Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tim Tebow and Turning Pages

I am a big-time fan of Peyton Manning. I was a big-time fan of his dad Archie. I have followed Peyton’s career throughout college and professional football. I falsely hoped when Indianapolis decided to let him go that Seattle might aggressively seek Peyton’s services. Alas, the Seahawks are another story.

I’m also a big-time fan of Tim Tebow. Not only does his faith and life inspire me but his work ethic in the game excites me. The Broncos drive through the playoffs last fall was the most entertaining football I’ve seen in a long time.

Now Peyton is becoming the Broncos starting quarterback. What will happen with Tebow? Will he be a backup to Manning and learn from one of the best? More likely I think Tebow will be traded. The Tebow mania in Denver could be too much for the business of football to happen effectively in the Broncos organization.

A trade to another team is what I call a “turning of the page”. If God is the Author of life and each of our stories become a part of God’s metanarrative, then Tebow’s move to a new team will be the turning of a page into a new chapter in his life.

AND, Tebow will be just fine. In fact I predict he will flourish. No, I don’t have an inside scoop on what team will pick up the Heisman Trophy winner. It really doesn’t matter. I hope that Tim will have success in the game wherever he goes but if he doesn’t it won’t matter. Since football is “A” passion of Tim’s and not “THE”Passion of his life he will be just fine wherever he is and whatever he does.

Tim has made it clear that following Christ is his all-consuming first priority in life. Knowing Christ, serving Christ and seeing the difference that Christ makes all around his life won’t change. Just the city and team will change. AND, I predict that the graceful, classy way Tim handles the transition will likewise bring honor to Christ.

I’m looking forward to the next chapter in Manning’s career. I’m especially looking forward to the next chapter in Tebow’s life.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Is there such a thing as "Wrongful Birth"?

A Portland area couple was recently awarded nearly $3 million because their daughter was born with Down syndrome. Around 13 weeks into her pregnancy the mother had gone into a clinic and received the chorionic villus sampling or CVS. The results showed that the child had a normal chromosomal profile. When the child was born it was then discovered that she did in fact have the chromosomal abnormality referred to as Down syndrome. Statistically the test has a 97.7% accuracy rate.

The couple sued the clinic claiming that had the test been accurate and they knew that their child was Down syndrome they would have aborted her and thus never gone through the ordeal of raising a special needs child.

The child is now 4 years old. The parents say that they love her. They simply want the clinic to pay for their error. If you’re interested in the specifics of the testing and trial you can read the story at the Oregonian.

The whole case is a reflection of our times and the questions that modern medical science is presenting to society. Upon what basis will we make such life and death decisions?

The term “wrongful birth”, like other current euphemisms in the news such as “after-birth abortion” and “selective reduction”, sends a chilling message that many of us can be misled by the changing of language.

Those of us who are guided by the Bible through the questions and values posed by contemporary culture have to see this crafting of words for what it is. Most of our society would not tolerate the murder of babies but would give little attention to someone preventing a “wrongful birth”.

Yes, I’m aware that scientifically a sperm and egg unite and from that conception a developmental process is launched until there is a birth. Increasing numbers in our society are having to reject the notions about life beginning at some point of viability or at birth because science has convincingly demonstrated that life begins at conception.

But theologically the Bible contends that life begins in the heart of God which precedes the uniting of sperm and egg. In the story of God’s call to Jeremiah to be a prophet, God informed Jeremiah,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

The implication of this verse is clear. God conceives our lives and has determined the value of our lives and has plans for our lives before our parents even come into the picture.

Was there a wrongful birth of this little girl 4 years ago? No. Were it known that she would be born with Down syndrome should there have been a selective reduction? God forbid. Within minutes of her birth when her condition was discovered should there have been an after-birth abortion? Are we insane?

Changing the language does not change the fact that we are “playing God” when we make decisions for death instead of life.