The Bible contains passages that have direct bearing on the abortion issue, specifically to the crime of killing the unborn child, and generally to the "pro-choice" battle and the principles of life and death. There's a lot of scripture, so start with a topic that's most relevant to your concern.
Abortion for Incest
"Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall the children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin." –Deuteronomy 24:16
Once a person sees that the Bible clearly teaches that it is wrong to kill a child for the crime of his or her father, that frees the person to get beyond the cliché and look more closely at the actual result of abortion for incest. Because it is wrong to kill the child for the crime of the father, there are other terrible consequences, including that abortion for rape and incest emboldens those criminals and increases such crimes against women. Abortion for incest is cruel, as for example, Planned Parenthood clinics systematically refuse to comply with mandatory reporting of child rape. Abortionists then cover up the crime of incest. Often, they actually send the victim back home to her rapist. And even worse, they often send her home with her rapist, the same criminal who brought her to the clinic to dispose of the "evidence" and help him get away with his crime. Abortion for incest actually emboldens a criminal to rape his young relative and then tempts him to repeat his crime, and is not compassionate because it kills a baby and increases the woman's suffering.
Abortion for Rape
Do not "do evil that good may come." –Romans 3:8
"The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son… the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself." –God, Ezekiel 18:20
Of course incest is a particular kind of rape, and the same scriptural teaching, here as spoken by God Himself, condemns all such punishment of the child for the crime of the father. This principle as recorded by the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel explains that a good man would love and protect the baby, but instead many lawyers and others will treat the rapist with respect and protect him, but kill the baby. See also Sherri's Story and Colorado RTL's Amendment 62 Talking Points.
The Mosaic Law in the Bible treats each person as an individual. This contrasts starkly with mankind's other ancient laws. For example the Code of Hammurabi had a law regarding when a man assaulted a pregnant woman. Then: "If the woman die, his [own] daughter shall be put to death." -Hammurabi 210
And if a house collapsed, then: "If it kill the son of the owner [then] the son of that builder shall be put to death." -Hammurabi 230
And if a businessman beats to death a debtor, who is without exception another man's son, then: "If he was a free-born man, [then] the son of the merchant shall be put to death." -Hammurabi 116
The Baby in the Womb is Called a Child
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son." –Mat. 1:23
"Rebekah his wife conceived [and] the children [Jacob and Esau, the most famous twins in history] struggled together within her." –Moses, Genesis 25:22
"Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son [Samson]. Now drink no wine or similar drink… for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb…" –Judges 13:7
"...a woman with child [then] gives birth..." Exodus 21:22
"He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And... the babe [little Johnnie] leaped in her womb…" –Luke 1:15, 41
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…" –Jeremiah 1:5
The New Testament refers to Jesus in the womb as a "child". The Bible also indicates that Mary had a normal gestation period while carrying Jesus. (See Luke 2:1-6 and 1:56-57.) The Lord's body was developing within his mother for a full nine months showing that Jesus began His earthly human life as a tiny embryo, a single cell. So not only scientifically, but more importantly, in God's eyes, human life begins at conception. Many centuries before the Incarnation, the most famous twins in the history of the world, Jacob and Esau, fraternal twins, are called "children" in the Scriptures while they are in the womb. And of course, to this day, twins grab hold of one another in the womb, and unborn children suck their thumbs, play with their toes, sleep, dream, and even learn the melodies of songs, and their own mother's voice. Regarding God's command to the woman who later bore Samson, to not drink wine, her "child" would be a Nazirite "from the womb," for a Nazirite is a person who, among other things, does not drink alcohol. Modern child-welfare laws in 18 states (AZ, CA, FL, IL, IN, IA, MD, MA, MI, MN, NV, OK, RI, SC, TX, UT, VA, WI) recognize that a pregnant mother who drinks alcohol not only can harm her child, but can inflict him or her with fetal alcohol syndrome. Also, fetal thirst helps regulate the amount of amniotic fluid in the womb. Excess amniotic fluid, called hydramnios (or polyhydramnios) affects 2% of pregnancies and can be somewhat alleviated by fetal swallowing (and eventual expelling) of amniotic fluid, which swallowing can be increased by injecting into the womb an artificial hunger stimulator (peptide) or even by the mother eating sweets. Thus the Bible's six references to the embryo and fetus as a babe or a child includes four that refer to five individual children specifically named (Jesus, Jacob, Esau, Samson, John) and the others referring to all unborn children. (See also below, Biblical Fetology.)
