At a time when America is becoming more comfortable with the killing of unborn babies, the Christian church must not avoid the responsibility of teaching about the dignity of human life, said an evangelical theologian. If the church doesn't do it, no one else will.
"One of the things we need to know as Christians and those who bear the responsibility to teach and preach the Word of God is if we do not preach and teach these things, they will not be known because no one else is teaching them," said Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, at the Bold Church Conference Monday.
"No one else holds to a worldview that declares that every single human being is a special creation of God and that the status of being a human being is distinctive from the rest of creation, that human beings and human beings alone are made in God's image," he pointed out.
Massive theological and moral shifts have taken place in the United States in recent decades and with that, the Christian worldview has receded into the memory of many Americans, Mohler lamented.
"Now, we're reaping the eclipse of the Christian worldview," he told the audience in Columbus, Neb.
Basic understandings, including the worth of the individual, are becoming diluted, rejected and forgotten, the Southern Baptist said.
As a result, the United States is seeing "insidious assaults" on human life – both inside and outside the womb.
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"The assault upon human life and human dignity in the 20th Century were unprecedented in terms of modern times. And now, we're seeing assaults that go far beyond that," Mohler remarked.
What the Bible says about life is clear. Not only are humans uniquely created in the image of God but even before they were formed in the womb, God knew them.
Mohler added, "The dignity and status of humanity is not something we attained. We were created in a certain status by the Creator."
But with fewer Americans equipped with the Christian worldview, it has become increasingly dangerous to be a human being at the hands of another human being, the theologian said.
"One of the key issues of confusion in our day is the confusion between those who understand that human beings are made in the image of God and those who now lack any sufficient definition for why human begins aren't just other animals," he observed.
"We are increasingly living in a time in which the average person around us lacks any theological or worldview defense for arguing that human beings aren't just another animal.
"The secular worldview ... can't carry the freight of human dignity," Mohler added. "There is no defense without the Christian worldview."
Christians cannot take a pass when it comes to addressing important life issues including abortion, embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia, he stressed. They must deal with it honestly and call it what it is: "intentional murder."
The Bold Church Conference drew pastors and others who serve in the local church for three days of lectures by Mohler and Rick Holland, who teaches at The Master's Seminary. The event was designed to equip leaders to "stand firm for the truth in a culture that rejects it, but needs it desperately."