Being part of the same Christian community, as we ponder over Psalm 139, a deep sense of certainty arises about how sacred life is, especially in its early stages. These verses beautifully show God intimately involved in forming each person inside the womb, making us believe that life is a precious gift that needs our protection.
This belief holds significant moral and spiritual weight for many of us. It shapes our thoughts on the sensitive topic of abortion, in line with our deeply held religious beliefs that regard life as sacred right from the moment of conception.
What Does The Bible Say About Abortion?
The Bible provides profound insights into the sanctity of life, especially in its earliest stages. Let’s explore key verses that shed light on the divine perspective regarding abortion.
1. The Unborn Child is God’s Perfect Creation (Psalm 139:13-16)
The Psalms provide a poetic and heartfelt exploration of God’s role in the formation of life within the womb.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:13-14, NIV).
These lines make us feel amazed at how carefully God creates each person. Describing it as being woven together gives us a deep sense of God’s skill in forming life in the womb.
2. The Unborn Child has an Account with God (Jeremiah 1:5)
In the book of Jeremiah, we encounter a powerful verse that speaks to the divine awareness of the unborn.
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5, NIV).
This verse illuminates the notion that God, in His omniscience, possesses knowledge of each individual even before their physical existence. The unborn, according to this passage, are not mere chance occurrences but intentional creations known to God from the very beginning.
3. The Unborn Child has a Predestination (Luke 1:41)
The Gospel of Luke brings us to a moment of recognition of the unborn by the Holy Spirit.
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41, NIV).
This moment, often referred to as the “Visitation,” signifies a divine connection between the unborn John the Baptist and Jesus. The recognition of the unborn as a sentient being through the movement in the womb underscores a spiritual dimension to the existence of the unborn.
4. The Unborn Child has a Part to Play in God’s Plan (Job 31:15)
Job 31:15 (NIT) brings forth another perspective on God’s involvement in forming life within mothers.
“For God created both me and my servants. He created us both in the womb.”
This verse encourages us to think about how we all come from the same source, highlighting a shared beginning in God’s creative process. It urges us to see the sacredness in every life that begins in a mother’s womb, emphasizing the importance of recognizing this sanctity. Ending the life of an unborn child means stopping a potentially wonderful life or a life dedicated to serving God.
5. The Unborn Child Has God’s Backing
Numerous scriptures highlight the womb as a sacred space intimately connected to divine involvement.
In Isaiah 44:2 (NIV), the Lord declares, “This is what the Lord says—he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you…”
The verse highlights the deep link between God’s creative power and the intricate process of life unfolding in the womb. It encourages reflection on the divine collaboration involved in the emergence of life. The language suggests a kind of divine contest or deliberate selection, emphasizing the idea that a particular vessel was chosen for a purpose in the grand scheme of creation.
6. You are God’s Utmost Priority
The biblical directive to “choose life” is prominently articulated in Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV):
“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”
Deciding to “choose life” brings up some deep moral questions, especially when we talk about abortion. How do we figure out what’s right when it comes to personal choices, what society expects, and following what the Bible says?
Deuteronomy 30:19 brings up the idea of having the freedom to choose, all while being guided by what’s wise and right. Deciding to “choose life” shows a balance between our choices and the wisdom found in the Bible.
The Bible, Abortion, and Jewish Perspectives
Abortion stands as a contentious issue in American politics, heightened since the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. This legal milestone, permitting abortion nationwide, triggers ongoing debates during Supreme Court appointments and elections. Christian groups, notably the Catholic church, advocate for an anti-abortion stance.
Conversely, a significant majority of American Jews, around 83%, favor legalized abortion, as per a 2015 Pew Research Forum survey. Within Judaism, opinions on abortion’s permissibility are intricate, with diverse perspectives on when it is acceptable.
Judaism doesn’t strictly align with the pro-life stance of some Christian denominations. While allowing abortion in specific situations, such as threats to the mother’s life, it considers a fetus a full person only at birth. The Talmud, a crucial Jewish text, outlines varying legal statuses for the fetus at different gestational stages.
Jewish law permits abortion under specific circumstances, primarily when the mother’s life is at risk. Beyond clear threats, opinions on abortion vary, often depending on individual cases.
Different Jewish movements, including Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform, offer varying perspectives on abortion. Orthodox groups generally oppose broad legal protections for abortion, while Conservative and Reform movements are more lenient, considering factors like the mother’s physical and psychological well-being.
The Torah, the foundational text of Judaism, does not explicitly address abortion. However, later rabbinic sources, like the Mishnah, provide guidance. The Mishnah recognizes situations where abortion may be considered, such as when a pregnant woman faces a death sentence.
Concerning contraception, Jewish views vary. Orthodox Judaism leans toward more restrictions, emphasizing the biblical command to be fruitful and multiply. Conservative Judaism allows contraception with justifications, considering factors like physical or emotional well-being. Preferences for specific contraceptive methods also exist within Jewish law.
In terms of public policy, major Jewish organizations advocate for broader access to reproductive health services, including contraception. However, there are differing opinions, with some groups supporting broader access and others praising rulings that allow religious exemptions.
