Abortion Bible Studies

The One Thing Necessary

By James Lamb

Date: August 25, 2015

Category: Abortion

Downloadable Bulletin Insert - Planned Parenthood and the One Thing Necessary

**********

Remember Jesus’ words to Martha? “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41). Martha’s desire to serve Jesus was not wrong, but it did distract her from that “one thing necessary.” For example, this summer’s vacation helped remind us that although fishing is great fun (even though I did not catch one fish!), it is really not the most important thing. It is just part of the important thing of being with family and enjoying time together.

I think we need to be careful that the recent events surrounding the now infamous Planned Parenthood videos do not become a distraction from what LFL is all about. To be sure, these videos help reveal—not just the horror of selling body parts of dismembered babies—but also the horrors of abortion itself. The more people we can get to see and understand this reality the better. We need to look at these revelations as opportunities to share our message.

That takes us back to that “one thing necessary.” Jesus tells Martha, “... but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42). That good portion, that necessary thing, is what we find listening to the words of Jesus, His words of truth and words of grace. As you know and as your committed support of LFL shows, that is what we strive to do.

Recent events give us opportunity to share Jesus’ words of truth about the sacredness of unborn life as children created by God and redeemed by Jesus, little ones He wants to call His own in Baptism. To destroy human life in the womb is morally repugnant. To destroy the handiwork of God is spiritually incomprehensible.

Recent events also give us opportunity to share Jesus’ words of grace. While the videos call people’s attention to the tragedy of abortion, think what they stir up in the hearts of those who have had an abortion or who have participated in an abortion decision. Those who counsel post-abortive women and men talk of “trigger events,” things like the sound of a vacuum cleaner or the due date of an aborted child. Seeing these videos, hearing others talk about them, reading news reports that describe them can be triggering great regret and guilt in the hearts of many across our country.

That is why we are making an effort to do more to publicize LFL’s post-abortion hotline, Word of Hope. I am asking for your help. Does your congregation regularly publish in bulletins, newsletters, or on their website Word of Hope’s contact number? It can be a very simple announcement: “Hurting from an abortion? A Word of Hope can help. Confidential and Caring. 888-217-8679; www.word-of-hope.org.” Order several copies of the free Word of Hope brochure (Item LFL404T) from Concordia Publishing House and make them available in your church. We put ours in both the women’s and men’s bathrooms. 

Thank you for your help on this and for all you do to help us share truth and grace!

... continue reading

The Truth of Life - A Bible Study

By James Lamb

Date: January 17, 2010

Category: Abortion

(Student Guide)

That Age Old Question

Look up John 18:38 to find out what it is. 

Why didn’t Jesus answer Pilate? 

The World’s Answer

The world isn’t concerned with listening to Jesus’ answer either. A post-modern view of truth is that it is relative, not objective or absolute. Thus, the truth of a particular statement depends on the views of the one making it. So you can have your truth and I can have mine. Even if our truths opposed each other, relativism would consider them both truths. For example, you could say, “Embryos are human beings.” I could say, “Embryos are not human beings.” Relativism would see these both as being truth if that is what we believed. 

The Word’s Answer

Look up the Word’s answer to Pilate’s question.  

John 17:17 

John 14:6  

What can happen even among those who have known the Word’s answer?

2 Timothy 2:17-19; 4:3-4

The Word’s Answer and the Value of Life

When it comes to the value of human life, even some in the Church have “swerved” from the Word’s answer and wandered off into the “myths” of the world’s answer. It can happen to any of us. We all need to be reminded about the Truth of Life as revealed in God’s Word of Truth. 

Truth of Life #1 – Life Begins at Conception

The myth that people have wandered off into is, “No one knows when life begins.”  

Read Psalm 51:5.  

When does David say his sinfulness began?  

Therefore, when did David’s humanness begin? 

Read Luke 1:44.

John the Baptist does not just leap in Elizabeth’s womb, he leaps “for joy.” What does this indicate about John? 

This truth of life from God’s Word has been discovered by embryologists and has become a truth of biology. Embryology text books used in our medical schools teach this truth. For example: “Zygote: This cell results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e. an embryo). (Emphasis added.) Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998), 2. 

Truth of Life #2 – God’s Involvement in the Creation and Redemption of Life Gives Value The myth that people have wandered into is, “Those not born or those in a coma or minimally conscious state may be human, but they do not have the same value as other humans.” 

Read Psalm 139:13 and Job 10:8-12.  

What words in these verses indicate an intimate involvement by God in the creation of life?  

What does this say about the value of life?           

Read Acts 17:24-25. 

To whom does this God-given value of human life apply? 

God loved what He made with His hands so much that He sent Jesus to buy us back from sin and death.  

Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.  

What was the “price” that purchased us? 

Read Luke 1:31.  

Exactly when did Jesus become human so He could pay the price for our redemption? (See also Hebrews 2:14.) Jesus was shaped and formed in a womb just as we were. What does this say about the value of unborn human life?

Read John 3:16, 1 Peter 3:18, and Romans 6:10.  

To whom does this God-given value apply?  

The Truth of Life #3 – Abortion is a Sin against the Lord of Life

The myth that people have wandered off into is, “The Bible never says abortion is wrong.” 

Read Exodus 20:13.  

What is forbidden here? 

So, is abortion a sin? What about euthanasia and assisted suicide? 

The Truth of Life #4 – The Bible Makes no Distinction between Born and Unborn Life

The myth that people have wandered off into is, “The Bible gives less value to the unborn.” 

Read Luke 1:41; Luke 2:12; 2 Timothy 3:15.  

The same Greek word for a very small child, brephos, is used in each of these passages. 

Read Genesis 25:21-22; Genesis 17:25; Genesis 9:19.  

The same Hebrew word for “son,” bene, is used in all these verses. 

The Hebrew word yeled is used of the unborn (Exodus 21:22), the new born (Exodus 2:3), and young children (Genesis 21:14). 

Read Exodus 21:22-25.  

To whom does “life for life, eye for eye,” etc. apply? 

What does this say about the life of the mother and the life of the child? 

The Truth of Life #5 – Jesus Died for Sins against Life

The myth some Christians believe to be true is, “Sins against life, like the sin of abortion, are too big to be forgiven.” 

Read John 8:10-11.

What two things did Jesus not do to this woman? 

What does He do for her? 

Read 1 John 3:19-20.  

What is it we are experiencing when our heart “condemns us”? (See also Romans 2:14-15.) 

Read Romans 8:1. 

Why is such a statement possible? 

What assurance and hope flow from this? (See Romans 8:37-39.) 

Conclusion

Read Ephesians 4:14-15.  

Paul discusses Christian unity in this section of Ephesians. What is essential for our growth in unity and into our head, Jesus Christ? 

Paul is not talking about speaking the truth in love to the world here. He is talking about the importance of speaking the truth in love to and with fellow Christians. The truth of life is one of those truths Christians need to grow in and discuss with one another in love. 

