God's Say
December 5

Gene-edited babies may be the most interesting and controversial story you haven't heard about. A researcher from China, who has studied and worked in the US, recently claimed that he had edited the genes of a baby. Although the story isn't completely known, it is believed the researcher had hoped to edit embryos so that they would be resistant to the AIDS virus. This work has been condemned by the scientific community. The scientific community is saying that this type of work violates the universal ethics that scientists must abide by. I'm wondering what God thinks about all of this but I can't find anything in the Bible about genetically edited babies. Does God have a say on this one?

There are many things that we encounter on a daily basis that one would be hard pressed to find a clear Biblical answer to, and there are many practices in the Bible that we not only don't practice today, but we have condemned and deemed harmful. So, does God have a say on those things or are we left to our own debates? When it comes to war, global hunger, poverty, abuse, and exploitation I think the faithful answer is obvious (even if we don't always live-out that answer) but I'm not so sure about this one. 

Just a few decades ago scientists created a new technology to help couples who struggled to have children. Back then test-tube-babies were condemned but today in vitro fertilization is a common and accepted alternative form of conception. Stem cell therapy was once a debated treatment but many are seeing its potential health benefits. Does God have a say on any of this? Many of these new advancements have come about because of our harmful actions to our world and the environment around us. I can't find anything in the Bible about inhalers but I'm sure glad scientists have worked to create treatments so that when my asthma flares up I have options that allow me to breathe again, and if they were to discover a way to cure asthma, even if some condemned it as unethical, as long as it didn't come at the harm and expense of others, I'm sure I'd be eager to see if it would help me breathe. 

There is this interesting ancient story in the Bible that talks about the origin of our different languages. This story, known as the Tower of Babel, tells of the people's desire to build a tower that reaches to the heaven so that they could make a name for themselves. God doesn't like their motivation and disrupts their plans by confusing their language and the tower is never finished. Apparently, God had an opinion on this one and God acted. It would've been great if God had showed up in that researcher’s lab and either blessed the work or condemned it. As great as it would be, we don't have a burning bush in our backyard that we can consult to see if God likes what we are doing or doesn't, but I believe “What Would Jesus Do?” is easier to answer than we might think. If our work makes the world a better place and improves the lives of all of God's people, it's hard to argue that God isn't blessing that kind of work. If our ambitions are for selfish gain or come at the expense of others, I don't think God is blessing that. Are we inviting God into all areas of our world, even if the bible doesn't talk about it?

I'm still not sure about clones or gene-edited babies, but if they were to show up at church some Sunday, I would happily greet them, welcome them into God's house, break bread with them, and remind them that they are a child of God because I think that's what Jesus would do. 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris 

Last Published: December 7, 2018 8:59 AM