First Person Life

2006-01-14

The REAL headline in S. Korea Cloning mess

The furor over faked research in South Korea continues. But I found this quote from the CNN article interesting:

"I regret that I didn't stand up against the professor," MBC quoted the graduate student researcher, identified by her surname Park, as saying in an e-mail message to an acquaintance before donating eggs in 2003. Park said she was "exceedingly disgusted" with herself for having to conduct cloning experiments on her own eggs.


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The real question here is for the postmodern to explain the psychological reaction of this woman.

As a hardened scientist in a confucian society, why did she feel "exceedingly disgusted" with performing this activity? Is there something in the Confucian thought system which would cause it? Is there something within the Korean culture which holds an egg as somehow "special"?

Why is it "widely considered unethical" for scientists working in this field to donate their own "genetic material" to the cause?

Of course, we know the answer is that the natural law of God is written on the human heart. These things are considered wrong because God considers them wrong. Even if the postmodern mindset tries to hide the reality of sin under the guise of a vocabulary of morality based on "personal values" rather than language that indicates morality is based on "holy virtue," the accusation of the conscience will remain.

The real question for the Church is how to reach people "where they are," and bring them "where they need to be."

Since the law of God is written on the human heart and felt (albeit subjectively) by every member of the human race, do we need to appeal to objective reality or the objective Law for people to come to a point of despair over their sin?

Perhaps a better way to approach individuals in the culture is to take the example of Jesus with the woman at the well. He didn't proclaim to her "thou shalt not commit adultery" because she was fornicating. Rather, he talked in such a way that she felt convicted of the sin through her own conscience.

In fact, he didn't preach the "Mosaic Law" anywhere except to those who already claimed to know it and follow it.

Even in the Sermon on the Mount, He said, "You have heard it said... now I tell you..." Yes, he intensified the meaning of the Mosaic Law, but it was an intensification that was intended to explicate that law and how it portrayed God's will, not (primarily) to condemn the hearers. The condemnation occurred, of course, because people heard the echo of their own conscience, the law written on their heart.

Much like when you tap one tuning fork and hold it next to another of the same pitch, the other vibrates too. The perfect law of God as revealed in Scripture resonates with the law of God as written on our hearts. We must find those points at which it resonates most strongly and begin there.

Thus, we can use our knowledge of the Law as it is "correctly portrayed" in scripture to intensify the accusing conscience to bring others into a recognition of their sinful condition and their need for salvation. However, it is ultimately unnecessary (and, in most cases, exceedingly unhelpful) to attempt to scripturally "prove" why they should feel sinful.

What I'm proposing is find the person where he or she is, work within their "view of reality" as much as possible, recognizing those things which correctly correspond to what is objectively true as revealed from Scripture and attempting to re-orient the person where their "view" and reality don't match up. This can be accomplished by showing them the inconsistencies within their own view and providing a recommendation for making their view more consistent -- recommendations which are informed by Scripture, but not necessarily overtly so in the conversation. This avoids the primary pitfall of overtly "imposing" our view on others.

Once we find agreed upon reference points in each world view, the conversation can begin to expand naturally to clarify the rest of the view.

In the process of disillusionment brought on by the collapse of their view of the world, the other person is often brought to despair in the realization that their sinful condition cannot be remedied by their own effort. This is time to bring them the sweetness of the Gospel as it applies to them directly.

The Gospel that what they're feeling is actually a "good thing" because it means that they now see the world as it is -- broken and in need of a savior. The Gospel that God, in His mercy and grace provided that Savior in the person of Jesus Christ. That because of Jesus Christ, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, creation has been reconciled to God and our guilt is removed. And we must all admit, that is Good News!

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