The Sanctity of Human Life. Message Notes – January 15, 2006

Baby 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.Warfare

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.

3 Responses to The Sanctity of Human Life. Message Notes – January 15, 2006

  1. This was a challenging message… I think alot of times people love to point out the exceptions on these things to cloud the issue and make something where God’s word is clear seem foggy… At some point I think you have to just trust God for the exceptions – the Mother who lost her life trying to have the baby, or the innocent man who was executed in error, or the person who endured a great deal of pain in their final days because their family wouldn’t euthanize them…
    With regards giving to those in need, most of us fall so far short in that area – especially when compared to the average lifestyle in the rest of the world. We have so much of the resources, we need to be less selfish and release them…
    Last comment here – I’d like to know your thoughts on how politically involved the church body should be on these issues that are such hot topics in our culture right now? Is there a point when the church has become too political?

  2. Good question. I think that our involvement should be as a prophetic voice through our actions and through calling our local, state, and federal governments to righteousness. The prophets of the Old Testament as well as John the Baptist and the witness of the early church was decidedly apolitical, but they were definitely involved, calling wrong for what it was and promoting God’s Kingdom. This does not mean that in a democracy we have no role – on the contrary. We have a responsibility to elect Godly officials and to support legislation that is consistent with God’s Word. However, we should do that from a primary position of living the truth out in the world instead of putting our hope in politics.
    For instance, regarding the abortion debate, if we are involved with helping unwed mothers, fostering adoption, taking in the poor, becoming foster parents, etc., we have a very strong position to speak from and to influence public policy. On this level, we should be very involved. If all we are doing is protesting and trying to get our way through the political process without providing any real solutions, our arguments are hollow and we are seen to be only grabbing for power and not really caring about our fellow man.
    This position should be consistent on all of our political issues. If we back it up and walk the walk, then we will be given a forum to speak and people will see that we have credibility. This was my problem with the 10 Commandments issue of a few years ago. It is not that I do not support the 10 Commandments, but for that to be such a symbolic battle in a state like Alabama where there is so much public corruption, lack of concern for the poor, continued racism, and incredible family breakdown, well, it struck me as hollow. Acknowledging God in the public square is important and I support it, but it must be tied to an authentic witness to God’s redemptive role in society. We should not just come near to Him with our lips but in our hearts be far from Him. I do not believe that the answer is found in state legislation, but rather in the authentic witness of the church in the power of the Holy Spirit. From that position, let’s speak prophetically to the powers and principalities and call them to right action. The political parties have failed us and we should stand outside of political parties anyway so that we can speak the truth and not be compromised by the trappings of power.
    Well, I said a lot, but I believe that this position is biblical. Be involved, but stand apart. You are not of this world, but you are to bring the Kingdom of God into this world.

  3. Hey, Alan, sorry I’m late,
    I agree that we should take the issue more personally. “L” got pregnant while in ROTC. You can’t get pregnant in ROTC–you get kicked out and, if you’re on scholarship, you have to pay it back. She was passively encouraged by the government to get an abortion but she didn’t. Partly because she knew it was wrong and partly because “M” told her if she kept the baby she’d be there with her every step of the way. Jack’s birthmom wanted to keep him but didn’t know how so she tried to get an abortion. Fortunately she was too far along (legislation) but in addition, she was directed to an agency that could help her have him, keep him, and/or find a home for him. Now he’s out in the backyard playing on the neighbor’s swingset and fighting orcs with sticks.
    In other news, have you heard about this: http://www.lilithfund.org/Home.asp ? It chagrins and amuses me that the same attitude we often have (“Oh, these poor women don’t have the money and don’t know they really do have a choice!”) is also held by the “other side”!
    Beth D