Is Abortion a Sin?

baby11

This is one of those hot topic items of our day.  Since 1973 in the United States it has been made legal to murder a baby in the womb.  This isn’t just a debate in the world though as there are many denominations considered to be Christian that deny the sin of abortion, and even some who perform them.

A good example would be the United Methodist Church that publicly confesses an affirmation of abortion.  Another example would be a Church I used to be a part of, the Seventh-Day Adventists.  Though they confess a position widely open to interpretation, at the same time they perform elective abortions in their hospitals for money.

The questions I seek to ask and answer in this blog are the following:

  1. Is it wrong for a human to murder another human?
  2. Are babies in the womb human?
  3. Should the Church support or perform abortions?

 

Is it wrong for a human to murder another human?

Below I have assembled some clear verses on this.

“For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Rom 13:9 ESV

But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.” 1 Peter 4:15 ESV

Though nobody is under the old covenant anymore and shouldn’t be used prescriptively, we can still use it definitively.  Below are some passages from the Old Covenant Torah on the topic of murder.

“You shall not murder.” Exo 20:13 ESV

“You shall not murder.” Deu 5:17 ESV

“And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.;  “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own imageGen 9:5-6 ESV

The above verse gives us an idea of the Biblical definition of murder.  One of the things that the King James fumbles on was that they used the word “kill” interchangeably with “murder”.  There is a significant difference in those English words.

Murder Kill
Murder Kill

This distinction is helpful for forms of ending life that both the New Covenant and old covenant condone.  For example, (Romans 13:1-4) would permit use of the “sword” of government in a first use of the law sense.  But it would not permit individuals acting on their own as judge jury and executioner over the life of another human being.

Some liberals I have spoken to have argued that since the government is allowed to kill, abortion must be okay since it is condoned by the government.  The reason I reject this argument is that the “sword” of the government has a scope.  Notice below that when the ruling authorities of the day had commanded the apostles not to preach Christ they refused based on the authority of the Word of God.

“But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29 ESV

Therefore I would argue that the scope of governments authority is the Word.  And it only condones use of the sword as a curb against sin.  In the face of many scriptures clearly teaching that murder is a sin I am forced to conclude that the Bible does in fact teach that it is wrong for a human to murder another human, even when the act is condoned by the government.

Are babies in the womb human?

Some may object that I am using the word “baby” instead of “fetus” as it might be considered humanizing the person in the womb.  Personally I think this is a silly word game.  It would be just as absurd to assert that one must say “Child” or “Teenager” for a 13 year old boy or girl.  While one of those words may be more accurate both denote a human being at a certain stage of development.  In like manner a human fetus is just as human as a baby or child is, they are simply at a different stage of growth and development.  If you feel more inclined to use one word over the other go for it, but don’t make a new law that everyone else has to use the same one.

The relevant question though is whether or not a Baby in the womb is human.  To answer this I will appeal to scripture.

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

Notice that this verse in Jeremiah is personal in nature.  God is saying that he formed and knew “you” [Jeremiah].  Thus even as Jeremiah is in the “womb” he is identified by God as a sole and separate human being of personal nature.

We see the same language with regards to Paul in the letter to the Galatians.

“But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace” Gal 1:15 ESV

Read this next passage carefully, notice the personal nature of the writer conveyed in the poetry.  He speaks of himself being known and made by God in his mothers womb.  Though he describes himself in this state as an unformed substance David still takes possession of that substance and refers to it as his own.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them,the days that were formed for mewhen as yet there was none of them.” Psa 139:13-16 ESV

Take another look at this statement:

in your book were written, every one of them,the days that were formed for mewhen as yet there was none of them”

Notice that the days written for Davids life after birth are ascribed to him when he was forming.  This connections his conception to every day of his life and even to the moment of his death.  In God’s eyes there is no disconnect between conception, life after birth, and death.  All is one story from beginning to end.

Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen.” Isaiah 44:2 ESV

Notice above that God is speaking to someone who is alive at the time of this writing but then hearkens back to when that person was formed in the womb.  Again, we see the two connected.  This reveals that our man made distinction between birth day and conception day is contrived.  Biblically one is human even inside the womb.

Should the Church support or perform abortions?

 

 

Since the Bible is clear that murder is a sin, and that babies in the womb are human, it must also true that abortion is murder.  Thus, based on the word I would argue that the Church should not support or perform abortions.

Furthermore, I believe that this gives us grounds to affirm that those denominations that do are sending a strong message to the world that they are no longer Christian denominations.  This is because a Christian assembly derives its authority from the Word, not from men.  And such a bold deviation from his word is an indicator to the rest of us that these groups have in part or in whole severed themselves from that authority.

Does this mean that there are no Christians in the United Methodist Church, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, or others?  Of course not, but it does indicate that those churches are not Christian Churches.  Something to consider, God Bless.

 

 

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About ACTheologian

I am a layman who blogs my Biblical studies. Enjoy, please read with an open Bible and do double check with your pastor.
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2 Responses to Is Abortion a Sin?

  1. Evin Tucker says:

    I think the main reason Adventists have always distanced themselves from the pro-life movement is because of the influence Catholics have within it. They are afraid that the united opposition to abortion by Catholics and conservative Protestants has a much more sinister undertone of these denominations uniting to bring in the Sunday laws, mark of the beast, persecution of Sabbath keepers, etc (much like what EGW said in The Great Controversy). Being raised in an Adventist family and having been a baptized member myself since I was 13 (although now, my personal beliefs are little more than a nominal SDA), I have never understood this. Shouldn’t all Christians be united in the desire to fight against evil? That being said, most of the folks in my church seem to be pro-life and believe that abortion is murder (and therefore sin).

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    • Armchair Theologian says:

      I don’t know why they support it either. I suspect the reason comes down to money but I can’t prove that. There is a good article on this linked at the top of the blog if you’re interested in more information specific to SDA on abortions.

      Like

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