Would Jesus kill a baby?
I was listening to Stand to Reason — my favorite Christian apologist podcast — and the host brought up an interesting moral dilemma. Imagine that a group of French resistance fighters and their families are hiding from a Nazi patrol. With them is a baby that is crying and cannot be consoled. Its crying is sure to bring the Nazis to the hiding place, and if the French are found they will all be killed. Should the baby be killed to save the group?
The show’s host argued that killing the baby was the most moral solution. A caller then said that allowing the whole group to die would be more Christian because murder is a sin, and at least if the Nazis killed the French, it was the Nazi’s sin, not the resistance fighters’. The host responded that, in his opinion, if Jesus himself had been in that situation, he would have killed the baby.
This brings up an interesting point: what would Jesus (not a person trying to emulate Jesus) really do if he were in that situation? In Jesus’ case, there would be a third option that is not open to the French resistance fighters — a miracle. Jesus could miraculously calm the baby, solving the problem. It seems to me that performing this small miracle to save an innocent life is easily the most moral path to follow.
If you’re a Christian, think about what I’ve proposed. Do you agree that Jesus should calm the baby, or should Jesus kill the baby or allow everyone to be killed by the Nazis? Can we agree that calming the baby is the most moral solution?
Now, Christian readers, let’s take this one step further. In the original scenario, would you agree that God is in the room with the French resistance fighters? If God is omnipresent, then he must be. And if we agree that Jesus, if present, would have calmed the baby and that Jesus=God, then why wouldn’t God calm the baby in that situation, preventing the French from having to make a horrible decision? Does it make any moral difference if Jesus is there in the flesh instead of there in spirit only?
I’m honestly interested in a Christian response to this question. Please leave your replies in the comments to this post. Or, even better, call in to the Stand to Reason show next Sunday and get a response from the host (I am unable to do so, unfortunately).