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Life: A Biblical Perspective
Presbyterians For Life ^ | July 22, 2002 | Deborah Anderson

Posted on 07/23/2002 4:50:22 AM PDT by logos

Presbyterians Pro-Life

Life: A Biblical Perspective

 I Our Creator
II God, the Unborn, and the Child
III Life or Death: Our right to choose?
IV Every Woman's Right to Control Her Own Body - Freedom to Choose
V The Hard Cases: The Handicapped, Rape, and Incest
VI Our Responsibility to the Unborn, to the Woman in Crisis, and Our God


I. OUR CREATOR

Who is the creator of all life? Who created each of us?

Genesis1:27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Job 10:8-12
"Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.
Job 33:4
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Psalm 8:4,5
what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
Psalm 95:6
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
Psalm 100:3
Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Psalm 119:73
Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.
John 1:3
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Acts 17:24,25
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.
Revelation 4:11
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
Colossians 1:16
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.


II. GOD, THE UNBORN, AND THE CHILD

Is God involved in our development within the womb?

Job 31:15
Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?
Psalm 139:13-16
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.
Isaiah 44:2
This is what the LORD says-- he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
Isaiah 44:24
"This is what the LORD says-- your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,

Is God concerned about us in our unborn (fetal) state or only after birth? Do we have an identity prior to our birth? our conception? Does God have a relationship with the unborn?

Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Isaiah 49:1
Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name.
Isaiah 49:16
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
Psalm 22:9,10
Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother's breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb you have been my God.
Jeremiah 1:5
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

Luke 1:15
for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.
Luke 1:41,44
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby* leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. ... As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby* in my womb leaped for joy.
*The biblical writers, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, used the Greek word "brephos," here translated as baby, referring to the unborn child. Brephos is also found in I Peter 2:2 translated as newborn babies and II Timothy 3:15 as infancy.
Galatians 1:15,16
But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man,
Ephesians 1:3,4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love

Is the fetus a human being?

John 16:21
A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby* is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
*Baby is translated from the Greek word, "anthropos," which literally means man or human being.

What is God's relationship to children?

Psalm 71:6
From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you.
Psalm 127:3
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
Matthew 19:14
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."


III. LIFE OR DEATH: OUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE?

Does God give us a choice between life and death? What is His choice for us? (When a pregnancy has been "terminated," what has happened?)

Deuteronomy 30:19
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
Exodus 20:13
"You shall not murder.
(See also Exodus 20:1, Matthew 5:21, Matthew 19:18, Romans 1:29, James 2:11, Revelation 21:8, Revelation 22:15)

Have we been given the "right" to choose death for the unborn?

Genesis 9:6
"Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.
Jeremiah 7:6
if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, (See also Jeremiah 22:3,17)
Exodus 23:7
Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.
Deuteronomy 27:24,25
"Cursed is the man who kills his neighbor secretly." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"
Proverbs 6:16,17
There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
Amos 1:13,14
This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Ammon, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because he ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead in order to extend his borders, I will set fire to the walls of Rabbah that will consume her fortresses amid war cries on the day of battle, amid violent winds on a stormy day.


IV. EVERY WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CONTROL HER OWN BODY - FREEDOM TO CHOOSE

Does every woman have the right to control her own body? Is it her own body? (Does the definition of every woman include the female fetus?)

Ezekiel 18:4
For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son --both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.
Psalm 127:3
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
I Corinthians 6:19,20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God --this is your spiritual act of worship.

Is the "freedom to choose" the primary consideration in the abortion issue? Can freedom be abused? (Consider the fact that the freedom we are talking about is the freedom to choose to abort.)

I Peter 2:16
Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.


V. THE HARD CASES:
THE HANDICAPPED, RAPE, AND INCEST

Who is the creator of the "unwanted," "unlovable," "handicapped," "mistake"? Are these cases justifiable reasons for abortion?

(Refer also to Scriptures under "I. OUR CREATOR")

Exodus 4:11
The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
Isaiah 45:9-11
"Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, `What are you making?' Does your work say, `He has no hands'? Woe to him who says to his father, `What have you begotten?' or to his mother, `What have you brought to birth?' "This is what the LORD says-- the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?
Romans 9:20,21
But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, `Why did you make me like this?'" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
I Corinthians 1:27
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

Should the innocent pay for the sins of others? Who are the innocent in a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, and is abortion acceptable in these cases?

