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A Culture of Death

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Date October 6, 2009

The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground. (Genesis 4:10)

‘An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely, the priests rule on their own authority, and my people love it so. But what will you do at the end of it?’ (Jer. 5:30-31). Indeed, an appalling and horrible thing has happened in the USA. A culture of death has inundated us, sweeping over us like a violent tsunami. It began with Roe versus Wade in 1973 and there are now four thousand abortions per day in the U.S. Fully one-third of them are African American children,1 resurrecting Margaret Sanger’s (founder of Planned Parenthood) racist programme of eugenics to limit severely the black race.2

We increasingly leave babies to die outside the womb, and only one-tenth of all Down’s syndrome children are born, parents choosing to abort them rather than have the remarkable privilege of such children gracing their homes. And the culture of death will encroach further if the present Administration’s universal health care programme passes the House and Senate. There can be no question that such will require the rationing of health care and hard decisions will have to be made on who receives that care. Older, ‘less productive’ people will surely be denied the limited health care available.3

What does God think of our culture of death? Why does it exist? What is the remedy? The first murder in the history of the human race is recorded in Genesis 4 when Cain (his name means ‘appointed’) was angry with God for not receiving his sacrifice of worship, being jealous of his brother Abel (his name means ‘vapour, short lived’), and rose up to murder him. Some commentators suggest that Cain’s sacrifice was unacceptable because it was not an animal sacrifice. We read, however, in 1 John 3:12 that Cain, who was of the evil one, murdered his brother because his deeds were evil. In other words, God saw into Cain’s heart and knew it was prideful, rebellious, defiant, and murderous. God was still giving Cain time to repent, telling him that sin was crouching at the door and he must master it or it would dominate him. Cain’s wicked attitude was further proven when God challenged Cain for his murderous action, asking, ‘Where is your brother’, to which he defiantly and wickedly responded, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’. God pronounced judgment on Cain for his murderous act, telling him that his brother’s blood cried out to him from the ground, that he was more cursed than the ground itself. Even in judgment, however, God was gracious to Cain, promising to protect him from deeds of vengeance which others (perhaps even his parents) may wish to perpetrate against him.

Why do we have a culture of death in our country? Simply put, it is because two types of people exist in the world – those who are of the seed of the serpent and those who are of the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15). In John 8:44 Jesus tells the Pharisees that they are of their father the devil who was a liar and murderer from the beginning. These are the unregenerate of our country and world, those who are still dead in their sins, who ultimately hate God and all for which he stands. I am not saying that all who are of the seed of the serpent are wicked and murderous. We can thank God for his common grace that restrains evil. I am saying, however, that the seeds of murder, defiance, and rebellion are deeply imbedded in their hearts, waiting to be unleashed at any momen – at the slightest provocation, when the temptation to make money, or the inconvenience of an unwanted pregnancy, or a problematic senior citizen becomes too expensive to bear. The seed of the woman, on the other hand, are those who belong to Jesus, who are born again, who have the new heart of Jesus within them (Ezek. 18:31; 37:25-27, John 3:3ff). They humbly submit to God’s Word (Isa. 66:2), live in obedience to God’s revealed will (John 14:15), and graciously serve others (Rom. 12:4ff). They do not abort their children. They adopt other endangered or unwanted children. They bring into the world children who have birth defects. They care for aging parents, no matter what the perceived inconvenience or expense. I am not saying that heroic measures to keep the dying alive are necessary. There are times, sadly, when turning off the respirator may be the thing to do. I am saying that pro-life, seed-of-the-woman people, never deliberately, intentionally, wilfully choose to end anyone’s life. I am not saying that all who are ‘pro-life’ are Christians, but I am saying that they at least hold on to biblical principles in their bio-ethics.

What does God think of our culture of death? God declares the sanctity of all human life (Gen. 1:27, Psa. 8, Psa. 139) and judges all who take it. Surely this judgment on all murder is clear from Genesis 4:10ff. God tells Cain that he will be a vagrant and wanderer for the rest of his life. In Genesis 9:6 he tells us that anyone who sheds innocent blood will have his life required of him. And the Mosaic covenant pronounces the same judgment on murderers (Exod. 21:12-14).

You may think that since you have not murdered anyone nor been party to an abortion that you are free from murder and its condemnation. Not so fast. Jesus tells the Pharisees that anyone who is angry with his brother is guilty before the court, that one who says ‘Raca’ (you worthless, good-for-nothing bum) is guilty before the Supreme Court, and one who says ‘Fool’ to his brother is guilty enough to go into a fiery hell (Matt. 5:21-22). In other words, you may be murdering people with your words, thoughts, or actions – by hating those of a different race, by hating our President or members of Congress, or by despising the one who ripped you off through a bogus financial investment. You can be of the seed of the woman and guilty of such murder but you will be quick to acknowledge it and repent of it. If you do not, then why should you ever think you are not a murderer, not of the seed of the serpent!

What is the remedy for murder, whatever posture it takes? We are told in Hebrews 12:24 that the sprinkled blood speaks better than the blood of Abel. The blood of Abel cries out from the ground for vengeance, wrath, judgment, and condemnation. Cain deserved what he got and so do you. But the blood of Jesus speaks better than the blood of Abel. Jesus, the sinless, undefiled Son of God, the One who perfectly obeyed the Law, the One who came to this world, who resolutely set his face to Jerusalem, who died at Calvary, took the wrath, vengeance, judgment, and condemnation of a just and holy God upon himself. This he did so that no one else would have to do it. Your only hope against murderous, defiant, prideful, and rebellious sedition against the King of Glory is to run to the sprinkled blood of Jesus. The culture of death in our nation will not dissipate until King Jesus rules in the hearts of murderers, transforming them from God-haters to God-worshippers. So we are back where we so often are – only the gospel of Jesus, that which transforms, offers hope to the mountainous problems that plague us.


  1. The National Black Pro-Life Union, cited in an August 21, 2009 AAPLOG (American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists) newsletter.
  2. See page 150 of my book, Seeking a Revival Culture: Essays to Fortify an Anemic Church.
  3. See Dick Morris’ Fleeced, page 29.

Rev. Allen M Baker is Pastor of Christ Community Presbyterian Church in West Hartford, Connecticut.

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