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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
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      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

Surogates? - Pastors and Scholars Please Read and Advise

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futurehope
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Futurehope, it appears to me that we are not making any progress in this discussion partly because we do not understand each other. For example, for the life of me, I cannot understand what you mean by "natural." I thought I did, but now I realize I don't. If you mean "as nature intended," then logic would dictate that you would "let nature take its course" in all things (including sickness, death, pregnancy complications, etc.) if you are to be consistent. But you don't (or at least I don't think you do). So, that's one aspect of the discussion that has me scratching my head.

"As nature intended" is a foolish statement in and of itself - nature intended nothing. However God did design things a specific way and His intention is what is important. Natural is what fits the normal use or activity of things according to God's design. I have made that clear, but it seems as though you would like me to buy into this idea of "nature taking it's course". Your logic is rediculous and extreme at the very least.

Another aspect of this discussion is the "human control" element. You have not addressed that (in your last response to my post on that matter). So, that's another loose end hanging. I think it's an important one.

I did respond to this. It is called free will. We have the ability to choose what we do and the guarantee that we will reap what we sow. You are saying that because a man and woman must take action to conceive a child that it is within God's will for us to take whatever action we choose to. This logic goes right along with the idea that we can just do whatever we want as long as it makes us happy.

Now, what about what you have yet to respond to? You limit God's plan for conception to the sperm and the egg coming together. By your logic here and saying that God's design is not for conception to take place in the mother only, you should obviously support the use of sperm banks and the process of "selective conception" in which the "best" sperm and eggs are sperated off to be used for creating an embryo. Should I assume as well that you believe it is "natural" for a woman to have several eggs extracted from her rather that the typical cycle a woman's body goes through?

And, as I've said before, your unwillingness to post Scripture about your other assertion (about the specifics of the fertility treatment process) also has me puzzled. Is the fact that masturbation falls under the categories of the lust of the flesh, fornication, and immorality enough? Do you really need me to walk you through this? I'm not sure why you need me to make "a statement" before backing up your assertion with Scripture, especially when you are the one who introduced that topic in the first place. It appears to me (I could be wrong) that you are hoping that I will disagree with you, so you can "play a trump card" and say, "Aha! You're wrong. Look at this!" I've already told you that I'm unaware of any Scripture dealing with that topic...That was your cue to say, "Have you considered this one?" Your hesitancy to do so is, as I said, puzzling, and seems to indicate vulnerability in your position. Actually, I am simply waiting for you to lose the immaturity and just simply admit that masturbation is sin. It's obvious that you know if you do that, you'll have to change your stance and admit that you have been wrong all along since masturbation or "artificial ejaculation methods" are required for this process to be carried out. Even if you want to disagree on what God's plan and design is, you can't argue that if a sinful action is required to accomplish "something good" it's not really within God's will. If you want to keep talking about it, post the Scripture, and we'll discuss it. Otherwise, I really don't have anything more to say about it. Honestly, the only thing you really have left to say is that you spouted off in support of a sinful action without thinking it through and simply admit that you are human like the rest of us and can be wrong and accept correction with humility and thankfulness.[/quote]
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"As nature intended" is a foolish statement in and of itself - nature intended nothing. However God did design things a specific way and His intention is what is important. Natural is what fits the normal use or activity of things according to God's design. I have made that clear' date=' but it seems as though you would like me to buy into this idea of "nature taking it's course". Your logic is rediculous and extreme at the very least.[/quote']
O.K. Let's start from square one. You have said that "natural is what fits the normal use or activity of things according to God's design." Let me ask you if the following things are "natural," according to your definition of the term.

Is it "natural" to sew an organ acquired from a living person's body into another person's body?
Is it "natural" to inject organic and synthetic chemicals (poisonous) to ward off disease (vaccinations), or to cure disease (chemotherapy, etc.)?
Is it "natural" to insert a plastic, nonorganic device into a human body to regulate his heartbeat (pacemaker), doing the work that God designed the heart to do?
Is it "natural" to feed a person through a tube, instead of through the mouth "the way God designed?"
Is it "natural" to cut a woman's uterus open to birth a baby, instead of using "the way God designed?"
Is it "natural" to poke a hole in a person's throat and insert a breathing tube instead of using "the way God designed?"
Is it "natural" for a woman to ingest horse estrogen to relieve the symptoms of menopause?
Is it "natural" to put wires on someone's teeth in order to straighten them, or should they just stay the "way God designed" them?

Futurehope, I'm not really looking for a "yes or no" answer to each one of these. We all draw our lines in different places. What I'm trying to understand is where you are coming from with your ideas about God's design and how "what is natural" plays into that idea.


No, that's not what I'm saying, and I'm pretty sure you know it. I have said repeatedly (fourth time now) that I am against IVF and even surrogacy if embryos are destroyed in the process. There are lines that we must not cross. These lines are clearly spelled out in Scripture. I do not think that surrogacy, in and of itself, crosses the line any more than foster care crosses the line.