Crime of Killing the Innocent
"Do not kill the innocent." –Exodus 23:7
"Cursed is the one who takes a bribe to slay an innocent person." -Deut. 27:25
"On your skirts is found the blood of the lives of the poor innocents. I have not found it by secret search, but plainly… Yet you say, 'Because I am innocent, Surely His anger shall turn from me.' Behold [says God], I will plead My case against you, because you say, 'I have not sinned.'" –Jer. 2:34-35
"Your eyes and your heart are for nothing but your covetousness, for shedding innocent blood, and practicing oppression and violence." –Jer. 22:17
"For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands… and even sacrificed their sons…" –Ezekiel 23:37
"…that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Molech." –2 Kings 23:10
"You shall not murder." –God, Exodus 20:13
"Jesus said, 'You shall not murder...'" –God, Matthew 18:18
The intentional killing of the innocent is murder. Abortionists refer to the unborn children they kill as tissue and tumors, and many "conservative" politicians refer to the babies they support killing as "exceptions." But God didn't care about all the fruit Eve did not eat; nor did He mention all the women David did not violate; nor list the children whom Herod did not kill. God looks at the exceptions. He calls them children, who are made in His image and likeness. Because abortion is a public venture, except for those individually forgiven by God through faith in Jesus Christ, there is a corporate guilt for the shedding of innocent blood, with the curse pronounced by God in Deuteronomy undoubtedly applying to the abortionist, who gets money to kill the innocent, as well as to "pro-choice" judges and politicians who serve the child-killing industry.
Crime of Killing the Unborn is Murder
"If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman's husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." –Exodus 21:22-25
Exodus 21:22 is the first fetal homicide law and concerns the child harmed during a separate assault. Pro-abortion theologians wrongly interpret this passage to refer to miscarriage, and only if the woman also dies is the penalty then life for life. But the passage distinguishes between the baby who survives the assault and the baby who dies. The meaning turns on whether the woman has a miscarriage or gives birth prematurely. And the Hebrew verb used is NOT that for miscarriage. Therefore the passage imposes only a fine on the criminal who accidentally causes a premature birth, but the punishment is life for life if the baby then dies. This shows that God equated the life of the unborn with that of the born, and abortion with murder. This passage, like Exodus 21:33-36, 22:5-6, and others, teaches that those who cause injury are responsible for their actions, even if the harm was unintentional. Therefore, this passage is the biblical model for any principled Unborn Victims of Crime Act. However, if the harm to the unborn in Exodus 21:22 spoke only of miscarriage, the teaching would then support legalized abortion by valuing the life of a fetus only with a fine, and only if the mother later died, would her death require taking the criminal's life. But note the word used to describe the consequence of the crime described in Exodus 21:22, "If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely," the Hebrew word for miscarriage, shaw-kole, is NOT used. If the baby came out dead, a monetary fine would indicate a less than human value for the life of the fetus. (And that is exactly how the pagan Code of Hammurabi, section 209, undervalued a child.) However, because Exodus 21:22 says premature birth, and not miscarriage, the passage does not support a right to kill an unborn child, as contended by many who mistranslate this text. Rather, the text values the unborn child's life equal to that of any other person. The author Moses (Mat. 12:26) mentions the idea of a baby coming out of the womb twice within three chapters. In Exodus 23:26, he uses the Hebrew word for miscarriage, speaking of barrenness and shaw-kole (miscarriage). But the word at Exodus 21:22 is yaw-tsaw, which means to come out, come forth, bring forth, and has no connotation of death but in fact the opposite. The Hebrew Scriptures use yaw-tsaw 1,043 times beginning with Genesis 1:24 where God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature…” In Genesis and Exodus alone Moses uses this word about 150 times such as in Genesis 25 describing the births of twins Jacob and Esau. Thus the Mosaic law requires the criminal to pay financial restitution to a woman unintentionally injured by a criminal if she "gives birth prematurely." But then if that living being dies (i.e., the baby, soul, nephesh, which Hebrew word is always feminine, e.g., Lev. 19:8; Ps. 11:1) the text then applies the full Hebrew idiom which means that the punishment should fit the crime. If there is harm beyond a premature birth, and the unborn child dies, then the punishment is "life for life."