Deuteronomy 24:16
Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin.


VI. OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO THE UNBORN,
THE WOMAN IN CRISIS, AND OUR GOD

Is abortion the solution to crisis pregnancies?

Isaiah 49:15
"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
Proverbs 14:12
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

Do we have a responsibility to God?

Genesis 9:1,5
Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth... And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.
Isaiah 58:10
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Matthew 25:34-36,40-43,45
"Then the King will say to those on his right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' ... "The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' "Then he will say to those on his left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'..."He will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

What is our responsibility as Christians to those who are handicapped, unwanted, unloved?

Proverbs 21:13
If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.
Galatians 6:2
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Proverbs 24:11,12
Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?

Should Christians be involved in the discussion? What are our responsibilities as Christians in influencing our nation's policy on abortion? Should we be concerned about "pushing our morality" on others in trying to establish a pro-life policy?

Matthew. 5:13
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
Romans. 10:14
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
Acts 4:18-20
Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."
Exodus 23:2
"Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd,

Must the church take a stand?

Revelation 3:15,16
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm --neither hot nor cold --I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

When those involved in abortion feel convicted by their actions, what should they do? Who do they need? Does God forgive those who have had abortions?

I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Ephesians 1:7
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace
Isaiah 43:25
"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.
Proverbs. 28:13
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
I Peter 4:15
If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.
I John 3:15
Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
Jeremiah 22:17
"But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion."
Proverbs 8:36
But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death."
I John 2:1,2,12
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense --Jesus Christ, the Righteous One ... He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world...I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.


Based on a Bible Study designed by Deborah L. Anderson
"Life: A Biblical Perspective" is available in booklet form from PPL - click on "Order Resources" below


© Presbyterians Pro-Life
P.O. Box 11130
Burke, VA 22009-1130

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TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: abortion; abortionlist; catholiclist; christianlist; life; prolife; reformprolife; scripture
If someone would please *ping* all the requisite players?
1 posted on 07/23/2002 4:50:23 AM PDT by logos
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To: rhema; Artist; patent
For your information.
2 posted on 07/23/2002 4:51:15 AM PDT by logos
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To: logos; *Pro_Life; *Christian_list; *Catholic_list; *Abortion_list
Thanks, logos. Only yesterday I was reviewing the Bible's case against abortion (for an email discussion with a friend who thinks God regards the subject with avuncular disinterest). I'll bookmark this excellent site, which has documented some references I hadn't known about.
3 posted on 07/23/2002 5:30:15 AM PDT by rhema
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To: logos
I had trouble with the link, but here's a page that links both your Biblical citations and other related articles:

Abortion and Christian faith

4 posted on 07/23/2002 5:38:03 AM PDT by rhema
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To: logos
Thanks for the post.

I would respectfully like to ask you a few questions.

Virtually all of us here "get it." How do we get the pro-life message to secular /me-first individuals who may or may not be Christian or who may have a negative feeling toward Christianity/Christians? How do you convince a young non Christian or nominally Christian woman that destroying the life within her is wrong, when society overwhelmingly advises her that it's her "choice"?

Listen to the excuses:

"I've got to finish my education and 'this' would be too difficult."

"The SOB who did this to me is no good and I don't want any more to do with him nor do I want any reminders of him in my life"

"I'm married, my husband and I have been going through some tough times, and this is not his baby."

"I was doing drugs and was drinking a lot during the time I had relations and I'm sure that has affected the 'fetus.' "


5 posted on 07/23/2002 6:13:10 AM PDT by Sock
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To: Sock
How do we get the pro-life message to secular /me-first individuals who may or may not be Christian or who may have a negative feeling toward Christianity/Christians? How do you convince a young non Christian or nominally Christian woman that destroying the life within her is wrong, when society overwhelmingly advises her that it's her "choice"?

I don't think you're going to like my answer, Sock - but then I didn't like it myself when I figured it out.

Like it or not, the way of the world is simply that non-Christians judge God and Christ by the Christians they know and meet. All too often, we don't present a very attactive example to someone looking for ultimate answers. In general, we spend far too much time fighting and squabbling with each other, rather than reaching out to those with whom we should be trying to share our faith. Just take a look around this Religion forum for a good example of what I'm talking about.

Specifically, when it comes to the issue of abortion, the first thing we need to do is insist that the question be dealt with from the pulpit. Far too many pastors simply refuse to discuss abortion, either publically or privately.

