Welcome to the Dark Age of Designer Babies

by Carly Andrews


[A sobering 2014 article on alteration of the human gene pool which will have unknown consequences for the human race.  Once invoked, how can this be undone? Is this really what we want genetic science to be? ED]


As FDA holds hearing on new controversial fertility technique, Aleteia expert insists it’s a moral no-go.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is holding a hearing this week in the US to consider a controversial new IFV technology that would involve the creation of test-tube babies, using the DNA from 3 separate people.  The procedure aims at preventing potentially fatal mitochondrial diseases. [emphasis - DNI]
 
Troublesome cells

Mitochondria are organelles (or tiny power stations) found in every cell of the body except for red blood cells, generating energy for the cell. They are passed from mother to child through her egg.
 
There are around 5,000 children in the US suffering from the illness.  Mitochondrial diseases are often caused by mutations – inherited or acquired – in mitochondrial DNA.  The effects can include cerebral developmental delays, muscle weakness, seizures, strokes, dementia, diabetes, blindness, deafness, short stature, respiratory problems and in the worst cases, death.
 
This latest IVF research has discovered that exchanging the defective mitochondria of the parent egg/embryo with mitochondria from a healthy donor egg/embryo, avoids passing on the disease to the infant. 
 
There are two different methods for mitochondrial repair:
 
First – intervention by embryo: 
1. The sperm fertilises two eggs; one embryo is created using the egg of the parent, and another with the egg of the donor. 
2. The nucleus (containing the genetic information) from the donor embryo is removed and destroyed.
3. The nucleus from the parent embryo (which has the unhealthy mitochondria) are removed and the remains destroyed.
4. The parents’ nucleus is inserted into the donor embryo to create a healthy embryo.
 
Second - intervention by egg:
1. A healthy donor egg and the mother’s egg with defective mitochondria are collected. 
2. The donor’s nucleus (containing most of the genetic information) is removed and destroyed.
3. The nucleus from the mother’s egg is removed and the remains destroyed. 
4. The mother's nucleus is inserted into the donor’s healthy egg, and it may now be fertilised by sperm.

The consequences of either of the above procedures mean that the child would have around 20,000 genes from their parents and about 37 mitochondrial genes from a third-party donor. The genetic inheritance of the infant would be irreversibly moderated. 
 
Moral dilemma
 
Antonio G. Spagnolo, Director of the Institute of Bioethics, Faculty of Medicine, at the Università Cattolica del S. Cuore, Rome, has spoken to Aleteia about the moral implications of this highly controversial procedure. 
 
“Undoubtedly the efforts of the researchers in attempting to eliminate pathologies of this type are commendable” he says. “Unfortunately the manner in which they proceed to resolve illnesses is very problematic and numerous moral questions must be confronted."
 
“First of all, at the heart of the matter is the unavoidable problem - which is morally negative in itself - of IVF which is what actually enables the realisation of this new procedure.”
 
The Church is very clear on the moral depravity of IVF practices, in which many human embryos are experimented on and disposed of.
 
“Respect for the dignity of the human being excludes all experimental manipulation or exploitation of the human embryo." [Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith]
 
Besides the many risks involved for both the mother and infant, the big moral problem is that the human embryo is treated as mere disposable biological material, instead of a human person.

The Church explains that the human person is a unified whole, which is “at the same time corporal and spiritual. By virtue of its substantial union with a spiritual soul, the human body cannot be considered as a mere complex of tissues, organs and functions...” 
 
Therefore “the fruit of human generation, from the first moment of its existence...from the moment the zygote has formed, demands the unconditional respect that is morally due to the human being in his bodily and spiritual totality.”
 
If the human embryo must be treated as a human person, then it is “not in conformity with the moral law deliberately to expose to death human embryos obtained 'in vitro'.”
 
But then, wouldn’t the second form of IVF be morally permissible, since it only modifies the egg and not the embryo? 

Professor Spagnolo answers that “the procedure cannot be morally permissible.”
 
Consequences unknown
 
Firstly, in addition to the foundational problem of IVF in itself being morally wrong, Spagnolo emphasises the problem of consequences.
 
“Even for those who retain that in vitro fertilisation does not have any moral problems” he explains that “they still could not help but recognise that this new procedure is, in itself, loaded with unknown elements with regards to its results."
 
Indeed there is no way to tell, from supposed initial ‘success’ in experimentation, what the long-ranging consequences of this procedure could be for the child and what physiological or psychological problems it may cause further down the line. 
 
Gene therapy
 
Secondly, Professor Spagnolo considers the risks involved with understanding the procedure in terms of “gene therapy.” 
 
He explains that the scientific community has “always considered gene therapy on germ cells in the negative sense.” 
 
The practice “deals with inserting correct genes into a germ cell before IVF” he says. “Germ gene therapy is loaded with risks since any possible harm transmitted would be done not only to the embryo in question, but also to the descendants of the embryo.”
 
Here Spagnolo brings our attention once again to the teachings of the Church. 
 
“The Catholic Magisterium reminds us: ‘because the risks connected to any genetic manipulation are considerable and as yet not fully controllable, in the present state of research, it is not morally permissible to act in a way that may cause possible harm to the resulting progeny. ...For these reasons, therefore, it must be stated that, in its current state, germ line cell therapy in all its forms is morally illicit.’” [Dignitas Personae, 26]
 
So basically, 3-person IFV treatment is a moral no-go.

"It is not enough merely to discipline by law the ways in which it is brought about" Spagnolo asserts, "since its fundamental meaning remains the same."



[Note:  Better analysis than most.  Yes, both the end/goal and the means used to reach it must be ethical.  The ends do not justify the means.

(1)  He identifies one of the major scientific consequences that seems the media wants to ignore:  the genetic engineering does not just affect the child born, but because those “foreign” genes become integrated into her germ cells (female oocytes) then those foreign genes will ALSO be passed down through the child’s future generations -- genetically altering not just the child’s genome but all her descendants and the human gene pool as well.  Thus not just one child’s problems are the issue, but also the cloning of those foreign genes down through the generations. 

(2)  I might also add that the fact that mitochondria have fewer genes than the nucleus does not therefore mean that they are “incidental” -- as demonstrated by the various mitochondrial diseases themselves. 

(3)  Approving this research -- much less clinical trials with human patients -- would thereby also approve killing the normal living human embryos used as the source of the healthy mitochondria.

(4)  How can patients in clinical trials give ethically or legally valid “informed consent” when the researchers don’t know the critical “information” they need to inform their patients -- e.g., the scientific facts, the risks and benefits, etc.?

(5)  Scientifically they don’t have a clue as to what genes are causing the problems in mitochondrial diseases.  (a)  As there are many different kinds of mitochondrial diseases, there are probably many different genetic mutations causing them.  (b)  By what genetic criteria will they determine the guilty genes when scientists still don’t know any more that 50% or less of the coding of THE Human Genome Project (which used only nuclear genes, and derived them from samples from people around the world and pooled them all together!).  Answer:  They don’t know, and can’t know.  Thus they are incapable of anticipating any dangerous consequences to the child or her descendants -- or explaining them scientifically.

(6)  A lot of research by many different scientists have shown that the normal “communication” between the nuclear genes and the mitochondrial genes is badly damaged when “foreign” mitochondrial genes are substituted for the natural mitochondrial genes -- and that causes serious damage to the organism.

(7)  And what appears to be a “beneficent” technique can also be used for maleficent purposes as well.  What if they use the same technique to inject non-human animal mitochondrial thus forming a chimera?  Or inject foreign genes desired by researchers into the donor mitochondria before injecting them into the human oocyte/embryo?  Same technique, different foreign genes.  Opens the door to all sorts of genetic engineering of human beings and their descendents.

