Summary: This sermon was preached just prior to the 2008 election. It deals with (1) the question of when life begings, (2) the widespread horror of abortion, and (3) the forgiveness availble to those who’ve experienced its ravages.
This sermon was delivered right before the 2008 Presidential election. It draws from several other sermons listed here on Sermon Central.
by Scott Bayles, pastor
First Christian Church
With the upcoming presidential election many of you have undoubtedly been watching the presidential debates, the interactions, the dialogues, and the conventions. To be honest, I’m really not into politics. I don’t have an overwhelming interest or opinion on the economy, rising gas prices, tax legislation, or even the war on terror. Quite frankly I make my political decisions based primarily on one criterion and criterion only. Does the candidate support or oppose abortion?
Sarah Palin, for example, has been crucified by the media elite because of her strong opposition to abortion. On the other hand, in March 2003, registered nurse Jill Stanek submitted a statement to the Illinois Senate Health and Human Services committee in which she reported that infants who survived abortions at an Oak Lawn hospital were sometimes “taken to the Soiled Utility Room and left alone to die.” Stanek was lobbying the committee to approve the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, which would have recognized any infant who survived an abortion as a human being deserving legal protection and medical attention. Barack Obama, who was then the committee chairman, opposed and defeated the bill, denying babies who survive partial-birth abortions any medical treatment or care. As to why Senator Obama opposed the bill, he said this in Senate hearing on March 30, 2001:
“What [this bill is] saying is, in fact, that they [babies who survive abortions] are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be given to a child—a nine-month-old child—that was delivered to term… the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this [a baby who survives and abortion] is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute. For that purpose, I think it would probably be found unconstitutional.”
My purpose this morning isn’t to talk about Sarah Palin, John McCain, or Barack Obama, or to tell you who to vote for. And I know that some of what I have to say this morning is going to make some of you a little uncomfortable to say the least, but my purpose isn’t to be politically correct or to placate to any particular ideology or political party—I’m simply here to share what’s on my heart and in God’s Word.
Abortion is one of the most critical issues of our generation. Christians need to consider carefully what the Bible has to say on the subject. Sadly, most political debates or discussions surrounding the subject of abortion, fail to ask the only question that really matters—is an unborn fetus a living human being? If not, then a woman certainly has the right to choose what she does with her own body. But if so—if an unborn fetus is, in fact, a living human being—then abortion, for any reason, is nothing more than the painful killing of an innocent human life and can never be morally or ethically justified.
• First, we have to recognize that an unborn fetus is a living human being.
In an age of scientific enlightenment we now know that the embryo even at its earliest stages fulfills the criteria needed to establish the existence of biological life. It has metabolism, development, the ability to react to stimuli, and cell reproduction. We know that even a zygote is a living organism with a distinct genetic code, different from the mother’s. So, while the unborn fetus is fully dependent on the mother, it is not part of the mother—it has a distinct and unique genetic makeup, its own DNA. Human personhood does not depend on size, location or level of dependence. By the time most abortions can be performed, the baby already has a beating heart and identifiable brain waves. The baby living in his/her mother is as distinct and unique a human being as you are from me. Numerous philosophers and scientists have shown conclusively that the fetus is a human being from the moment of conception. In Woman and the New Race, Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood (which is the largest provider of abortions world-wide), tacitly acknowledged this point when she wrote: “The most merciful thing a large family can do for one of its infant members is to kill it.”
Modern science only serves to confirm what any student of God’s Word should already know. The Bible says, “God created human beings in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). God himself told Jeremiah, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5 NLT). And don’t forget that Psalm 139 tells us that God created our inmost being, he knit us together in our mother’s womb and that all the days ordained for us were written in his book before even one of them came to be. In short, God created humanity and each member of it in his own image, with not just a body but a soul. Even while that baby is in the womb, he or she is in God’s image. Even while we were still in the womb, God had a plan and a purpose for our lives. While the Bible does not mention abortion specifically, it is clear by implication that abortion is murder.