The Fetus Has Feelings
[While both women were with child, Elizabeth said to Mary] "As soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy." –Luke 1:44
As is common in Scripture, the Bible here refers to the fetus as a baby (brephos) and does not use non-human or non-personhood terms. In Greek: Ἐλισάβετ [Elizabeth] said that, τὸ βρέφος [transliteration brephos, babe, infant] ἐσκίρτησεν [leaped] ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ mοu [in my womb]. Thus the baby, who would be named John, experienced the emotion of joy when Mary, being pregnant with the incarnate Jesus, entered Elizabeth's home.
The "Breath of Life" and Life in the Blood
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." –Genesis 2:7
"For the life of the flesh is in the blood" –Lev. 17:11
Do not "sin against innocent blood" –1 Sam. 19:5
Some claim that a human life doesn't begin until an unborn child takes its first breath. These folks typically defend the intentional dismemberment of, or other forms of killing, the unborn child. Some of these science deniers (see just below), claim the Bible too supports abortion because it teaches that a baby isn't alive until it takes a breath. However, the Bible says that the "life... is in the blood" and it also accurately speaks of the "breath of life". These are incidental statements. Strangulation leaves all the blood in someone yet kills them. On the other hand, God could have created Adam inflated with air in his lungs and then brought him to life by an infusion of blood. Again, such statements are incidental to what human life means. In its criminal justice contexts, the Bible doesn't speak of "extinguishing innocent breath" but "the shedding of innocent blood" (Jer. 22:17; Gen. 9:6; 1 Sam. 19:5; etc.). Babies born by cesarean section commonly have greater need of suctioning the nose, and in rare cases, even the windpipe. If a breath were necessary to be alive, then absurdly, it would take these kids longer before their rights kicked in and longer to become a human being than other kids. Defending wickedness leads to such absurdities. A hospital attendant who decides to quickly steal or kill that cesarean newborn would then not be charged with kidnapping or homicide, on such inane posturing. In Colorado, for example, this type of vulgar insanity actually occurs, in both the kidnapping and killing forms, where the real-world criminals never get charged with kidnapping or homicide. Yet rationally, as shown above, the Bible commands "life for life" (Exodus 21) even before a victimized baby was able to draw a breath. The laws of science don't mention the words right and wrong (see below), so science can't tell you about the immorality of slavery, but it can tell you whether a slave is a living member of Homo sapiens. So to that extent, scientific knowledge can be accepted, or denied, regarding the enforcement of basic human rights:
Science Deniers: The person who denies that a new life begins at conception would do well to reconsider that before he or she faces God's on Judgment Day. Our thoroughly documented article, The Beginning of Biological Development, quotes:
- The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology: "Human development is a continuous process that begins when an oocyte (ovum) from a female is fertilized by a sperm (or spermatozoon) from a male. ...this cell results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm ... is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo). ... Human development begins at fertilization... This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual."
- See there for excerpts also from Carnegie Stages, etc., on sexual reproduction and from Human Molecular Genetics for asexual reproduction.
Whether an innocent person is intentionally killed by suffocation (breath), exsanguination (blood), dismemberment (body), or some other means, the murder will not go unpunished. Thus even for the sake of the would-be killers, we must fight to protect every child by love and by law.