(8)  My only pause was when he used the term “zygote”.  According to the Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryonic Development (instituted in 1942 and updated continuously since then to the present), the formation of the human “zygote” is not when the new human being begins to exist.  The “zygote” is Stage 1c;  the embryo already exists before that point at Stages 1a and 1b.  That is, the new sexually reproduced human being begins to exist at the beginning of the process of fertilization, when the sperm penetrates and fuses with the oocyte -- not at the end of the process.  If the “zygote” is claimed to be when the human being begins to exist, that would justify using (and killing) the already existing embryo at Stages 1a and b -- which is when a great deal of human genetic engineering is performed!  Well, at least he didn’t say “conception”. The article first appeared here.  -- DNI




Oswald Chambers: The Spirit of Truth

by Oswald Chambers


To be an Uncommon Believer….Let the “First Voice” You Hear in the Morning….Be the Voice of the LORD. The Spirit of truth Who lives in me will reveal that which is false, deceitful and counterfeit. The Spirit of God has spoiled the sin of a great many, yet there is no emancipation, no fullness in their lives. The kind of religious life we see abroad to-day is entirely different from the robust holiness of the life of Jesus Christ. "I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil." We are to be in the world but not of it; to be disconnected fundamentally, not externally.

{In the Gospels, it is often recorded that when His Disciples tried to find Him early in the morning, He was off in the distance, (in the wilderness), praying and fellowshipping with His Father. I couldn’t make it, if it wasn’t for the Cross and my Father’s early morning presence and voice. - Pastor Jim Menke}

"By whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." - Galatians 6:14

If I brood on the Cross of Christ, I do not become a subjective pietist, interested in my own whiteness; I become dominantly concentrated on Jesus Christ's interests. Our Lord was not a recluse nor an ascetic, He did not cut Himself off from society, but He was inwardly disconnected all the time. He was not aloof, but He lived in an other world. He was so much in the ordinary world that the religious people of His day called Him a glutton and a wine-bibber. Our Lord never allowed anything to interfere with His consecration of spiritual energy.

The counterfeit of consecration is the conscious cutting off of things with the idea of storing spiritual power for use later on, but that is a hopeless mistake. "The Spirit of truth Who lives in me will reveal that which is false, deceitful and counterfeit."

The Spirit of God has spoiled the sin of a great many, yet there is no emancipation, no fullness in their lives. The kind of religious life we see abroad to-day is entirely different from the robust holiness of the life of Jesus Christ. "I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil." We are to be in the world but not of it; to be disconnected fundamentally, not externally.

We must never allow anything to interfere with the consecration of our spiritual energy. Consecration is our part, sanctification is God's part; and we have deliberately to determine to be interested only in that in which God is interested. The way to solve perplexing problems is to ask 'Is this the kind of thing in which Jesus Christ is interested'or the kind of thing in which the spirit that is the antipodes of Jesus is interested?

The springs of love are in God, not in us. It is absurd to look for the love of God in our hearts naturally, it is only there when it has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is go­ing to become of us as a nation. If truth be not dif­fused, error will be; If God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy; If the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; If the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitiga­tion or end. " - Daniel Webster




Republished from the old Eponymn site. The message applies equally to today's America just as it did in Oswald's era in Britain.


The Drawing Of The Father

by Oswald Chambers

To be an Uncommon Believer….Let the “First Voice” You Hear in the Morning…. Be the Voice of the LORD


“Never forget that our capacity in spiritual matters is measured by the promises of God. Is God able to fulfil His promises? Our answer depends on whether we have received the Holy Spirit.”

"No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him." John 6:44


When God draws me, the issue of my will comes in at once - will I react on the revelation which God gives - will I come to Him? Discussion on spiritual matters is an impertinence. Never discuss with anyone when God speaks. Belief is not an intellectual act; belief is a moral act whereby I deliberately commit myself. Will I dump myself down absolutely on God and transact on what He says? If I will, I shall find I am based on Reality that is as sure as God's throne.

In preaching the gospel, always push an issue of will.  Belief must be the will to believe. There must be a surrender of the will, not a surrender to persuasive power, a deliberate launching forth on God and on what He says until I am no longer confident in what I have done, I am confident only in God. The hindrance is that I will not trust God, but only my mental understanding. As far as feelings go, I must stake all blindly. I must will to believe, and this can never be done without a violent effort on my part to disassociate myself from my old ways of looking at things, and by putting myself right over on to Him.

Every man is made to reach out beyond his grasp. It is God who draws me, and my relationship to Him in the first place is a personal one, not an intellectual one. I am introduced into the relationship by the miracle of God and my own will to believe, then I begin to get an intelligent appreciation and understanding of the wonder of the transaction.

