The Gospel of John Chapter 9:
"As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. 8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” 10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. 11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
Some people are born with physical or mental handicaps.
In 2020, I turned 65 years old. Before DNA science came to us, I remember the struggle that families had explaining to a child why they were born without a certain limb or a why a younger sibling couldn’t think like regular kids do.
It was common for adults to tell them, “Jesus made you special so you can do special things on this earth”. I suppose some people are still saying this.
But the scripture above, along with DNA science tells a different story.
This account in John 9 is the only time I know where God ordered an innocent unborn to be afflicted for ‘special purposes’.
If I were physically disabled, I would hate to think that God did this to me, only to go through my life, with all its extra difficulties, likely isolated, only to die knowing that God didn’t use me to do something special.
The fact is, stuff happens that messes up our biology. Our ancestors did things that decrease our potential in life.
People have long used chemicals without fully knowing their effects on the next generation.
Alcohol and drug abuse is another big one, along with incest.
Agent Orange is another example, as the cover picture shows.
The personal pursuit of pleasure can cause problems to. Incest is one of the surest ways to load your downstream family tree with underachievers.
Look at European royalty. Marrying a first cousin, or even 2nd seems like risky sex to me.
I was raised outside a small town in Iowa, and I didn’t even date long-term classmates. They seemed like cousins to me.
And, The Old Testament also considered relatives-by-marriage as real relatives. Step-brothers could not marry step-sisters, though they shared no DNA.
This is a good thing, because it prevents incest like we see with Woody Allen.
Even though there may be no shared DNA, it sets the stage for biological incest, when hot-blooded teens and dirty old men lose perspective of long-term consequences.
Internet search: “Can cousins marry in Pakistan? " Muslims often marry cousins, taking their lead from their leader Mohamed, who married a cousin. Cousin marriages among the white population of Britain account for about one in every 200 couples. But in people of Pakistani origin, many marriages are between first cousins.
Promiscuity creates problems in other ways.
The following is a link to an article, where an expecting New Zealand couple discover they are half-siblings.
In this day and age, if I didn’t securely know both of my parents’ histories, I would be tempted to do DNA test before I married someone, (as well as a gender test, to make sure I was getting the correct package).
Back to the main storyline… Born in 1955, I spent a month in the hospital’s incubator as a 6.5 month old baby, weighing 4lb, 11oz; and was born with a deformed ribcage, which I still have. My mother wouldn’t let me go shirtless in public).
My wife and I lost a baby in February of 1991 to miscarriage; too defective to live until birth. It happens.
So, Beloved Ones, with missing parts or things not quite right, it is unlikely that God ordered this malady against you.
God gave people free will and that free will has consequences.
Birth defects are part of the DNA consequences of dozens of generations of free will.
A bit of 2-4-D on an unwashed great-grandfather-farmer’s hands at lunchtime, or a hit of acid by a grandmother at Woodstock can do downstream damage.
I know it seems hit-and-miss selective, for people living the same culture to experience different consequences.
God does not pick on the unborn, like Nazi doctors, to see how children will respond when faced with certain deficiencies. God is not a Nazi.
But He does call on us to individually help as we can.
How do I conclude this piece? I don’t know except to say that the cost for humans to have a free will are sometimes simply the effects of free will, which later generations either have to endure, or be blessed by.
Eric J Rose