Second, we have to put our money where our mouths are. By that I mean that my church, for one, must stop paying for abortions of clergy families through its denominational health plan. Hypocracy (sp?) wins precious few converts.

Third, we must provide a safe haven for women in crisis, and even more importantly, we have to be willing to take in all babies, regardless of who their mothers might be, and provide them with a loving home when their real mothers either can't or won't provide for them.

Fourth, we must never be afraid to speak the truth, not only to those in power, but in our daily lives in casual conversation, and stop overlooking those comments made in passing which deny the truth.

In other words, we must not only speak as Christians - we must live as Christians.

After all, why would you join a social club whose members almost never came around the club house, and on the few times each year they did show up, they totally disregarded the rules of the club?

Like it or not, we are our own worst enemies. We should stop fighting, and start witnessing - for real.

That should do for starters, eh? :)

6 posted on 07/23/2002 6:57:10 AM PDT by logos
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To: logos
I don't think you're going to like my answer, Sock - but then I didn't like it myself when I figured it out.

Actually Logos, I like your answer quite a bit. :-)

I have found that the Pro life apostolate is at least one area where strong Christians of various denominations can join together in unity of purpose. On Sunday they will go to their individual churches, but during the week they work together in doing the Will of God.

You wrote:

Third, we must provide a safe haven for women in crisis, and even more importantly, we have to be willing to take in all babies, regardless of who their mothers might be, and provide them with a loving home when their real mothers either can't or won't provide for them.

This is the area in which I am most familiar, the Crisis Pregnancy Center. The Centers I and many-many others volunteer at are funded totally by donations from our benefactors. Needless to say, the government is not involved at all and there are few corporations who want to be associated with pro life although, as individuals, they have helped us. Currently, 2000 babies a year in total are saved from abortion at our 4 centers. That's good news, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to the 45,000 babies that are killed annually in Illinois and approximately 1.2 million throughout the country.

The excuses for abortion that I gave you are real and are repeated daily by expectant mothers. The counselors do their best (it's very stressful work), the benefactors give what they can, and we ask God to do the rest. Incidentally, out of every 100 young women who come in seeking an abortion, 60 choose to keep the baby. Nationwide that statistic has been pretty consistent over the years.

Peace.

7 posted on 07/23/2002 7:28:45 AM PDT by Sock
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To: rhema
Sorry about the links; they came with the article. I should have checked them out myself before posting. Haste makes waste, and all that...
8 posted on 07/23/2002 7:38:50 AM PDT by logos
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To: Sock
And peace to you, friend.
9 posted on 07/23/2002 7:39:48 AM PDT by logos
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To: logos
Excellent post and comments.
10 posted on 07/23/2002 8:51:04 AM PDT by lockeliberty
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To: logos; Sock; lockeliberty; Artist; patent
Specifically, when it comes to the issue of abortion, the first thing we need to do is insist that the question be dealt with from the pulpit. Far too many pastors simply refuse to discuss abortion, either publically or privately.

my humbly recommended reading on the subject: Top 3 Reasons Why Pastors Don't Preach Sanctity of Life Messages

Second, we have to put our money where our mouths are. By that I mean that my church, for one, must stop paying for abortions of clergy families through its denominational health plan. Hypocracy (sp?) wins precious few converts.

a sample resolution (by an ELCA pro-life group): SAMPLE RESOLUTION

Third, we must provide a safe haven for women in crisis, and even more importantly, we have to be willing to take in all babies, regardless of who their mothers might be, and provide them with a loving home when their real mothers either can't or won't provide for them.

In my neck of the woods, Cradle of Hope is an organization my family has supported for ten years.

Fourth, we must never be afraid to speak the truth, not only to those in power, but in our daily lives in casual conversation, and stop overlooking those comments made in passing which deny the truth.

my recommended reading: Is Abortion an Election Issue?

In other words, we must not only speak as Christians - we must live as Christians.

After all, why would you join a social club whose members almost never came around the club house, and on the few times each year they did show up, they totally disregarded the rules of the club?

my recommended reading: Dave Burchett's When Bad Christians Happen to Good People

11 posted on 07/23/2002 9:15:09 AM PDT by rhema
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To: logos
Bump.
12 posted on 07/23/2002 9:23:06 AM PDT by patent
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To: logos
Good assembly of the passages as well, thanks.

patent

13 posted on 07/23/2002 9:24:26 AM PDT by patent
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To: Polycarp; Claud; dadwags; SoothingDave; al_c; Notwithstanding; JHavard; Havoc; OLD REGGIE; ...
pro life BTTT

Will Bookmark Thank you so much!

