A NEW AGE FOR MANKIND?
Stem Cell Research – What It Is And What It Means To Us
BY: ROBERT D.TORANGO
The world used to be much simpler. We were born, we lived and we died. Simple. In ages gone by, when a person became sick, they either got better, or they succumbed to the illness and died a natural death. With the limited therapies available at these simpler times, the choices for taking therapeutic treatments were small, and included the usage of natural elements of the world around us, such as using leeches to suck the bad blood from a victim and then waiting to see if they would recover, or perhaps using mustard poultices or other kind of wraps and liniments to help heal the ailments. Some worked and others didn’t, but in almost all instances, the final understanding was that the victim’s life was in the hands of God, who would either allow them to stay on earth, or call them home. It is a different world today. A sometimes confusing, frustrating and maddening world of endless choices and avenues presented to a victim of disease that puts tremendous pressure upon that individual to make the right choice and to take the right path of treatment. Anyone that has been diagnosed with any type of cancer knows what I am talking about. Usually, depending upon what type of cancer it is, time is of the essence and decisions must be made quickly in order to combat the cancer at its earliest stages. The choices of therapy can run the gamut of radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, bone marrow transplant, chemical cocktails, new unproven methods of treatment, old and tried treatments, holistic treatments, and on and on. The treatment can involve a combination of several of the listed treatments, or you may have the doctor suggest some experimental program, if you are found too far advanced for the normal array of treatments to help.
Like it or not, we are living in an age of technological advancement that is steaming ahead at such a rate that the doctors themselves, many times, cannot keep up with the data coming from the research labs. Science is breaking down door after door of previously unknown secrets concerning life and death and they are touching things that, up to this point of time, only the finger of God touched. It is not a matter of someone getting sick and then succumbing to that sickness and leaving this world in a natural, dignified way. Today, you have to fill out a living will and have it on file at your local hospital, stating your desire to either die by natural causes or give permission to the hospital to keep you alive by any means necessary. It is not a matter of dying anymore, but how long to stay alive before you die that one must make decisions upon, and all this is usually needed to be decided upon while you are still healthy and kicking. If a living will is not made by the victim, then the victim’s family members must be put in the proverbial hot seat, making decisions that nobody wants to make for a loved one, especially in a state of stunned shock at the demise of their loved one, they must decide things such as when to unplug the loved one from life support, when to call in another specialist, when to demand another treatment, and on and on. It doesn’t seem to be a matter of God taking us or not taking us anymore. Now, it seems to be the question of when do the doctors let us go. Machines are available now that will keep a body alive indefinitely. So advanced are these machines that they can take over most of our major body functions, such as breathing, the pumping of our blood, and dialysis. They can feed and water us through a tube, give us enemas, catheterize us, beds will move us from side to side to keep our body from getting sores and abrasions, they will come in and bathe us and cut our finger and toe nails, and as a result of all of this technological wonder, we could be dead to this world and still kept around in a cold, sterile room for people to come by and look at us. What a strange age we are living in!
Yet, it is the age we are destined to live in and we must come to terms with it. Not only the people of the world, but also we that are called the sons of God. Today, we are being challenged by the scientific world to come to grips with some startling and mind boggling events that are taking place in the scientific community. Events that for the most part are only happening right now in secret, undisclosed laboratories, behind locked doors, in rooms with only a handful of observers in white coats, but will shortly be played out in the world around us. As I have stated repeatedly in the past, in my writings and on tapes, the world and the events within the world are our schoolmaster and the signs of the times that alert us to spiritual realities and truths. We must not close our eyes at these startling events and think that it is of no consequence to us. Some think that the Lord will deal with these matters and we are only to keep our eyes on the eastern skies to await some futuristic event, but I say to you that God is speaking not only to the world, but especially to us, the elect and the ministers of His new covenant. We, the first fruits, must be aware of these matters and must pray for understanding concerning the reasons for these events to transpire and what the Lord wants to accomplish in us first, and then in the world. It is with this in mind, that I would like to share with you some thoughts I have on the subject of cell research that is filling the newspapers and dominating the TV and Radio news programs. As most of you know, I have written a book, “The House That God Built”, that deals with the subject of DNA and the process of genetics and how that amplifies our walk of “sonship”. I have been asked by many to write some thoughts I might have on the present efforts of the scientific community having to do with stem cell research and human cloning, and am fulfilling that need in this writing. I may not be the most capable person to do this, but will trust the Lord to help me in my infirmity and to speak through me what needs to be communicated to us at this most crucial of times, indeed, perhaps the most consequential time of all human history. God help us.
