Personhood and Truth


Here is an article that my wife, Kristy, wrote concerning the recent Personhood Amendment that failed to pass in Mississippi. I found it very helpful with regard to thinking through an emotional issue from a biblical worldview.


I don’t usually post statements like this, but after reading many posts concerning Mississippi Amemdment 26, I would like to reflect on something concerning personhood and truth. When thinking through issues such as the Personhood Amendment in Mississippi, we need to define truth before analyzing the implications of truth, such as IVF, ectopic pregnancies, etc. A hermeneutic on Scripture that submits to its authority in our lives instructs us not to define truth based on what we feel about an issue, but about what God says about an issue. 


In reading folks speak on Amendment 26, there seems to be an overflow of emotion, and rightfully so. The related issues are sensitive. Although I have lost a child (a little boy named Thomas) in pregnancy, I have three beautiful children, for whom I am so grateful. I cannot imagine the emotional grief that I would feel if I were unable to have children. IVF is a solution for many, and I may go that route myself if faced with the inability to get pregnant. Nevertheless, I believe that the Bible says that truth regarding personhood is objective, and that it is indisputable that Scripture considers human beings persons from the very earliest time in the womb, from fertilization. 


So, whatever I think or feel about issues such as IVF must be placed through the grid of truth. Is a fertilized egg a person or not? That is the question. When that is settled, then we discuss the implications on IVF and other related issues, such as how IVF should be performed and what are its limitations.


For example, for a married couple, understanding the embryo as a person does limit the number of eggs fertilized in IVF,  but does not prohibit the fertilization of the eggs that will be implanted into the womb. It merely says that we will not throw persons away, freeze them or give them away to science. If I were unable to have my own children and defined truth based on my emotions, I would undermine the very definition of truth, making it relative to my feelings. It appears as if many are buying into the worldview that truth is relative and defined by feelings. If we argue based on feeling, then no one can be wrong. In this context, no one really has to think about anything. We feel, and that settles it. However, even though there can be two opinions, there cannot be two truths. 


I am praying for truth, peace, and much grace, 


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