IS GOD PRO-CHOICE
With permission By Deborah Brunt
If there's a God, he's pro-choice.
I know this because daily life requires so many choices: what clothes to wear, what food to eat, what brand to get, what channel to watch, what shoe to put on first, what task to do next, what response to make when hurt or belittled or questioned or encouraged, what thoughts to think, what emotions to show, what words to say, what relationships to build, what job to accept, what purchases to make, what details to handle, what ways to handle them.
Each day's choices range from the mundane (whitening toothpaste or tarter control?) to the life-changing (relocate or stay?). A quick trip to the store can overwhelm us with the sheer magnitude of the choices before us.
My mother once walked into the grocery to find the new husband of my best friend standing helplessly in front of the milk cooler. "Beth said to get milk," Richard told Mama. Beth hadn't prepared him for the array of choices he'd face size, brand, fat content. Those were the days before cell phones, so he couldn't stand in the aisle and call home for directions. Mama chose for him, sticking a gallon of whatever she deemed appropriate into his buggy.
Being both postmodern and smug, we might not see choice as having anything to do with God. After all, we're the ones doing the choosing. But if there is a God, surely he could cancel all options, forcing us to conform as a dictator does his subjects. Since we have choices and plenty of them anyone up there running the universe must be in favor of it.
What's more, we might not see choices as having anything to do with right or wrong, wise or foolish. We may boldly state that any choice is right for me as long as I choose it. If the results are less than desirable, we can always wave around the word "victim." Everyone understands this to mean that other people (and even society as a whole) may make wrong choices even though I may not and it is their wrong choices from which I am suffering.
Too, we can always help each other sidestep the consequences of our unfortunate choices. A car lot offering creative credit, for example, boasts a large sign announcing, "Bankrupt? No problem."
Meanwhile, the God of the Bible has his own large signs in place. They announce that the universe runs by certain rules we cannot change. We make "wrong" or "foolish" choices when we crash into those rules, expecting them to bend just for us. We make "wise" and "right" choices when we stay within the spacious boundaries these rules provide much like a child who plays happily in a wooded playground next to a busy interstate, rather than trying to climb the fence.
One other thing: Not only does God not have to give us choices, he doesn't have to tell us which ones will hurt us and which ones will help. Yet the Bible is chock full of specifics designed to steer us toward wise choices in every area of life.
This God, who claims never to change either his character or his standards, says in Deuteronomy 30:19, "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live" (NASU).
Interesting, huh? The God who offers choices wants us to make the right ones and teaches us what they are. That's because, if there's a God, he's pro-life.