14 posted on 07/23/2002 9:25:57 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7
These gentlemen have some excellent resources for pro-life activism. The best part is you don't have to be a priest or even Catholic...

AB

15 posted on 07/23/2002 9:30:39 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard
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To: ArrogantBustard
Thanks for posting the Priests For Life link!

Here is another one The Ultimate Pro-Life Resource

16 posted on 07/23/2002 9:41:42 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: rhema
You do better lingage than I. Thanks.
17 posted on 07/23/2002 9:42:48 AM PDT by logos
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To: logos
Ooops! "lingage" = linkage
18 posted on 07/23/2002 9:43:40 AM PDT by logos
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To: logos
Roe No More

How many people realize that Norma McCorvey (Roe) became a Catholic and now has her own ministry?

19 posted on 07/23/2002 9:44:18 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation
I, for one - and thanks for the link!
20 posted on 07/23/2002 9:45:53 AM PDT by logos
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To: logos; rhema; Saundra Duffy
From Catholic Answers:

Abortion

The Catholic Church has always condemned abortion as a grave evil. Christian writers from the first-century author of the Didache to Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae ("The Gospel of Life") have maintained that the Bible forbids abortion, just as it forbids murder. This tract will provide some examples of this consistent witness from the writings of the Fathers of the Church.

As the early Christian writer Tertullian pointed out, the law of Moses ordered strict penalties for causing an abortion. We read, "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely [Hebrew: "so that her child comes out"], but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot" (Ex. 21:22–24).

This applies the lex talionis or "law of retribution" to abortion. The lex talionis establishes the just punishment for an injury (eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life, compared to the much greater retributions that had been common before, such as life for eye, life for tooth, lives of the offender’s family for one life).

The lex talionis would already have been applied to a woman who was injured in a fight. The distinguishing point in this passage is that a pregnant woman is hurt "so that her child comes out"; the child is the focus of the lex talionis in this passage. Aborted babies must have justice, too.

This is because they, like older children, have souls, even though marred by original sin. David tells us, "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me" (Ps. 51:5, NIV). Since sinfulness is a spiritual rather than a physical condition, David must have had a spiritual nature from the time of conception.

The same is shown in James 2:26, which tells us that "the body without the spirit is dead": The soul is the life-principle of the human body. Since from the time of conception the child’s body is alive (as shown by the fact it is growing), the child’s body must already have its spirit.

Thus, in 1995 Pope John Paul II declared that the Church’s teaching on abortion "is unchanged and unchangeable. Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his successors . . . I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written word of God, is transmitted by the Church’s tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium. No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church" (Evangelium Vitae 62).

The early Church Fathers agreed. Fortunately, abortion, like all sins, is forgivable; and forgiveness is as close as the nearest confessional.

 

The Didache

"The second commandment of the teaching: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not seduce boys. You shall not commit fornication. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall not use potions. You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child" (Didache 2:1–2 [A.D. 70]).

 

The Letter of Barnabas

"The way of light, then, is as follows. If anyone desires to travel to the appointed place, he must be zealous in his works. The knowledge, therefore, which is given to us for the purpose of walking in this way, is the following. . . . Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born" (Letter of Barnabas 19 [A.D. 74]).

 

The Apocalypse of Peter

"And near that place I saw another strait place . . . and there sat women. . . . And over against them many children who were born to them out of due time sat crying. And there came forth from them rays of fire and smote the women in the eyes. And these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion" (The Apocalypse of Peter 25 [A.D. 137]).

 

Athenagoras

"What man of sound mind, therefore, will affirm, while such is our character, that we are murderers?
. . . [W]hen we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder? For it does not belong to the same person to regard the very fetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God’s care, and when it has passed into life, to kill it; and not to expose an infant, because those who expose them are chargeable with child-murder, and on the other hand, when it has been reared to destroy it" (A Plea for the Christians 35 [A.D. 177]).

 

Tertullian

"In our case, a murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from the other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to birth. That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in its seed" (Apology 9:8 [A.D. 197]).