“Heavenly Father, thank You for strengthening my inner man with the power and might of Your Spirit. Thank You for dwelling in my heart by faith. Daily, through the work of the Holy Spirit, I am being rooted and grounded more deeply in Your love. It’s Your love that makes every other area of life function to the maximum potentnial. Teach me Your ways of love in dealing with all people, Lord – whether it’s with the heathen, my brothers and sisters in the Lord or natural, my parents, mate, or children, spiritual or natural leaders, or kings, presidents and world leaders. Thank You!” Ephesians 3:16-21.





Approved Unto God

by Oswald Chambers

ISAIAH 50: 4 The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.  5 The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.


To be an Uncommon Believer….

Let the “First Voice” You Hear in the Morning…. Be the Voice of the LORD


"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

“The majority of present day preachers understand only the blessings that come to us from the Cross, they are apt to be devoted to certain doctrines which flow from the Cross. Paul preached one thing only: the crucified Christ, “Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”

If you cannot express yourself on any subject, struggle until you can. If you do not, someone will be the poorer all the days of his life. Struggle to re-express some truth of God to yourself, and God will use that expression to someone else. Go through the winepress of God where the grapes are crushed. You must struggle to get expression experimentally, then there will come a time when that expression will become the very wine of strengthening to someone else; but if you say lazily - "I am not going to struggle to express this thing for myself, I will borrow what I say," the expression will not only be of no use to you, but of no use to anyone. Try to state to yourself what you feel implicitly to be God's truth, and you give God a chance to pass it on to someone else through you. 

Always make a practice of provoking your own mind to think out what it accepts easily. Our position is not ours until we make it ours by suffering. The author who benefits you most is not the one who tells you something you did not know before, but the one who gives expression to the truth that has been dumbly struggling in you for utterance.




The Impartial Power Of God

by Oswald Chambers

To be an Uncommon Believer….Let the “First Voice” You Hear in the Morning….Be the Voice of the LORD

"For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." Hebrews 10:14

We trample the blood of the Son of God under foot if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins. The only explanation of the forgiveness of God and of the unfathomable depth of His forgetting is the Death of Jesus Christ. Our repentance is merely the outcome of our personal realization of the Atonement which He has worked out for us. "Christ Jesus . . . is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." When we realize that Christ is made all this to us, the boundless joy of God begins; wherever the joy of God is not present, the death sentence is at work.


It does not matter who or what we are, there is absolute reinstatement into God by the death of Jesus Christ and by no other way, not because Jesus Christ pleads, but because He died. It is not earned, but accepted. All the pleading which deliberately refuses to recognize the Cross is of no avail; it is battering at another door than the one which Jesus has opened. I don't want to come that way, it is too humiliating to be received as a sinner. "There is none other Name . . ." The apparent heartlessness of God is the expression of His real heart, there is boundless entrance in His way. "We have forgiveness through His blood." Identification with the death of Jesus Christ means identification with Him to the death of everything that never was in Him.

God is justified in saving bad men only as He makes them good. Our Lord does not pretend we are all right when we are all wrong. The Atonement is a propitiation whereby God through the death of Jesus makes an unholy man holy.

When we know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, it means we are free from anxiety, free from carefulness, so that, during the twenty-four hours of the day, we do what we ought to do all the time, with the strength of life bubbling up with real spontaneous joy.

 


Jesus Christ was Not Resurrected on Easter Sunday

by Allen Williams


The Christian faith has adopted many pagan practices and rituals over the centuries in its mission to carry out the great commission. This has given rise to a number of religious myths, which have been counter productive to the church's mission to spread the gospel. People sense the phoniness.

The best recognized Christian myth is that Christ died on Good Friday and was resurrected on Easter Sunday. But, how can Christ's raising from the dead be a myth, you ask? The resurrection is a well-documented and witnessed event that is not in question but rather the Church's Easter Sunday resurrection claim.

There is not a shred of evidence to support the church's Easter resurrection story despite the biblical account. In fact, Christ's own words contradict what most churches teach about his death and resurrection.

The Pharisees had asked Jesus to give them a sign that he was the long awaited messiah. His response was "This is an evil generation; they seek a sign; and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonas" the prophet." - Luke 11:29 (KJV). So how does the prophet Jonah prove that Christ was Messiah?

