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Christian Ethics: Lesson 007

Christian Ethics Free Course: LESSON SEVEN: LIFE: (PART ONE)

Read: Ps. 139:13-16: Ps. 106:37-38

It is incredible that any civilised country with a Christian heritage should authorise the wholesale slaughter of its children. Yet that is precisely what has happened in most Western nations.

In Great Britain, since the passing of the Abortion Act in 1967, over three million babies have been legally and scientifically put to death before seeing the light of day. The womb is the most dangerous place to live in today’s society – a child has a one-in-five chance of being killed at its mother’s behest. Recent figures in Britain stand at 200,000 a year, or one every three minutes.

A. ABORTION – THE BRITISH LEGAL POSITION:

In 1861 the Offences Against the Person Act made abortion a felony punishable by life imprisonment. This was modified in 1929 so that a pregnancy might be prematurely terminated in order to spare the life of a mother. This act was widened in the 1938 Bourne Case, when the phrase ‘life of the mother’ was deemed to include acute mental anguish as the result of a pregnancy arising from rape.

In 1948 the Declaration of Geneva stated: ‘I will maintain the utmost respect for human life from the time of conception.’

All this changed dramatically in 1967 with David Steel’s Abortion Bill which has been described as “naive, clumsy and sinister.” This effectively opened the door to abortion on demand. The wording is such that abortion is now “no longer an offence” provided certain criteria are met. These criteria are:

*Risk of life of the mother.

*Risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the mother.

*Risk of injury to the physical or mental health of existing children.

*Substantial risk of the child being born abnormal.

*In emergency to save the life of the mother.

*In emergency to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the mother.

The majority of abortions are performed under the second of these criteria. The reason is simple – risk of injury is implicit in all pregnancy. As no parameters are given to quantify this risk, any woman may argue the case for an abortion. There is a risk. Therefore I am entitled to abort this child! The only restraining influence is the doctor’s conscience.

With over 160,000 abortions procured on this ground each year, that appears not to be very effective. Less than ten abortions are carried out each year in cases of genuine danger to the life of the mother. The argument that such a law would abolish back-street abortion has proved unfounded. These have remained almost constant.

B. ABORTION – BUSINESS ARISING:

The change in the law has spawned an industry of ‘pregnancy advisory centres,’ that is, legalised private clinics whose only function is to kill babies for money. This may seem undesirable, but the law produces other ‘business arising’ too.

Approximately twenty per cent of aborting mothers are left with some permanent physical damage such as persistent infection, blood clots, perforation of the uterus right through to sterility. Abortion is not corrective surgery – it is an assault on the body. Add to this post-abortion suicidal tendencies, depression, emptiness and guilt.

The most common methods of abortion in Great Britain are vacuum aspiration and D. & C. (dilatation and curettage). Both involve the chopping up of a live and pain-sensing baby and then crushing his or her head to pulp with specially designed forceps. It is a medical barbarity.

C. ABORTION – THE SPIRITUAL ISSUE:

Are there any spiritual implications in all this? The church was largely silent in 1967. But this is GOD’S world and, as His children, Christians are responsible for how it is run.

(i) THE VALUE OF LIFE

The Abortion Act is built upon the philosophy or evolutionary humanism, the view that all living creatures have developed deterministically from primeval chemical reactions. But this runs counter to the Word of God. Man is unique – see Gen. 1:27; Ps. 8:3-5. Children seem to have a special place before God – see Mt. 18:5-6: Mark 10:13-16.

(ii) LIFE BEFORE BIRTH

There is no scientific or medical doubt that a baby is a separate human being from the moment of its conception. However, it is pure guesswork to suggest that the new human being does not receive a soul until later. We know that the development of the child in the womb is more than the unfolding of a genetic programme. See especially Job 10:8-12; Ps.

139:13-16; Luke 1:39-45.

God determines our sex, physical characteristics, parents and genes. Because the unborn baby is a human being, abortion as it is currently practised is an abuse of human rights.

D. ABORTION – THE CHRISTIAN RESPONSE:

(i) DEFEND THE WEAK

We have a responsibility to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Prov. 31:8-9; Ps. 82:3-4. We have a responsibility to argue the case for the unborn – including the deformed. God’s answer is CARE, not KILL. What do you make of Ex. 4:11; Lev. 19:14?