Judging with Righteous Judgment
"You have rightly judged." –Jesus, Luke 7:43
"Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." –Jesus, John 7:24
“Why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?” –Jesus, Luke 12:56-57
"First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly [to judge, i.e.] to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye” –Jesus, Mat. 7:5
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? –1 Cor 6:2-3
"Those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them." –Prov. 24:25
Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously... plead the cause of the... needy. -Prov. 31:8-9
He who is spiritual judges all things… for… we have the mind of Christ. –1 Cor 2:15-16
"Don't judge," is the objection raised a thousand times over against Christians trying to save unborn children from being torn apart by an abortionist. However Jesus commanded men both to judge rightly and to "judge not." Did the Lord contradict Himself? Or does the Bible say more about judging than many realize? Jesus taught men to judge rightly insisting they “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). And the Apostle Paul shamed the Corinthian Christians because no one among them was willing to even “judge the smallest matters” (1 Cor. 6:2), let alone the intentional killing of children. If the Lord had not commanded us to judge, Christians would have to give a pass to terrorists and child pornographers. Today, millions of Christians have been seduced into relativism, where there are no absolutes, except for turning Christ's qualified don't judge itself into an absolute. Churchgoers repeat that mantra if anyone admonishes them for sexual immorality or for killing their child, thereby replacing God's absolutes with the moral relativist dream. (For a full treatment of the Bible's teaching to judge correctly and not according to appearance, see Judge Rightly is Not Some Guy's Name.)
Kids Especially Loved by God
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you... –Jeremiah 1:5
- Jesus created children: Ps. 139:13-16; John 1:3; Col. 1:16; Isa. 43:7
- Then God the Son became flesh: Jn. 1:1, 14; Phil. 2:5, 7; Isa. 7:14
- The Babe was born in Bethlehem: Luke 2:1, 4-6; Ps. 87:5-6; Micah 5:2
- He lived as a Child: Isa. 9:6; Luke 2:42, 48, 51-52
- Jesus loves kids including in the womb: Jer. 1:5; Mat. 18:2, 5; Mark 10:14-16; Gal. 1:5
- He healed children: Mat. 15:28; 17:18
- He saved a child from death: Mark 5:23, 41-42
- He blesses others through them: Ps. 127:3; John 6:9-10
- He praised the childlike attitude: Mat. 18:2-4
- The Lord attracted children: Mat. 21:15
- Their Friend just happens to be the eternal God, born of mankind:
- eternal: Micah 5:2; Isa. 9:6; Rev. 1:8
- of Adam & Eve, Abraham, and David: Lk. 3:23, 38; 1 Cor. 15:45; Gen. 3:15; 22:18; 2 Sam. 7:12-13
- Jesus warned against harming children: Mat. 18:2, 6; Mark 13:12
- Blesses believers who protect children: Mark 9:36-37; Mat. 25:41-46
Love Your Neighbor – Responsibility to Intervene
"Rescue those drawn toward death." –Proverbs 24:11-12
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Mt. 22:39; "And who is my neighbor?" –Lk. 10:29
"...you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets." –Mat. 23:29-33
"If anyone is found slain…and it is not known who killed him, then… measure the distance… to the surrounding cities… And it shall be that the elders of the city nearest to the slain man… shall answer and say, 'Our hands have not shed this blood, nor have our eyes seen it… do not lay innocent blood to the charge of Your people…' So you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD." –Deuteronomy 21:1-3, 7-9
No Christian in America can say to God about abortion, "We did not know it, our eyes have not seen it," for child killing is openly bragged about, and God gives no believer the latitude to be apathetic toward these children nor their families, which apathy itself would be a form of hatred toward one's neighbor. Individual Christians have the forgiveness purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. However by requiring the authorities to measure the distance and determine the city nearest to the crime, God is recognizing the corporate guilt of society knowing that the community that tolerates the shedding of innocent blood becomes increasingly godless. Children and grandchildren then suffer by living in that increasing godlessness. Of the Samaritans, Jesus told the woman at the well that you "worship what you do not know" (John 4:22) whereas "salvation is of the Jews." Yet in the Parable of the Good Samaritan when criminals left a victim "half dead… a certain priest… passed by on the other side… But a certain Samaritan… had compassion… Then Jesus said…, 'Go and do likewise'" (Luke 10:25-37). Jesus did not mean that His followers should behave like the religious leader who was apathetic, but rather, loving God and loving your neighbor requires intervention on behalf of the innocent.
