IVF babies are knit together by God like regular babies, says theologian – The Christian Post

By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter | Monday, March 23, 2020 Doctor Katarzyna Koziol injects sperm directly into an egg during in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure called Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) at Novum clinic in Warsaw October 26, 2010. | (Photo: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel)

Babies conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) are knit together by God in the womb like babies conceived in the traditional manner, according to notable Bible teacher John Piper.

In an episode of Ask Pastor John posted to DesiringGod.org on Monday, Piper was asked by a listener named Carly about how to explain the Christian perspective on babies conceived by IVF.

The question of being knit together derives from Psalm 139:13, which reads, For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb.

How can a Christian explain to non-Christians that every child is a gift from God when some children are conceived medically through IVF and other fertility treatments? Im at a loss and I really want to be able to answer this question, inquired Carly.

I believe all children are from God. But how do I answer this question? I recently saw a story about a lesbian couple who conceived a child through IVF. The child was fertilized by donor sperm and implanted in one woman and then harvested and implanted in the other woman to carry to term. Its so unnatural, but I know that child is meant to be here.

Piper began by explaining that he was not opposed to IVF, noting that there were people at our church that have done that: adopted an embryo, put it in Mom, and raised the baby.

I dont think we should make decisions that contribute to that problem. Weve got ourselves with these thousands of frozen little babies because of all kinds of technological things that we didnt foresee would create all these issues, he explained.

Piper then argued that creating human babies is decisively Gods work, not mans and cited multiple Bible verses, among them Job 10:11-12, Psalm 71:6, and Ecclesiastes 11:5.

No baby decides if he or she is human. No parent decides if their baby is human. No sperm donor, egg donor, or womb donor decides if the baby is human, said Piper.

I conclude from these passages and others that humans dont bring humans into being; God does. Humans contribute genetic material, but God makes the union of egg and sperm the living, eternal human soul.

In arguing that IVF babies are knit together by God, Piper pointed out that God often uses foolishness and even evil to bring beauty into being.

If God can orchestrate Herod, Pilate, brutal Roman soldiers, and unbelieving Jews to bring about the greatest life-giving event that ever was the death and resurrection of Jesus then making a human baby with sinful humans is not a problem, he concluded.

IVF is a controversial topic in certain Christian circles, with many questioning the ethics of the practice. For its part, the Roman Catholic Church outright opposes the practice.

Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable, reads the Churchs Catechism in part.

They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person.

The Ask Pastor John episode comes a month after Swedish researchers found that babies born through the use of IVF had a 45 percent higher mortality rate during their first 12 months of life.

The proportions of children who were born preterm or with a low birth weight for gestational age were higher in assisted reproductive techniques-conceived than in natural conceived children," stated Kenny Rodriguez-Wallberg of the Department of Oncology and Pathology at Karolinska Institute.

The main drivers for the first year mortality risk among children conceived with assisted reproductive techniques included respiratory distress, incomplete lung development, infections and neonatal hemorrhage, which are conditions often linked to prematurity.

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IVF babies are knit together by God like regular babies, says theologian - The Christian Post

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