On Sunday, I shared a message concerning the sanctity of human life. Over the past thirty years, we have been involved in an incredible struggle in this country over the meaning of life. When does life begin? Of what value is it? Who has the most rights – the mother or the fetus? This debate has spread to other issues like euthanasia, genetic engineering, the terminally ill, etc. As I have been challenged on this issue, I have begun to consider the need to live from a consistent ethic of the value of human life. I have always been pro-life on the issue of abortion, but am I consistent with calling for a pro-life position across the board? Here are some areas that we do not usually think about when it comes to being pro-life:
· War – do you critically think about what a Christian’s position is on war when we serve the Prince of Peace? When is war right? When is it wrong?
· The Poor – what is our position on living in affluence when such a large number in the world are starving?
· The diseased – have you thought about the AIDS epidemic in Africa? In this country? What is God’s heart toward this?
· Capital Punishment – while I believe in this, should we work toward making it more fair and accurate? If one innocent man is executed, that is a terrible tragedy.
· Euthanasia – what about the debate on a “right to die”?
· Genetic Engineering? Should we be tampering with the human genetic code to supposedly create stronger life?
There is a right and wrong on each of these issues, but we do not discover God’s will for us in these areas unless we begin to think. It is so easy to just be carried along by our culture and by what makes sense without truly considering what the truth is. That is what I am trying to do in my life – come out of the cultural fog that deceives on so many levels to really consider what it means to have a consistent Christian worldview on these issues.
On the issue of abortion, we believe that it is a moral evil and consists of the taking of the most innocent of human life. Unfortunately, this act is incredibly common. Here are a few facts:
At current rates, an estimated 43 percent of American women will have at least one abortion by the age of 45.
- Two-thirds of all abortions are among never-married women.
- Fifty-two percent of U.S. women having abortions are younger than 25 years old.
- About 13,000 abortions each year are attributed to rape and incest—representing 1 percent of all abortions.
- 95% of all abortions are done for convienience – because it would be too hard and scary to bring a child into the world after the woman has gotten pregnant
- Approximately 1/3 of all pregnancies end in abortion
To put it in perspective, here is a listing of American War dead throughout the centuries compared with those who have died from abortion:
Revolutionary War – 4,435 deaths.
Civil War (both sides) – 498,332 deaths.
World War I – 116,708 deaths.
World War II – 407,316 deaths.
Korea – 25,604 deaths.
Vietnam – 58,168 deaths.
Total killed due to abortion since 1973
44,670,812 (44 MILLION) deaths
as of April 22, 2004
What does the Bible have to say about the Sanctity of Human Life? Let’s look at the following scriptures:
"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee…" (Jeremiah 1:5)
"He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb" (Luke 1:15)
"And it came to pass , that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake with a loud voice, and said ‘Blessed are thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb’." (Luke 1:41-42)
"Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." (Genesis 9:6)
"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." (Genesis 1:26-27)
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:13-16)
Each of us should consider the value that God places on the life of each one of us, the unborn and those who live on this planet as well. We should all value life and strive to protect it and rescue those who are in need. God is a forgiving God and loves us so much. If you have failed to honor life, and especially if any have had abortions in the past, you need to know that God loves you and forgives you when you call upon Him. There is hope and healing for you as well.
I believe that two major issues that drive the committing of abortion are selfishness on one hand and fear on the other. Many people do not want to be bothered with a child before they are ready. It is just easier to kill the unborn child than it is to go through with the pregnancy. It would be too much of an interruption of the plans that they had for their lives. Others, are literally scared to death. Many women become pregnant and then are abandoned. They are alone with little support or ability to care for the child. The father is gone and perhaps the family of the woman would be little help or would turn against her. I realize that this simplifies the issue and it is never simple. The real question is, how can we intervene in both instances and bring life out of death?
We should seek to be a part of the solution, whether we reach out to mothers who are considering abortion, whether we consider adopting children ourselves, or whether we work to bring spiritual, social, and economic transformation to our society so that the problem of devaluing life is addressed holistically. All of us should consider our own selfishness when it comes to those who are in need and suffering. How can we be Jesus’ hands and feet to a lost and hurting world? How can we help rescue those who are in need? It is the responsibility of us all.
If you are interested in finding out more concerning alternatives to abortion, check out Sav-A-Life of Montgomery, AL.