"Among surgeons’ tools there is a certain instrument, which is formed with a nicely-adjusted flexible frame for opening the uterus first of all and keeping it open; it is further furnished with an annular blade, by means of which the limbs [of the child] within the womb are dissected with anxious but unfaltering care; its last appendage being a blunted or covered hook, wherewith the entire fetus is extracted by a violent delivery.

"There is also [another instrument in the shape of] a copper needle or spike, by which the actual death is managed in this furtive robbery of life: They give it, from its infanticide function, the name of embruosphaktes, [meaning] "the slayer of the infant," which of course was alive. . . .

"[The doctors who performed abortions] all knew well enough that a living being had been conceived, and [they] pitied this most luckless infant state, which had first to be put to death, to escape being tortured alive" (The Soul 25 [A.D. 210]).

"Now we allow that life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does" (ibid., 27).

"The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion [Ex. 21:22–24]" (ibid., 37).

 

Minucius Felix

"There are some [pagan] women who, by drinking medical preparations, extinguish the source of the future man in their very bowels and thus commit a parricide before they bring forth. And these things assuredly come down from the teaching of your [false] gods. . . . To us [Christians] it is not lawful either to see or hear of homicide" (Octavius 30 [A.D. 226]).

 

Hippolytus

"Women who were reputed to be believers began to take drugs to render themselves sterile, and to bind themselves tightly so as to expel what was being conceived, since they would not, on account of relatives and excess wealth, want to have a child by a slave or by any insignificant person. See, then, into what great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by teaching adultery and murder at the same time!" (Refutation of All Heresies [A.D. 228]).

 

Lactantius

"When God forbids us to kill, he not only prohibits us from open violence, which is not even allowed by the public laws, but he warns us against the commission of those things which are esteemed lawful among men. . . . Therefore, let no one imagine that even this is allowed, to strangle newly-born children, which is the greatest impiety; for God breathes into their souls for life, and not for death. But men, that there may be no crime with which they may not pollute their hands, deprive [unborn] souls as yet innocent and simple of the light which they themselves have not given.

"Can anyone, indeed, expect that they would abstain from the blood of others who do not abstain even from their own? But these are, without any controversy, wicked and unjust" (Divine Institutes 6:20 [A.D. 307]).

 

Council of Ancyra

"Concerning women who commit fornication, and destroy that which they have conceived, or who are employed in making drugs for abortion, a former decree excluded them until the hour of death, and to this some have assented. Nevertheless, being desirous to use somewhat greater lenity, we have ordained that they fulfill ten years [of penance], according to the prescribed degrees" (canon 21 [A.D. 314]).

 

Basil the Great

"Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years’ penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed, or not" (First Canonical Letter, canon 2 [A.D. 374]).

"He that kills another with a sword, or hurls an axe at his own wife and kills her, is guilty of willful murder; not he who throws a stone at a dog, and unintentionally kills a man, or who corrects one with a rod, or scourge, in order to reform him, or who kills a man in his own defense, when he only designed to hurt him. But the man, or woman, is a murderer that gives a philtrum, if the man that takes it dies upon it; so are they who take medicines to procure abortion; and so are they who kill on the highway, and rapparees" (ibid., canon 8).

 

John Chrysostom

"Wherefore I beseech you, flee fornication. . . . Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit?—where there are many efforts at abortion?—where there is murder before the birth? For even the harlot you do not let continue a mere harlot, but make her a murderess also. You see how drunkenness leads to prostitution, prostitution to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather to a something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevents its being born. Why then do thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with his laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter? For with a view to drawing more money by being agreeable and an object of longing to her lovers, even this she is not backward to do, so heaping upon thy head a great pile of fire. For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the causing of it is thine" (Homilies on Romans 24 [A.D. 391]).

 

Jerome

"I cannot bring myself to speak of the many virgins who daily fall and are lost to the bosom of the Church, their mother. . . . Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when, as often happens, they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder" (Letters 22:13 [A.D. 396]).

 

The Apostolic Constitutions

"Thou shalt not use magic. Thou shalt not use witchcraft; for he says, ‘You shall not suffer a witch to live’ [Ex. 22:18]. Thou shall not slay thy child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten. . . . [I]f it be slain, [it] shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed" (Apostolic Constitutions 7:3 [A.D. 400]).