First, let me lay a ground work of knowledge concerning the cell and how the human body is made and we will then go on to the other subjects aforementioned. As most of you know, when a child is conceived in the womb of it’s mother, the sperm of the male invades the egg of the mother and forms a new and unique individual. The sperm contains a single strand of the father’s genetic heritage and the egg contains a single strand of the mother’s genetic heritage. These two strands will come together and match up to form a new double strand of DNA, a complete “book” of both sides of the parents, and the “new thing” will start to undergo a series of cellular divisions, attaching itself to the womb of the mother and will go through a fetal development until, at around a 9 month period of time, this new creature will be birthed from the mother’s body, and will take it’s first breath and will declare itself to the world as a living, independent entity of human life. This is basically the simple story of reproduction that most people know and are taught while in grade school. What is happening today in the scientific world is something that has to do with the earliest parts of conception and fetal development. So, we must get a little technical with our terms and statements, but will attempt to do so in a manner that all of us will at least understand the concept if not the depth of the content of what we are attempting to teach.
The current breakthrough that scientists have undertaken has to do with certain human cells that are called stem cells. As one might expect, the term “stem” has to do with the word “source”, such as the stem of a plant which is the source of the nutrients that come to the foliage, or the “root”, of which our Lord Jesus Christ is likened, as in The Root of David, which can be found in the following verses: Rev. 5:5; Rev. 22:16. In the case of the term, “stem cell”, it is used to describe a special type of cell that can be found in several places in the human body. The most abundant place for the stem cell is in the early stages of the fetus, in an early stage called the blastocyst. When the sperm and egg come together to form a cell, that original cell has the capability to form an entire human body, with all organs tissues and bones, and it will proceed to divide itself into 2 cells, both of which have the total potential to build an entire human body. The term for this fully capable cell is a “totipotent cell”, meaning that it has the total potential for producing all tissue and material having to do with the development and growth of the fetus and the human body. This is important for us to understand how the cells differ from one another from this point onward. The totipotent cell, will be used to create specialized cells, cells that are “locked” into a specific form and function. The fetus must be able to exist and receive nutrients and other needed supply from the mother’s body, so the resulting cells that come from the totipotent cells will be those that make up the fetus itself and also those that make up the placenta and connective tissues that create the means for the fetus to develop while in the womb. This “master” cell has the capability to function in a very “unspecialized” way, which is important because it must have total access to all of the information contained in “The Book Of Life” which is embodied upon the 46 chromosomes of the human genome, which is the complete molecule of DNA, which resides in every cell of the human body in it’s entirety, but is not available to every cell once that cell enters a specialized state.
To illustrate this further, let me refer to something that we are all familiar with in the development and function of the Church, the Body of Christ. In his epistle to the church of Corinth, the Apostle Paul set in some practical ministry that was to maintain the health and economy of the church.
1 Cor. 12:27-31
27Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
28And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that
miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
29Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
30Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
31But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
For many years, we who have come out from the systems of religion have recognized that the so-called offices of the church are only a method of maintaining the status quo of the church order. We have brought out that the 5 offices of apostle, prophet, pastor, evangelist, and teacher will some day come under the supervision of priest and king, which are not offices, but are orders operated out of an incorruptible nature, not to maintain what has been, but to birth in the people the new covenant, written upon the tables of the heart of each believer. This new order is to deliver us from the covering of the 5 offices and to bring us into direct communion with our High Priest, Jesus Christ, and to reveal the Christ within each one of us. The “more excellent way” that Paul writes about is an unspecialized ministry, a ministry that is not locked into any particular gift or office, but is connected to the “source”, the root, the stem of life. In times past, the Lord has instituted “specialized cells” of ministry in the Body of Christ, to maintain and perform duties that kept the church validated throughout the ages in the eyes of the world. But, in this dispensation of His plan, He is creating a “stem cell” type of ministry, that is not locked into a religious office, but is rather free to be all things to all men. These priests and kings are able to perform the duties of prophet, pastor, teacher, evangelist, and apostle whenever the situation arises for that particular part of the plan of God to be activated, along with the accompanying gifts of the spirit. It is important for us to understand that we are now operating in an order that precedes the church offices, one that goes back to the beginnings of time and that ultimately results from the “totipotent” cell, Jesus Christ, from whom all thrones and dominions, powers and authorities, orders and realms have their origin.
