Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. – 2 Cor. 5:17 (KJV)
I am an aquarium hobbyist. As a result, I find myself in pet stores from time to time. My oldest son loves animals so sometimes we’ll go into pet stores just to look around. On my last several trips, I saw a species of fish that I hadn’t seen before. These fish appeared on the surface of their bodies to be transparent, like glass fish. However the fluorescent coloring appeared to be embedded underneath the surface of their bodies. If I didn’t know any better, I would have sworn these fish were fed a steady diet of highlighter markers.
I learned these fish were called glofish. Their coloring was not derived naturally, but rather from genetic engineering. Proteins from jellyfish that produced a green fluorescent glow were injected into zebra fish embryos. The researchers behind the glofish later produced a red variety by introducing a gene from sea coral. Glofish are one of many in a line of organisms what come to be known as GMOs – genetically modified organisms. GMOs are living creatures including plants, animals, fish and microorganisms that have been genetically altered, often by inserting genes from one species into the genes of another. GMO plants have been engineered to be more insect and drought resistant, for example.
The widespread use of GMOs has not been without controversy. Producers of genetically modified foods contend these foods pose no greater risk than food derived from conventional sources. Opponents counter that GMOs have not been in use long enough to assess the long range effects on health.
As I think about the GMO controversy, I have observed the entire human race has been genetically modified. God created our first parents, Adam and Eve, without any genetic flaws. However when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s instruction and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, sin terminated by death was introduced into the human genome. Romans 5:12 puts it this way, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned”(NIV).
God created and designed humankind to exacting specifications. Adam and Eve left the assembly line built according to factory specs. However those settings quickly became corrupted and the corruption grew with each successive generational run of the assembly line. As creator and designer, only God himself could restore the original settings, so he did a bit of his own genetic engineering. In the laboratory of eternity, God developed and implemented a plan to reintroduce himself into the human genome. God accomplished this through the sacrificial death and glorious resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ. Christ undertook gene replacement therapy, replacing the ‘death’ gene with the ‘life’ gene for those who have placed their trust in him.
We are all GMOs, but you accepted the free gene replacement therapy and become a God Modified Organism?