Birth Defects

It’s no fun being different, unless it’s wearing a costume for a party, or something like that. 

Being born without a body part is difficult, I'm sure. I have a deformed ribcage that I keep covered with my shirt, 
but some things can't be hidden. Being born with a genetic health issue can make a kid wonder what is going on. 

My grandpa lost a hand in a farm accident at age 43, and it changed the rest of his life. 
So a birth deformity can change a life from the get-go. 
This article is really ‘adulty’ and your Adult may have to help you understand what I’m trying to say here. 

There are a lot of well-meaning church-folk, when they encounter someone with a missing body part or a genetic disease, 
they will quote this Bible verse, 

“Psalm 139:13-14 says, ‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ‘ “ 

Then they will go on to say, “God must have made you like this for a special purpose”. 

I’m sure people have been saying this for centuries. They seem to believe that God intentionally creates birth defects. 
Now, DNA science (created by God) raises questions to that interpretation of scripture. 
I scoured the New Testament for statements that infers that God intentionally created anyone with a birth defect. 
I found one: 

John 9, 1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. 

This piece of scripture reveals two things: 
1) At that time in that culture, people believed that birth defects were caused by someone’s sin. 
2) Jesus seem to infer in this case, that God knit this man together as blind, so people could see that Jesus came to heal our bodies. 

Next, let’s talk about how the Bible was written concerning the construction of the original Jewish temple, 
often called ‘Solomon’s Temple’. 

1 Kings 6: 11 The word of the Lord came to Solomon: 12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. 13 And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.” 14 So Solomon built the temple and completed it. 

The Bible said “Solomon built the temple…” 

I am a tradesman. To a tradesman:
Solomon did not build the temple, in a hands-on sense. 
Solomon never chopped down a tree for the interior paneling. 
Solomon never shoveled charcoal to smelt the brass used to cast the lavers. 
Solomon never quarried or carved any of the stones used to build the temple. 
Solomon never moved any of the umpteen tons of materials used to build the temple. 
Solomon never lifted a hand to build the temple, except to order the work, and to facilitate the work. 

So does this mean that the Bible lied, or that am I a scorner because I said this? 
No, this means that different people have different dictionaries. To a tradesman, “Solomon built…” means that Solomon picked up a hammer, ax or saw. But to most other people, “Solomon built….” means that Solomon had the Temple built. 

Now, let us look at the phrase, “you knit me together…” through the eyes of DNA science. 
Psalm 19 says,

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."

So, I suspect that DNA science can speak to us about God also.

This quote talks about birth defects caused by ‘thalidomide’, a chemical once used to ease pregnancy morning sickness. 

“Building on years of previous research, the researchers found that thalidomide acts by promoting the degradation of an unexpectedly wide range of transcription factors – cell proteins that help switch genes on or off – including one called SALL4. The result is the complete removal of SALL4 from cells. The degradation of SALL4 interferes with limb development and other aspects of fetal growth. The result is the spectrum of complications indelibly linked to thalidomide: the deformed limbs and defective organs in children whose mothers took thalidomide during pregnancy as a treatment for morning sickness.” 

So, If God directly knits each child together, then He must have decided that if a mother takes thalidomide 
between the 4th and 8th week of pregnancy, then that child is eligible for a missing limb? 

Is that how God works? 

Is that also why so many Vietnamese kids, whose mothers came into contact with ‘Agent Orange’, are missing limbs? 
And what about the results of drug use or farm chemicals? 
If it is, then it's strange how God chooses certain defects for the children whose mothers absorbed certain chemicals. 
That’s real specialization. 

That’s not the God that I believe I know about. Let’s compare growth via DNA and the building of Solomon’s Temple. 
Solomon directed the building of the Temple, and left the processes up to the people he appointed to be in charge. 

Likewise, God created DNA, and assigned the processes of procreation to DNA and to the free will of men and women.
He also made  DNA alterable, and gave people free will to do things that can damage their own DNA. 
This means that each generation is given a DNA blueprint to work with, but they can damage it for the next generation.
Genesis 1:24: And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 

“…according to their kinds…” 

It seems that DNA was described thousands of years ago in the very first Book of the Old Testament. 
DNA is how the human race, and all other species, are continued. 

So, I do not believe God plans for children to be born with birth defects, except where He offers a miracle to show His power.
But He does allow the results of our free will, our selfishness and our ignorance to become apparent in later generations.

This truth about DNA is one reason we need to be careful about how we use chemicals. 

Eric J. Rose 
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