1 Tim 6:13-16
13I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
14That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
15Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of Lords;
16Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hathseen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.
6And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Jesus Christ is our “Potentate”, our “totipotent One”, our provision and our source of all power and demonstration. He is the originator of our calling, the architect of our purpose, the director of our destiny. He is highly potent, so potent with life and immortality that He is able to fertilize all creation with His life. Peter showed us in the book of Acts after the upper room experience that this potency of the life of God was not just confined to our human bodies, but as he walked in the vicinity of the suffering ones, passing by without touch or action, the Highly Potent One healed the sick as he walked pass them. What a mighty God we serve!
We have all come under a barrage of criticism for our refusal to be “specialized” in our ministry. We never will be brought under a single element of ministry, for we are called after an order of Melchisedec, a complete and total priesthood and kingship, with all authority and power given to it. We are not just pastors, and prophets and such, we are sons, kings, priests, royalty, fathers, counselors, judges, and many more things. We have been given the entire inheritance, not a limited portion, not provisions 1 – 10, but all of it. We are able to read the whole book, not just a chapter that deals with a certain office, but the whole book, from beginning to end, from foundation to completion, we are able to access it all. We are not just the ministry of the outer court, or the ministry of the holy place, or just the ministry of the holiest of all, but we are the ministry of it all, able to give a word in season to each element, for we are born of the totipotent, the Alpha, the Stem of our being. Now, maybe we can get you to see the importance of the totipotent cell in the human body. It is not just a heart cell, or a lung cell, or a kidney cell, but it is all of those things and has the total potential to bring forth all of those cells and more.
To make sure we are getting the proper picture in our mind, let me point out the successive stages of development and then we will go back and concentrate on each stage. First, we have the egg and the sperm. When the sperm fertilizes the egg, the two become one, something that is neither egg nor sperm, but a new thing! This corresponds with what Paul wrote when he wanted to illustrate the new species that we are in Christ.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Before we were baptized into Christ, we were all these things, some of us were bond and some of us were free, some of us were Jews and some of us were Greeks, some of us were male and some were female, but since we were joined, compounded with Christ, we cannot properly be termed any of these things anymore, because we are now something else, including these elements, but not limited to these elements of our past. Now, we are the sons of God, now, we are the children of Light, now, we are a new creature. Even so, when the egg and the sperm come together, they form an original and unique cell, and that cell embarks on a mission of duplicating itself until it has formed over 30 trillion cells that make up an entire new entity, the human body. To make a further point on the uniqueness of this new cell, it can no longer be termed sperm or egg, but it is now a new thing that is neither a sperm or an egg, but is a complete, whole organism. It is at this point of development that the single cell starts to divide itself and creates duplicates that are identical to the original cell.
When the expectant mother and her husband go to the doctor to get examined by the doctor and an ultrasound is done, the mother and father can view the fetus on the monitor and if it is developed enough, they can even tell the gender of the fetus. Sometimes, however, they get another kind of surprise, and that is that there is not only one fetus, but 2 and maybe even more may show up on the monitor. How does this happen? When dealing with identical twins, this double fetus is created when the original cell duplicates itself into two cells, identical to each other and each with the capabilities of a totipotent cell, and they become disengaged from one another and they both attach themselves to the womb. In this case, each totipotent cell starts to do what it is purposed to do, and that is to grow a human body, complete with all the placenta and connecting body tissues that are necessary for fetal development and birth and continuing development into maturity. The result is 2 fetuses, genetically identical to each other. This is how Jacob and Esau were born, and all other identical twins, starting from the same original cell, but separating into two entities with the same genetic code. This is the wonder of the totipotent cell, that it can replicate itself with unlimited capability, forming the embryo and all other tissues and organs for the entire process of the human’s life.
