Sunday Sermons

Sunday Sermons

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

You and I both would rather think and talk just about any other topic than abortion. And yet it is too important a topic to turn a blind eye. Believe it or not, according to 2003 every year in the United States more than one million children were being aborted. In that year the total number of abortions performed just in this country since the legalization of abortion, was over forty-three million. The Alan Guttmacher Institute in 2002 estimated that world-wide forty-six million abortions occur every year. 

The Value of Human Life

What makes human life so valuable is the fact that God Himself places within each individual a spirit or soul (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Zechariah 12:2). And it is for that reason we have no right to end a human life (Genesis 9:6), except when we are given authorization by God Himself. And there are times in the Bible when our just God authorizes the death penalty (Genesis 9:6; Exodus 21:12; Romans 13:4). But this taking of human life is always based on that person’s behavior, that is, they did something worthy of death (Acts 25:11). It goes without saying any unborn child has done nothing wrong.

Is the Unborn Child a Human Being?

When the late Justice Harry Blackmun wrote his lengthy opinion for the court in the Roe vs Wade case, he stated, “We need not resolve the question of when life begins”. Yet that just does not make sense. One of the key elements in the abortion debate must be the true nature of the victim. Clearly, if it is not a baby, you are not pregnant. If the unborn child is a human being, then he or she deserves the full and equal protection of the law. And if they are human beings, then aborting them would be one of the things that God hates, that is, shedding innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17). As a nation, we must address this issue. If an unborn child is a human being, then we as a culture have shed the blood of over 43 million people. Obviously, no nation can long survive with that kind of guilt on its hands (Psalm 9:17).

The Biblical Evidence

  • Psalm 139:13-16

“For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb… My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance”. While yet in his mother’s womb, David speaks of himself as a definite person. He uses such personal terminology as “my” and “I”. He even goes all the way back to the early stages of the pregnancy, before any formation of arms or legs,  and he says that the “unformed substance” at that stage was him, and not a potential him.

  • Psalm 139:16; Jeremiah 1:4-5; Galatians 1:15

“And in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them”. “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”. “But when He who had set me apart, even from my mother’s womb”. 

These passages do not teach predestination, for even Paul admitted that he could have disobeyed God’s plan for his life (Acts 26:19), and obviously, God did not preplan David’s adultery. What these passages do teach is that God treats people as human beings long before they are born — even from the unformed substance stage. God had plans for such individuals right from conception. How dare we say that these plans do not matter — or do something to terminate such plans.

  • Luke 1:44

“The baby leaped in my womb for joy”. Elizabeth’s pre-born baby is being represented as a living human being. The term “baby” used in verses 41 and 44 to refer to the pre-born John is the exact same term that is used a chapter later to refer to Jesus after He was born (Luke 2:12,16). So the Holy Spirit decided to use the same term to describe a person whether they were in or outside the womb. In Hosea 9:11 God lists all three phases of human life are listed in reverse order when he mentions “...birth...pregnancy and...conception”.

The Scientific Evidence

“Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we are able to study the unborn child from the earliest moments of its existence. We know that its heart begins to beat eighteen days after fertilization, that brain waves can be recorded by the fortieth day, and that all body systems are present at eight weeks and working by the eleventh week. Technological advances are such that more and more babies are surviving births after only 20 to 24 weeks of the normal forty-week pregnancy” (James J. Drummey, Abortion: The Other Holocaust, “The New American”, 2:21-26, Jan. 20). Examples of such births include Amillia Sonja Taylor who was born less than 22 weeks old. At delivery, she was only 9 1/2 inches long and weighed less than a can of soda. She did not turn into a human being weeks after her birth, rather all could see that she was a clearly a precious human being at even at 22 weeks.

Such early births seriously impair the argument that the fetus in the womb is no more than a developing or potential human life, yet not a real human life, or that the unborn child isn’t fully a person and we therefore are not morally obligated to treat them as persons.

  • Fetologists and medical researchers have long recognized the four behavioral states of the pre-born infant that parallel the newborn:  Quiet sleep, active state, quiet awake, and active awake.
  • Geneticists can analyze the DNA of the unborn child and as an individual member of the human race discern, its DNA is unique.

Human Inconsistency

The original Roe vs Wade decision was organized around three three-month periods (trimesters) of normal pregnancy. The Court decided that the fetus was nonviable during the first trimester (a baby would not survive such a premature birth). Therefore, the State could not interfere with a woman’s decision to have an abortion in the first three months of pregnancy. The trouble with the viability argument is that any newly born baby cannot survive on its own as well. If no one cares for even the healthiest baby once he or she is born, that baby will die. 

The Forgotten Costs of Abortion

  • Increasingly research only confirms what any reasonable person would conclude, that is, the woman who opts for an abortion pays a price on many levels: Spiritually, emotionally and mentally. The University of Oslo researchers conducted a study in which they compared the psychological after-effects of miscarriage and abortion. While miscarriage was associated with more mental distress in the six months after the loss of a baby, abortion has a much longer lasting negative effect… It has always been considered, and this study also knows, that the decision to terminate may bring with its long-standing feelings of anxiety and guilt” (Abortion Leaves Mental Legacy (2005), BBC News, December 12 (on line). These mothers have come to realize the hard way that abortion doesn't just make you unpregant, it makes you the mother of a dead child.
  • Additional evidence comes from New Zealand. Researchers for the Christchurch Health and Development Study conducted a 25-year longitudinal study on the long-term effects of abortion on the mental health of young women ages 15 to 25. The scientists found that those having an abortion had elevated rates of subsequent mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors, and drug-use disorders” (David M. Fergusson, L. John Horwood and Elizabeth M. Ridder, “Abortion in Young Women and Subsequent Mental Health”, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiartry, 47(1):16. We are not built to handle the guilt of sin, especially of innocent life of our own children.

Therefore, there must be a better solution. God's solution is first of all, preventative: Keeping the sexual relationship between married couples only, so that even if a child is conceived unexpectedly, he or she is assured of a stable, loving home. When children are conceived outside of marriage, the course of action that best protects both the baby and the mother is adoption, if the mother genuinely feels she cannot handle the serious responsibilities of raring a child. Surely, every child has a right to life and a loving home.

Mark Dunagan |
Beaverton Church of Christ | 503-644-9017