Made in God's Image
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…" –Gen. 1:26
God exists as three persons in one Trinity. Likewise, the triune God created tripartate man, with body, soul, and spirit (1 Thes. 5:23) and He also imprinted our world with His triune nature. Space exists in three dimensions, height, width, and length, as does time in past, present and future. There are protons, neutrons, and electrons and the primary colors of red, green, and blue. We live on this third planet from the Sun and enjoy matter in solid, liquid, and gas. We build with the strongest shape, the triangle, and our DNA uses only three-letter words. Human beings live here, in heaven, and in hell, with those who love Him crying out, "Holy, holy, holy." Being made in God's image image refers to our form, and being made in His likeness refers to our essence as sentient, morally-responsible persons. Charles Darwin hoped for evidence that apes eventually began standing erect. However, thousands of kinds of animals made by God, along with all the four-footed beasts, have a stooped stance and look to the ground, whereas men and women alone stand upright created with a heavenly gaze and as the most social of creatures. For the first thing that God created was a form, that is, an image, for the eternal Son to indwell (Col. 1:15; etc.). And in that image "He made man," and not in the image of apes (see AmericanRTL.org/Darwin). But He made them "male and female" as Christ affirmed (Mark 10:6), "from the beginning of creation." And as Moses wrote in Hebrew צֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים, which in Latin is imago Dei and in Greek, εἰκόνα θεοῦ: "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Gen. 1:27). And because a fish is not made in God's image, one can eat another without guilt, and it is impossible to "murder" a tomato or a turkey. Only a human being can be murdered. For God prohibited the shedding of innocent blood, "for in the image of God He made man" (Gen. 9:6). See more at rsr.org/3.
Pain in Childbirth Resulted from Sin
[As a result of Adam and Eve's sin:] To the woman God said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children..." –Gen. 3:16
God DID NOT inflict this pain in childbirth as a sadist but IN MERCY toward the child, and thus, toward the mother too. How so? Please consider that after being created on the sixth day (Gen. 1:27), Adam sinned so quickly that his wife did not even have time to conceive a child before the Fall. However, if Eve had given birth before the Fall, she would not have experienced pain in childbirth. Why not? As a result of Lucifer tempting Eve, God then put enmity between him and mankind. And as a result of Eve's sin, God multiplied the length of time for human gestation. Sin and death destroyed the perfection of the cosmos itself, for "the creation was subjected to futility" (Rom. 8:21) and as the Apostle Paul continued, "For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now" (Rom. 8:22). So after man's sin, the Earth lost its original environmental perfection as a paradise and instead became a relatively hostile place in which to survive. This would be especially true for tiny human newborns who would face a terribly high infant mortality rate being born not into an Eden but into our current world struggling to survive in freezing weather, sweltering heat, with less than optimal nutrition, and fighting pathogens. We know that with loving care and great wisdom God designed the development of the fetus in the womb. So because sin would destroy the perfection of the cosmos, God created a genetic contingency for Adam and Eve such that, if they sinned, as a biological consequence, a fetus would then remain in the womb for a longer period of time, in order to grow much larger and stronger (as compared to His original design and as compared to many animals like the koala, opossum, and kangaroo.). As God said to the woman, "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children" (Gen. 3:16). To "multiply... your conception" does not mean that after the Fall women would conceive more children, for previously God had commanded the first parents "to be fruitful and multiply" (Gen. 1:28). And of course children themselves are not a curse but one of the greatest blessings from God (Ps. 127:3-5). So what does this mean? In this context the term "conception" is a metaphor meaning gestation. A typical figure of speech is the use of the beginning of something, say a book or an alphabet, to represent the whole, such as the ABCs and the word title, as in "That author wrote three best-selling titles." We understand the figure, that he didn't just write the titles, but the entire books. So by this common language convention, here the term conception is a metaphor which means gestation. By multiplying a woman's gestation, God gave her baby a much greater chance of surviving in our hostile world. This comes at the expense though of mom's discomfort and pain. However, just as the Apostle Paul wrote that "the sufferings of this present world are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed" (Rom. 8:18), so the members of American Right To Life who are moms have made it clear that the pain in childbirth, though it is often severe, is nothing compared to the joy of holding their newborn child. Interestingly, Scripture may contain sufficent clues to indicate the length in months of the original gestation period. By His original design, a woman may have labored with child for six months. Why? Today we say that a full-term baby is one who is born at nine months, and they average 20 inches long weighing seven pounds. At six months the fetus (which is Latin, for bringing forth and offspring) is half-a-foot shorter and weighs just under two pounds, so that a perfectly healthy woman (like Eve) delivering a tiny child like that would not experience today's intense labor pains. Further, an original gestation of six months is biblically appropriate because from the Genesis to Revelation, six is the number of a man. For he was created on "the sixth day" (Gen. 1:31) and the antichrist uses 666 because "it is the number of a man (Rev. 13:18), and in the Ten Commandments God wrote that for "six days you shall labor (Ex. 20:9). And nine is the number for judgment, as shown in the crucifixion when Jesus took the judgment for man's sin, for "from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land," (Mat. 27:45; Mark 15:33) similar to "darkness over the land of Egypt" in the ninth plague (Ex. 10:21) which was followed by the death of the firstborn and the Passover. "For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us" (1 Cor. 5:7), crucified on the very day that the passover lambs were being sacrificed. So as Luke reports at "the ninth hour... He breathed His last" (Luke 23:44-46). So six is the number of man, and nine is a number of judgment. Thus God likely multiplied the original six months by one and a half to get today's nine months of gestation in mercy for both mother and child.
