02 November 2011

Open Letter to the 7 Billionth Baby

by Frank Turk

My Dear Young Friend:

Welcome to our world.  It's unlikely that you can read this, or that you will be able to read this.  You were likely born in Asia someplace on 31 Oct 2011, but the buzz about you has put aside some of the other things going on which the English-speaking world is thinking about this week, so I thought I'd drop you a line to celebrate with you.

First of all, congratulations on making it here at all. You have been born into a world where 1 child in 5 is aborted.  What is fascinating about this is that, when you were mentioned by the Secretary General of the United Nations, and he brought us the fact that you are born into a world of "contradictions," he didn't mention that one child in five is aborted prior to birth -- making it 86 times more likely than maternal death in childbirth, and 240 times more likely than death by malaria.  This is a morose way to welcome you here, but that you were born at all is a miracle not just because you are a unique person in the image of God, but because you had to overcome the brutality of mankind against itself to get here.  At the very least, you are a credit to your parents who did not tap you out because they were too poor, or they would rather have a child of a different sex.

However, in spite of what we might charitably call his pragmatic approach to human resources, Ban Ki-moon does have one thing right: it's a strange world we live in.  There are things in it which could never make any sense -- unless you state the obvious.  For example, while it is true that there is "Plenty of food, but still a billion people going to bed hungry every night," most of the people starving in the world are being kept in their condition not by the greed of wealthier nations, but by their own rulers who, by and large, are despots.  Africa as a continent, for example, ranks in the bottom quintile of economic and political freedom in spite of being the continental home of Egypt, Nigeria and Libya -- major exporters of petroleum -- as well as South Africa.  So it may be true that there is a massive gap between the standard of living between "rich" and "poor" countries, that gap is not inflicted by anything more or less than the ability and willingness of men to rule their fellow men justly.

And that's the core story of our kind, little one: that's the obvious truth.  Men are unwilling to do what they know is right.  Out of the heart of man comes all sorts of evil and injustice.  As someone clever once said, anyone who says differently is selling something.  But to be as specific as possible, it's not just the people out there who are like this: you are like this.

"Well, what sort of a birthday greeting is that?!" you might cry out.  "Where's the love for me?"

As someone who has been at this longer than you have, I hear what you're saying.  We all look pretty good to ourselves.  But even Science knows better than that, as it has a diagnosis for this sad and sorry state.  We can see the wrong-doing of others as wrong, but we have a funny way of justifying our own choices as influenced by other things which make us either victims or even heroes.  So as you come into this world, remember that you're probably not your own best judge of what's right for you.

So what to do?  Is the world actually just a tragedy multiplied by 7 billion?  Or is it even worse for you -- that it is a singular tragedy, and your slice is only 1/7-billionth wide, barely to be noticed?

Listen to me: if there is hope for the world (and there is), it doesn't lie inside you.  In spite of every human philosophy, what changes the world is not your best effort -- because look: there haven't just already been 7 billion best efforts before you, but more like 107 billion best efforts before you, and this is all we could come up with.

No my little friend: the best hope for human kind is from outside of us.

The hope for the world, my precious young friend, is that in dying, Christ has called a people to himself, and gathered them to fulfill his promise to his friend Abraham to be a blessing to all the nations.

That's a lot to take in when you're only 2 days old, but you need to hear it -- not just today, but every day until see your need for it, and you believe it, and you cling to it as the Good News which it is.

I offer it to you in good will, for the hope of the nations.


Anonymous said...

So true...a world of contradictions, yet this one thing stands firm, Christ died for our sin according to the Scriptures.
Welcome to the world, that is dying and yet lives in hope.

Charlene said...

"That's a lot to take in when you're only 2 days old, but you need to hear it -- not just today, but every day until see your need for it, and you believe it, and you cling to it as the Good News which it is."

Amen and amen! So true Frank. I think each generation tends to forget that the world they inherited is the best the previous "best" billions could come up with. Each generation thinks they have all the answers to the world's problems and can solve them without God, never deterred by the fact that there has been no success.

Thomas Louw said...

Frank, have you taken him out for coffee/milk yet, before you went ahead and wrote him this letter?
May he hear the gospel!
Great letter.

Tom Chantry said...

Shoot! The other Thomas beet me to the obvious snark!

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

Thank you for this very sober post, Frank. It made me cry and gave me chills all at the same time.

There is an Internet site that shows a world clock, which gives the year to date stats on many things including abortion. The web address is: www.peterrussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php

For those who visit this site, **please** ignore its overall content, but notice how the clock just keeps on ticking and ticking away. Heartbreaking!

James Scott Bell said...

And someone you may read about someday died the year you were born. He was a great business visionary. When he talked to college students at Stanford, he told them that if they would just "follow their hearts" that was the best thing to do, and "all the dots" would connect as a result.

It's best if you ignore this advice.

Robert said...

"For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2)

I am so glad to see this attitude in this open letter. All believers should have this attitude and it is something that should shine forth from our lives. May we all boldly proclaim the Gospel and live our lives to reflect the truth of the good news.

100 Mile Pants said...

I don't want to saying anything negative after a post as awesome as that, but I followed the link on the abortion stats and I read it as 46 million abortions for 211 million pregnancies which is just over 20% or 1 in 5, not 1 in 3 as you wrote. Have I read this wrong or is it a typo on your part?

Either way a shocking and shameful stat.

And a great blog post - thank you!

FX Turk said...

Good catch. My calculation is 46 million abortions vs. 136 million live births. I think the right-sided analysis here is that for every 3 live births there is 1 abortion, and I will correct the post. I appreciate being keen on getting the analysis right.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand. Not a single mention of The World-Tilting Gospel?

FX Turk said...

It's over there in the sidebar, SMG.

Do you have a copy? If not, you should get one. You obviously need it!

Anonymous said...

I will most certainly be purchasing a copy, Frank.

JackW said...

Get more than a copy, you'll be wanting to give some away.

FX Turk said...

I'm sending one to the 7th billion baby.

'nuff said.

northWord said...

A thousand-or perhaps somwhere around 7 billion amens, Frank.
Well said.

Michael B. said...

I'm curious -- if you believe in infant salvation, which presumably extends to fetuses, wouldn't this 7 billionth kid be lucky if he had been aborted? If the kid wasn't aborted, what are the odds he will even hear the right religion, let alone adopt it? If this child becomes an adult without the right religion, won't he burn in hell for all eternity, whereas if he were aborted as an infant, he would be in heaven now?a

Blue Collar Todd said...

Great post. I passed it on here.

FX Turk said...

Michael B. --

If you read Genesis 9, you'll find that God abhors murder. If you read Exodus 1, you'll find God abhors the murder of innocent infants.

Have you not read?

Andrew Jones said...

nice post. thanks.

donsands said...

"But to be as specific as possible, it's not just the people out there who are like this: you are like this."

And moreso really.

Thanks for a splendid word once again my brother. You speak the truth in our Savior's grace, and it's edifying.
Actually it's the Gospel, or Good News of Jesus Christ our Savior has overcome death!
Gracias mi amigo!

Here's a song I listened to on the way to work this morn which sort of fits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt0afh0pl9k&feature=related

James Joyce said...

Watch out Frank. I think Michael B is going to ask you if God can create a rock to big for Him to lift next.