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ss nucleus - spring 1996,  Editorial


It has been the season for intense activity under heaven - and finally the time for the new Nucleus layout has arrived. (Ec 3:1) We hope that its outward renewal is not a sign of inward wasting! So, let us continue to fix our eyes, not on the temporary gloss which is seen, but on what is unseen and eternal... (2 Cor 4:16-18)

In the wake of debate over developing world family planning, and the combined pill's mechanism (Nucleus, July/October 1995) the contraceptive commotion is set to continue- for a third issue. Robert Gurney (page 2) explains his decision not to provide contraception for the unmarried. No-one would disagree that fornication is abhorrent to God; and ultimately destructive and harmful to the individual, and family life. How then, Gurney asks, can it be right for Christian doctors to prescribe contraception which is actively facilitating fornication? He issues a deep challenge to the reality of our Christian mindset and obedience; not least in honest appraisal of the painful cost involved in his own stance.

In similar vein, Peter Saunders here addresses the practicalities of conscientious objection when under pressure to help procure abortions. While refusing to participate, we are equally reminded to do all we can to dissuade women from choosing abortion. Thus Sarah Minnis' article (page 15) is a timely reflection on the need to improve links between GPs and Crisis Pregnancy Centres- run by organisations such as CARE for Life. These centres, embodying a compassionate Christian response to the dilemma of unwanted pregnancy, have sprung up nationwide; to offer counselling and practical support before and after birth.

Standing apart from a system of sliding morals and the demands of market-place medicine, will always be costly. Refusal to supply a 'full range of services'- whatever that may entail in future years- will brook the world's disbelief, occasioning personal anguish. And, if we are not zealous for the Lord's house now as medical students, we are unlikely to avoid conformity to the world's mould later on. (Indeed, in the letters' section, one non-Christian respondent to the results of the abortion survey makes interesting reading on this point!)

Yet the hardest agonies to suffer wisely, will stem from incredulity within the body. We all have our own blind spots; so must be wary of vaulting righteousness that overleaps itself (eg 2 Ki 9-10; see Ho 1:4). In team scenarios, it will be hardest to maintain the luxury of detachment. Perhaps then, we may only say, like Joshua:

'But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...[of ] the whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.' (Jos 24:15)

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