Discuss ways your congregation can grow in its knowledge of how the truth of life from God’s Word applies to the life issues of our time.   

(Teacher Guide) 

Note: Occasional references will be made to Lutherans For Life (LFL) brochures which can be ordered from our online catalog at www.lutheransforlife.org. Also referenced are commentaries from our GOD’S WORD for Life Bible (GWFL). Page numbers are given if you have a Bible. (This Bible is available free for pastors from LFL.) Commentaries may also be downloaded by going to the Life Sunday page on the LFL web site. Brochures and articles can be used for teacher enrichment or as handouts or supplements for the students. 

That Age Old Question

Look up John18:38 to find out what it is.

Pilate’s question to Jesus, “What is truth?” 

Why didn’t Jesus answer Pilate?

Pilate left immediately. He did not wait for an answer. Maybe he didn’t think there was one or he really wasn’t interested in listening.  

The World’s Answer

The world isn’t concerned with listening to Jesus’ answer either. A post-modern view of truth is that it is relative not objective or absolute. Thus, the truth of a particular statement depends on the views of the one making it. So you can have your truth and I can have mine. Even if our truths opposed each other, relativism would consider them both truths. For example, you could say, “Embryos are human beings.” I could say, “Embryos are not human beings.” Relativism would see these both as being truth if that is what we believed. 

The Word’s Answer

Look up the Word’s answer to Pilate’s question. 

John 17:17 – God’s Word is Truth 

John 14:6 – Jesus is Truth 

What can happen even among those who have known the Word’s answer? 

2 Timothy 2:17-19; 4:3-4 –

There can be a swerving from the truth in the Church. God’s people can wander off into myths. You might ask for examples such as the rejection of the inerrancy of Scripture, homosexuality being accepted or same sex marriage. The point here is to set the context for the rest of the study. We’re not talking about the wanderings of the world but the Church. The Word’s Answer and the Value of Life

When it comes to the value of human life, even some in the Church have “swerved” from the Word’s answer and wandered off into the “myths” of the world’s answer. It can happen to any of us. We all need to be reminded about the Truth of Life as revealed in God’s Word of Truth. 

Truth of Life #1 – Life Begins at Conception

The myth that people have wandered off into is, “No one knows when life begins.”  Read Psalm 51:5. When does David say his sinfulness began? Therefore, when did David’s humanness begin? 

If we are sinful from the moment of conception, we must necessarily be human from the moment of conception. Sinfulness is not a trait we give to “the product of conception” or “a bunch of cells” or “a glob of tissue.”  For further study, see the GWFL commentary by Professor James Westendrof of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, “When Does Life Begin ”page 634a.  

Read Luke 1:44.

John the Baptist does not just leap in Elizabeth’s womb, he leaps “for joy.” What does this indicate about John? 

His joyful leaping expresses a very human emotion. 

This truth of life from God’s Word has been discovered by embryologists and has become a truth of biology. Embryology text books used in our medical schools teach this truth. For example: “Zygote: This cell results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e. an embryo) (Emphasis added.) Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998), 2. 

Resource: The 3B’s of when Life Begins           

Truth of Life #2 – God’s Involvement in the Creation and Redemption of Life Gives Value 

The myth that people have wandered off into is, “Those not born or those in a coma or minimally conscious state may be human, but they do not have the same value as other humans.” Read Psalm 139:13 and Job 10:8-12. What words in these verses indicate an intimate involvement by God in the creation of life? 

God “forms” and “knits.” Obviously God does not have tiny little knitting needles inside a uterus. However, the Psalmist gives a picture that God is intimately involved in the biological process for pro-creation that He set into place with Adam and Eve. For further study see the GWFL article by Dr. James Lamb, “God’s Knitting Room” page 712a.  

What does this say about the value of life?                       

We could all have a tag on the back of our necks that reads, “Handmade by God”!  

Read Acts 17:24-25 – To whom does this God-given value of human life apply? 

God is the Giver and Creator of all life. Every human being is the work of His hands. Because of this, every human being from the embryo in the Petri dish to grandma in the nursing home deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.  

For further study see GWFL article ”You have Unearned Moral Worth” by Wesley J. Smith page 1202a. 

Resource: The Handiwork of God 

God loved what He made with His hands so much that He sent Jesus to buy us back from sin and death.  

Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. What was the “price” that purchased us? 

You might want to quote the Catechism here, “[W]ho has redeemed me a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death.”  

Read Luke 1:31. Exactly when did Jesus become human so He could pay the price for our redemption? (See also Hebrews 2:14.) 

The incarnation of our Lord took place at His conception. Our unclean conception and fetal development need a holy conception and development. Pieper states, “Christ passed through all stages of our existence that He might fully remedy our unclean conception and birth.” (“Christian Dogmatics” Vl. II p. 84) The path to the cross did not start in a manger; it started in a fallopian tube!  

For further study see GWFL article “The Annunciation and the Beginning of Life” by Rev. Ed Fehskens page 1184a.  

Jesus was shaped and formed in a womb just as we were. What does this say about the value of unborn human life?

Our Savior’s presence as an embryo gives value to all embryos. Our Savior’s presence as a fetus gives value to every fetus. 

Read John 3:16, 1 Peter 3:18, and Romans 6:10. To whom does this God-given value apply?  

The price Jesus paid He paid once for all. Of course, not everyone knows this and that is the task of the Church to share this Good News. But every human being is a human being bought with a price. 

Summary of this section: We can raise the bar when it comes to the discussion of the value of human life. It is not “something” that dies in an abortion, and it is not just “someone.” It is someone created by the hands of God and someone for whom Jesus shed His blood. The same can be said of grandma in the nursing home who doesn’t know her family any more. 

The Truth of Life #3 – Abortion is a Sin against the Lord of Life

The myth that people have wandered off into is, “The Bible never says abortion is wrong.” 

Read Exodus 20:13.

What is forbidden here? 

This commandment forbids murder. It is more restrictive that “killing.” The Hebrew is “ratsach” and is the taking of innocent human life without due process of law. A different word is used for capital punishment, “to put to death” (muwth) and to kill in war (harag). 

So, is abortion a sin? What about euthanasia and assisted suicide? 

We have established that the unborn baby is human. They are certainly innocent in terms of having never committed a crime or an act of aggression. Since abortion destroys this innocent life, abortion is murder, a sin against the Lord of Life, and forbidden by Scripture. The same is true for euthanasia and assisted suicide? 

The Truth of Life #4 – The Bible Makes no Distinction between Born and Unborn Life

The myth that people have wandered into is, “The Bible gives less value to the unborn.” 

Read Luke 1:41; Luke 2:12; 2 Timothy 3:15.

The same Greek word for a very small child, brephos, is used in each of these passages. 

Read Genesis 25:21-22; Genesis 17:25; Genesis 9:19.

The same Hebrew word for “son,” bene, is used in all these verses. The Hebrew word yeled is used of the unborn (Exodus 21:22), the new born (Exodus 2:3), and young children (Genesis 21:14). 

