Christians and Abortion — Part 1
Published 2:35 pm Thursday, June 30, 2022
There are few topics which cause as much debate as does abortion. It seems that there has been more controversy, emotion and rhetoric centered around the question of abortion than any other. There have been movies, documentaries, articles, books, speeches, and countless demonstrations over the subject of abortion. And as we consider all that has transpired over the decades since abortion was legalized in the United States, it seems to the naked eye that Americans can find no concrete answer, neither scientifically nor ethically as to the question of abortion.
If we are honest with ourselves in regard to the question of abortion and its practice, we can certainly see that it is merely legalized murder. One can arrive to this conclusion when and only when we answer the question of when and how life begins.
There is no doubt that each and every person in this world is a distinct, separate individual from either of their parents; this is noticeable from the moment of conception. However, the debates have raged on for decades concerning when an individual can actually be said to have his or her own life. Most Christians claim it is at conception, other people claim it is when the heart of the newly formed person begins to beat, and others claim life begins at different periods throughout the pregnancy up to or until the birth of the newborn child. One problem with coming to a proper and God approved conclusion to the question is that many people do not consider God at all. But we learn from the Word of God that He has known all life from eternity.
Christian people and thus a Christian nation should base their lives and faith on God’s Word. To do otherwise is to be less than a Christian and subsequently less than a godly nation. While it may be difficult to scientifically pinpoint the exact moment that life actually begins, the Bible teaches that God is the creator of all things. The conclusion then is that God alone is the source of all life. In Genesis 2:7, Moses wrote, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” The Bible clearly points out that man came to life when God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Nothing has changed, the existence of life is more than a chemical reaction within a clump of cells, it is more that happenstance that results in a living human being. It is an act of God, and perhaps the exact point of this occurrence is beyond our understanding.
There is no doubt that human life is holy, pure and sacred, and we must respect it as we respect God, the giver of life. As we study the Bible it becomes evident that God knows all things; He not only knows the past and the present, but he is a surveyor of that which is to come in the future. The Bible goes one step further in declaring that God has known the things that will occur in our lives from eternity. This being true, one must conclude that He has also always known each person, each life, and He has known them even before they were conceived.
It is not enough to understand that God has known every individual before they were born. The Bible reveals to us that each person conceived has a purpose in life. One of these duties is to serve and obey God and bring him honor and glory (1 Timothy 1:17; Ephesians 3:20-21; Revelation 4:11). King David, in Psalms 139 shows that the knowledge of God of man’s existence and purpose goes far beyond what most people today understand or believe. David said, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16).
Regardless of God and His love for His creation, many people still choose to prematurely terminate a pregnancy, they choose to end a life that God has given, and they do so for many different reasons. We need to be reminded that abortion is not merely a problem of the 20th century. Abortion has been a part of human culture and society throughout mankind’s existence. Perhaps the biggest difference between our generation and those of the past, is the accessibility and the advance in medical technology. For these reasons, abortion has become more acceptable in our age than in any other in history. But the reasons for abortion are various, and many of these reasons are selfish to say the least. Some desire an abortion claiming the timing is wrong, or they cannot afford a child. While these reasons may be true, does this give anyone the right to end the life of a defenseless child? Some claim rape or incest as their reason for an abortion. The problems that many face with unwanted pregnancies are real, and we must acknowledge the reality and hardship that some would face by bringing a new baby into this world. However, we cannot simply forget the sin involved with abortion. We should remember that the life that is taken in and abortion is not our own. There are people who claim that the mother’s body is her own and that it is hers to do with as she sees fit. This right is not in question, what is in question is the body and the life that is within the mother. Does anyone have the right to take the life of another person? The Bible clearly states, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). To be honest, ending a life before birth is as much a murder as is ending a life after birth; and either is a sin against man and God.
Next week we will conclude thoughts on the Christian and abortion.
(Tony Hoss is minister of the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)