We have come to the point in our society, where many times now, circumstances from personal decisions, behavior, technology, and ideologies render certain situations with no “right answer left”.
I recall visiting with a couple back in the early 90’s when I pastored at Lakes Baptist. They had been cohabiting without benefit of marriage and had a child together. Then, they broke up. Now, they were coming to church and wanted to get their lives back together with the child and get married. The trouble at that point was that one was a believer and the other was not. At that point, I could not agree to marry them even though they shared a child together and were living together and wanted to be married because the Bible prohibits marriage to an unbeliever. Their life decisions had eliminated a “right” answer and only left an option for the best wrong answer left.
Recently, the following story was in the news. It seems two women were in a relationship begun in 2011. This was prior to the terrible Supreme Court decision that legalized same sex “marriage” nationwide in 2015. Because it is impossible for two women (or two men) to procreate, they decided they would, through technology, harvest one woman’s egg, fertilize it with a third party donor seed from a man, and take the resultant embryo and implant it in the other woman. She then, at the appropriate time, gave birth to twins.
However, the women separated prior to the 2015 Supreme Court decision and were never “married”. The woman who actually gave birth to the children then retained custody of them even though she had zero genetic ties with the children (the egg coming from the other woman and the sperm from a third party donor). Four years later, the genetically connected woman sued for shared custody and won in the lower courts, the court holding that the birth mother was in essence, nothing more than a surrogate party (a womb for rent if you will). An appeal now by the birth mother has returned the case to court with the “logic” that “a woman who gives birth to a child is that child’s natural mother (I must add here, there was absolutely nothing natural about the conception and birth of these twins) under common law, and there is no reason to look elsewhere for meaning” said the subsequent judge.
If you were the judge, what would your ruling be? I know that few of us are trained in the law, but what would wisdom and logic dictate here? Is the woman who donated the egg the legal mother or is the woman who had the egg/sperm/embryo last and delivered the fully developed embryo the legal parent? Or…as is being adduced by one side…are both now parents? And what about the sperm donor? I know the law does not even recognize any rights to the person who lent fully half of his genetics to the procreation of those twins, but I think we all realize that something is not necessarily ethical and right because of laws passed by fallible human beings (as in abortion).
So, what would your decision be? Or you might ask, “Terry, what would your decision be?” The answer to that is “I don’t know.” Things have gotten so messed up that even the “natural” order of things has become so convoluted as to leave the flood gates wide open as to what is “right” or “wisdom”. So, you know what, in this situation your answer is as good as mine. One judge’s answer is as good as a different answer from another judge. That is because nobody has a “right” answer anymore…simply an opinion as to what is the best wrong answer left. So, the appeals court will make a decision. And no matter what that decision is, it will ultimately be left to the Supreme Court who, probably with a 5 to 4 split decision, will come up with the “final” next best wrong decision. This is how fallibility works. It may get resolved (at least temporarily), but with no surety. And even then, that “surety” will evaporate with the changing winds of cultural devolution and another Supreme Court will come that can overturn previous Supreme Court decisions. Thus, there is never a “final answer”. This might very well be evidenced in the next few years with this conservative Supreme Court perhaps (and hopefully) overturning Roe v. Wade. But even that will not be the “final” answer because Supreme Courts change as do cultural sensibilities from which comes the next round of Supreme Court Justices.
This is where we have come. Once we reject God, and his Word, final decisions on ethical/moral issues are impossible. This is where we are now as a nation… what is “right, moral, and ethical” have now been reduced to the democracy of the mob which ultimately influences how the “final authority,” the Supreme Court, actually decides things.
Well, God does not operate by a democracy. He has revealed in his word what is “right, just, moral, and ethical”. Once as a nation, we largely held to that. Never perfectly, but largely. But we have abandoned that which once anchored our society. We now are only left with the next best wrong answer. But may we as blood bought genuine believers in Jesus Christ and in apostolic doctrine, be those who unashamedly cling to the answers that God has given us in Scripture. Today, that will take more and more courage to hold to our convictions. Fasten your seatbelts; it is going to be a bumpy ride.