Futurehope, to be honest, I don't know enough about these things to have an opinion about them. No doubt the things you've mentioned have indeed been used with wrong motives. I have said that I support a husband (with his sperm) and a wife (with her egg) seeking various fertility options, including surrogacy. IMO, this is safely within the realm of the way God designed the family unit: a husband and wife producing offspring. That's all I'm saying.


It is not normal, but it is natural, in that a woman's (wife's) eggs are being used along with a man's (husband's) sperm to produce a new life. Eggs and sperm are just cells like any other body cell. They do have a unique purpose (just like every type of living cell has its own unique function), but they're not "sacred" in and of themselves. It is not until they are combined that a new and separate life exists.


As I've said before, I've simply asked you for Scripture dealing with this issue. Why have you not given it?


How can I "admit that masturbation is sin" if (as I've said before) I am not aware of any Scripture which addresses that topic? I'm waiting for you to post it. As I said, I'm not interested in discussing it if we're not going to look at Scripture dealing with this issue. (Also, I've mentioned that perhaps the process of obtaining sperm for fertility treatments could indeed be different than you suggest, considering that there is a wife involved. Whew! That's about as graphic as I've ever gotten on OB. How embarrassing! :ooops :hide )
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How can I "admit that masturbation is sin" if (as I've said before) I am not aware of any Scripture which addresses that topic? I'm waiting for you to post it. As I said, I'm not interested in discussing it if we're not going to look at Scripture dealing with this issue. (Also, I've mentioned that perhaps the process of obtaining sperm for fertility treatments could indeed be different than you suggest, considering that there is a wife involved. Whew! That's about as graphic as I've ever gotten on OB. How embarrassing! :ooops :hide )

Your embarrasment should be accompanied by shame for refusing to recognize sin as sin. When you are ready to discuss this matter without all the ignorance and with little maturity, PM me. Otherwise don't waste my time with your rediculous posts and insults to God's word by not recognizing what He has set forth and then reducing it to meet whatever you like and feel should be okay.[/quote]
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You seem to draw your lines by what you think is right' date=' not by what is made obvious by God's design.[/quote']
It is obvious that God designed people to eat with their mouths. Is it then wrong to feed someone through a feeding tube? You totally avoided my questions along these lines. Is it because your reasoning falls apart when you consider that you cannot be consistent with the definition you have given?



Actually, I did respond to it. I said:

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Does the food still not make it into the stomach? This is not even comparable to putting a sperm and an egg in a test tube to make a baby. You are' date=' again, trying to disprove my logic by comparing it to something that is not comparable. Because we are talking about something having to do with medical practices, you suddenly want to try to twist what I am saying into something I haven't said and apply it to something that has nothing to do with it.[/quote']
The questions I asked have everything to do with your position, not because they deal with medical practices, but because they do not fit your definition of "natural," and therefore should be repudiated as sinful by you. If surrogacy is wrong because it (as you have said) does not "fit the normal use or activity of things according to God's design," then why isn't caesarian birth wrong? Why isn't feeding via I.V. wrong (bypassing the digestive system and injecting nutrients directly into the bloodstream)? Why aren't organ transplants, vaccinations, and chemotherapy wrong? None of these things "fit the normal use or activity of things according to God's design." Yet you have not acknowledged that any of these other things are wrong. So, why do you argue that surrogacy is wrong because it isn't "natural?" What is "more unnatural" about surrogacy than any of these other things?


Futurehope, if this statement offended you, consider it retracted. I have bolded some words above which, IMO, indicate that my tone was not at all meant to be harsh or accusative, like your post most certainly was. I do accept your apology; thank you for offering it.


I guess this is what I don't understand. Where is masturbation listed as a forbidden and immoral sexual act? The Bible gets pretty specific about forbidden sexual acts, but, to my knowledge, it doesn't mention this one anywhere. Certainly any action motivated by inordinate lust, whether it is stealing, coveting, or sexual activity, is sinful. But the kind of m/b involved in fertility treatments is not, IMO, motivated by inordinate lust. It is more of a "practical" thing...something that is necessary for the procedure, but not as much desirable.


I just don't see how any consensual sexual act between husband and wife could be considered fornication. Do you?

The "other hands" are not involved in the sexual act itself; that aspect remains between husband and wife.

How is it any more "against God's plan" than cutting a woman's uterus open instead of using the "way God designed" for babies to enter the world? How is it any more "against God's plan" than the other things I've mentioned?


I don't think that genetic engineering is part of what we're talking about here. The issue we're discussing is surrogacy.


Again, you haven't shown how this practice "goes against God's design" in any way except the ways in which the things I've mentioned "go against God's design."


Yes, we are. And I'm totally fine with your view. I can respect it in someone who holds it with humility and does not have a judgmental attitude against those who disagree with him and draw the line in a different place.
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