Read Exodus 21:22-25.

To whom does “life for life, eye for eye,” etc. apply? 

The woman in this passage does not “miscarry.” That is an improper translation of the Hebrew which is literally “a child comes forth.” This is a living baby born prematurely because of the fight taking place. Thus, these phrases refer both to the mother and the child.  

What does this say about the life of the mother and the life of the child? 

“Life for life” acknowledges the equal worth of the life of the child.  For further study see the GWFL article by Dr. James Lamb “Valuing the Life of the Unborn Child” page 82c. 

The Truth of Life #5 – Jesus Died for Sins against Life

The myth some Christians believe to be true is, “Sins against life, like the sin of abortion, are too big to be forgiven.” 

Read John 8:10-11.

What two things did Jesus not do to this woman?

He did not condone her sin nor did He condemn her.  

What does He do for her? 

He forgives and admonishes her to leave her life of sin. 

Read 1 John 3:19-20.

What is it we are experiencing when our heart “condemns us”? (See also Romans 2:14-15.) 

This is the law of God at work in our hearts. Both men and women involved in an abortion decision can feel this burden. Because of the nature of this sin, it can seem worse than other sins. It can feel too big to be forgiven. Most post-abortive women and men sitting in our pews do not need to hear the law. It is already at work.  You may also want to bring up end-of-life situations here. Many families make difficult decisions and may later struggle with whether they made the right one. For further study see GWFL articles “Forgotten Fathers” by Grace Kern and Dr. James Lamb page 1116a, and “God’s Word of Hope for those Weeping after an Abortion” by Grace Kern page 1116c. Grace is the counselor for LFL’s Word of Hope post-abortion hot line. 888-217-8679 

Read Romans 8:1.

Why is such a statement possible?

The condemnation for sin—EVERY SIN—has been taken by Jesus. But the Good News does not end there. The righteousness of Jesus is given to the sinner! This objective and imputed goodness is a powerful message of hope and comfort especially for those struggling in the depths of guilt and despair. 

What assurance and hope flow from this? (See Romans 8:37-39.) 

Since the punishment for sin has been taken out of the way, there remains nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus—NOTHING!  LFL Brochures: “After the Abortion There is Hope in His Healing” and “For those who have had an Abortion there is a Word of Hope for Broken Hearts.”  

Conclusion

Read Ephesians 4:14-15.

Paul discusses Christian unity in this section of Ephesians. What is essential for our growth in unity and into our head, Jesus Christ? 

Paul stresses speaking the truth in love. 

Paul is not talking about speaking the truth in love to the world here. He is talking about the importance of speaking the truth in love to and with fellow Christians. The truth of life is one of those truths Christians need to grow in and discuss with one another in love. Discuss ways your congregation can grow in its knowledge of how the truth of life from God’s Word applies to the life issues of our time.  

Some suggestions:  Using GWFL, conduct Bible studies based on the commentaries and articles. The handy bookmark that comes free with the Bible offers an outline for such a study. If your congregation is associated with a school, consider LFL’s day school curriculum Teaching For Life. Display LFL brochures in your congregation’s tract rack. Give LFL a call and ask about our Renewal For Life initiative. This is a way to help congregations applying the Gospel to the life issues as an ongoing part of their ministry.

... continue reading

Cherish the Children - A Bible Study - Jesus’ Backwards Understanding of “Who is the Greatest?”

By James Lamb

Date: January 21, 2007

Category: Abortion

... continue reading

The Difference God Makes Through Children - A Bible Study

By Don Richman

Date: August 31, 2005

Category: Abortion

Jesus’ earthly existence began by the Holy Spirit. In the way of all children, He was born and raised under the watchful eye of His parents. Jesus had no biological children of His own, but He claimed special ownership of the children of the world. He taught and demonstrated a special love for children.

See Matthew 19:14 and 18:10.

The examples and teaching of Jesus correlate perfectly with the inner needs of a child’s spirit. Parents who love and follow Jesus according to His Word learn how to love, affirm and correctly discipline their children. They will do their best to raise children who are emotionally and spiritually whole. Christians have left a trail of orphanages, schools and other ministries that care for the children abandoned by the world. William Barclay, in his commentary on Romans, tells how the people of that day would abandon their unwanted children, leaving them to die of exposure or by wild animals. The Christian would search out these children and raise them in the name of Jesus.

INFANTICIDE is the practice of killing infants. Study of the Old Testament reveals that it became a common practice among God’s people. They who had learned that “sons are a heritage of the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3) turned against their children as they turned away from God’s Word.

What is the warning found in Lev. 18:21?

Molech was the Canaanite deity to which they sacrificed their children. (In a bizarre ritual they heated the statue until it was red hot and threw their screaming child into his “waiting arms.”)

What is God’s warning in Leviticus 20:1-5?

What is the seriousness of v. 4?

SECONDLY, we discover that the warnings went unheeded. Israel imitated the practice of the unbelievers around them. Infanticide became a common practice.

What does the prophet ask in Micah 6:7&8?

Contrary to the practice of the pagans, God’s will is not to sacrifice our children to pay for our own failures and placate our own fears—but to act justly, love kindness, walk humbly with God.

In 2 Kings 15:16 we find Menahem seeking to destroy the preborn. In 2 Kings 16:3 Ahaz walked in the way of the Kings of Israel.

To what extreme had Ahaz and his people lowered themselves in 2 Kings 16:3? In 2 Kings 17:17?

THIRDLY, a picture of certain influences seems to emerge that led God’s people to reject the foundational teaching of the sanctity of life and to embrace the pagan custom of infanticide:

1) THE ISRAELITES WANTED TO BECOME LIKE OTHER PEOPLES.

See 1 Samuel 8:19, 20 and Ezekiel 20.

Looking toward the ungodly and being jealous over their licentious living is an age-old problem.

What did Jesus say in John 12:42, 43?

2) THE PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY THE LEADERS, WERE INFLUENCED BY UNGODLY WOMEN.

How did Solomon’s wives turn away his heart in 1 Kings 11:3?

3) THE WORSHIP OF IDOLS LED THEM TO PRACTICE INFANTICIDE.

Discuss 1 Kings 11:5-8.

4) THEY WERE INFLUENCED BY THE OCCULT. 

What did Manasseh do in 2 Kings 21:6?

Finally, we can make some observations about the practice of infanticide in Israel.

A spiritual vacuum cannot exist. When people turn away from God, whether in the past or in the present, whether in the teaching of the Church, in private life, or public policy, idolatry moves in and cruelty to children quickly follows.

Idolatry, the worship of whatever gods are elevated to the high places of the human heart is, in reality, only an expression of the lower nature. It is a means of giving social sanction and personal approval to the sordid practices of lust, and hatred toward that which interferes with our own plan.

Where idolatry is practiced, the truth of God’s Word is compromised, and children, among others, become targets of infanticide, exploitation, and cruelty of every kind.

