Why Not Celebrate God’s Goodness Instead of Tearing it Down?

Rich-Wilkerson-baby
Rich Wilkerson Jr. and wife, DawnChere with their new baby son. (Instagram)

The miraculous birth of a child is an occasion for joy, not legalism.

Shawn A. Akers

Infertility can cause married couples a great deal of heartache. I know from whence I speak, as my wife and I suffered through nearly four years of it in the early 2000s.

It can become a gut-wrenching issue, especially if it carries on for an extended period of time, and if it also involves a miscarriage or two. The emotional pain can also become a tremendous emotional strain on a marriage.

So, when I recently learned Rich Wilkerson Jr., the pastor of Vous Church in Miami, and his wife, Dawn Chere, were blessed in January with a healthy baby boy after eight years of trying, I praised God for His goodness. And, I praised God for the Wilkersons’ unwavering faith and trust in Him to deliver upon His promises. Indeed, it is an event to be celebrated.

At least some of us think so. But then there are those who refuse to see the Wilkersons’ realized dream of having their own child as a blessed event and even go as far as to criticize and judge not only the Wilkersons themselves, but also the way they went about the process of having the child.

After years of several alternative treatments, the Wilkersons decided in 2015 to try In Vitro fertilization, which, for some couples, signify the final and “desperate” procedure to have a child of their own. The procedure is invasive, and it can be extremely expensive.

And, I praised God for the Wilkersons’ unwavering faith and trust in Him to deliver upon His promises. Indeed, it is an event to be celebrated.

And, apparently, it’s from da devil, to quote Mama from “The Waterboy.”

“Many, many people are not aware In-Vitro Fertilization and Surrogacy are not from God,” one Charisma reader wrote.  A child, a brand new human person with a body and soul, comes about through the self-giving of a man and a woman (vowed for life, married before God) in the marital act.

“Catechism Catholic Church: 2376 – Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus) are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.

“In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) results in the destruction of least one other embryo, since IVF cannot help but fertilize more than one egg. The rest are thrown away or frozen. These embryos are human beings.”

Wow. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the moment of conception occur when the union of the sperm and egg generate a new human embryo? It’s not just the egg, the sperm is also needed, right?

The reader goes on to say:

“The second reason is that artificial insemination, using sperm from the husband, not only involves others in the procreation that belongs to the spouses alone, but also requires the husband to masturbate, which is an immoral act.”

Matt Slick of the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry, says that the question about masturbation as a sin is difficult because the Bible does not pronounce it as sin. And, it is agreed that if it “involves sexual fantasies and/or pornography, then it is certainly not pure and very sinful.” But what if the spouse does it while thinking of his or her spouse? Again, the Bible doesn’t declare it to be sinful, so we cannot put a label on it, especially the label “immoral.”

The other issue readers have is with the Wilkersons themselves, simply because of their association with the Kardashian family, Kanye West and Justin Bieber. He writes: “Looks like one apple fell far from the tree. One Wilkerson went to the most vile of places to reach souls for Christ, and one decided to join the sinners and instead let the sinners influence him.”

Is it our place to judge the Wilkersons because of who they hang out with? Didn’t Jesus hang out with sinners, including tax collectors, prostitutes and other undesirables of society, which some might consider equal to the modern-day Kardashians and Kanye West? How do we know that the Wilkersons have “let the sinners influence him?” How do we know it’s not the other way around?

My point to this article is that birth is a miracle of life, especially for those who have waited as long as the Wilkersons have. It’s a miracle that the Wilkersons didn’t simply write God’s goodness off and stop trusting Him and his promises. It’s not a stretch because most of us are simply not into longsuffering.

My point to this article is that birth is a miracle of life, especially for those who have waited as long as the Wilkersons have. It’s a miracle that the Wilkersons didn’t simply write God’s goodness off and stop trusting Him and his promises. It’s not a stretch because most of us are simply not into longsuffering.

I praise God for the miracle that God has bestowed upon the Wilkersons. Hallelujah, I say! But I also pray for those who would try to put a damper on that miracle and turn it into a legalistic attack on a couple that is trying to be faithful to God. The Wilkersons must be doing something right or I don’t believe God would have blessed them as He did.

Let us celebrate God’s incredible faithfulness and goodness instead of making this a legalistic issue.  And remember to do something to rise up higher in your calling today.

Step Out of the Boat is a ministry created by Charisma Media Content Development Editor Shawn A. Akers and dedicated to help Christ followers to become spiritual champions and come to a more intimate relationship with Jesus. With its articles, podcasts and other forms of media, Step Out of the Boat encourages Christ followers to daily reach to a higher level in their calling. Shawn is a 35-year veteran sportswriter, a published poet and he published a story about Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can read his blog here. You can also listen to his podcasts, the Javelin Sports Show, on the Charisma Podcast Network.

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