21 posted on 07/23/2002 9:52:30 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation; rhema; patent; Artist; lockeliberty

Presbyterians Pro-Life

Presbyterians and Abortion:
Historical Christian Perspectives

Christian Attitudes on Abortion:
The Testimony of Early and Recent History

Abortion seems to be a modern problem. Not surprisingly, however, it is a practice which is thousands of years old. And Christians of all ages have had to develop an appropriate response to their culture's practice of abortion.

Biblical and Jewish Foundations

Although abortion was practiced by ancient Israel's neighbors, there is absolutely no evidence that the ancient Hebrews ever practiced it. Several fundamental Hebrew beliefs contributed to this avoidance of abortion. Chief among these were the beliefs that God alone is Lord of the womb and that God forms and communes with the developing life in the womb (see especially Psalm 139). In other words, the womb is an inviolable place. The Hebrews also shunned abortion because God revealed himself as Creator and owner of each life and intolerant of innocent bloodshed. The Old Testament taught an ethic of justice defined as mercy toward the defenseless, and gave them a desire and duty to populate the earth.

This implicit anti-abortion perspective of the Old Testament became explicit in early Judaism. The biblical themes already mentioned led to specific condemnations of induced abortion. Philo, the philosopher, and Josephus, the historian and apologist, equated abortion with murder and infanticide. Popular Jewish writings condemned abortion, as well as exposure of newborns, as forms of immorality and social injustice.

The New Testament does not discuss abortion, or exposure, even though both were practiced at the time. First-century Christians took over Jewish opinion of abortion and exposure, and at first had no need to write about something which everyone took for granted. This is evidenced by the fact that the earliest Christian documents to mention (and condemn) abortion are revisions of Jewish documents.

The Early Church

Beginning about A.D. 100 we find a striking and unanimous voice from the early church on abortion. More than twenty Christian documents from the second to the fifth centuries A.D. discuss abortion, and every one--without exception--condemns the practice. These Christians did not hesitate to call abortion "infanticide," or "murder," or "something even worse than murder." Examples of this condemnation include:

"Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion." (Didache and Epistle of Barnabas, both early 2nd century), a prohibition directed at all Christians in these two guides to Christian life and worship.
"The fetus in the womb is . . . an object of God's care," and, "We say that women who induce abortions are murders, and will have to give account of it to God." (Athenagoras, late 2nd century)
"In our case, murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb." (Tertullian, late 2nd century)
"There are women who . . . [are] committing infanticide before they give birth to the infant" (Minucious Felix, early 3rd century)
"Those . . . who give drugs causing abortion are [deliberate murderers] themselves, as well as those receiving the poison which kills the fetus" (Basil, 4th century)

We find themes coming up again and again in these and other texts on abortion.

First, Christians viewed the unborn as the creation of God to be protected, not killed. Christians emphasized that each unborn was a distinct life.

The second theme arose from the first: abortion is murder. As the examples above illustrate, early Christianity condemned abortion as an act of violence which was nothing less than murder.

This theme led to a third, that those who obtain, and those who perform, abortions are guilty before God and will suffer the consequences of their sin.

Christian opposition to abortion first developed in Jewish-Christian communities where human sexuality was highly valued but immorality and innocent bloodshed abhorred. Respect for the womb was deepened because of the incarnation and the gospel stories of Jesus' birth; concern for mercy and justice toward the defenseless was heightened because of Jesus' ministry of compassion; and abhorrence of bloodshed was enlarged by Jesus' teachings.

Early Christian opposition to abortion arose from a belief in mercy and justice which permeated early Christian teaching. Christians were characterized by their inclusion of the "least" of their brothers and sisters as members of the human community. Abortion was a sin against the most vulnerable of innocents created in God's image.

To care for the unborn was but one manifestation of Christian concern for the poor and weak, mandated by the Scriptures and the incarnation. To follow Jesus, therefore, was to forsake bloodshed. This goal was most succinctly expressed by Athenagoras who claimed that Christians have given up performing or watching any act of violence: "We are altogether consistent in our conduct."

Some Recent Developments

Before the 1960s, few Christians supported abortion. It is virtually impossible to find any Christian theologian of note who endorsed abortion except where the life of the mother was in immediate danger. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote,

Destruction of the embryo in the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.