Our faithfulness to God’s Word can be measured by the way we treat our children. We live in an age termed by a German writer as “Kinderfiendschaft.” Children are the enemy. The 35 million abortions, unprecedented sexual exploitation of children, the rising tide of child abuse—all are indications that we are becoming like Israel who turned from God, lusting after the practices of the peoples around them.

What happened in Ezekiel 20:25-26? in Romans 1:24,26,28?

The final stage of degeneration occurred when God’s people sank to the level of sacrificing their own children. When God “gave His people up,” would they finally see their sin and repent? Will people today, especially in our churches, see how far we have lowered ourselves? Will people be horrified and turn back to God the LORD?

We grow discouraged as we see our nation and even many churches imitating Israel in its tragic rebellion against God. But, there was hope then, even as there is now. God offered forgiveness and restoration, then, as he does now, even from the horrible practices of infanticide (abortion).

What does Manasseh do in 2 Chronicles 33:12?

What is God’s response in v. 13?

What is the hope in Micah 7:18-19?

He who bore our sins in His body on the tree also bore the sin of infanticide and cruelty to children. The grace that saves the adult sinner can heal a damaged child and cause a nation to see what it has done and turn in repentance. “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6).

... continue reading

Abortion Slogans

By Jean Garton

Date: August 16, 2005

Category: Abortion

This study lists a number of statements often used to justify abortion and examines them in the light of God’s Word.

I. “A fetus is not a person.” 

“The Lord called me from the womb; From the body of my mother He named me.” “And now says the Lord, who formed me from the womb to be His servant …” (Isaiah 49:1,5). 

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

“For 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 they are written, the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them” (Psalm 139:13-16).

In light of the above quotations, what is the relationship between God and the preborn?

In the following quotations, the Biblical writers, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, all used the Greek word brephos for the words in bold below: 

“And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit … For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy” (Luke 1:41,44). 

“… as newborn babes desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby … ” (1 Peter 2:2).

“He dealt treacherously with our people, and oppressed our forefathers, so that they put out their young children that they might not live” (Acts 7:19). (This describes the young lives which the king of Egypt ordered slain in an evil attempt at genocide of the Israelites, Israel’s sons.) 

“… and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

 According to the Bible then, what is the difference between the person of the fetus, the newborn, or the young child?

According to the U.S. Government, a cow’s life is known to begin at the moment of conception. In what way is the beginning of a human life any different? This is not a religious issue. Even secular scientists agree that human life begins at conception. A fetus is more than just a blueprint of life. A fetus grows into an adult. A blueprint cannot grow into a building.

Thanks to ultrasound imagery, we now have a “window to the womb.” As early as eight weeks after conception, we can watch the preborn baby sucking her thumb, kicking her legs, and waving her arms.

II.   “Every woman has a right to control her own body.”

Every woman: Since we have established that, biblically, the preborn is a person from conception, the thing that is wrong about this phrase, “every woman,” is that the preborn woman does not presently have a right to control her own body,

Only God has absolute rights. The only rights we have are privileges God allows us to possess out of grace. 

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). 

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

What then is our “right” (responsibility) regarding our bodies?

Each year, through abortion, several hundred thousand unborn females do not have control over their own bodies.

Sex selection abortions, while often reported in relation to China’s one-child policy, are not uncommon in America. “We decided this had to be a boy or we wouldn’t have it,” the woman said … after she found out the sex of the developing fetus by amniocentesis, a genetic screening test. The fetus was female. The woman had an abortion. (“Making Baby’s Sex a Parental Option,” Parade, 11/25/79)

Control over the body should be exercised to prevent pregnancy-not kill the life already growing. Picture the woman who says, “My boyfriend ignited my passion. I couldn’t control my emotions. My body was out of control. Now I’m pregnant. I demand to have control over my own body … so I want an abortion.” Except in the rare case of pregnancy following rape, a woman with child has made choices of control over her body that have resulted in the pregnancy. She has made a choice to have sex and whether or not to use some type of birth control. These are private choices. But abortion is a choice that directly involves the life of another person. Today, every fourth baby in the U.S. dies from choice.

The preborn babe is not part of the mother’s body. The baby’s placenta (which is fetal tissue, not maternal tissue) counteracts the natural tendency of the mother’s body to reject the “foreign tissue” of the preborn baby. 

III. “Every child a wanted child.”

In calling the child wanted or unwanted, you don’t describe the child but rather the emotions and feelings of the parents. Many children who are wanted at birth may not be “wanted” when they demand a 2:00 a.m. feeding six weeks later. The “unwanted” child is a real person regardless of anyone else’s feelings toward her. Like all humans, a baby’s value is real whether it is recognized by the father and mother or not. A child’s “unwantedness” by the biological parents does not justify killing her. How does the example of the Father’s love and Christ’s love compare to the statement, “I will love this child if he is convenient, if he is compatible with my chosen lifestyle, and if he contributes to my plans”? 

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love, even when we were dead in sins, made us alive together with Christ …” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

IV. “I wouldn’t have an abortion myself, but I support the right of others to choose.”

Freedom is not the liberty to do what we want to do but to do what love for God should motivate us to do-what God determines, directs, and demands. 

“Deliver those who are being taken to death, And those who are staggering to slaughter, O hold them back. If you say ‘See, we did not know this,’ Does He not consider it who weighs the heart? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render according to his works?” (Proverbs 24:11-12). 

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). 

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life that both you and your seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). 

What does God determine, direct, and demand we should do regarding the “right” of people to choose abortion? 

V. “In cases of rape, incest, or fetal abnormalities abortion is acceptable.” 

“Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or the righteous, for I will not acquit the guilty” (Exodus 23:7).

“There are six things which the Lord hates, yes seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:16-17).

Who are the “innocent” in a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest? Is abortion justifiable? 

“But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 14:13-14). 

“Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me” (Matthew 25:40).

Why then is “abnormality” not a justifiable reason for abortion?

As Christians, what should be our attitude and action toward the “abnormal”?

VI. What can we do about abortion … 

… in our prayer life?

… in our life as a witness 

  • to those considering an abortion?

  • to those promoting abortion?

  • to someone who is pregnant because of rape or incest or who knows her baby will be “abnormal”?

  • to someone who has had an abortion and is burdened with guilt? Or feels no guilt?

… as a Christian in a country with legal abortion-on-demand?

... continue reading

Abortion and the Christian Faith

Date: June 30, 2005

Category: Abortion

Opening prayer 

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the precious gift of life and for the privilege and power which is ours for transmitting life from this generation to the next. Especially do we praise You for the gift of eternal life through Your Son who sacrificed Himself that we might live. We confess that we have not loved one another as Jesus has loved us. We confess that we have ignored the plight of the innocent preborn child and the distressed pregnant woman. By your love, forgive what we have not done and give us, by the power of Your Spirit, the wisdom to cherish every human life—regardless of age or condition—as Your unique creation. Give us courage to defend and protect life whenever it is innocently condemned to death. Give us selfless hearts to comfort, support, and aid women who are distressed to find themselves carrying a child. We ask all of these things in Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen.

