Summary: Some answers to a tough question.
Today we come to the first in a series on Hard Questions. The question we’re asking this morning is this, “Are abortion, suicide and euthanasia option for the Christian?”
Abortion is an emotional issue and even Christians are divided on how to handle it. But nevertheless we can’t back away from the issues just because they’re difficult and divisive. So the first question we ask today is this, is abortion an option for the Christian?
There are no examples in the bible that support the practice of abortion. Neither Jesus nor any of the first Christians spoke about it – they certainly never practiced it. However, throughout the bible we do see that people are extremely important to God. Every individual is important to him.
Perhaps the closest account is the story of King Manasseh in 2 Chronicles 33 Manasseh is considered to be the most wicked of all Israel’s kings. We are told that he allowed children to be sacrificed to the God of Molech. He even sacrificed his own sons (2 Chron 33:6). In these sacrifices to the god of Molech, children up to the age of four were presented as an offering in order to gain some benefit. The offerer may have sought a little more money, better health or a better job. Whatever the reason these parents obviously thought the personal benefit for them far outweighed the life of their child.
This unthinkable horror is not unlike our modern situation. Some people today are motivated by much the same reasons. A baby will cost too much money. A baby now will spoil my plans. A baby now will tie me to my house. A baby now will ruin my career. A baby now would be inconvenient – so I’ll exchange the baby for what I hope will be a better life for me.
“Whoever sheds the blood of a man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God created man.”
The bible clearly states that life comes from God. It’s his gift, and we are answerable to him for what we do with our own lives and with other people’s lives.
But with abortion there are some really sticky questions. Like, “What about pregnancy as a result of rape?” Or “What about children with defects?”
One very important aspect to keep in mind here is this:
c. What about children with defects?
•We live in an imperfect world – we may have to choose the lesser of two evils.
•We are all created in the image and likeness of God. However, the only example of God’s perfect image is Jesus Christ – all others are flawed in some way.
My pastoral view is that we should take every individual case by itself – we can’t make a blanket statement. We have to acknowledge that God is in control. In prayer we have to seek to know his will in every case. We have to trust that ultimately God knows what’s best for all of us. So in every case of an unexpected pregnancy we need to ask, “What is God doing here?”
When we think about the issue of abortion or discuss it with others, we should also seek to be reminded of God’s love, and his overwhelming willingness to forgive and transform us. 1 John 1:9 is such a powerful reminder of this:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Not only is God willing to remove the debt of our sin, but this verse says that he will “purify us from all unrighteousness.” God promises to remove the stain of sin. We don’t have to carry the weight of guilt anymore. If abortion has left a scar in your heart and life – then confess it and God will make you whole again. He will forgive you and he will purify you. Isn’t that just the most wonderful news?
“To be or not to be?” That’s the way Shakespeare framed our next question, which is this – is suicide an option for the Christian?
Next weekend marks the 15th anniversary of the suicide death of a good schoolmate of mine. Peter was fun to be with. One of his favorite jokes was this – “Did you ever hear the one about the Afghan camel driver?” That was it! No punch line. We worked together baking bread on Saturday mornings, part time while we were at school. Another favorite trick was to put your sugar coated doughnut in the salt bin while you weren’t looking.
But it was Easter 1986 when Peter was having a rough time of it – we never knew anything about his troubles. And being the Easter weekend none of Pete’s friends were around to talk. We know he called some of us, because he left messages. His was the first funeral I ever attended.