Karl Barth, writing a the time of Hitler's holocaust, said,

The unborn child is from the very first a child. It is still developing and has no independent life. But it is a man and not a thing, nor a mere part of the mother's body . . . He who destroys germinating life kills a man . . . The fact that a definite NO must be the presupposition of further discussion cannot be contested, least of all today.

Helmut Thielecke, Otto Piper, Paul Ramsey and George Williams have all written to the same effect: abortion is the taking of a human life. Harold O. J. Brown writes, "There is no Protestant of remotely similar distinction who endorses abortion."

In the last decade some mainline denominations have modified the stands they took in support of abortion during the sixties and seventies.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1992 retreated from calling abortion "an act of stewardship before God," to recognizing that "The strong Christian presumption is that since all life is precious to God, we are to preserve and protect it. Abortion ought to be an option of last resort. The large number of abortions in this society is a grave concern to the church." Nevertheless, our General Assembly asks us to approve whatever decision a woman makes in a problem pregnancy.

Crisis pregnancy centers exist in numbers greater than abortion providers today as witness of Christians who have put their faith to work. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) suggested in 1986 that each presbytery designate at least one church to serve as a "resource center for alternatives to abortion."


Material for this pamphlet draws from the book Abortion and the Early Church, by Michael Gorman, (IV Press, 1982).

© Presbyterians Pro-Life
P.O. Box 11130
Burke, VA 22009-1130

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22 posted on 07/23/2002 10:14:34 AM PDT by logos
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To: logos
Several fundamental Hebrew beliefs contributed to this avoidance of abortion. Chief among these were the beliefs that God alone is Lord of the womb and that God forms and communes with the developing life in the womb (see especially Psalm 139). In other words, the womb is an inviolable place. The Hebrews also shunned abortion because God revealed himself as Creator and owner of each life and intolerant of innocent bloodshed.

Peter Leithart's Attacking the Tabernacle is an excellent exposition of that Psalm 139 passage.

23 posted on 07/23/2002 10:38:05 AM PDT by rhema
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To: ArrogantBustard; Salvation
Thanks guys..I am thinking of becoming more active in the prolife movement up here in the fall
24 posted on 07/23/2002 11:03:55 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: logos; RnMomof7
Biblical BUMP.
25 posted on 07/23/2002 12:47:07 PM PDT by Jerry_M
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To: RnMomof7
Thanks guys..I am thinking of becoming more active in the prolife movement up here in the fall

Wonderful. Educate the sheeple!

26 posted on 07/23/2002 6:51:11 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Sock
I don't know what I would actually say to an individual mother with these excuses, but this is what I'm thinking when I hear them:

"I've got to finish my education and 'this' would be too difficult."

What type of education have you had so far, where you where you think it is ok to kill an innocent human being, your own child, in order (you assume) to finish that education? What kind of "education" is that? What kind of "education" will you have when you "finish" it? I don't know, but part of that education will be the everlasting sorrow of a dead baby whose blood is on your hands. You will never forget it, as long as you live.

"The SOB who did this to me is no good and I don't want any more to do with him nor do I want any reminders of him in my life"

So you think that ripping your baby to shreds will make you forget your fornications with the father? Do you think someone should have the right to murder you because you might remind them of something they once did?

"I'm married, my husband and I have been going through some tough times, and this is not his baby."

So you think that comitting murder will cover your sin of adultery?

"I was doing drugs and was drinking a lot during the time I had relations and I'm sure that has affected the 'fetus.' "

So if you even think that someone MIGHT possibly be sick or MIGHT have a handicap, you think they should be slaughtered like a pig? How would you feel if someone wanted to treat YOU that way?

Cordially

27 posted on 07/25/2002 12:48:45 PM PDT by Diamond
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To: logos
In other words, we must not only speak as Christians - we must live as Christians.

Now you've gone too far! ;^)

28 posted on 07/25/2002 1:10:47 PM PDT by ksen
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To: Diamond
Hello Diamond,

I was having major software problems with my computer (Windows 98 was all jazzed up), just got it back a few minutes ago from the computer geeks, so I apoloigize for this hastilly written note. I've still got to reinstall Word and all the other stuff.

The vast majority of women/girls who come in seeking abortion are very tender misguided young people. Many of them are tearful over their situation and so the couselors must be in tune with them and structure their approach around each individual case. Although Our Redeemer was always harsh with His adversaries, the Pharisees, you'll remember how compassionate, yet cautioning, He was with the adulturous woman at the well.