Rights Come from God
"Thou shall not murder... Thou shall not steal. Thou shall not bear false witness..." –Exodus 20:13-16
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…" –Gen. 1:26
Human rights do not come from the government, for then they wouldn’t be rights; nor from the majority (consider America and slaves, Germany and Jews, China and Christians); nor from the delivery doctor or hospital. For rights come from our Creator, at that moment we are created. That's why the right to life commences at conception, and not at some arbitrary later time. Further, Jeremiah 1:5 quotes God, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." The Declaration of Independence affirms what those who believe in God have always known. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life…” We have human rights because we are made in our Creator’s image and likeness, which is why parents, unlike animals, have a moral obligation to protect and love our children, born and unborn. Further, as said to Bill Maher on ABC, "You cannot elevate animal rights without denigrating human rights." Human beings have the right to due process as affirmed by God when He said, "Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." And we have the right to own private property as affirmed by God when He said, "Thou shall not steal." And we have the right to life as affirmed by God when He said, "Thou shall not murder."
The Sanctity of Unborn Life – Biblical Fetology
"For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb… My frame [skeleton] was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth [womb; see below]. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them." –Psalm 139:13-16
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you..." –Jeremiah 1:5
God wrote the book of fetology, that is, the development of the baby in the womb which is described in the human genome and the gametes of the parents. That book documents the course of a child's fetal development and birth. In verse 16, David is bragging about God's extraordinary design of the development of the baby in the womb. The embryo goes through the trimesters of development not haphazardly but by direction from God. The child forms in the womb by God's intricate plan of fetal development, which we now know He recorded in the written instructions of our DNA and in the cells of the ovum and sperm which unite to form the single-celled brand new human child (organism). That single cell contains step-by-step, day-by-day directions of the 280 days of gestation which the Spirit inspired David to write about, the days of the child's development in the womb. "You formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb," explains that God designed the process by which the baby is formed, protecting the little one (Latin, fetus) within his mom. "My frame [skeleton] was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth." David praised God, for even as he developed in the womb, God could see his frame (Hebrew, skeleton, lit. bones) being knit together, "skillfully wrought," in "my mother's womb." The Hebrew idiom, "the lowest parts of the earth" was a common expression for "the womb" as one can see from the reverse use of the idiom in Job 1:21, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there." No one returns to their mother's womb at death, but rather, goes into the grave, i.e., the lowest parts of the earth, which phrase came to be a Hebrew figure representing the womb, even as Man was made from the earth, the dust of the ground. The genetic code written by God describes the development of the baby in the womb, so God reveals, "Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed (as the baby travels down the fallopian tube, even before he is formed in the womb, Jer. 1:5) and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them." God sees the child, who he or she really is, the baby's substance, all through the extraordinary DNA code which God wrote (which David of course had no concept of, but which as the author, God knew all about). So, from the moment of conception, "being yet unformed," that is, as just a single cell in my mother's fallopian tube, God saw me, and knit me together, and in His book of instructions for the baby's awesome development in the womb, all "the days fashioned for me," that is, all the days which God decreed for the fashioning of a fetus, they were written and set from the very beginning, before a single day's growth unfolded, even before the first cell divided into two, all 280 days of gestation, beginning with that moment of fertilization. So regardless of one's theology about predestination and free will, or a settled or open future, Psalm 139 does not teach that if a child is aborted, that moment of death was written in God's book. Rather, the book and its pages describe the development of the