Summary: Let’s leave politics behind and simply see what the Bible says about the pre-born life.
“The Sanctity of Life”
Now I want to tell you straight up, that this message focuses on the abortion issue. The subject of life and abortion has been active in the public discourse—especially since the recent hearings for the nomination of Judge Alito. There are a lot of opinions—even in this room, today. And this is an issue that has touched many of you—personally. I know that I am speaking to a spectrum in our audience today. You may be thinking that this issue is a political one and should be left out of church discussion. But I am of the belief that the abortion issue is more than just a political issue, I believe it is a spiritual one. There are many facets to this issue that I would like to touch—but we don’t have the time. (Dr. Christine Stevenson) What I want to do is to begin laying a Biblical foundation and to create some spiritual moorings from which you begin to deal with and answer all of the issues that are involved.
If you consider yourself pro-choice, I want to be up front with you and say that I believe the Bible speaks is clear that abortion is wrong. But if you happen to disagree with my point of view, I want to tell you that I am not up here to condemn you—but I am here to challenge you to consider what God’s Word has to say on this issue. On the other end of the spectrum, you may wish the church was more involved politically in this issue. However that is not the purpose of this message—perhaps a future one. I will say that I believe that if the church were clearer with this message, and if we spent more time dealing with the source of the problem, rather than the symptom, we might make better progress.
While there have been some decreases in abortions in recent years, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute that does studies for Planned Parenthood, there are still over 1.3 million abortions a year in America. That is close to the ►population size of Santa Clara County. They also said that by age 45, 43% of women will have had at least one abortion. Now if you think that this is just people “out there” beyond the church walls—while there has been some decrease in abortions in our population, there has been an increase in abortions amongst those who claim to be evangelicals Christians—up to 18%. So, over 200K women who claim to be Christ-followers have abortions each year. One of the big reasons is that it’s easier to hide an abortion than it is a pregnancy.
As we begin creating some biblical moorings for the issue of abortion, I find that the most helpful approach is to view it against the backdrop of a understanding for human life and its foundation in the Bible. ►Theologian, writer and pastor, John R. W. Stott, "Man is a unique creation, the object of God’s loving care in both creation and redemption. ►The reason the Bible forbids the taking of human life, except judicially, is that it is the life of a human being with a divine likeness." Our key idea is: ►human life bears God’s image making it sacred.
The humanist viewpoint, which views man as fundamentally an animal, gives us no reason to even confront the question, because if man is only another animal he can be treated like one, therefore, there is no moral or spiritual question involved. But if, as the Bible declares, man is uniquely singled out to bear the stamp of God’s image, and to be the object of Christ’s redemptive love, then destroying human life assumes moral and spiritual implications because it brings God into the picture and we face our responsibility to him and his unchanging laws.
NAU Genesis 9:6 ►"Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. This is the recorded decree of God—not because human life of the murderer’s is cheap, but because human life (the victim’s) was precious. This word from God bears witness to the value and sanctity of human life. That is the context in which we should view the issue of abortion. As Christians, we must always come back to the Scriptures for our frame of reference and try to settle such questions as this on the basis of what the Word of God says—regardless of what our culture thinks and does about them.
I want to begin by focusing on the ►question of life in regards to the pre-born child. The position of secular writers on this question varies widely. Many say that the embryo is just “tissue,” that the woman can discard of at will. Some take the stand that a fetus is not to be regarded as a human being until it is actually born and that any arrest of its life before birth is not the taking of life. Many people would say the fetus is just becomes human life at the point it leaves the embryonic stage (at 7-8 weeks) to becoming a fetus (which by then has all of it’s parts—the only issue from that point on is that it needs to mature. Some say its human life when the fetus jumps within the womb or when the heartbeat can be detected. It seems, though, that very few secular writers would take the position that it is human from the point of conception unless they are strongly influenced by moral or religious considerations.