Not to get too far off on a tangent, but if life begins at conception, how exactly does one conceive a corporation-person? I would guess it must be in vitro, though I’m not sure what goes where. And who’s DNA gets chosen, the CEO’s or the Chairman’s? Or are corporate mergers the modus operandi? And who would oversee this merger, the courts or one of those quickie marriage chapels in Vegas?
When the corporation-person gets called for jury duty, who shows up? Do corporation-persons have to wait until they are eighteen in order to vote or twenty-one to have alcohol at their parties? And when the corporation-person needs to see a shrink, a 3000-people corporation-person certainly would make Sybil look like an amateur. I suppose the justices had all the answers figured out in advance when they handed down their decision. Still, I’d like to hear them.
Satire aside, when people are baptized and become Christians, there are only two choices available. They are either born-again or conceived-again. That’s it. It is at this point that spiritually, a new Christian’s life begins.
The key word in all this is again. It follows that if physical life begins at conception, as the Personhood people claim, and our spiritual life as Christians begins with being born from above or of heaven, then we can’t claim to have our new spiritual life begin by being born again. We could be born Christians, but not born again. Otherwise, our physical life would have to begin with birth too. Then we can claim to be born again.
This dilemma should pose a lot of problems, especially for people who believe physical life begins at conception, but claim to be Born-Again Christians. Sooner or later, in order to keep their logic consistent, they need to drop the “Again” from their Christian moniker. Or they should just come clean and say they are Conceived-Again Christians, which in Greek would read syllambano-anothen. Syllambano is the word for conceive.
Alas, there is one problem with this. The apostle John is quite clear in his gospel that a Christian’s life does not begin with a conception again, but with a birth again. “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’" [John 3:3]. The word born here is not syllambano, but gennao, which means of men who fathered children, or born. Spiritually, it is of our Father in heaven through the Spirit of God. And in John 3:6 Christ makes it very plain, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”1
Now the word translated as again in Greek is anothen. It means from above or from a higher place of origin, but also means anew or over again, hence the translation born again as some NT translations say. Thus, whether it is again, or anew or from above, life as a Christian originates, begins with a birth. If a Christian’s life begins by being born again, then logically it follows that life in the flesh has to begin with a birth as well especially when referencing what Christ clearly said. And according to the Biblical record, throughout its entirety, when looked at objectively there is no question that life begins at first breath, which is at birth.
As this whole conceived-again, born-again issue has remained surprisingly volatile without popular consensus during the past forty years since Roe vs. Wade, you can read more about the Biblical record’s view of this subject in our full-length article, Life In The 'hood. And, for even more in-depth, read chapter three, “If Life Begins At 40, Where Does That Leave Conception?” in the book The Blind Man’s Elephant, now a complimentary PDF at the bottom of the Home page.
1 Christ’s birth symbolism is quite clear. To be born of the Spirit means we begin our lives anew as Christians upon being baptized [immersed in water, not sprinkled] and then receiving the laying on of hands. “Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet, the Holy Spirit had fallen upon none of them. They only had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” [Acts 8:14-17].
The lesson we learn here is that only being baptized, immersed in the water, does not allow for Christian to be “born again.” It is only when we have received the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands that our new lives begin.
This symbolism is apparent with the flesh too. While we are “immersed in the water” in the womb, baptized, we do not have the spirit of man because we are not born of the flesh yet. It is when someone lays hands on us, usually a doctor or midwife, as we exit the womb and we take our first breath through our nostrils, filling our lungs with air, that we receive the spirit of life and become flesh or mankind.
Italics and [ ] are the author's.
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