fetus, not his lifetime and ultimate death. Psalm 139:16 presents a couplet, a simple Hebrew parallelism. The two sentences of Psalm 139:16 both speak of the same topic, with each further explaining the other. Thus "the days fashioned for me" were not the days of my childhood, or my marriage, nor do they describe the child's death certificate, for these were the days when only God could see "my substance, being yet unformed." For He knows what each human being is like, in the most extraordinary detail, at the moment of conception. And the wonderful passage at Jeremiah 1:5 is another Hebrew couplet, where both parts describe aspects of the same unformed single-celled child in the womb. "Before I formed you in the womb... before you were born" (Jer. 1:5). Both halves of the couplet are describing the same time of when the baby was in his mother's womb. Likewise, God created the Earth yet calls it unformed (Gen. 1:1-2) because the dry land hadn't yet appeared until the third day when it was then ready to support life. So God didn't have to wait for Jeremiah to graduate from high school, so to speak, or even for him to be born, before He could know him. God knew him from the moment of conception, that is, from the moment he was conceived in his mother's womb!
Science, Morality and Philosophy
[God gave to mankind] "…the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness…" –Romans 2:15
God put a conscience within man. Though he will deny this, an atheistic scientist, say like Richard Dawkins, will not remain neutral but instinctively object if someone else violates God's commands and tries to steal from him, or bears false witness against him, or attempts to take his wife, or kills someone he cares about. A lesbian "wedding" with one in a suit and the other in a dress testifies to the truth even in their rebellion. Likewise even Dawkins affirms the biblical truth he despises. Some atheists would prefer that society develop ethical notions scientifically. However the physical laws don't use the words right and wrong and have no notion of morality. That is why those pro-lifers including National RTL who say we will win this based on the laws of science are shortsighted, because science can't even tell you that the Beslan School terrorists were wrong to murder 156 children. And that exposes leftists who manipulate the willfully ignorant by claiming the mantel of "science" when they legislate morality, for their immoral purposes. Thus, as Albert Einstein, in his book Out of My Later Years, wrote, "[S]cience can only ascertain what is, but not what should be," necessarily excluding from its domain "value judgments of all kinds." Thus science could not even prove that the Holocaust or slavery were wrong.
Just as moral law is not physical, the laws of logic, justice and reason are not physical either. They have no mass, no temperature, no volume, polarity, etc. So of course there is a non-physical reality. And that non-physical reality is the domain of justice and reason. Humanist and atheist clichés are easily rebutted.
- There is no truth! Rebuttal: Is that true?
- There are no absolutes! Rebuttal: Absolutely?
- Only your five senses provide real knowledge. Rebuttal: Says which of the five?
Using a philosophical argument called Euthyphro's Dilemma, skeptics from Socrates till today claim that goodness does not flow from God. As atheist Bertrand Russell wrote, "If the only basis for morality is God's decrees, it follows that they might just as well have been the opposite of what they are…" Thus even the devil could be judged righteous if he gets to define what it means to be good. Basing its reasoning upon the Trinity, the Christian Answer to Euthyphro's Dilemma (as linked to also at Creation.com) fully rebuts the atheist argument that morality must be arbitrary. Scripture describes "the Lord God [as] abounding in goodness and truth" (Ex. 34:6) with "righteousness and justice [as] the foundation of Your throne" (Ps. 89:14), which means might does not make right, so that just because the abortionist is stronger than the fetus does not mean that he is right to tear apart that delicate child. Unlike the arbitrary and capricious Zeus of the Greeks, the triune God of Scripture acts deliberately and justifiably "according to the counsel of His will" (Eph. 1:11) and so He does not affirm prejudice but rather, "God shows personal favoritism to no man" (Lk. 20:21) as also God the Son does "not show personal favoritism, but teach[es] the way of God in truth" (Gal. 2:6). He declared, "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32) and He teaches of "the Spirit of truth," and says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (Jn. 14:6). Therefore those who are killed unjustly, in heaven, describe Him as the one who will "judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth” (Rev. 6:10).