We know from the book of Jonah that he spent 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the great fish God had prepared. (Jonah 2:17)

The bible gives us a clue with Christ's statement in Matt 12:40: " For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly of the great fish, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" . In this verse, Jesus makes the claim that he will be in the tomb of the earth for 3 full days and 3 full nights, the same length of time that Jonah was in the whale's belly.

Remember "..man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." (Luke 4:4) In order to be God, any timetable predicted must be precise.

If God's word is truth, then Christ's claim of being in the belly of the earth for 72 hours must be taken as a literal not a metaphoric interpretation. But there is a problem with the traditional Easter story that claims Christ was in the grave just two days and one night, counting from the sixth hour on Friday afternoon until sunrise Easter morning. Some apologists have claimed that He wasn't in the tomb as long as He thought, so then how could he be God? Clearly the traditional account does not fulfil the 72-hour prophetic sign that must occur for Christ to be Messiah.

The Pharisees of the day clearly understood the prophesy that Jesus gave, as the bible states that the day following the day of preparation, they came to Pilate asking for guards to make sure his disciples did not steal the body on the third day. (Matt 27:v62-63) So, if Jesus was in the grave as he claimed for 72 hours, then what day was he crucified on?

The bible gives a clue to the actual day of crucifixion when it mentions the 'day of preparation', a term used to denote the day before a high Sabbath. High Sabbath's only occur in the annual Holy days laid out by God's Master Plan in Leviticus 23, which are separate and distinct from the weekly Sabbath. This means that the crucifixion had to have occurred during the week of one of the biblical holy feasts but which one?

To answer that we look to the book of John: "Now before the feast of the Passover when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the father.." This statement establishes the crucifixion occurring during the week of Passover. (John 13:1) "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29)

These passages indicate that Christ was the Passover lamb symbolized by the lamb without blemish in the old testament ritual (Exodus 12:v5-7). The lamb's blood was to be placed on the side posts and lintel of the door so that God would spare Israel's firstborn in His final plague on Egypt. This lamb was to be killed on the night of the 14th of the month as commanded in Leviticus 23.

Christ and his disciples celebrated the last supper on the 14th day of the seventh month, which places his crucifixion on the following day, Wednesday the 15th of Nisan, a day of Preparation. The Jews celebrate Passover the evening of the 15th.

The 1st day of unleavened bread occurs on the 16th and is a High Sabbath. So the week of Christ's crucifixion had two Sabbaths, the weekly one and one from the annual holy days. No work could be done on any Sabbath so food preparation for the holy day must occur on the preparation day. Neither Mary nor anyone else could have possibly gotten to the tomb before early Sunday morning because of the preparations required before the two Sabbaths that week.

In 33 AD, Tuesday night was the 14th of the month. About the 6th hour on the 15th, Jesus died.

God counts time from 'even to even' as one 24-hour day as defined in Genesis 1:5. So, Christ was in the tomb Wednesday even (sundown) to Thursday even (sundown) which is one day. Then from Thursday even until Friday even for a second day. And finally from Friday even until Saturday even for a third day as well as the nights of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

This satisfies the exact 72-hour requirement in the heart of the earth that Christ prophesied, fixing the Resurrection on the biblical Sabbath, just before sundown and confirming Him as the long awaited Messiah.

But, the bible clearly states that "In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre", which was definitely Sunday morning.

The earthquake and the appearing of the Angel as recounted in (Matt 28:v2-6) was NOT to let Christ out of the tomb because he was already risen (not at dawn that morning but before sunset the previous day. Otherwise, the sign of Jonah could not have been fulfilled.)

Easter sunrise services are simply another myth perpetuated by Christianity's mixed pagan teachings.

"There was no "Easter sunrise service" in the early Church—even according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica: "The name Easter… is derived from Eostre, or Ostara, [ISHTAR] the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring… There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament." (1911 ed., p. 828). - Tomorrow's World - the Sign of Jonah

So why does Christendom teach such nonsense? Christ provides the answer in Mark 7:9, "Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. " My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27). His voice of truth stands out from the malaise.

So, do you believe the God of the Bible and follow his command 'to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.." (Matt 28:20) or do you choose to believe Christendom's pagan fables?