My Body, My Choice – Really?
Rev. Robert Fleischmann, CLR National Director
The idol of “my rights” continues to wreak havoc on our lives, our families and our society. The sexual revolution of the sixties decimated social sanctions that rightly reflected the place of sexual relations solely within the bonds of marriage. Infidelity, venereal diseases, single parenting, “open” marriages, nudity, sexual language and live-in relationships are commonplace in today’s world and touch every home.
The “my body, my choice” mentality has resulted in abortion-on-demand which has killed over 45 million* unborn children. Assisted suicide, shrouded as “death with dignity,” is the end-of life version of “my body, my choice.” [* NOTE: Number of abortions as of 2009 — current number can be found at linked article above.]
“Coming out of the closet” is obsolete. Today, there is no closet. Homosexuality is not only a protected lifestyle; it is viewed by more and more people as equal to, or even better than, heterosexual marriage.
Trends in legislative initiatives and social tolerance suggest that the holy grail of citizenship is personal autonomy. Is it, and should it have always been, “my body, my choice”?
Christians should know better. We have the truth of God’s Word. Within that truth is the divine logic for the preservation of God’s creation and for the accomplishment of God’s will that all would be saved (1 Timothy 2:3,4).
What shall we do? First, love God.
Jesus summarized the commandments with two directives: love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-40). Loving God is the foundation. It is rooted in God’s love for others (2 Corinthians 5:14), demonstrated in the gift of our salvation through Christ. This type of “love” is from the Greek word, AGAPE. It is more than emotion. It more completely refers to commitment and, when necessary, sacrifices.
How to love God is clear: “This is love for God: to obey his commands” (1 John 5:3).
Second, love others.
That same AGAPE love describes how we are to act towards each other. We should not just be emotionally connected. We should be committed and sacrificial towards each other.
Scripture abounds with references on how this works: We are free through Christ yet we are willing to forgo it for the sake of others (1 Corinthians 8:13). We desire to give to others to ease their struggles in life (Acts 2:44, 45). We are willing to suffer to do the right thing for God and others (1 Peter 3:17).
The Apostle Paul said it like this: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:3-5). Christians are so committed to the welfare of others they are willing to sacrifice – even to the point of death (John 15:13).
The mentality of “my body, my choice” ignores the AGAPE principle of Scripture. How can I be more concerned about others than myself when my motivation is to protect my rights, control my body, enjoy my sexuality, freely speak my mind and die on my terms?
There is no personal activity that does not affect others. An abortion does kill the unborn child. Homosexual practices, infidelity, live-in relationships, amoral entertainment all affect others. Environments of selfishness breed selfishness. Environments of charitable sacrifice breed sacrifice.
Every church body that permits or advocates today’s modern slide in life issues (i.e., abortion, homosexuality, assisted suicide, cohabitation, etc.) also rejects the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. In a perverse way that makes sense. Scripture is so clear on these issues you have no choice but to reject parts of it to do these things.
The mantra, “my body, my choice,” has no support from Scripture. Instead, Scripture teaches us because of our faith in Christ we are not our own and that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Our mission in life is not self-fulfillment or gratification but to care for others and reflect our love for God (Colossians 3:12).
Acts of sin endanger the sinner and all of us. The homosexual couple down the street may keep a fine house, be kind people and good citizens of the community but to consider their relationship equal to that of a heterodox marriage is dangerous and wrong. It violates Scripture. It sends the wrong message to those caught in the sin of homosexuality. It communicates the wrong message to our children and grandchildren.
Contrary to the “me first” mentality, God’s Word teaches about things that are genuinely right and wrong. We cannot mandate God-pleasing sanctification. We can, however, take action not to reward or condone sinning. It is not just the private choice of a dying man or a lifestyle choice of a same-sex couple. Their choices influence our society. Our voice must be clear, consistent and founded in truth. To remain silent denies our own faith and our own concern for others. The mentality of “my body, my choice” ignores the AGAPE principle of Scripture.