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Thursday, July 14, 2005

"It's My Body!"

This is the slogan I have heard used to defend abortion, euthanasia, the legalization of marijuana or narcotic use, even prostitution. "It's my body, so no one can tell me what to do with it." But is that actually true? Not in the understanding of Christianity. Our Scriptures state: "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own (1Co 6:19)."

That passage applies to Christians, but it is true of all people that God has given us our bodies and lives, not to abuse selfishly or to terminate at will, but to put into service of our neighbor.

But it just sounds so un-American to say that you are not your own to do with as you please. We freedom-loving people run the danger of making an idol out of personal liberty.

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were watching some news coverage of the Michael Jackson trial and I commented on how strange he looks these days. We've all seen the photos of Mr. Jackson today alongside photos from 5, 10, 20 years ago. The man has had plastic surgery, to an extreme. His nose is so narrow, he looks disfigured. And I told my wife that I could not understand why any doctor would agree to do that to him, even at Jackson's request. Does the argument that "it's my body" really have no limits? What about a doctor who agrees to amputate a healthy arm or leg, because the patient/consumer wants it done - for sick reasons? Want to read something grisly? Check this out.

Wilfred McClay, over at Mere Comments, makes some enlightening observation on ethics and the limits of personal liberty.

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Preachrboy said...

"If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off..."

No, wait. Wrong application.

What strange things "freedom" brings, eh?

GrannyGrump said...

Cool! You're the only person besides me to have brought this issue up! And when I've done it, people acted like I was nuts or something, that nobody seeks an elective amputation.

Xrysostom said...

Aardvark Alley has a "body" comparison of abortion and the Real Presence.


Susan L. Prince said...

I would like to hear this message more often in the Church.

My cause is is sin, and so often ignored.

These bodies are not ours, they are the Creator's and we should care for them as the temples of the Holy Spirit they are designed to be.

I'm not saying this because I care for my body the way I'm supposed to (but I'm learning and trying), I'm saying this because I don't necessarily think the church teaches WITH AUTHORITY that we should! If we can't care for our bodies in the simple things of life, like eating healthy, and realize that it is important, when it comes to other things, more detrimental behaviors, it is hard to say, ok, NOW you have crossed the line. Whether it be amputations of healthy limbs (????????????? THAT is whacked!), major obesity, sexual immorality, obsessive plastic surgery, or whatever. The church should take a much stronger stand, in my opinion, on caring for these temples/tents God has given each of us.

My body is NOT my own!

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