Introduction

We live in an age of attempts to shut God out of life and to make individual choice supreme. “If it feels good, do it.” “If you think it’s right, then it’s right for you.” God’s Word, however, makes it clear that it is not for any of us to discern right or wrong on the basis of what we think or feel.

In no issue is that truth more vital than abortion, which each year results in the destruction of approximately 1.1 million living but preborn children. Since both the United States and Canada have made pregnant women the sole arbiters and judges of which human beings shall be permitted to live until birth, the reality of life as a gift from God is diminished.

When abortion is reduced to a matter of private morality (“it’s my body; my choice; my right”) we are less likely to see the connection between our personal decisions in the “real” world and the claims placed on us as followers of Christ to sacrifice ourselves for others.

A primary factor in building such inconsistencies into our lives has been the successful use of rhetoric and euphemisms in the promotion of abortion-on-demand. Language is an agent for change, and when language lies, when words are emptied of their true meaning, then reality is distorted.

Thus, it has become possible for intelligent, educated, and religious people to continue to embrace illogical absurdities which set aside not only truth and reality but also responsibility for their own actions and for the well-being of those who are destroyed.

I. The “Littlest” of God’s Children

For the first time in the history of the human race, science is able to provide us with a view of preborn life which until now was known and seen only by God. What do you know about the amazing beginning of life?

1. The heart which beats within you today began to beat before you were born. How soon after conception can regular and steady heartbeats be detected in an unborn child?

(a) 21 days      

(b) 65 days

(c) 105 days

2. The absence of brainwaves serves as a medical criterion for determining that death has occurred. An electroencephalograph can record the presence of brainwaves at what age of an unborn child?

(a) 40 days after conception

(b) 84 days after conception

(c) 105 days after conception

3. As a preborn child, each of us engaged in what following activities before birth:

(a) we kicked our legs, turned our feet, curled and fanned our toes;

(b) we moved our thumbs, sucked our thumbs, and could make a fist;

(c) we bent our wrists and turned our heads;

(d) we opened our mouths, swallowed, squinted, and frowned.

(e) all of the above.

4. At what stage of development were we able to do all these things?

(a) 12 weeks

(b) 24 weeks

(c) 36 weeks

5. The preborn child is fully formed with all systems present and functioning during:

(a) the first trimester of pregnancy (1-12 weeks)

(b) the second trimester (13-24 weeks)

(c) the third trimester (25-38 weeks)

6. The 1973 Supreme Court ruling made abortion legal in every state during:

(a) the first trimester

(b) the first and second trimesters

(c) the entire nine months of pregnancy

7. The Supreme Court’s 1973 rulings permit abortion for which of the following reasons:

(a) the physical health of the mother

(b) the psychological health of the mother

(c) the social and economic well being of the mother

(d) if the mother is embarrassed

(e) if the unborn child is thought to have physical or mental disabilities

(f) all of the above

8. According to government statistics, over 96% of all abortions are done for reasons that pertain to:

(a) the physical health of the woman

(b) the psychological health of the woman

(c) possible defects in the unborn child

(d) the social and economic well being of the woman

(Answers: 1. a; 2. a; 3. d; 4. a; 5. a; 6. c; 7. f; 8. d)

Read and discuss the following passages: Psalm 139:13-16; Ecclesiastes 11:5; Job 10:8-12; Jeremiah 1:5.

II. The Witness of the Early Church

The teachings of Christ concerning the sanctity of all human life brought the new Christian faith into direct conflict with the widespread practice of abortion in pagan Roman society.

Christ proclaimed that any attack on another human life or any attempt to diminish the worth of a human being as a person was, in God’s eyes, deserving of judgment (Matthew 5:21,22). Christ taught that killing does not begin with the actual destruction of human life but with not “wanting” that life to exist because the continued existence of that life interferes with our happiness, plans, or our simply “wanting” to have our own way (Mark 7:21-23; 1 John 3:15).

You have heard it said, “Love your friends, hate your enemies. But now I tell you: love your enemies” (Matthew 5:43-44).

If we are not permitted to lay violent hands on our enemy, how much less then are we free to destroy the innocent life that, in its weakness and vulnerability, God has placed in the safety of the womb and entrusted to our protection, care, and mercy.

Read and discuss: Proverbs 6:16-17; Amos 1:13.

Infused with the ethics of the Old and New Testaments and the teachings of Christ Himself, the early Church reflected its countercultural beliefs in both its actions and writings.

Epistle of Barnabas (c. 138 A.D.)
“You shall love your neighbor more than your own life. You shall not slay the child by abortion. You shall not kill what is generated.”

The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles (The Didache, c. 150 A.D.)
“The slaying of a child by abortion” was regarded as “a way of death.”

Tertullian (church scholar, c. 200 A.D.)
“For us, since homicide is forbidden, it is not even permitted, while the blood is being formed into a man, to dissolve the conceptus in the uterus. For to prevent its being born is an acceleration of homicide, and there is no difference whether one snuffs out a life already born or disturbs one that is in the process of being born.”

Read and discuss Psalm 51:5.

Is an unborn child a person? Can one have a relationship with God, or be in need of a Savior, if he or she is not a person?

III.    The Witness of the Contemporary Church

Josephus, a Jewish historian of the First Century, noted that what distinguished Christians from pagans was their rejection of both abortion and infanticide. The followers of Christ refused to destroy children before birth or even at birth, a common Roman practice if the child was born with a handicap or was not the desired sex.

Throughout the centuries which followed, Christians were characterized by their great reverence for human life. This position continued until the 1960s when some religious groups adopted more permissive attitudes toward abortion, allowing such decisions to be made by each individual woman on the basis of her situation or choice.

Opposition to abortion on demand by Christian people reflects their response to the following fundamental questions:

(1) Is life a gift of God? Read Psalm 100:3; Psalm 119:73; Isaiah 44:2a; Acts 17:24-25; James 1:16-18.

(2) Does God view preborn life as personal and individual? Read Judges 13:3-5; Isaiah 49:1, 5.

(3) Is a human life that has “defects” of equal value to God? Read Exodus 4:11;
1 Samuel 16:7; John 9:1-3.

(4) To whom do life and death decisions belong? Read Psalm 31:15a; Psalm 104:29-30; Deuteronomy 32:29; Exodus 20:13.

IV. The Word and the World in Conflict

The World Says: “Every woman has the right to control her own body.”

The dictionary says that the word “woman” means female human being. Since sex is determined at conception and since over 50 percent of those aborted are “female human beings,” what right do they have to control their bodies?

The law says that rights to our bodies are partial. We cannot mutilate them, take them to public places without clothes on, attend school if they are covered with chicken pox or measles, or drive a car if they are filled with alcohol or drugs.

Science says that in pregnancy there are two bodies—each with separate and distinct heart beats, brainwaves, and fingerprints. Abortion is not a means of “being in control” of a woman’s body but rather a way to control the separate human body of a living but preborn child.

