What do you think about abortion and why?

Question: I’ve been trying to decide what I believe regarding abortion, and I’m curious to hear about what you believe and why. The issue of abortion seems to hinge on whether or not the fetus is actually a life, as I think nearly everyone agrees that murder is wrong. Why, then, do many Christians believe that fetuses are the same as a human life? And where, then, do we draw the line? After 20 weeks? Is the “morning after” pill murder? Or birth control?

Response: Here are a couple of recent sermons, in which I at least address the ideas:

The Sanctity of Human Life (and Your Life)

The Sanctity of Human Life (and”Perfect Hatred”)

Here are some important thoughts:

1. The thing that makes a human human is the “Breath of God,” his Spirit, that I think we experience as, perhaps, consciousness, ethics, Faith, Hope and Love. But whatever it is, it’s that thing in your kids that you recognize as priceless.

2. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon writes, “We do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child.” That tells me what we already know instinctively: that a baby is a person and was a person when it was born. It/he/she knows my voice and already has a relationship with mom! In the Gospel, John, in the womb, jumps at the presence of Jesus in the womb (or the other way around?). But a person is a person in the womb. But did this start at conception, when the placenta formed and blood with breath (spirit) was transferred to the baby, or the first heartbeat... Theologians and philosophers have argued about this for ages. Well, if I think that there’s only a chance that a person is in a building set for demolition, I'll do all I can to stop the demolition. So in my mind, just the chance that a person is in the zygote or fetus, means I have to be very cautious.

3. Of course, an entirely different question is the role of the government in all of this, as well as the accompanying question: “What’s the best way of stopping it?” It seems that good arguments can be made using abortion statistics from different times and places – arguments that may go in either direction. But of course, all of this is highly controversial. What’s the role of government? Does welfare make it worse or better? How does healthcare factor in? It’s not as simple as just passing more laws.

4. Perhaps most important, for me personally, have been the many experiences that I’ve had praying for our old friend who lost five children, two of them through abortion. In visions Jesus would appear with her children. They all had names and Jesus seemed to make no distinction between the ones that had been aborted and the ones that died in other ways. He has the babies, but he was in the process of winning their mother's heart. This is what makes it so tough to talk about. Satan wanted to simply condemn her and get her to kill herself. Jesus was convincing her to forgive herself, which of course meant acknowledging that there was something to forgive.

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