There is an argument made by a moral philosopher long ago. He pondered, “Suppose there was a button, and pressing that button would bring untold riches, peace, and prosperity to the entire world.” Sounds great, right? The only cost, says the philosopher is that one “Chinese peasant would drop dead.” He then asked, “Who among us would press that button? And who among us would want that button in wide currency?”
For the sake of argument, take that question and apply it to the issue of rape. If I could press a magic button that would miraculously erase all rapes, past, present, and future, should I press the button? At the face of it, the answer would seem to be an overwhelming, “Yes!” However, once one lets emotion subside, and begins to think rationally, it is clear that pressing this button, despite having good reasons for pressing it, would have unintended consequences.
I would NOT press the button–nor would I want such a button in wide currency. Yes, I know that sounds incredibly heartless. After all, why wouldn’t I want to erase all the evil and tragedy caused by rapes? Quite simply, If I could erase ALL rape, hundreds of thousands of human beings would drop dead. They would cease to exist. Many human beings owe their existence to being the result of a horrific rape.
This includes my son. My precious 2-year old son is the product of a horrific rape. While I mourn the reality of the rape that took place, I am indescribably thankful that he exists! He is my son and he is of immeasurable value. I love him. God created him, and made a plan for his life. Part of this plan included being conceived in iniquity.
Let me state this for the record, when it comes to the button: I would not press that button. Let me repeat that again: I would NOT press that button.
Simply put: in a fallen world, there are NO solutions. At best, all that exist are trade offs. A solution here, causes unintended consequences there. What one person considers a solution, another man considers a negative. It is unwise to act as if solutions do exist. They don’t. If we have learned anything in human history, we have learned that.
But, in terms of pressing the button to erase all rapes, I couldn’t do it. The death of a human being is too great a cost to me. It is an unintended consequence that I am not willing to inflict. While I find rape to be equal to slavery in the lecherousness and horribleness of what it entails, I find murder–the ending of a life created in God’s image–to be worse.
Remember this point: Humans cannot create human beings. They cannot do this. Humans are created by God. If human beings are created by God alone, and God allows a child to be the product of a rape (the product of two human beings with free will), does this in any way negate the fact that this child is created by God? Of course not.
Let us see it another way: f I could press a button right now, as many would like to do, and make Down Syndrome disappear, I would NOT. Since magic doesn’t exist, eliminating Down Syndrome would necessarily mean eliminating people with Down Syndrome. It would entail murder. It would mean genocide.
How about another example: If I could press a button right now, and make all racism, past, present, and future disappear, would I do it? Well, since magic doesn’t exist; to remove all racism would mean to remove all racists. This would involve the murder of human beings. This cost is too great. As much as I despise racism, I despise the murder of human beings more.
A last example: I find Islam to be a horrific religion. I hold to the position that an accurate reading of Islam does neccesarily lead one to embrace jihad. Be this as it may, I would not press a button that would erase Islam, past, present, and future from the face of the earth. Since magic doesn’t exist, this endeavor would mean removing those who practice Islam.
Though I disagree with Muslims and hold many of them in contempt, I value their lives. While the prospect of eliminating all traces of Islam may be intriguing, the cost is too great.
For the Christians among us,there is something incredible about these words: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…”
It is sobering and hard to accept this at the face of it, but God can even use something as despicable as a rape to bring Himself glory. God is in the world, using its successes and its failures for His glory.
Think about that. God’s sovereignty is such that your past is not a direct indicator of what your future will be. God decides your path. Our lives are in His hands. He can take an unmitigated disaster and make a symphony out of it.
The rape of a woman should never end in the murder of the child. God can use that child for great things. History provides much evidence to support this. The testimony of a child of rape can change the lives of millions.
I believe my son, the product of a horrific rape, will be a great man of God.
I wouldn’t press the button. I would destroy the buttons.