What Are We Doing?
The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
- Genesis 3:20
The mother of all living… What a claim to fame! As the man and woman left Paradise in the shame of their rebellion to meet the world as creatures of death, Adam named his wife Eve. From Eve, life would emerge to struggle against the tide of death the couple invited into creation.
In the scientific community, there is some debate about the feasibility of a single ancestor, but evidence from mitochondrial DNA suggests that all human beings descended from a single woman in Africa who lived about 200,000 years ago. Others argue that there was insufficient time for the diversity of the human race to evolve, and the “missing link” between chimpanzees and humans must have occurred in multiple monkey populations about the same time. A computer model was done around ten years ago, and using what is known about lifespans and reproduction rates, calculations showed that the whole of the human race could have originated from a single woman. The implication, obviously, is that it’s possible Eve is truly the mother of all living, which is incompatible with neo-Darwinist theories of evolution. Personally, I cannot see that descending from multiple chimps somehow recommends the human race more than descent from one common ancestral couple, but there you have it.
What I can say with a good degree of certainty is that human beings want to live. Even in horrible circumstances or when in terrible pain, human beings hold tenaciously to life. The will to live is strong, and that is true of all species. If a creature has a heartbeat, it will fight to live. The same can be said of myriad species of flora that push toward the sun and run roots to water. Life is the driving force in the universe, whether birthing new stars or birthing new children.
Unless, apparently, one is a sentient, rational being with a self-determining individual will… The photo above was taken at a protest following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade. I cannot fathom how, having carried this infant to near-term, having felt the twisting and kicking for several months, having heard the heartbeat of the baby for even longer, the woman believes she is more a woman for having the freedom to choose death for her child. And yet, that appears to be what she thinks. Her supreme right to call for the death for the baby she carries is emblazoned across the fecundity that announces she is a bearer of life. Am I the only one who sees the contradiction there? The woman understands herself through her right to kill the baby who proves she is a woman and is able to bring life into the world. How is that even intelligible?
With 63 million abortions since Roe v. Wade, nearly everyone in the United States today knows women who have had abortions. We may not know that a particular woman has had an abortion, but we all know women who have. I have written about abortion before and that is not the topic here. However, I want to be clear that I oppose dogmatic condemnation of women. One can hold to the conviction that abortion is wrong and still have compassion and empathy for the women who grieve abortions they chose. In the grace of Christ, I do not think we are to judge women who made choices based on the law and popular opinion. Not only are we not granted the right to judge, each of us has sin enough of our own to address. There are women in the church today who need to know that Christ’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness extend to them, and as we have received freely from Christ, so also are we to give freely to others. Grace, mercy, and forgiveness are for all or for none.
That said, the question that we have to ask ourselves is how women ever came to believe that it’s rational, even desirable, to kill full-term babies? How does a woman understand herself as more only if she alone holds the choice of life or death for the child? So many young women march to protest their right to unrestricted, on-demand abortion. In thirty years, who will these women be? Will they be proud of their choices, as this young woman’s belly proclaims, or will they look back in regret and shame as many women do today? I wonder what this woman's child will think if given the chance to see this picture?
The capacity to bring forth new life and to shape and form a new generation is not only a biological reality, but it is essential to the feminine nature. Being a woman is a privilege, I think, a participation in God’s creative and creating Being. Medical science currently is exploring the possibility of taking wombs from women who want to be men and transplanting them into men who want to be women. The irony would be funny if it weren’t confirming delusion at the most basic level of human life. Women wanted to be equal with men, and then, women wanted to claim superiority to men. So, men began to become women and do so frequently with some of the most excessive stereotypical behavior mocked by feminists for decades. Irrespective of beer preference, the man-woman at the center the Bud Light controversy is tragically silly, more like a ten-year-old girl playing with makeup than anything resembling authentic womanhood.
Despite all the claims of interchangeability that dominate the news and the media, men and women are distinctly different in fixed ways, and no amount of wishful thinking, surgery, or hormones will change that reality. That we want to do so reveals how lost we are as a people and how desperate we are to build something, anything, from the crumbles of human dignity left in the wake of the cultivated and nurtured lie that life is meaningless for the human animal.
In the first chapter of Genesis, God created male and female in His image – the zenith of creation for which the whole of creation exists. To be made in God's image means a great many things, not the least of which is the capacity for communion with our Creator, but to be made in His image also grants us some small measure of participation in the qualities that originate from His essence, qualities like rationality, will, compassion, mercy, justice, good, and more. Historically, Christian apologists identified these qualities as the “Intellect” – the soul from which arises the necessary capacities enabling us to make sense of our world and to function within it, to understand who we are and how we are to live. As we now experience it, the human intellect is flawed, but human beings – all human beings – still possess this image of God, however distorted and misguided.
In our creation, God gave human beings two tasks – the first is to be fruitful, something our Creator considers a blessing, and second, to maintain order over creation in His stead, that is, as He would. Unlike everything else God created, human beings alone possess both the breath of God, which is a participation in His being, and physical materiality, participation in the created order. In human beings, God joined the spiritual and the physical in human beings, and this dignity belongs only to us. Therefore, in the image of God, as He created all that is and then brought order to the whole of His creation, so also are human beings to create and bring order. Thus, every time we see destruction and diminishment of creation and creating, and every time we witness chaos and confusion in our world, we are looking at a rejection of God’s intent for His creatures and His creation, but also, we are seeing the fundamental rejection of our own humanity.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, I encourage every Christian to think about the beauty, the challenge, the sacrifice, and the blessing of those who bring life into being, and in so doing, grace the world with true humanity. What a glorious privilege to be granted to women in our creation. There is more to womanhood than promiscuity and the right to play God with our creative capacities. The greatest testimony to motherhood comes from women who desperately want to bear children and cannot.
If women want to demand control over our own bodies, then we can choose not to diminish ourselves to nothing more than sexual animals. Both men and women have the power to choose the high calling of virtue and holiness that reflects Christ to a world cheapened by arrogance and broken by disdain for the image of God instilled in every human being.
May God have mercy upon us for our failure to teach our children the humility required for building and living as family, as well as the honor and blessing entailed. As society devolves into chaos, pray for the courage to recover the sacred joy of Christian family. So many wounded, lost, and deluded human beings are around us. Our homes need to be filled with the life and light of Christ that are the beacon of hope in a dark, dark world. That is who we are – the family of God. Let us live lives that point people toward Home.
In Christ –
Rev. Elizabeth Moreau
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