Why don’t we as Christians consider the age of someone to actually be older than their Birthday?
I understand celebrating the Birthday–it is the obvious, and easy, as well as cultural thing to do. We can’t really go around celebrating our Conception Day, and the Birthday is a wonderful and unique time, when you’re actually “here,” or “out here” where your parents can see you and hold you. This is definitely a wonderful and blessed time for the parents: a celebratory event, much like faith:
Faith is the hope of our belief, the hope and knowledge that what we believe, even though we can’t see it, will indeed come to fruition, become reality in our sight and not just in our hearts.
Birth is the fruition of all that growing and crazy miraculour stuff that is going on inside the mother for all those months of shrinking stomachs, and aching backs, and weird hormonal appetites. You know the wild, unbelievable growth that’s going on inside, but when the baby is actually born, there in your arms… well, that’s another thing all together special and wonderful!
My question is regarding age not Birthday celebrations. Since we who affirm that life begins @ conception in the womb, from a biblical perspective of life, perhaps we should in some way affirm this belief in a more social/cultural manner, as in regarding age as beginning earlier than merely when the baby is now ready to come out of the womb and into the open public.
Doing something other than the Birthday as a marker for age is without a doubt a logistical nightmare I’m sure [i.e., having to explain to the government agent about the discrepency of a few months between your birthday and your age].
In many places, much more 3rd Worldish than the US, the child is considered to be 1 year old at birth, for the very reason that they know the child has been alive and well and existing inside for several months. The “1 year” rather than “9/10 months” is because of the lack of biological understanding when the practice was developed, but nonetheless, they make a point. Many of these also communally celebrate Birthdays on the new year. This does lead to some so-called 2 year old children actually only being a few months out of the womb at New Year’s!
Perhaps most interesting about these societies where this is practiced is the fact that they are doing so out of practical observation of reality, not out of a sanctity of life, or belief regarding the beginning of a life.
For those believing in the sanctity of God-given life, which is being destroyed all over the place for convenience and “medical reasons” and research, how much more important then should it be for us to make some social & cultural change, statement, affirmation of our understanding and faith. God created a life, and human life uniquely created in the image of God means it is most significant and worthy of our care and concern.
One option is to celebrate the Birthday and use a general rule for setting the age at 9 months beforehand.
Or we could use the exact months of the birthing cycle, which any doctor and mother would readily know, or at least be able to figure out.
But also, just figuring it to be a year at the time of birth could be a viable option: you’ve been planning, thinking about having kids, or at least in many cases, whether or not it was a conscious decision or understanding of the highly potential consequences of your acts; then the child is conceived and begins forming and growing amazingly; then months and months go by, until the actual birthday. All of this is roughly around a year in the making. [Not to mention God knowing all of this beforehand.]
Of course those on the bubble of some rather unsightly age, 29/30, might want to keep this from being reytroactive, for their sake.