Our objective is not only to 'save' that baby, but to 'save' the woman as well. Solid communication skills, empathy, compassion, gentleness, true charity etc are indispensible qualities for those working on the frontlines.

BTW, the couseling work itself is definitely more suited for women and all our couselors are female. They can interact much better with the female clients. However, men play a critical supportive role in the work, i.e., fundraising, promotion, drivers, administration etc.

29 posted on 07/25/2002 4:03:12 PM PDT by Sock
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To: Sock
Although Our Redeemer was always harsh with His adversaries, the Pharisees, you'll remember how compassionate, yet cautioning, He was with the adulturous woman at the well.

Our objective is not only to 'save' that baby, but to 'save' the woman as well. Solid communication skills, empathy, compassion, gentleness, true charity etc are indispensible qualities for those working on the frontlines.

Yes, Sock, of course you are absolutely right. I'm just ranting. I cannot argue with you. I know that a lot of these mothers are completely deceived and terribly afraid, and I know in my heart that the truth should be spoken in love. I know that you guys do a terrific and heroic job on the front lines. I have met some of the children you have saved from the abortionists' knives. I think I would probably be a terrible counselor because I just find it so appalling that this sick society 'legalizes' such gruesome and devastating barbarism.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your work, and the work of all those like you.

Cordiallty,

30 posted on 07/25/2002 6:27:33 PM PDT by Diamond
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To: Diamond; Sock
Long time no see, friend. I, too, came up with some quick answers to the "dilemmas" reported by Sock, but because of my background in a somewhat related field I suspected that they would have to be modified according to the individual case. My suspicion (Sock may verify or not) is that the younger the prospective mother, the more likely her "reason" for abortion was given to her by someone else; i.e., her mother, her boyfriend, a so-called school counselor, etc., and is therefore one she might not be all that adamant about from a personal basis.

Anyway, after a long absence, I'm back on the forum, and it's good to see you're still around.

31 posted on 07/26/2002 6:16:55 AM PDT by logos
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To: logos
It's great to see you back, logos!

...the younger the prospective mother, the more likely her "reason" for abortion was given to her by someone else; i.e., her mother, her boyfriend, a so-called school counselor, etc.

I suspect that is case, also. The abortion-killing industry's stock-in-trade is fear, and they will always have a ready-made supply of rationalizations.

To me abortion reveals just how fallen and debased unregenerate human nature is at its core. What gruesome brutality and suffering is so easily and reflexively inflicted on others when fear is combined with ignorance, basic human selfishness, and the easy availablity of raw, unbridled power over other human beings!

Sometimes I wonder how much veneer there is really left of any type of a Christian civilization that is being eaten away by such a virulent, lord-of-the-flies ethos:^(

Cordially,

32 posted on 07/26/2002 7:44:21 AM PDT by Diamond
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To: logos; Diamond
My suspicion (Sock may verify or not) is that the younger the prospective mother, the more likely her "reason" for abortion was given to her by someone else; i.e., her mother, her boyfriend, a so-called school counselor, etc., and is therefore one she might not be all that adamant about from a personal basis.

You are absolutely correct, Logos.

Of course, the reason that is given is not usually the true reason for wanting an abortion. Oftentimes, for these young people, it’s the FEAR of their parents, boyfriend, relatives, husband and others who see this unborn child as a burden for themselves and not “just” to the expectant mother. Young girls (over 18) who elect to “keep” will sometimes choose to live in a neutral setting during their pregnancy, with the understanding that the baby will be given up for adoption when he/she is born. The mother then returns to her former environment and nobody (except for her) knows the truth. These are some of the most dramatic cases that I’ve ever witnessed. The mother and adoptive parents will sometimes meet together several months after the birth, and you can only imagine the emotion that fills our office during that reunion.

BTW: I should mention to you that I am not a counselor. We have a total of 20 counselors (some full - some part time). But, there are several hundred men and women who volunteer regularly or sometimes just once or twice a year during our major fundraising drives. Added to that, are thousands of benefactors who can't devote their time but they contribute regularly to the work.

My experience is in fundraising, administration, answering phones and making appointments at one of the offices. Gentleness is the key in dealing with these young women and I do my best. Still, I believe the women do much better than me. :-)

33 posted on 07/26/2002 11:39:17 AM PDT by Sock
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