THE SERVANT GENERAL
CULTURE OF LIFE
THE CULTURE OF DEATH
Through today’s readings, God instructs us on some aspects
involved in the culture of life.
Today’s prophetic word from Zechariah gives us a picture
of how life used to be in many societies. “Old men and
old women, each with staff in hand because of old age, shall
again sit in the streets of Jerusalem. The city shall be filled
with boys and girls playing in her streets.” (Zec 8:4-5).
You can practically picture the scene. Streets bustling with
activity as children play. The elderly looking on with bright
smiles. Joyful noises. A neighborhood community enjoying life.
abortion, legal in many countries and imposed in countries
like China, has already taken the lives of billions of the
unborn. With less of the young who make up the workforce,
and more of the elderly living longer due to better health
care, thus resulting in a serious threat to social security
programs, the next natural step is to eliminate the elderly.
This is done through euthanasia (mercy killing without consent
of the victim) or assisted suicide (with consent of the victim).
With abortion we lose the children. With euthanasia we lose
the elderly. The culture of death aborts children because
they are unwanted and are just more mouths to feed. The culture
of death will kill the elderly because they are no longer
productive and are also just more mouths to feed.
Another aspect of the culture of death is contraception. This
is when methods are used to prevent fertilization, through
condoms, IUDs, pills, etc. In many cases fertilization has
already occurred, and so the contraceptive becomes an abortifacient.
Now abortion is evil. And surgical abortion is particularly
cruel and diabolical, oftentimes involving dismemberment of
the baby and crushing of the skull. It is sacrifice of the
innocent unborn to Baal.
But there is a sense where non-abortive contraception is even
more diabolical than abortion. The psalmist says, “Let
this be written for the next generation, for a people not
yet born, that they may praise the Lord” (Ps 102:19).
You see, with conception, there is already a life, and there
is already a soul. When that baby is aborted, the soul goes
to heaven, to be with our heavenly Father forever, giving
Him worship. With contraception, the life that God intended
does not come to be. Thus the devil deprives God of a soul
that would have been with Him forever in heaven.
The devil, cruel as he is, does not promote the culture of
death just as an avenue for his cruelty. His aim is to destroy
God’s work, to bring down the human beings who are God’s
children and whom He loves, and to deprive God of souls that
will worship Him eternally in heaven.
Another aspect of the culture of death is the death penalty.
This is the state taking the life of a prisoner in retribution
for crime. This is wrong because only God can give life and
take away life. Further, it deprives the criminal of the opportunity
to repent and become a productive member of society. This
is not to mention the many injustices done to innocent people,
especially among the poor.
God is concerned about all His children. Those who are lost
He seeks out. Those who have sinned He forgives. “The
Lord looked down from the holy heights, viewed the earth from
heaven, to attend to the groaning of the prisoners, to release
those doomed to die.” (Ps 102:20-21).
We see in all these how the culture of death demeans life.
It defines personal and societal well-being merely in materialistic
terms. It would shun anyone or anything that would be considered
burdensome to personal enjoyment. It lives for the present
moment without considering eternity.
Children especially are considered burdensome. So children
are prevented from being conceived through contraception or
are aborted if conceived. Children are unwanted by couples
who just want to enjoy their selfish lifestyles.
But according to Jesus, children are the greatest in the Kingdom!
The disciples were arguing which of them was the greatest
(Lk 9:46). In a way, in today’s societies, that is what
people do--as they look to what they have compared to what
others have, in terms of career, money in the bank, cars and
homes, and so on. Now Jesus could just have set them straight
with a clear teaching, but what he did was to take a child
and place it by his side (Lk 9:47). He then said to them,
“Whoever receives this child in my name receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
(Lk 9:48a). This must have been disconcerting to the disciples,
as children had no status in the society at that time.
What is it that we learn from a child? Among other things,
we can learn purity of heart and total dependence on the Father.
But as far as the culture of life is concerned, we learn that
children are very important to God. Rather than rejecting
children we should receive them. And when we receive them
in the name of Jesus, that is, recognizing God’s plan
for humanity, including the importance of life and family,
and accepting it, then we receive God.
The children were least in the society of the disciples’
time, as they are becoming least in today’s societies.
But to Jesus the least is the greatest (Lk 9:48b) and is the
way to the Father. With a contraceptive mentality, society
has not only been losing its children and decimating its homes,
but people have lost their own way home as children going
back to their Father in heaven.
The culture of death is deeply entrenched in the world today.
But we are called to the seemingly impossible task of defending
life. When we do so, we are doing the very will of the Father,
restoring His very plan for the life of the world. As such,
we can call upon His power and strength. We do so knowing
how weak and lowly we are, but in weakness is our strength,
God’s strength. “Heeding the plea of the lowly,
not scorning their prayer (Ps 102:18), God Himself will fight
for and with us. “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Even
if this should seem impossible in the eyes of the remnant
of this people, shall it in those days be impossible in my
eyes also, says the Lord of hosts?” (Zec 8:6).
The anti-life forces are so strong, powered by the US government,
the European Union, the United Nations, billionaire philanthropists,
international liberal media, multinational pharmaceuticals,
giant abortion organizations. In the face of this David-and-Goliath
fight, God gives us His assurance. “Thus says the Lord
of hosts: Lo, I will rescue my people from the land of the
rising sun, and from the land of the setting sun.” (Zec
8:7). From east to west, God will bring deliverance. “I
will bring them back to dwell within Jerusalem. They shall
be my people, and I will be their God, with faithfulness and
justice.” (Zec 8:8).
Perhaps we will once again see the day when our all city streets
are filled with the old and the young.