Tim Challies recently stated on a podcast that when he sees a child with Down syndrome, he assumes the family is Christian. Why? Because so many children with Down syndrome are not allowed to be born.
Al Mohler wrote yesterday (scroll down almost to the bottom) on two recent articles that Dr. Peter Singer wrote, one for the New York Times and one for the Guardian. I agree with Dr. Mohler’s opinion about Dr. Singer:
Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, Peter Singer is one of the most reprehensible intellectual forces alive today.
And yesterday I read that scientists have found a genetic link for autism. Even if it does explain only 3% of autism diagnoses, it is a beginning to unraveling the mystery that is autism. I’m all for unraveling mysteries and helping more kids. But one significant result of better knowledge about Down syndrome is that more kids with Down syndrome are being killed before they are born.
What you believe about God matters a lot here.
Much more comes to mind with all the above news, especially about Peter Singer’s new idea (mostly tongue-in-cheek and simply meant to provoke, I’m guessing) that this generation of human beings be the last generation.
But this one thought kept coming to mind as these articles swirled around in my head:
Is the church ready for what’s coming concerning our children with disabilities? Is the church preparing people right now for the suffering they will experience when a child is diagnosed with a disability?
In one sense, yes. University professors like Dr. Singer have been mocking the notion of a transcendent, sovereign God for centuries. Our most recent murderous decades with abortion were preceded by the murderous eugenics movement by almost a century. The church is still here, and God continues to call some to stand against such evils and some to live with disability in their families.
But it seems like it is coming faster and sooner than before. Prenatal diagnoses of increasing numbers and types of disabilities are becoming more common. Rates of abortion for children with disabilities are at stunning levels. Men and women can take tests to determine the likelihood of their conceiving a child with certain disabilities, with the assumption that this is not to prepare them to raise a child, but to help them avoid having such children.
We need the church to help their people now, before the diagnosis comes. What we believe about God and other people and how we spend our lives is at stake:
The ultimate purpose of the universe is to display the greatness of the glory of the grace of God. The highest, clearest, surest display of that glory is in the suffering of the best Person in the universe for millions of undeserving sinners.Therefore, the ultimate reason that suffering exists in the universe is so that Christ might display the greatness of the glory of the grace of God by suffering in himself to overcome our suffering and bring about the praise of the glory of the grace of God.
O Christian, remember what Carl Ellis and David Powlison and Mark Talbot and Steve Saint and Joni Eareckson Tada said: they all, in their own way, said that whether we are able or disabled, enduring loss or delighting in friends, suffering pain or savoring pleasure, all of us who believe in Christ are immeasurably rich in him and have so much to live for. Don’t waste your life. Savor the riches that you have in Christ and spend yourself no matter the cost to spread your riches to this desperate world.
Pastor John Piper, from The Suffering of Christ and the Sovereignty of God at the 2005 Desiring God National Conference.