Abortion continues to be the scourge of America. Legalized abortion has taken the hideous act of some third rate "doctor" performing the slaughter of a helpless unborn baby in some cheap backroom to the highly respected medical professional in his up-front and plush medical suite. In both cases, however, the static fact is the abortionist is honoring the wishes of the mother to terminate the life of her unborn child.

Just as in all cases of the legalizing of the immoral, there must first be the injecting of new vocabulary and imagery to change the way society views a certain matter. Terms such as "pro-choice" and "fetus" had to be skillfully introduced to replace other terms, like "baby." Much effort have been expended to cause Americans to view the unborn as simply a lifeless and shapeless mass of cellular matter.

The enormity of the abortion issue can be seen in established statistics. In all of American's exterior wars, from the Revolutionary War to the Persian Gulf War, the amount of lives that were lost are less than one and a half million. However, over one and a half million babies are murdered in America every year! We are told that in eight years Nazi Germany killed six million Jews. The outrage of decent people toward such wholesale extermination of human life continues to this day. However, twelve million babies were killed in America during the same period of time (in terms of years). Total all the deaths each year from cancer, heart disease, and automobile accidents, and the figures do not total the number of deaths claimed by abortion.

America has organized groups and statutory regulations for the humane protection of whales, owls, wolves, and eagles. Severe penalties are enforced for violators of these protective laws. Notwithstanding, in America it is legal to kill an innocent baby (in the circumstances being addressed by this material).

When the issue of abortion is seriously considered, it is inevitable that attention be placed on the establishment of the inception of life. When does life begin, does it begin at conception, at a certain time in the stage of development after conception but before birth, or at birth? Many contend life begins at birth (first natural breath of air). Hence, "abortion" is not murder. However, the Bible presents life being present before birth (Lk. 1: 41, Ps. 139: 16, Jere. 1: 5, Ps. 139: 13, 15). The Bible does not speak of the embryonic state as lifeless, but as being a living entity (Ibid.)

In the case of Rebekah's unborn twins we read, "And the children struggled together within her&" (Gen. 25: 22). Appreciate the fact that they are presented as "children." The Hebrew word (ben) used to describe Rebekah's unborn children is also used for children who have been delivered from their mother (Gen. 23: 18, see also Lk. 1: 41 and 2: 12, the same Greek word (brephos) is used for the unborn and new born babies). Also, the unborn children have action assigned to them in keeping with a being possessing life (cp. Lk. 1: 41).

Exodus 21: 22-25 is also a pertinent passage in establishing the point in time of life. I submit the language "and if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life" is ambiguous for a reason (mother or child). Since we cannot exclude from the language the aborted child, the language must be viewed as inclusive of both mother and/or aborted child. You see, if God had meant to limit the language to the mother, he would have done so. To precipitate the death of the aborting mother or the aborted child necessitated capital punishment, because such an act was considered murder (vs. 23, 24, 20: 13).

James 2: 26 must also be considered in our quest to determine the beginning of life. James wrote, "for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (Jas. 2: 26). The only sound and necessary deduction from James' statement is when death is not present, life is. A living, moving unborn baby, then, has life and is a human being, not just as appendage to the mother.

The only reasonable conclusion, then, is life begins before birth and at the point of conception (if not at conception, where do you demarcate in the developmental progression, when is the baby not alive, if you will?).

Beloved, the Bible is very explicit regarding those who take human life (murder). Regarding murder, God enacted the death penalty. The law is, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man" (Gen. 9: 6). The vulnerable baby is in the image of God. The Bible especially warns regarding the shedding of innocent blood. Hear the warning, "These six things doth the Lord hate&hands that shed innocent blood" (Prov. 6: 16, 17). The unborn is not only helpless, but is ultimately innocent!

By: Don Martin

Return to the General Articles page

Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /