Persecution of Christians for their faith continues to ramp up in Canadian society. LifeSite News reports that a Christian medical student in his senior year at the University of Manitoba Medical School won’t be permitted to graduate, because he refuses to participate in abortion-related activities.
The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, was failed in the obstetrics and gynecology portion of his program for refusing to perform or refer for any abortive procedure. The failing grade was formally challenged on Oct. 31, 2003. Two subsequent appeals failed to reverse the decision. Carolee Neufeld, a friend of the student’s family who fielded media calls, told LifeSite News that the medical school establishment is adamant, despite the student’s high marks in every area of study and strong commendations from clinical supervisors. He is being supported by several pro-life physicians in Manitoba, who are concerned about the university’s anti-Christian intolerance.
Dr. Brian Magwood, associate dean at the Faculty of Medicine, told CJOB Radio that university policy obligates students to tell patients about all treatment options which fall within the “medical standard of care.” Winnipeg physician Dr. Frederick Ross told CJOB that doctors who take the Hippocratic Oath swear to protect human life “from the moment of conception.” Obviously, physicians who perform or facilitate access to abortion are in violation of that oath.
Faithful Christians are on the front lines of the culture wars, whether they like it or not. With over 100,000 abortions in Canada annually, nearly everyone knows someone socially, or has a relative, who has had an abortion. Doctors who do abortions remain respected members of secular society. Polls indicate that a substantial majority of Canadians support “a woman’s right to choose.” Yet, Christian principles oblige us to regard abortion, from the moment of conception, as homicide. We cannot pick and choose which unborn child’s life may be expendable under particular circumstances.
Yes, yes. I know you can find hordes of people these days professing to be “Christian” who think pro-choice is a morally legitimate stance, but they’re wrong. While abortion isn’t specifically mentioned in the New Testament, Mosaic law implicitly forbade it. Early Christian authorities unambiguously condemned abortion. Tertullian (c. 155-220 AD) wrote: “For us, murder is once and for all forbidden, so even the child in the womb, while yet the mother’s blood is still being drawn to form the human being, it is not lawful for us to destroy. To forbid birth is only quicker murder. It makes no difference whether one take away the life once born or destroy it as it comes to birth. He is a man, who is to be a man. The fruit is always present in the seed.” The Didache (c. 50-80 A.D.), and the Epistle of Barnabas (c. 70-135 A.D.), both clearly forbid abortion and equate it with infanticide. St. Basil (4th century) declared: “The hairsplitting difference between formed and unformed makes no difference to us. Whoever deliberately commits abortion is subject to the penalty for homicide.”
So how can Christians today deal with living in a society where hundreds of thousands of people have killed their unborn children? Are we to regard these people as evil? No. They have done an evil thing, but we are all sinners. However, in our culture, vast numbers have been deceived by evil ideology combined with wishful thinking into imagining that pre-partum homicide is morally acceptable, just as it was socially acceptable in ancient pagan Greece and Rome to put unwanted newborns (especially females) out to die of exposure and starvation, or in Nazi Germany to send Jews to concentration camps.
We can only apply Christ’s example – love the sinner, hate the sin and steadfastly refuse to compromise with or accommodate sinful evil – a stand that, as the U of M med student has discovered, can be extremely costly in a morally bankrupt culture such as ours.
The good news of the Christian Gospel is that no matter how grave your sin, if you sincerely repent, there is forgiveness. Tragically, dominant secular humanism has convinced most that sin doesn’t exist, so there is nothing to repent of. Concepts of sin and evil are virtually inexplicable to a culture that acknowledges no objective moral compass. As Carl Jung observed: “We have no imagination for evil, but evil has us in its grip.” Christians must love sinners, repentant or not, but it is not loving to affirm, implicitly or explicitly, that everything is okay if the sinner does not repent. Jesus loves sinners unconditionally, but He is not tolerant of sin.
Faced with this moral holocaust, the most important thing Christians can do is to courageously and assertively affirm that, “Yes, I really do believe that,” and stand unflinchingly on their conviction, whatever the cost. Bravo to that courageous and principled young man in Manitoba.