Questions From Readers
● Would it be wrong for a Christian to use wind chimes in his or her home?
Many persons have used wind chimes to give a pleasant musical aspect to the home. When the wind blows, the glass, metal or wooden pieces hit against one another to produce the sound. However, it is the custom in some countries to put up wind chimes with the thought that they will keep evil spirits from entering the home. Obviously, a Christian would not make use of wind chimes for such a purpose. So if there is such a superstitious belief in one’s country, or community, it would not be wise to have a wind chime in the home. Thus no one will be stumbled or given the impression that Jehovah’s Witnesses make use of wind chimes for some unscriptural purpose.—1 Cor. 10:31-33.
However, if one’s motive in putting up a wind chime has nothing to do with false religion, superstition or demonism, and there is little possibility of others’ getting the wrong impression regarding its use in the home, it is a simple matter for personal decision.
● In recent years I have read of “test-tube” babies being born. What is the Biblical view of the procedure used in this?
First, let us briefly consider what reportedly has occurred, as illustrated by the first instance, which took place in England.
The woman was unable to conceive normally because of a problem with her Fallopian tubes, through which the egg cell must pass to reach the uterus. So by minor surgery scientists extracted one of her ripe eggs and placed it in a laboratory dish with sustaining nutrients. Her husband’s semen was added and fertilization occurred. After some days the group of growing cells (blastocyst) was carefully introduced into her uterus where it grew normally, and a baby was delivered.
In this case the sperm and the egg came from husband and wife. This is noteworthy from the Biblical standpoint. Why? Because of a law God gave to the ancient Israelites: “You must not give your emission as semen to the wife of your associate to become unclean by it.” (Lev. 18:20, 29) That law was given when modern artificial insemination and “test-tube-” baby procedures were not available; yet it does indicate God’s thinking.
From the Bible we must conclude that if conception is accomplished with the sperm and an egg not from husband and wife, it would amount to adultery or fornication. The Scriptures leave no doubt as to God’s view of such: “God will judge fornicators and adulterers.” (Heb. 13:4; Matt. 19:9) But what if a married couple who had not otherwise succeeded in having children were offered the possibility of submitting to the procedure described above? Here are some aspects to be considered:
Would all the mechanical steps involved—with conception occurring in a laboratory dish—make the matter seem so unnatural or bizarre as to be ethically objectionable to them?
The egg in the dish (before and after fertilization) is sustained by nutrients. In at least some of the cases that have already occurred blood serum was used as the nutrient. Thus God’s law on blood comes into the picture.—Acts 15:28, 29; Lev. 17:13, 14.
News accounts say that in some cases after conception scientists have destroyed the fertilized egg because they believed that it would not develop properly or would have genetic defects. If so, would this not be the equivalent of abortion?* And to what extent would the “parents” have a voice in or responsibility for such a termination of a newly begun life?
Furthermore, some scientists are concerned about genetic abnormalities appearing, either during development in the womb or later.
These are aspects that a Christian would appropriately want to consider, though recognizing that in the final analysis a personal decision would have to be made.