Now, let us move on to the next stage. Within a few hours of conception, after the sperm fertilizes the egg, the cell begins to duplicate and form totipotent cells. After about 4 days, the totipotent cells start to specialize and form a cluster of cells that come together to form a hollow ball of cells, called a blastocyst. It is spherical in shape like a tennis ball or basketball, a solid wall of cells with a hollow center. Inside the hollow center of the blastocyst is a cluster of cells, termed the inner cell mass. I love how the Lord has designed all things to complement His plan for the ages and sometimes it is simply astounding the way the human body is made to parallel the spiritual Body. It is the cells of this inner sanctum that has the scientific world up on their feet in wild expectations, because these cells hold the potential for some of the most earth shaking advances in medical treatments of disease and cancer than was ever imagined. Isn’t it awesome to know that at the same time that the world stands on tiptoe to see what comes out of the inner cell mass of the blastocyst, we who are walking in the truth of the kingdom are on our tiptoes, and not only ourselves, but all creation, both present and absent, are peering into another inner sanctum, behind another type of veil or covering, and we are mining into the hidden mysteries of God’s plan and purpose for us, filled with glorious expectations of the potential of this unspecialized, unlimited realm of God’s glory to be revealed in us. Glory! This stem of life is not accessed through Adam and his fallen nature, but is accessed by tapping into the pre-Adamic Christ, who wrote into existence before the worlds were made, a cure for all adamic disease of both the body and the soul. It is in this volume of the book that He comes to us, riding on a white horse, vesture dipped in blood, the Word of God, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Captain of our salvation, and it is out of the inner sanctum of this house that we are that He is appearing, this time without sin, to redeem not only us that believe, but all men. He is worthy of all praise and adoration, and He is altogether lovely.
So, while the world is straining to see what lies within the inner cell mass of the blastocyst, which by the way, is awfully close to the Greek definition of the coming of the Lord, which is a “blast” of respiratory air, we also are looking for the unfolding manifestation of what lies within the veil of our understanding. The army of the Lord is marching, pulling down every high thing that exalts itself against our Lord and His kingdom, cutting off the house of Esau, the flesh, and establishing the house of spiritual regeneration, Jacob (Israel). There will be no twin of Jesus in this house, no duality to be lived out, but there is ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism. He is complete and whole in Himself. There is no other source but Him, our totipotent, and all things come from Him and are used for His glory. There is only one Jesus Christ, not many little Jesus’ running around, counterfeiting Him, parroting Him, but one unique, individual Jesus, the first-born, the source. Although we will be like Him, we will not take His place, but will stand with Him in His place, sharing His inheritance with Him, ruling with Him, appearing with Him, but not without Him.
In the blastocyst, the outer layer of cells that form the sphere will be used to form the placenta and the connective tissues to allow the developing fetus to grow inside the mother. The inner cells are specialized to produce cells for the developing fetus and maturing body. These inner cells are termed, “pluripotent”, since they can grow many different kinds of cells for the maturing fetus. They are not termed “totipotent”, because they cannot form the embryonic tissues and placentas. If implanted into the uterus, the pluripotent cells would not be able to develop, because of their lack of ability to form the needed embryonic materials for the fetus to grow and keep alive. In keeping with the objective to relate these events to our walk in the Lord, we may see the connection between this difference between the totipotent cells and the pluripotent cells in the way that we of the 3rd Day are unable to mix and mingle with the doctrines and developmental practices of the 1st Day and 2nd Day folks. It is not our job to try to convince all other realms of development in the Body of Christ to think and be like we are. Just as the inner cells of the blastocyst differ in their ability to minister to the fetus from the outer cells, we who have been initiated into the sacred secret of the Lord that comes from within the veil cannot minister our truth on every street corner and in every church. We would be out of order and would be ministering death instead of life to them. Paul said he spoke perfect things amongst them that are perfect.
