Sanctity of Life
Abortion is a controversial topic, a painful topic. In our society it is inevitable that some will be offended. I know that, and that is surely not my desire. The alternative is not to bring it up—yet it’s too important to ignore. My prayer is that out of any hurt we may experience today, God will bring healing. Today you are going to get to some very good news, but in order to be touched by the good news, first we’re going to have to hear some bad news. the church is more than just a social club. We are not here simply to help each other feel good; we are here to help each other be good.
An average of 74 abortions take place each day in North Carolina; 27,138 each year. Nationwide, a baby is aborted every 30 seconds. What should be the safest place in America—a mother’s womb—is now the most dangerous. A soldier’s chances of survival on the front lines of combat are greater than the chances of an unborn child surviving nine months in the womb. Abortion is not “a women’s issue”—every child has two parents and that God puts the biggest responsibility for protecting children on men. More instructions in Scripture are given to fathers than to mothers. If we men took responsibility to be pure and to guard the purity of women, rather than taking advantage of them, there would be a fraction of the unwanted pregnancies. If we took responsibility to raise the children we have fathered, there would be a fraction of the abortions. When men exercise deep loyalty to women and children, we are at our best; when we violate those loyalties, we are at our worst. We become abusers and passive cowards.
This isn’t an issue; it’s a baby. It’s not a choice; it’s a child. It’s not politics; it’s a human being created in the very image of God. God is the Creator and lover of children. Satan is a hater and destroyer of children because they have been created in God’s image and are his weakest and most vulnerable victims. We need to learn to look at this child through God’s eyes, not through the eyes of our secular culture. An unborn baby has a measurable heartbeat twenty-one days after conception and measurable brainwaves at forty-nine days after conception. You won’t find this information or photos of unborn babies in an abortion clinic, because they know that if you saw them you would realize what you were about to do—murder a human baby. I know these are strong words, and I don’t like saying them. But that is what abortion does. It murders babies. Science and Scripture tell us the same thing about when human life begins. It begins at conception.
- “It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive. It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.” (Professor Micheline Matthew-Roth, Harvard Medical School)
- “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception… Our laws, one function of which is to help preserve the lives of our people, should be based on accurate scientific data.” (Professor Hymie Gordon, Mayo Clinic)
- “The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter: the beginning is conception.” (Dr. Watson A. Bowes, University of Colorado Medical School)
- “You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16)
Science and Scripture agree. There is a point of creation, where one moment there is only an egg with twenty-three chromosomes and a sperm with twenty-three chromosomes, neither of which has a life of its own. But when they are joined, a new human being is formed. This happens at the moment of conception. This means that no matter how soon after conception an abortion occurs, it causes the death of a human being. And God prohibits the killing of innocent people (Exodus 20:13). We are created in God’s image, and therefore have inestimable worth (Genesis 1:27). Our worth does not depend on our stage of development, or mental or physical capacities. The idea that the developing baby is only a potential human is an invention of our culture. Throughout history, when a society wants to kill someone, they label them as less than human. That is what they did to Jews in Nazi Germany. That is what we did to African American slaves here in America. And that is what many in the so-called “pro-choice” movement are doing today. It’s OK to choose what kind of food you like to eat or what sports team you pull for. But can you imagine someone being pro-choice about slavery or rape? Pro-choice about killing innocent children? Church, we need to cut through the rhetoric: when people say, “I’m pro-choice”—what they are talking about is killing babies. Planned Parenthood says: “Every child a wanted child.” I agree—so let’s learn to want our children more, and help place them in adoptive homes. What Planned Parenthood’s slogan really means is “Every child a wanted child—and every unwanted child a dead one.” But that doesn’t sound nearly so noble, does it?
It shouldn’t surprise us that non-believers buy into these lies; after all, Scripture says that Satan, the god of this world, has blinded the minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). But the greatest tragedy with abortion is that it isn’t “out there” somewhere. It’s right here inside the church. One in five abortion patients identify as born-again, evangelical, charismatic or fundamentalist Christians. I realize that in a church this size there are many men and women who have made the abortion decision—decades ago for some, more recently for others. There may be some listening to me today who is thinking about having an abortion. I plead with you to change your mind.