The WORD Says: Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Romans 12:1; Deuteronomy 27:24; Philippians 2:3-4.

The World Says: “Every child should be a wanted child.”

Medicine says that because of hormonal and physical changes the condition of pregnancy is unwanted by many women but, as time passes, the child of the pregnancy becomes very wanted.

Statistics say that while some believe that the unwanted child is better off aborted because she or he will become a battered child, research indicates that as abortion increases, so does child abuse. (Child abuse has increased 500 percent since abortion was legalized in 1973.)

History says that the measure of a humane, civilized society is what it does with human beings who are unwanted—whether it cares for them, or kills them.

The WORD Says: Read Isaiah 43:1; Ezekiel 18:4a; Isaiah 49:16.

The World Says: “Women should have the freedom to choose.”

Some Americans say to allow individuals to choose whether to destroy a preborn child or not is simply a matter of being tolerant. Do we consider it a matter of being tolerant to allow people to choose whether they will enslave African Americans, exterminate Jews, batter children, or rape women?

Some concerned Americans say that in allowing abortion on demand on the grounds of individual freedom of choice, we tolerate the right of the strong to impose their morality on the most defenseless.

Pro-life Americans say we need to complete the phrase “freedom to choose” by asking “Choose what?” In abortion, the developing child is not painlessly vaporized into another galaxy as in some Star Wars fantasy. “Freedom to choose” gives women the legal right to a procedure that will violently and painfully mutilate, dismember, pulverize, or poison their living preborn children.

The WORD Says: Read Proverbs 21:2; Proverbs 14:12; Isaiah 30:1; Deuteronomy 30:19; Exodus 23:7.

As we consider the popular slogans used to promote abortion, we need to remember that as God’s people we are called to “guard the truth and hold fast to words which are sound” (2 Timothy 1:13-14). Paul’s admonition to “beware of meaningless words which seek to deceive” (Ephesians 5:6) is applicable to us today as we consider the sanctity of human life.

V. The Fallout from Abortion

Abortion may have the following effects on:

1. Women.    

  • Physical complications

  • Permanent sterility

  • Guilt

  • Lessening of self-image

2. Relationships. 

  • Males denied rights to their preborn children

  • Elimination of shared decision-making

  • Coercion of “significant others” for woman to abort

3. Other children. 

  • Fracture of trusting relationship child had for parents

  • Increase of child abuse as children are perceived as “property”

4. Society. 

  • Value of other life that is inconvenient or imperfect eroded

  • Increased practice of infanticide

  • Growing acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicide 

5. The Medical Profession.

A return to pagan practice in which the doctor is both healer and exterminator at the same time

6. Demography. 

  • Growing top-heavy population of elderly

  • Below population replacement level

  • Anticipated diminished workforce and consumer bloc

7. The Church.

  • An acceptance by some of a secular view of human life and a utilitarian solution to problems

  • Abandonment of the doctrines of suffering and sacrificing for another

VI.  What can you do?

  1. Repent of any personal involvement with abortion and know that God desires to heal with His forgiving love. See 1 John 1:9 and Isaiah 1:18.

  2. Be better informed. See Hosea 4:6a.

  3. Be a witness. See 2 Timothy 1:13-14, Ephesians 5:6, Acts 4:18-20.

  4. Be active. See Proverbs 24:11-12, Matthew 25:34-36; 40-43ff.

... continue reading

Abortion Healing

By Linda Bartlett

Date: May 5, 2005

Category: Abortion

Sin brings death and destruction. The sin of abortion brings death to a unique, unborn child. It also brings destruction to other lives-destruction of relationships, of families, of faith. Abortion is a life-shattering tragedy. It devastates women, men, grandparents, brothers, and sisters who carry sorrow for a child they will never know, or guilt for a child they rejected.

Millions of American women have had at least one abortion-our wives, daughters, sisters, friends. Many women are encouraged to abort by their husband, boyfriend, parents, or friends. The congregation may offer little support, with some even counseling that abortion is the best solution to a difficult and embarrassing situation. Clinic personnel say it is “safe,” saying nothing of the physical damage or long-term emotional consequences. The Supreme Court says it is “legal.” A tragic decision is made-sometimes with full knowledge-often with little knowledge. A baby is killed.

Abortion may bring an initial sense of relief (“my problem’s over”). But abortion is a violent and traumatic experience with full consequences that may not be felt until long after the event.

For many women, the emotional trauma of abortion is rooted in the profound grief that naturally follows a loss through death. However, with abortion, painful memories and fear of coming to grips with personal responsibility for the death of her child may be too great to face. A denial of the facts of the experience and a repression of grief and guilt enables the woman to cope and go on. This denial often lasts from two to five years, sometimes as much as thirty years or longer.

One woman explained her denial: 

“When I had my abortions, I told myself that what was inside of me was just a piece of tissue, a product of conception, fetal parts, a cell. I had a lot of intellectual justification for what I had done.” But later, in therapy, the truth came out and “… it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had two babies, and I killed them.”

Denial only postpones a reckoning with the reality-and finality-of the abortion decision. The pain and guilt of the abortion, buried under denial, leads to a distorted thought and behavior pattern which is called Post-Abortion Syndrome. Symptoms may include anger, fear, guilt, sadness, depression, self-hatred, anxiety, nightmares, mood-swings, flashbacks (of the abortion), drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity, frigidity, numbness of feelings, withdrawal, anorexia, suicide thoughts or attempts (especially on the date baby was due to be born), child abuse, and others.

“I carry this secret sin around inside me. I share it with very few people-to those whom I know will not care one way or the other. I do want to confess this sin to a minister, but. I am so afraid-afraid that he will tell me what I already believe: I am a horrible person and I don’t deserve the great forgiveness of God.”

Discuss James 5:16; 2 Corinthians 5:19-20.

Who is greater than our sin? What is greater than our guilt?

Read 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Is the sin of abortion included in this exchange?

Is there help when the guilt, shame, and depression return?

Read 1 John 3:19-20.

Where can we go for help, comfort, and strengthening?

Read Colossians 3:16; Galatians 6:1-2; Matthew 26:26-28.

What about forgiving others-those who hurt us or let us down?

Read Colossians 3:13; Matthew 6:15.

Peace

Read Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:17-21.

To whom does this prophecy point? What is His Mission?

Read Philippians 4:7.

On what is this peace based?

Read Romans 5:1; Isaiah 54:10.

What does the future hold?

Read Isaiah 25:8; Jeremiah 31:15-17a; Revelation 21:3-4.

A personal testimony of healing …

“I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Those were words that, several months ago, I did not believe were meant for me. I was convinced God could not forgive me my sin of abortion. Now, through those very words, I have found peace-with God and with myself.

I turned to the God that I have always known deep down in my being. I asked for strength to finally let my secret out. Obviously, I was not keeping the secret from God, but I felt the need to share it with someone who could share God’s forgiving nature with me. He gave me that strength.

