The Things That Divide Us

News that meat and milk from the offspring of cloned cattle — illegal to sell here without proper authorization — may have made their way into the U.K. food chain has set hands wringing in Britain, a country still sensitive from its experience with mad cow disease.

~ Satter, Raphael.  (4 August 2010).  “Cloned Beef Flap Spreads Alarm in Britain”.  Retrieved 9 August 2010 from http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=11322803.

Cloning.  The act of taking genetic material and reproducing it in order to create an entire living organism.  Genetically, the organisms are the same.  The reality, though, is a little different.

All cells have certain defects.  A healthy cell can mask these defects, but there are occasions when those masking attempts fail.  The more defects, the less likely they will be masked or counterbalanced by the opposing gene.  Cloning actually can accentuate or even create new defects in the process, as no human process is perfect.

Even clones, then, are different!

All of you look alike to me.

Have you ever heard that phrase in some form?  A lot of time, it is taken to be a “racist” phrase, mostly because it triggers emotions that may be totally unrelated to the person or context in which it is stated.

On a trip to Thailand, I remember that one person remarked that all of us [white] Americans look the same to him.  I replied, “That’s OK, all of you look alike to me too.  The difference is that there are so few farang [foreigners] around here, it’s not hard to pick me out!”  We both laughed because we knew it was meant in a friendly jabbing sort of way.

But, really, when you are not used to being around a certain people, it can be hard to distinguish them at first.  It is only after you get to know them that you begin to truly see their individual differences.  That’s not racist.  That’s just the way it is.  It is only racist if you do not make the effort to see beyond race and beyond skin color and, to some extent, see beyond culture in order to see the unique person God has created.

Even twins are unique.  Like clones, they start off genetically the same.  However, the environment can change much of this.  Identical twins split off early in the process of creating a fetus, and so they begin at the same state.  After that, however, various differences can still emerge.

From a distance, identical twins seem, well, identical.  Even close up, it can be difficult to tell them apart unless they do something that sets them apart (dying their hair, different hair style, different manner of dress, etc.).  Until you get to know them, it may be very hard to tell them apart.

Recently, a comment was made on this blog, “It would appear that God has allowed us to be scattered as we are for now…WE keep the same HD’s , people from the "outside" would say we have the same doctrine…”

I have often wondered, “What do ‘outsiders’ think of us really?”  I don’t mean those that hang around evangelical, atheist or  “cult exit support” forums.  I mean, real people whose agenda is just to go about their daily routine and try to survive and live life everyday to its fullest.  Do they see us all the same?  Actually, quite a few in those forums do, so perhaps that scales outward.

What do they think of the “differences”?  You know, some of it must seem rather petty and trite.  You want to know something?  A lot of it really is petty and trite.  Most “doctrinal issues” are the result of someone finding some obscure teaching or verse and making a mountain out of molehill.  This is usually followed by a “my way or the highway” type of judgmental attitude.  That’s really sad.  It shouldn’t be “my way” or even “your way”.  It should be God’s way!

Do we wonder why we have problems evangelizing?  Why aren’t more in the world attracted to our way of life?  You would think that with the surrounding brokenness it would be much easier to attract rather than repel.

Have we left our basic principles?   Do we even know where those basic doctrines are found in the Bible?

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