As the inner cells, the pluripotent cells, are not given the means to connect the fetus to the mother, even so, we of the order of priests and kings are not given the means to go back to the mother church order to perform a “womb” ministry. We are called to bring the baby to a point of delivery and then onto perfection and maturity, not to maintain the womb environment. Our word makes the fetus uncomfortable, not comfortable. We are not meant to make a placenta, or to create feeding tubes to the mother system, as many orders have been called to do, but we are called to pull the tubes out of the believer and to reveal an inner river of life within their own being. Some are content to stay in the church system, plugged into the womb of the church, feeding solely off the ministry of men and women that are only more than willing to become their “machine” to keep them alive minimally. But we who are of the inner order, those that have been given a plural and compound ministry, we are sent to build the body up, to get it ready to make the crossing over, from a womb experience to a living experience. Some only know the womb life, breathing the transferred oxygen from the mother church, feeding on the second hand nutrition of the mother church, being immunized with the limited immunization of the mother church, not having their own source of life. I am not condemning this process, because this is the proper process of development for all ages up until the times of the restitution of all things. There has had to be a womb maintenance program for those yet to be born, a time of nurture and cohabitation, but it is not a permanent order.
There must come a day of birth, of separation, of knowing the power of the saving grace of the Lord apart from the life of man. Many church people have never known what it is to breathe in the breath of the life of the spirit of Christ within themselves. They have never breathed in their life, only living within the confines of the womb of Christianity, but once we who are of the inner sanctum have delivered our order of truth to the fetus, it is made uncomfortable, and pressure starts to build to come out of the mother system. Birth pains start and both mother and child are put into a stressful situation, until the time arrives that the fetus cannot stay and both mother and child work toward a separation. Many times, this has been the case for so many that have come into this word of present truth. They once were so satisfied and content in the church system, it would have been unthinkable to live outside of it. Then, as truth came and the more that Christ spoke to the individual the more they heard the spirit of God say things that contradicted what mother was saying. Eventually, things got very uncomfortable, viewpoints were expressed and stress developed. Soon, the regenerated soul became as much of a pain in the neck to the pastor as the pastor was to the truth seeker. And finally, something had to give and there was an expulsion, a separation of the Son from the mother and a cry was made to all that had ears to hear that a new creature was born, called out to be brought into an endless order of priests and kings. Such is our story and such will be the story of all that have been ordained to walk into further truth. So, don’t live in condemnation or fret yourself over what you could have said or done to have it come out any other way. It is the way of life, and now you must stay true to your destiny and walk into the light.
It is the pluripotent stem cells that the scientists are wanting to know more about. They have the potential to duplicate every cell of the body and the hope is that through the harvesting of these cells they will be able to be stimulated to grow all the cells of the body to replace and rejuvenate diseased and destroyed cells. From pluripotent cells come more specialized stem cells, which are termed multipotent stem cells. These are specialized cells that are used by the body to duplicate certain types of cells, such as blood cells, skin cells, hair cells and all other cells that have the need to be replaced through natural processes of life. We are constantly losing our skin cells and there must be stem cells in our adult bodies that keep producing more skin cells to take the place of the damaged ones. The same with our blood cells, which are reproduced in abundance from stem cells that live in the marrow of our bones. Some of the treatments for blood disease the last few years have involved the process of bone marrow transplantation, in which all the bone marrow of the patient is destroyed, the good along with the bad, and then a new, clean supply of bone marrow, containing clean stem cells, is transplanted into the patients bones and in many cases the new line of stem cells will replace the diseased blood cells with fresh, healthy ones. It is a very risky process, in which the patient must be brought down to the depths of death and then to stay alive until the new blood is formed. It has a cure rate somewhere between 30 to 40 percent and is one of the newer forms of cellular therapy that many envision will one day become commonplace in the medical world. In the past, cancer and other microscopic diseases were fought by introducing chemicals and radiation to the body to kill the cancerous cells, but the drawback is that the good cells are destroyed by these methods as well. It is literally an effort to fight death with death, and has saved many precious folks, but many more have died without the expected cure.