"'Now therefore, deliver up the men... that we may put them to death and remove the evil from Israel!' But the children of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brethren, the children of Israel." - Judges 20:13
Some God-fearing pro-lifers claim that abortion is a "states' rights" matter. The claim is that the very principles of justice (i.e., God Himself) would have federal governments tolerate a state's decriminalization of murder generally, or decriminalization of murder for any particular group of victims (whether the victims would be Jews, Christians, or children). However, the Book of Judges teaches that God does not recognize a local right to decide whether or not to prosecute murder. Rather, when one of the twelve tribes of Israel refused to prosecute the murder of a concubine, for that lawlessness, the rest of the nation was justly outraged and moved to action, and with God's endorsement, they lawfully used force to punish Benjamin including of course any local authorities and magistrates who would not listen.
"So all the men of Israel were gathered... united together as one man. Then the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, 'What is this wickedness that has occurred among you? Now therefore, deliver up the men... that we may put them to death and remove the evil from Israel!' But the children of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brethren, the children of Israel. ... [So] The LORD defeated Benjamin before Israel. And the children of Israel destroyed that day twenty-five thousand one hundred Benjamites; all these drew the sword." Jud. 20:11-13, 35 (See also AmericanRTL.org/states-rights.)
Vigilante Behavior Condemned
"...all who take the sword will perish by the sword." -Jesus Mat. 26:52
However the Scriptures also state, "He who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword," which command is described as "the faith of the saints" (Rev. 13:10). Lethal force in a park to save a child is just. Why is it wrong against an abortionist? American RTL produced a worksheet that puts into perspective the biblical principle regarding the right of self defense (which includes defense of your neighbor) with the restrictions of immanency and escalation of force that God placed on that authority. By those restrictions this ARTL Abortion Vigilante Worksheet teaches that everyone should condemn the vigilante killing of abortionists. Dr. Ronda Chervin wrote:
"Dear American RTL, I just read your Abortion Vigilante Worksheet. I am a pro-life professor of ethics. I plan to use this in class. It is the best thing on this subject I have ever read. I just want to thank you profusely for devising it."
See that worksheet for lessons from:
- Genesis from before God delegated governmental authority to punish murderers, and from
- Exodus differentiating between justifiable self defense and defensive actions that themselves become criminal, and from
- First Samuel and David's response to those trying to kill him, and from
- Matthew and Romans regarding the general principle of submission to governing leaders.
This worksheet recognizes also that many heroes of the faith disobeyed the governing authorities and now appear in the Hall of Faith in the book of Hebrews!
Beware of Wolves in Sheep's Clothing
"...who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." -Jesus Mat. 7:15
When it comes to child killing, one would think that Christian and "conservative" voters would be especially principled. After all, if someone will compromise on the dismemberment of innocent children, what will they not compromise on? Many ignore Jesus' warning about wolves in sheep's clothing. Of course. But far worse, many "pro-life" leaders actually help to dress up the wolf in sheep's clothing, and then urge the sheep to stray from the Shepherd and follow the wolf. So astute observers have long watched the moral relativism of "conservative" politics leak out of realm of government and undermine the morality of our churches and families. Many pro-life voters want to be lied to because they desperately want to root for someone who they say has a chance of winning. This process is quickly eroding whatever moral foundation that once existed in the Republican Party. Today, "pro-life" and "conservative" Christians defend blatantly godless and immoral politicians who they would have seen as destroyers of America just a few short years ago. Predictably, if the only standard is beating the other guy, then eventually, you turn into the other guy. And you become the wolf. Don't let yourself be a part of this further destruction of America and its political parties. In politics and everywhere, stand for God's principles. Then you will not be part of the downfall of a nation, but you will be more than a conqueror. And together, we will win!
See also Numbers 35:33; Job 10:8-12; 31:15; Psalm 10:8; 22:9-10; 71:6; 119:73; 127:3-5; Proverbs 6:17; Isaiah 44:2; 49:1; Mat. 25:40, 45; Luke 1:42 and Luke 17:1-3. And if you are not a Christian, please see AmericanRTL.org/Gospel.