Well, what about the hard cases? What if your doctor said: “I am so sorry, but I have reason to believe that the baby you are carrying won’t survive more than a few weeks after birth, and if it does, it will never be able to lead a normal life. I recommend you terminate the pregnancy.” What do you do in such a case? Well, the last thing you should do is kill the child. If God chooses to take this child, the decision is His, not ours. If you found out that your five-year-old was terminally ill, we would never say, “Since he’s probably going to die anyway, we’ll just kill him.” Plus—doctors aren’t always right! My sister was advised by her doctor to abort her second child. She refused. The baby was totally healthy, and today that baby is herself a wife and mother! Now it is true, having a disabled child is challenging and requires extra love, care and attention. But it is interesting that we don’t find organizations of parents of special needs children that endorse abortion. On the contrary, disabled children often are happier others. Let’s stop playing God. As Exodus 4:11 says: “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” Jesus once said that God displays his works through the disabled (John 9:3). Jesus also said that God will reward us for caring for the disabled (Luke 14:13-14).
Well, how about the awful case of rape? Surely abortion is justified in that instance. Again the biblical answer is, “No.” Abortion is not justified, even in the case of rape. It comes down to this truth: the moral intent of an act of intercourse does not determine the value of the child produced by it. Don’t get me wrong: rape is a horrible crime. But so is murder. Rape is never the fault of the child. The guilty party-the biological father-should be punished, not the innocent child. Think about it…if your father committed a crime, should you go to jail for it?
Well Doug, how about when a mother’s life is at stake? Dr. C. Everett Koop, former Surgeon General, stated publicly that in his thirty-eight years as a pediatric surgeon, he wasn’t aware of a single situation in which a preborn child’s life had to be taken in order to save the life of the mother. But when two lives are threatened, and only one life can be saved, doctors must always save that life. The life that can be saved should be saved, and more often than not, that life is the mother’s. But again, these cases shouldn’t be used as a reason to justify “abortion on demand.”
And children aren’t the only victims of abortion; mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles are victims, too. Many of us in this room have been impacted by abortion. There are mothers who drove their daughters to an abortion clinic and fathers who gave them money to get it. There are people here who talked someone into an abortion, or who didn’t try to talk them out of it. There are health care professionals who have referred people for abortions. There are a lot of guilt feelings here today. And the reason we feel guilty is because we are guilty. And the only way to finally deal with that guilt is to admit it. As long as we deny our guilt, we can’t experience God’s forgiveness and healing. I want you to know that no matter what you have done, no sin is beyond the reach of God’s grace. The apostle Paul had been a murderer of Christians. He reckoned himself to be the “foremost of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:13-17). And yet God forgave him, and used him mightily. All God asked is that we come to Him in repentance and faith.
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
- Receive God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
Granted, there are some unique aspects to abortion that often require a very special healing process. The vast majority who’ve lost children to abortion never really come to terms with it. Many have never told anyone; they suffer in silence. TCC is a safe place; we should never judge sins that God has already forgiven. The church isn’t a showcase for saints, it’s a hospital for sinners! Galatians 6:2 tells us, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” TCC has trained biblical counselors ready to walk through the pain and guilt with you.
- Speak up for the unborn. Go to TCC.org and search Love Life or click here.
This Saturday (November 17th) at 9am, join believers from across the Triangle as we peacefully pray at Hand of Hope Crisis Pregnancy Center (1522 Jones Franklin Road).
If you know someone who is considering an abortion, talk them out of it. Connect them with Hand of Hope.
- Don’t have sex outside of marriage. The rewards of sexual purity cannot be overstated. But if you do get pregnant…
- Refuse abortion as an option. Remember: it’s a child—don’t cover up one sin by committing another. This also rules out “chemical abortions” (the abortion pill, RU-486, as well as “Plan B”, the morning-after pill), not just surgical abortions. These chemicals prevent a tiny, conceived child from implanting itself in the uterine wall, resulting in its death.
TAKE ONE STEP
Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)