(ii) CARE FOR THE NEEDY

It is no use advising a teenage girl not to abort her illegitimate baby, without providing all the help she needs. Love, practical support, a roof over her head, protection, advice, adoption, and advice – all need to be provided. What is the mark of true religion in James 1:27?

(iii) EDUCATE THE IGNORANT

A good half of unnecessary abortions are carried out on married women – in many cases it is seen as a form of birth control. There is much pressurising and withholding of the facts along with double-think, euphemistic language (‘disposing of foetal matter’; ‘terminating a pregnancy’; ‘just a blob of jelly’) that must be resisted. We have a responsibility to educate people as to the facts. (Hosea 4:6).

QUESTIONS:

1. Think about how you would counsel and help an unmarried pregnant mother who was contemplating an abortion.

2. How would you handle the statement: “All deformed foetuses should be aborted.”?

3. “A foetus is not really a human being.” Do you agree? Give biblical reasons for your answer.

4. Look up and study Lev. 20:2-3; Ps. 106:37-38 on the practice of child- sacrifice to the god Molech. Has this any relevance for the abortion practice of today?

PERSONAL WORK:

1. Engage in spiritual warfare when you pray against abortion in this land.

2. Educate yourself and ‘read up’ about th
is issue – especially from a Christian viewpoint.

3. Consider joining an organisation such as CARE campaigns; or LIFE in order to support the campaign to repeal the Abortion Law.

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5 Comments

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  1. Rev Charles Carter

    JESUS CAME THAT WE MIGHT HAVE LIFE, AND HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY.

  2. I am a Yoruba from Nigeria. It is an established fact in our tradition that a child in the womb is already a living being. No doubt about that at all.

  3. Exodus 20:13: Thou shalt not kill.
    Deuteronomy 5:17: Thou shalt not kill.
    Matthew 5:21: Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.
    Romans 13:9: For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    QUESTIONS:
    1. Think about how you would counsel and help an unmarried pregnant mother who was contemplating an abortion.
    Such is a sensitive moment that can be done with Gods Willingness to overcome and help trough any one of this young woman which are scared ,confused and lonely. Let us for second place ourselves in her shoes. To see the point of heartache, she has been left alone, dumped by her lover, husband, boyfriend .Let us see for second the big picture of the so called Christians in our days do not marry anymore but radar “Live together” By arranging to give her a support and care by someone in church membership from elderly is a task that thy not refuse. It will be good idea if her mother is there to give her support. Yet I do remember some situation during this 40 years that some mothers did refused to have anything to do with that child which will be their grandchild. You be amassed what hate can do. Explaining to her what it means if she commits abortion, what is that in eyes of God .Would ask her if she believes in God .See how much Faith, Hope and Agape is in her .I also would arrange to take care for her taking her to hospital and all this bits. After all we are representation of God on Earth. Showing love and care to this in moment of their part of life is important.
    2. How would you handle the statement: “All deformed foetuses should be aborted.”?
    Have worked with intellectually disabled for 3 years. My answer is all foetuses have right to life. Any excuse is which ever combination to abort is in eyes of God as Killing.
    3. “A foetus is not really a human being.” Do you agree? Give biblical reasons for your answer.
    4. Jeremiah 1:5 (New International Version)
    5. 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew [a] you,
    before you were born I set you apart;
    I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

    4. Look up and study Lev. 20:2-3; Ps. 106:37-38 on the practice of child- sacrifice to the god Molech. Has this any relevance for the abortion practice of today?
    In the way it has, yet the sins of the nation is not looked likely

  4. Rev. Alaina Damewood

    I disagree that aboration should always be consider a sin do to cases where to save to mother’s life the imfants must be taken. But i belive every life is sacried and that there are sideeffects for takeing a life if the mother is not in danger. Yes it would be consider a sin to take a life when the mother is not in danger due to creation process the infant desevers the sme chance at life that parents do when deciding to part take in creating life.

  5. In netherland you can dicide if you want arbortus yes or no.
    I am against arbortus.It also against God.
    A hot abortuspil mifipristone,original RU 486 may
    be used from February 1,2000 worden. 49 days after the last
    manstuation.
    For the Jews was the 6 th commandment,thou shalt not kill.
    In the world there are 46 million arbortus.
    We as Christian are against arbortus.

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