Stem cell research is said to hold hope to develop a new way to fight disease and to replace diseased cells and organs. It has been demonstrated that there is a potential in this new kind of research that if it yields the secrets the scientists claim it hold, the world will be changed and the way we combat disease will be brought into a new day of miraculous treatment. As I have mentioned, stem cells have the whole book of life written upon the tables of the DNA, and they are cells that have not been locked into a set type of cell. If they can be stimulated outside of the body to produce the cells they normally do inside of the body, they could provide a source of cells that could be reintroduced into sick bodies and make them well again. Scientists have shown in experiments that in certain cases, cells can be reintroduced into the body and take up their allotted function and restore health in some cases. We are going from transplanted organs, taken from donors and introduced into another persons body to replace that body part, to transplanted cells, taken from stem cell lines and transplanted into sick bodies to make them well. This has much potential, both for something great and wonderful and also for unthinkable errors and catastrophes, and that is what you and I need to pray about and know how to pray for the Lord’s wisdom to be seen. Not only can a stem cell produce outside of the body, but it can also be reintroduced to combat disease, but the same problem that presents itself with transplanted organs presents itself with transplanted cells. Compatibility of the host cell must be able to match up and avoid rejection by the recipients body. No matter how many organs or cells can be harvested from a stem cell, if it is introduced to another body, that body will have a built in immune response to the foreign matter and will attempt to eradicate it.
The temptation that is facing the scientific world is to try to harvest as many different types of stem cells from as many different genetic lives as possible to reduce the rejection of the recipient’s body. As I have described, the most prolific and most reliable location for stem cell harvesting is in the blastocyst of the embryo, and this presents a problem for the medical field and for all that honor the sanctity of the life of the embryo. For many of us, life begins at the moment of conception, and the harvesting of embryo’s for the sole purpose of growing body parts is reprehensible. At the present time of this writing, the President of the United States has given the approval for stem cell research to receive federal funding on a limited basis, restricted to stem cells that have already been harvested from discarded embryos and involving also an already established line of stem cells, totaling around 60 lines. As expected, this compromise was assailed by the scientific world as too restricting and equally assailed by pro-life groups as not restrictive enough. President Bush also related how there are other areas of the human body that contain stem cells that can be harvested, such as the blood stem cell, the skin stem cell and even stem cells that are present in the placenta of normal births. All of these alternative methods of stem cell harvest have their complications. The adult stem cells, those harvested from a fully developed body, are susceptible to disease and mutations that may have occurred over the life span of the adult, that would lead to a damaged stem cell line, and are low in number compared to the number of stem cells in the embryo. The stem cells in the placenta would also be much lower than in the blastocyst.
The general population is caught somewhere in the middle of all this controversy, not knowing enough about the process of stem cell research to make a knowledgeable stand on it and also not trusting the scientific world to stay true to the federal guidelines. I also am unsure of where I stand right now, as you probably are, but the reason for me writing this article is not to provide all the answers to these weighty issues, I am not sure any one can provide that right now, but I want to stir you up in the Lord to get you to think and pray on these things so the Lord can show us what He wishes to teach us through this amazing turn of events. I think we all have been touched in some way by some of the maladies that stem cell research may cure one day, such as diabetes, of which stem cells could be introduced that would take over the production of insulin, heart disease, which could be cured with the introductions of healthy heart cells to replace damaged and worn out heart cells, Alzheimer’s disease, which is listed as one of the brain diseases that could be helped through this research, along with a whole host of other viable treatments for a large number of afflictions. President Bush and the US Congress have been careful on what they outlaw through legislation, being careful not to make a sweeping law that would unwittingly stop the truly helpful technology of this research in an effort to curb the illegal factions of this new science. Already, people are talking about organ clinics and illegal harvesting of stem cells from normal, healthy embryos in an effort to profit from this technology. One cannot overestimate the depravity that lies within mankind and we must all be aware of the coming age of greed that gives way to unethical and immoral behavior by outlaw labs and clinics.
