Similarly, the surgeon’s best book on human anatomy, and probably vital for the most excellent surgery, especially in difficult cases, is “Pernkopf Topographic Anatomy of Man” by Eduard Pernkopf. But the dilemma for the surgeon is “Should I be using it?” https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-49294861
But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. (Genesis 50:19-21, ESV)
But it seems it was almost impossible for Joseph's brothers to believe Joseph. Perhaps it was simply too strange a thing for them to believe that their own wickedness was in God's plan and that their evil had played a major part in bringing them to that place where God could bless them and save their lives from death by famine.
It is hard to appreciate when God intends to bring good out of man's wickedness or even to think it is right. How can a good God bring good out of evil? How can evil be a part of his plan? While man intends evil and does evil, in the same moment and by the very same act God ultimately intends good. The motive is evil on man's part (and man will be held entirely responsible for his evil) and the motive is entirely good on God's part.
On the very Day of Pentecost the Apostle Peter gives his first (and greatest?) sermon in which he expresses precisely the same strange feature of God's dealings with humanity:
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: (Acts 2:23 KJV)
The sermon ends with
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36 KJV)
Again, God brings good out of man's evil. Of course, no Christian here has decided to say "I simply refuse to get any benefit from that extremely wicked act, from what those extremely wicked men did to the Lord Jesus Christ!" Was the murder of the Lord Jesus Christ not more wicked than abortion?
But we see that God was in it; and while the men intended evil (and will One Day be held fully responsible for it unless they repented of it) God was ultimately intending good, the saving of much people alive for eternity.
The selling of Joseph into slavery was in the plan of God. The murder of our Lord Jesus Christ was in God's plan. And abortion is also in God's plan. And he can, does, and will, bring much good out of abortion, just as he always does bring good out of evil, because that is what our God specialises in doing.
In truth if God was not able to bring good out of man's evil then no good would be possible at all, because ultimately "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags", so all the things that man does is evil; tainted and marred by evil, some more, some less (Isaiah 64:6).
I guess if we were to refuse to get any benefit from evil sources then we would have to go out of this world altogether.
I think on the issue of taking a vaccine which has used aborted foetal tissue these are the kinds of questions that we need to work through:
Would my agreeing to take the vaccine:
- make me complicit in the whole abortion industry?
- trivialise (the whole horror of) abortion?
- compromise my position against abortion?
- (perhaps unwittingly to me) lessen my opposition to abortion?
- make me a hypocrite - a hypocritical benefactor of abortion?
- encourage more abortion?
- encourage an industry of making use of foetal tissue, leading to yet more abortions in order to get the right kinds of foetal tissue?
Or does my unwillingness to use the good arising from this evil come partly or mainly from the guilt arising from a feeling that I have failed to sufficiently oppose the evil itself? (Who can avoid this guilt? But there is forgiveness in Jesus).
Personally, I think it is the evil source we should speak out against. But an evil source does not always make the outcome unusable, eg the murder of Christ at the hands of wicked men.
Finally, what is the possible good that God can bring from abortion?
Through it, God can bring sinners to a conviction of their sins. Could God bring a Christian revival through conviction of this evil? (Let us pray for it.)
God is blameless on the Day of Judgement for the punishment of the wicked.
It shows the wickedness of mankind in a way that few other things do. It shows how great is the darkness of the paths they walk in of those who do not have the Light of the World. When young Irish adults fly half way across the world back to Ireland to vote in favour of abortion in a referendum it confirms to us the lost are dead in trespasses and sins, and not just at enmity against God but strongly so (Romans 8:7). They want to show their enmity. The same is shown when an English woman gets really angry with a doctor and threatens him with legal action because he refuses to refer her for a late abortion because the continued pregnancy would prevent her enjoying her planned winter skiing holiday.
Rather than be always full of righteous anger, those sheep without a shepherd that our Lord had compassion on were just the same. He died for sinners. Have we forgotten we too are sinners?
It shows the godly that we are not as godly as we should be. We are too indifferent to evil. We often cannot say Rivers of water run down my eyes because they keep not thy law (Psalm 119:136).
Nevertheless our attitude to abortion does put a distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous: And the LORD said to him, go through the midst of the city and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof (Ezekiel 9:4).
The unborn child that is murdered goes straight to heaven forever. Though not all calvinist baptist evangelicals share this view, many do. This is the greatest encouragement of all to those who have the battle against abortion in their heart. I don’t see how anyone can maintain a fight against abortion without this belief to sustain them. https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/infant-salvation/#flipbook/