While the Torah doesn’t explicitly discuss abortion, the principal biblical source for Jewish law on abortion is a passage in Exodus (Exodus 21:22-23). This passage addresses a case where two men injure a pregnant woman during a fight, causing her to miscarry. The verse states that if no other harm is done, the person causing the damage must pay compensatory damages. If there is further harm, then he should pay with his life. The common rabbinic interpretation is that if the only harm is the loss of the fetus, it is treated as a case of property damage, not murder.
Seeking God’s Plan for Life
Galatians 1:15 – Being Set Apart from the Womb In Galatians 1:15 (NIV), the apostle Paul thinks about how God chose him from the time he was in his mom’s belly, saying, “But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased…”
This part gives us a different way to look at what God has in mind for each person. It talks about how God had a special plan for Paul even before he was born. The idea is that everyone has a unique purpose in God’s big plan.
Finding out what God has planned for our lives is a big theme in the Bible. The Bible tells us to ask God for help in understanding why we’re here and what part we play in God’s overall plan.
When it comes to talking about stopping a pregnancy, this way of thinking makes us consider if it fits with what God has planned or if it goes against it. It encourages us to really think about the results of our choices when it comes to God’s big plan.
Thinking about what happens when someone decides to end a pregnancy with God’s guidance means carefully looking at personal choices and if they match what God wants for each life. People who believe in God are told to try to understand their role in God’s story better.
As people make choices about abortion, the idea of looking for God’s plan becomes a rule to follow. It tells believers to think carefully and make choices that go along with what God has planned for everyone.
Figuring out how to match religious beliefs with personal situations is a tricky part of trying to find God’s plan for life. The Bible says that believers should deal with life’s difficulties by combining strong faith with understanding and kindness.
In the ongoing conversation about the significance of life, Christians and Jews share the belief that it’s a precious gift right from the beginning, like when a baby is just starting to grow. Scriptures like Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 1:5 emphasize that each unborn child has a special purpose. Both groups agree that contemplating abortion is acceptable only if a mom’s life is in danger. Within Judaism, diverse views from Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform perspectives add depth to the discussion.
Gloria, Benson, and the Real-Life Narrative
Now, let’s delve into the real-life story of Gloria and Benson. Gloria is facing legal trouble for considering abortion, and in turn, she accuses Benson of murder. The core issue is Gloria’s pregnancy from her relationship with Benson’s late brother, Michael. Michael, a lively but somewhat reckless character, continues to influence the lives of those he left behind even after his passing.
As Gloria contemplates abortion, she points the finger at Benson for her sister Doris’s tragic death. The story unfolds the heartbreaking sacrifice Doris made for Benson, giving up her last meal out of love. This narrative acts as a guide, prompting reflection on significant matters. From a Christian viewpoint, it raises questions about responsibility in challenging situations. It navigates the difficult terrain of determining right from wrong in life while seeking guidance from God. In essence, it offers a detailed exploration of the value of life, using genuine stories that underscore why the central theme emphasizes that abortion should only be considered when someone’s life is in danger.
FAQs About What the Bible Say About Abortion
1. Does the Bible explicitly mention abortion?
A1: No, the Bible does not explicitly use the word “abortion” in the sense of an induced expulsion of a human fetus. However, there are many passages that touch on the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception, which can be interpreted as having implications for the issue of abortion.
2. What is the general consensus among Christian denominations on abortion?
- While there are some variations in views among Christian denominations, there is a general consensus that abortion is morally wrong, except in rare cases when the life of the mother is at risk. This consensus is based on the belief that human life is sacred and should be protected from the moment of conception.
3. What are some of the arguments against abortion from a biblical perspective?
From a biblical perspective, some of the key arguments against abortion include:
- The Bible consistently affirms the value of human life, and this extends to the unborn child.
- Many Christians believe that the unborn child is a person with a right to life from the moment of conception.
- Each unborn child has the potential to fulfill a unique purpose in God’s plan.
4. What are some of the challenges in applying biblical teachings to the issue of abortion?
There are some challenges in directly applying biblical teachings to the complex issue of abortion, such as:
- The different interpretations of certain biblical passages can lead to varying conclusions on the morality of abortion.
- The Bible emphasizes love and compassion, and in some cases, these principles may lead to difficult decisions regarding abortion.
- There is a diversity of views on abortion among Christians, and it is important to approach this issue with respect and understanding.
5. How can Christians approach the issue of abortion with compassion and grace?
Christians can approach the issue of abortion with compassion and grace by:
- Abortion is not a simple black-and-white issue, and there are often many factors to consider.
- Women facing unplanned pregnancies need empathy and support, regardless of their decision.
- Christians can advocate for policies and programs that support mothers and children, reducing the need for abortion.
- Christians can engage in respectful discussions about abortion, seeking to understand different perspectives and find common ground.
The Bible highlights the sanctity of life from the moment of conception, emphasizing the importance of protecting and cherishing the unborn. Through various passages, the Bible portrays the unborn as God’s creation, destined for a special purpose. While acknowledging the complexity of the abortion issue, the Bible’s teachings provide a strong foundation for pro-life stances, emphasizing the value of every human life.