Sharing my secret with another human being who could, and did, share God’s redeeming love for me was like opening a door. This door let the skeleton out of the closet for me. In this case, my skeleton was that of a ten-week old fetus-a child of God whom I did not allow to live. His skeleton had been in that closet for ten years. I was denying his being there so that I could deny my sin. I could not accept God’s forgiveness because I could not accept myself or my sin.

Allowing myself to feel all of the emotions that I had been hiding all those years-the pain and grief-allowed me to come out and bow down at Jesus’ feet and say, “I’m sorry.” Only then could I feel Jesus’ hands reach out, pick me up, and hear Him say to me, “You are forgiven!”

The enormous relief that I felt at the moment of that realization is beyond words, indeed, beyond all human reasoning. But I am free! Free from Satan’s bonds and chains that have been dragging me down for ten years. Jesus is my Savior! I am truly reconciled with God through Jesus Christ.

I lost a child. My heart aches for that child, but I cannot bring him back. Perhaps one day I shall meet that child-the one I never allowed myself to know. I cannot change the past, but through the Holy Spirit God has allowed me to face the future with my head held high. He loves me and I love Him!

Alleluia!

... continue reading

Hope and Light Revealed - A Bible Study

By Charles Gierke

Date: June 2, 2004

Category: Abortion

Opening Prayer

Dear Lord, by Your grace, we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to You so that we may declare Your praises. You have called us out of darkness into Your wonderful light. Help us to be wise as we walk and talk with those who may be in darkness and without hope. Help us to make the most of every opportunity as ambassadors of His Revealed Light. In Jesus’ Strong Name we pray. Amen!

The Setting: Hopeless

Picture this situation:

You have a friend who has had three abortions, the first was at age 16. She had been date raped, and her parents insisted abortion was the only way out. The second happened at age 18 when she became pregnant by her boyfriend, the son of a prominent family in town. His parents insisted the matter be handled quietly and efficiently. The boyfriend then dropped her and went on to other interests in life. The third abortion happened at age 21, shortly after she was admitted to law school-a dream she had nourished for many years. Alone in the big city, with no one to turn to, abortion, once again, seemed to be the only answer.

Now ten years later, your friend has a hard time maintaining relationships that are more than superficial. Her sense of worth lessens. There seems to be a deep emptiness, a longing, and pain that cannot find a lasting peace and fulfillment. One evening over a couple of beers, some of her feelings began to surface. She sees no hope for her situation in life.

Your desire to love your friend and help her find a way to peace and a new life seems to find a focus as you look at your church’s vision statement:

Our Vision: “To be the Church where people want to bring their friends to meet Jesus.”

Knowing that your friend has not had a sexually pure life and has had an abortion three times, how would you feel inviting her to come to your church? Discuss in small groups for three to five minutes.

Knowing that your friend knows Jesus only as a moral teacher with high standards, how do you think she might feel about meeting Jesus? Discuss in small groups for three to five minutes.

A Glimmer of Hope through “The Light”

Having had your friend and her feelings about herself and her life weighing on your mind for several weeks now, you suddenly notice the banner hanging on the wall in church.

It says:

OUR MISSION:

To REACH THE LOST with the Gospel of Jesus Christ

To DISCIPLE THE SAVED with the Gospel of Jesus Christ

To LOVE ALL PEOPLE with the Heart of Jesus Christ

Not being on the Evangelism Board and not feeling very competent about witnessing your faith, you never paid much attention to your congregation’s Mission Statement before. Suddenly, it takes on new meaning for you. Why do you think this is? Discuss in small groups for three to five minutes.

Read Acts 17:26-28 and Isaiah 55:6-11.

Some thoughts on why we feel the way we do when we act contrary to God’s natural plan: When God causes a life to be created in a woman, her body suddenly moves into high gear in various ways so that this life may be nourished, cared for, and brought to the point of being able to live outside the womb. What kind of feelings does a woman have when her child dies in the womb or is stillborn?

If a pregnancy is forcibly ended by abortion, is this according to God’s natural plan? Does it make sense that there would be consequences for such action-that there might be some feelings which have to be dealt with?

Read Psalm 32:3-5; Psalm 1, especially verse 6.

Although Romans 1:18-32 is written in a different context, might it not also apply to how God speaks His judgment on the sin of abortion so that when a person begins to feel the consequences of their deeds, they might be made ready to find a way that leads to true peace?

Shining the Light of the Gospel So Hope May Be Restored

How do you think Jesus would feel about meeting your friend?

Read Matthew 9:35-36.

What kind of attitude would He want us to have as we speak to such a person? What else might He want you to do?

Read Matthew 9:37-38.

How does God deal with us when we act contrary to His plan? Does He immediately speak to the sin or to the symptom; immediately judge us or speak to us in the situation in which we find ourselves? Discuss Genesis 3:8 11a—then 11b; Genesis 4:9—then v. 10; John 4:7-15—then v. 16-17; John 8:1-11a-11b—then 13b; Luke 7:(36-39 context) 40-43—then 44-47—then 47-48; John 21:15-19.

God’s Light of Grace for Every Situation

All of us, because of the total corruption of our nature, are capable of falling into any sin and ought to say as we observe anyone in any sin, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” What is Jesus’ invitation to anyone burdened by any sin or situation?

Read Matthew 11:28-30.

What should our role be in this matter?

Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-20.

What is our message?

Read John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21 and 15. (Put this in personal terms or in the context of a personal life experience.)

In the United States there are about 3,500 abortions daily-about 1.3 million a year. This means that there are this many mothers who have to deal with the results of this action contrary to God’s plan for them. Can just any pro-life group offer them hope and the true healing they need? What do you suppose is the largest hidden mission field we have? What is our message?

Read Matthew 11:28 30; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:1 5; 2 Corinthians 5:14 & 15 21.

Philip Yancey, in his book What’s So Amazing About Grace?, says: “Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more. And grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us less.”

This grace, given in Jesus, the Light of the world, through His Cross, gives hope to all who receive Him and His grace in faith. Its power is revealed in the empty tomb, which together with the cross may be powerful signs for the mother who may mourn an aborted child.

Closing Prayer

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). Amen!!!

... continue reading

The Egyptian Midwives Preserve Life - A Bible Study

By Vernon P. Kleinig

Date: August 31, 2000

Category: Abortion

From ancient times certain rulers and governments have considered sections of their population to be expendable, especially those that are more vulnerable. Pseudo-reasons have been concocted to justify such “population control.” Our society, with the legitimacy of government legislation, continues to attack a vulnerable section of its community: pre-born human beings. Those of us opposed to such action ask ourselves: “What is the best way to end such action in our homeland?” Bearing in mind that there exists a strong group of people supporting the end of pre-born human life (abortion), the writer of the paper is convinced that this narrative from the book of Exodus points to a course of action that will not be counterproductive.

A synchronic exposition and interpretation of Exodus 1:6-22 are presented, in its present canonical context. Various commentators recognize a unified quality to the narrative in its present form (B.S. Childs: Exodus, p.7 A Commentary, London: SCM, 1974). Brevard Childs points out that the positive attitude towards the foreigner in this passage is characteristic of the international flavor of wisdom circles.