It has always amazed me how the forces of evil have been held in check over the past years by a subtle, yet palpable and influential force and power known as “world opinion”. Although we usually view the nations of the world as at odds against one another and full of dissent and discord, God has kept a restriction upon the deadly desires of men with evil motives through a miraculous bond of ethical and moral convictions, that have helped to give some despots caution in acting out their devious plans. Hitler went to great lengths to fool world opinion in thinking of him as a great leader, until he attempted to carry out his terrible plan of racial supremacy and human genocide. Even then, it was world opinion that turned the war against him and helped to make sure that no more Hitler’s were allowed to have such power over the nations again. China is constantly bombarded by world opinion on it’s human rights failures, the middle east countries, Israel, Iraq, Iran, and others are kept in check from total irresponsibility in there ongoing skirmishes by world opinion. In the end, money speaks louder than anything else, and in order to prosper on the world scene, nations must not be cast out of the economical loop of world commerce and must face the criticism that comes from the curiously diverse and yet unified ethical and moral opinions of the world. Hopefully, this kind of moral and ethical stand will continue to make it difficult for the profiteers to go beyond the mystical “line of reason” and will give us time to discuss this topic on all levels, in the highest offices of our countries government, in the great lecture halls of academia, in the religious forums of the world, and yes, even in this small, insignificant remnant of God, the sons of God, in whose hands the final solution to all of this may finally rest in the days ahead.
Along with the stem cell controversy, we are being faced with the declaration from several groups of scientists that they will shortly be attempting to clone a human being. I think the question of human cloning has come up during my meetings more so than any other question concerning the implications of the scientific advancements of our age, and rightly so. It is truly intimidating to think of the moral, ethical and spiritual questions that will arise from this event, if the Lord allows it to happen. I have had many people tell me that they think these cloned humans would be without a soul, since they were created in a laboratory instead of the usual method of intercourse. I understand this reaction, but I cannot bring myself to believe that any human being, that has a mind and a body and can reason and think, would be without the life of God and without a soul. I think we all go through a religious shock when confronted with this kind of scenario and we experience a knee-jerk reaction, such as this. In truth, although it does have unique features to it, the cloning of a human being is not too different from the already established and non-maligned method of In Vitro Fertilization. This process entails the harvesting of the woman’s egg from her uterus, placing it in a dish in a lab and fertilizing the egg in the lab with sperm and then implanting the fertilized egg back into the woman’s uterus. This has been happening since the early ‘70s and I dare any of you to pick out from a crowd of people who are “normal” conceptions through intercourse between a man and a woman, and which one of them are the onetime infamous, “test tube babies”. As always, whenever mankind crosses over into untested ground, whether it be scientific, technological, agricultural, physics, chemical or whatever field, if it something new and different the worst will be expected. How many remember the dire warnings about the dreaded demon tube coming into our homes and turning us all into atheists? Amazingly, we seem to have kept our integrity in spite of the television and have been able to watch this modern wonder and still retain our belief in our Creator. I suspect this may be the same way the current controversy over stem cell research will play out. I do feel good about the brakes being put on it by our leaders and feel that caution is the prescription for us to follow. At the same time, let us continue to pray that the Lord will work with the participants of this engrossing world stage scenario, and may we prepare ourselves for whatever comes of it. There are many things that could come out of this research. It could be an entire bust and deemed a waste of our tax dollars and flushed down the collective toilet of disappointments. It could test the very moral and spiritual fiber of our country and the world by opening the door to a genetic apocalypse, in which case God would be setting the world up for a judgment that would be swift and so encompassing that we can only guess at it’s scope and finality. Or, it could be the act of a loving God, that has so generously and graciously allowed our generation to view His original thought of human life, that through this technology He might be bringing an age of health and quality of life to our children and grandchildren that hitherto was unimagined this side of heaven.
I am sure we all have our opinions on this subject and I pray this article will help break the ice and get you involved with this world event. You may find yourself agreeing with one of the scenarios outlined in the paragraph above, I know which one I feel best about. But, regardless, we need to be open and clear minded in this discussion. I will be writing my next article on another recent headline broadcast by newspaper and TV into our homes. That subject is Human Cloning. Wow! I hope we are listening to what is happening around us. We are witnessing the siege of man upon the very keys of created life that up to this point in time has been behind the veil, hidden in God and this is the latest episode in the onslaught of mankind against time and death. Will he win out? Will he gain immortality by cloning himself? Will there be brain transplants one day, taken out of old, tired bodies and transplanted into cloned super bodies? If so, will the soul and spirit go with the brain? Whew! We will discuss that in the next issue. I can’t wait!
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A NEW AGE FOR MANKIND – STEM CELL RESEARCH [Robert D. Torango] 1