled and uncharted seas where so many are making moral shipwreck of their lives. God help us to help them with strong definitive guidance from the Word of God.
*Way Of Life Literature, David W. Cloud, “The Weird Cloning Cult”
**Way Of Life Literature, David W. Cloud, “Cloning Creates Random Errors” (Friday Church News Notes, March 30, 2001, Fundamental Baptist Information Service)