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There are many controversial issues in today’s society that actually go back a lot farther than can be expected. Issues such as war, abortion, physician-assisted suicide, and the death penalty have been in the world since before Jesus walked the earth. Christians have a standpoint on all of these issues. Christians are to be pro-life, in many more ways than one.
There is a big question mark surrounding whether or not war is accepted in Christianity. War can be just, but it just so happens that there has not been a single war on this earth that has fit the standard of a just war. There are three types of Christian views, the pacifist option, Christian realism (just war) and justifiable violence in a revolutionary situation, like the Crusades (Stivers et al 81). Concerning the just war option, there are seven standards that a war must fit in order for it to be just. The criteria relating to the justification for going to war are just case, last resort, formal declaration, just intention, the principle of proportionality, the principle of discrimination, and the principle of limited objectives (Johnson 3). Christians are mostly pacifists, but if war happens for the right reasons, than it can be accepted if everything is made right afterward. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles…“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:38-44). With these pro-life beliefs, war can be just as long as life is kept sacred. This pro-life belief can be carried into other controversial topics.
Other controversial procedures can be just as well. Topics such as abortion, in vitro fertilization, physician assisted suicide, and even the death penalty can be just if the circumstances are right. It all comes down to the absolute value of life, and the double effect it has on the lives affected. For example, abortion is only morally permissible if the mother has terminal cancer than can be removed, and the only way to remove it is to kill the baby, and if nothing is done, both the mother and the baby would die anyway. In vitro fertilization is not morally permissible in the Christian faith because many lives can be created and the excess are aborted, which is not morally just. Physician assisted suicide is morally just only when they are terminal, suffering, and their dignity is at stake. This goes along with the principle of self-determination. “The principle of self-determination is founded in the belief that all persons are created in the image and likeness of God, and that they are endowed by God with reason and free will. Thus, individuals have a moral duty to make decisions for themselves and to respect, with certain limitations, the free decisions of others” (Zalot and Guevin, 195). The death penalty is morally permissible when the person on death row is an immense harm to society. The death of this person would mean that the lives of many would be saved.
To conclude, Christians are living a pro-lifestyle. Life can be ended only if it is in the best interest of the person dying and to the society around them.
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