See Exodus 1:6-7.

God has blessed the descendants of Jacob with prosperity and large families. The terminology is reminiscent of God’s promise to Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28. God here fulfills the promise of fertility he first made to them, then repeated to Jacob in Genesis 35:11. Nothing can obstruct the blessing of fertility he bestows on his people.

See Exodus 1:8.

Time passes and Jacob’s descendants can no longer bask in the glory of the time of Joseph.

See Exodus 1:9.

Instead, a new ruler doesn’t see the blessing of God in their lives but feels they are a threat to his future political stability and longevity. The Hebrew words of this verse are highly ambiguous political double-talk. The Egyptian Pharaoh feels he has an acute problem on his hand that needs decisive action. Exaggerating the situation and suggesting that dire consequences will follow if something drastic isn’t done, Pharaoh seeks to arouse emotional support and sympathy for what he will propose.

See Exodus 1:10.

The Hebrew word for “deal shrewdly”(hokmah) usually has the more positive meaning of “deal wisely.” Here it means to deal in a sly or crafty fashion. Acts 7:19 interprets Pharaoh’s action as deceitful. Like Babel, Egypt is concerned with self-preservation. The king seeks to show a sincere wish to serve his country but, at the same time to turn the presence of Hebrews into profit. He wants to have his cake and eat it, too. Though he finds their growth a political threat, he’d like to exploit their presence as a cheap economic asset.

See Exodus 1:11.

Pharaoh tries to depress the Hebrews and destroy their morale by oppressive labor. They wouldn’t want to bring children into such an environment, he hopes.

See Exodus 1:12.

These measures prove counter-productive and fail to achieve their aim. Pharaoh fails to take into account God’s will for his people to increase in number. The Hebrew word for the “the dread of the Egyptians” contains a mixture of loathing and alarm toward the Hebrew people. Because Pharaoh didn’t take God into account, his attack on God’s people was futile and soon subject to doom.

See Exodus 1:13-14.

Once begun on such a course of action, Egyptian ruthlessness knows no bounds. For the Hebrews it was made as unpleasant as possible.

See Exodus 1:15-16.

Pharaoh could hardly have expected Hebrew midwives to carry out his instructions. A literal translation would read: “those women who help Hebrew women to bring forth.” The midwives named would simply be the head midwives. There is no return from the threats the Hebrews face. The next course of action would culminate in genocide. Killing the newborn sons would in time wipe out the Hebrews. The daughters would be married to Egyptian men and lose their national identity.

See Exodus 1:17.

Providentially the matter was now in the hands of the God-fearing midwives. Their fear of God inspired them to such courage as to risk their lives. They possessed moral scruples and refused to do what they believed was wrong. Fear of God involves respect for his management of the world, for the righteous order that is inherent in creation. The Bible makes no distinction between the natural and the moral order. The two realms are inseparably linked and intertwined. The Pentateuch delineates the three levels of fear of God:

  1. Respect for nature and life on the basis of creation;

  2. The will of God after the flood; and

  3. Obedience to God’s will as revealed in the covenant at Mount Sinai.

The opposite of fear of God is where man sets himself up as god, and God’s command is violated (Genesis 3:17). God governs the world in order to maintain a viable environment for the life of all that he has created. It is the responsibility of human governments to preserve life justly and fairly. Where this is not done, those who fear God obey him, rather than carrying out the unjust commands of the rulers of this world. Pharaoh’s plans were frustrated by the civil disobedience of his midwives who assisted in the childbearing of the Hebrews.

Similarly, Jonathan disobeyed King Saul’s evil command and rebuked his father’s evil intention (1 Samuel 19:1-5). Azariah and eighty other courageous priests opposed the sinful act of King Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:16-21). Mordecai disobeyed his king, an action recorded to his credit (Esther 3:2). In Daniel 3:16-30 the civil disobedience of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is recorded to their credit and blessing. Daniel himself disobeyed his ruler (Daniel 6:1-23). Here the humanity of the midwives took precedence over national prejudice and personal safety. God can work anywhere and through anyone to preserve his creation of life, since all people are created by him.

See Exodus 1:18-19.

Pharaoh’s cunning is surpassed by the artful remarks of the midwives. Their fear of God proves to be a real factor in the course of history. God supports those who do his will in the face of political pressure. Their moral principles and convictions were something Pharaoh didn’t reckon with. In truth, their fear of God involved them in refraining from an evil action. Fast delivery at birth was considered a sign of racial vigor.

See Exodus 1:20-21.

God deals well with those who respect him (Psalm 127:3). “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:25). It is encouraging to notice what unexpected agents God uses to defeat human evil, but God promises to use those who do not violate the moral order for the triumph of his will. This is an omen of God’s triumph over Pharaoh in freeing the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery. In the long term, the chief result of Pharaoh’s action here was one never contemplated by him; the rescue and royal education of Moses. God endorses the actions of the midwives and blesses them with prosperous households and bestows on them the joy of family life.

See Exodus 1:22.

Since Pharaoh cannot rely on the midwives to carry out his decrees, he orders every Egyptian to drown Hebrew baby boys. The most perverse aspect of evil is that it always begets more evil (Friedrich von Schiller).

Preserving Life - Then and Now
Here we see how no evil is committed without some human justification. By exaggerating hypothetical consequences the legitimacy of evil actions is proposed and supported. An alleged threat is used as an occasion to excuse individual wickedness by the ruler of Egypt. He seeks to secure his well being and peace of mind at the expense of other people’s lives. But the ingenuity of the mother of Moses (Exodus 2:1-10), and the sympathy of Pharaoh’s own daughter, frustrates the evil of the Egyptian king. God nowhere intervenes directly to rescue the boy babies. A natural cause is stated and assumed into the providence of God. God blesses those who refuse to comply with an unjust decree. Rulers come and go, but God’s moral order stands for all time. The midwives didn’t just exhibit a reverence for life; they feared God. The moral order obligates people of all racial groups to obey it.

Today’s equivalents of the Hebrew midwives: doctors, nurses, lecturers in nursing and other medical staff, are not infrequently caught in a moral dilemma. They may ask themselves, “Will my failure to support abortion or participate in an abortion risk my career advancement?” God promises to bless, though maybe often in unexpected ways, those who refuse to take part in what they know is wrong.

This writer would be thrilled to see every nurse and doctor say “No” to all the totally unjustified abortions being committed in our country. He hopes that a hundred years from now, people will be amazed that abortion could once have had such wide acceptance and support. Slavery is an issue which, for a hundred and fifty years had wide acceptance, but now is universally abhorrent. It is to be hoped that one day soon, the unjustified taking of vulnerable, pre-born human lives will meet a similar fate and be universally rejected. God alone knows if our society has aborted people with the ability to find cures for the terminal diseases that today exist in our world.

... continue reading

Article Filter

Return to Life Issues