The other night I was watching the Vice Presidential Debates streaming over Youtube. At the end of the debate each candidate was asked how their religious faith affects their stand on abortion. Both candidates are Catholic and the Catholic church considers abortion to be murder. In fact, almost all Christian denominations consider abortion murder except those that have fallen prey to liberal theology and espoused by neo-orthodox theologians. It was while watching the candidates answers that I thought it might be a good idea to write a post that gives a basic understanding to people as to why Christians think abortion is murder.
Where Does Life Begin? A Biblical Perspective.
In order to understand why Christians believe that abortion is murder you must understand what the Bible teaches about the origins of life. You may have heard Christians talk about the sanctity of life. Basically that means that life is sacred. It is to be valued very highly in our minds. It is not something that is cheap or disposable. The reason that Christians believe that life is sacred is because the Bible teaches that life comes from God and that man was created in the image of God.
1 Timothy 6:13
New King James Version (NKJV)
13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate,
New King James Version (NKJV)
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
New King James Version (NKJV)
7 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 being.
From these 3 scriptures we see that God is the originator of life and that human life is special because we are created in the image of God. So the first thing that needs to be understood is that life is not something to be taken lightly or disposed of lightly. Personally I believe that people take their lives and the lives of others so lightly is because they are taught that they are not special. They were just created by chance and a work of biology and not a work of God. They do not know that each human life is a unique creation that has been formed by the hand of God.
Christians believe that every life is a divine masterpiece of the Creator.
It is not only that God started the process of life and breathed life into our species, but Christians believe that each individual human is a beautiful masterpiece of our Creator.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
Christians believe that each individual is a work of God. That does not mean that they believe each individual is a perfect specimen of humanity but that even with our flaws, genetic failings, and even special needs, we are still a beautiful example of the beauty and creativity of God.
There have been many examples throughout history of people and societies that have devalued human life. Every time that this has happened, atrocities and crimes against humanity has followed. A very classic example of this was Nazi Germany and the slaughter of millions of people of Jewish descent. So when Christians fight against the devaluation of human life, they are fighting against something that leads to atrocities.
So does the Bible teach when life begins?
Yes the Bible is very clear about when life begins.
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
As you can see here, God acknowledges and relates to infants that are still in their mother’s womb. He already has a plan for their life and sees them as an individual. It is the only logical conclusion from a Christian worldview to believe that life begins at conception. That the moment the spermatozoa and the egg combine, the spark of life ignites.
Now some may argue that it is not really life if the infant cannot exist outside of the womb. However think about this logic for a second. Is there any other type of life form that is considered life but does not exist apart from another life form? Of course there is! There are many types of life that are considered life even though they cannot exist without a host. So that infant that is in the womb is alive and is a life form. So the question is not whether it is alive or a life form, the question is whether or not it is human.
If a life within the womb is in fact human, then is it not murder to end it’s life?
I hope by now that the light bulb is coming on for you. Is a fetus alive? The answer has to be yes by any scientific definition. Is it human, again the answer has to be yes since it comes directly from human genetic stock. Is it supposed to be valued and special in the sight of God and man? Again the answer is yes because to believe otherwise robs us of what makes us humane. So the final question has to be answered as well. Is the ending of an infants life in the womb murder? It has to be yes because it is the forced ending of a human life.
This is why Christians believe that Abortion is murder.
When I was watching the candidates answer the question on the debate, my mind raced back to the statistic on the amount of murders committed each year in the name of choice. 1.3 million babies are murdered in their mother’s wombs each year. That is 650,000 women who were denied their right to choose to live, 1.3 million future taxpayers that will not pay taxes. 1.3 million expressions of the beauty and creativity of God that never saw the light of day. To make my point, let me give you 4 examples of this.
Would You Consider Abortion in These Four Situations?
There is a preacher and wife who are very, very poor. They already have 14 kids. Now she finds out she is pregnant with her 15th. They are living in tremendous poverty. Considering their poverty and the excessive world population, would you consider recommending abortion?
The father is sick with sniffles, the mother has TB. They have 4 children. The first is blind, the second is dead. The third is deaf and the fourth has TB. The mother finds she is pregnant again. Given the extreme situation, would you recommend abortion?
A man raped a 13 year old black girl and she got pregnant. If you were her parents, would you consider recommending abortion?
A teenage girl is pregnant. She is not married. Her fiancee is not the father of the baby, and he is very upset. Would you recommend an abortion?
If you have answered “yes” to any of these situations:
In the first case you would have killed John Wesley, one of the great evangelists of the 19th century.
In the second case, you would have killed Beethoven.
In the third case you would have killed Ethel Waters, the great black gospel singer.
In the fourth case you would have recommended the murder of Jesus Christ.
With U. S. abortion deaths topping 50 million, only God knows what we have sacrificed in lost human talent and creativity.
That is why Christians consider abortion murder.