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Vantage point


Life: Cheap or priceless?

“Life is the cheapest thing in the world. … It has no value. Of cheap things it is the cheapest.”

The cynical philosophy belongs to Wolf Larsen, the fictional skipper in Jack London’s The Sea Wolf. London’s Darwin-reading character is a literary construct that accurately represents what evolutionary thought demands when taken to its logical conclusion. Larsen saw no difference between human and animal life. He contended that a person’s life was of value only to himself. Sadly, this is no fictional attitude.

In the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, I have seen naked, undernourished children lying on the sidewalk as throngs of people passed by, taking no notice. In Cambodia and Thailand, I have seen young girls who had been sold into lifelong prostitution, only to be thrown out when spent. In Africa, as in Asia, I have been among populations ravaged by AIDS and decimated by military massacres, with few to care. In our own nation, abortion continues to run wild. And the state where I last pastored, Oregon, holds the stigma of being the first to legalize physician-assisted suicide.

What is the value of a soul among the earth’s billions?

To God: priceless.

The Psalmist displays wonder at this: “What is man that You are mindful of him, … that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:4, NKJV). When Jesus walked the earth, He continually took time to minister to one soul.

Christians can be overwhelmed by the sea of human misery and fail to do anything. We must take our lead from Jesus who carried the weight of all the human race yet took time for individuals.

To a postmodern audience, debate about Darwinism is irrelevant. The evolutionary theory has been misrepresented as fact for so long that it is ingrained in society, nurturing a callous disregard for life, even one’s own. People must be shown the value of life.

There is one thing of ultimate value in every life — the soul. “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). Unborn babies, the downtrodden, the elderly and the infirm — all are cheap to the godless and deceived. To God and His people, however, every single life is priceless.

— Ken Horn

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