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What is the Christian view on abortion?
Few topics cause as much debate, controversy, emotion and rhetoric as the question of abortion.
A Christian view on abortion
Few topics cause as much debate, controversy, emotion and rhetoric as the question of abortion. It has been the subject of countless articles, books, speeches and demonstrations. Many of the questions seem to have no concrete answer – neither scientifically nor ethically.
One of the big questions raised is “When does life actually begin?” Another is, “How does life begin?”
Each individual is a distinct, separate entity from either of its parents from the moment of conception. There are many debates on when this individual can actually be said to have its own life – is it at conception or when the heart starts beating, or some other time?
God has known all life from eternity
As Christians, we must base our life and our faith on God’s Word. Though nobody can scientifically prove when life actually begins, we know from the Bible that God is the creator of all things, and He is the source of all life. When God created the first man Adam, he was not alive until God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”, when he “became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). In the same way, it is not a certain chemical combination that makes an unborn child live, but the breath that God has breathed into him, and nobody can know when that takes place.
Life is holy, pure and inviolable, and we must respect it as we respect God, the giver of life. Throughout the whole Bible it is clear that God knows all things, also that which is to come, and has known this from eternity. In this way He has also always known each person, each life – even before conception.
Not only does God know every individual before they exist, but He even has a purpose with each of these lives. This is expressed clearly in the book of Psalms:
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 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.
“Logical” motives for abortion
However, many people choose to prematurely terminate a pregnancy for a variety of reasons. Though abortion has taken place in all cultures throughout history, medical advances and changing social norms in modern society have made it a more accessible and “acceptable” option than for many earlier generations. “Logical” or, some would argue, “selfish” reasons are some of the main motives – the timing is wrong, parents calculate that they cannot afford raising another child, the pregnancy is socially unacceptable etc. However, life is not ours to take, and God’s Word clearly says, “You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13. “Terminating” a developing life for these reasons is just as much a sin against God and the unborn life.
It is not a small thing to have to give account before God for taking a life that He has created. Transgression of God’s law and will causes grief and pain, and many experience deep psychological and spiritual stress after undergoing, performing or pressuring for an abortion. True forgiveness and healing can only be obtained by seeking God, who is the Lord of life. He is a merciful and loving God and will give peace to those who seek Him with an upright heart.
God shows no partiality
Science has made it possible to detect many disabilities and “abnormalities” in a developing fetus at an early stage. Some argue that a fetus with a clear disability can never be given a full life, and the kindest and most reasonable thing to do is to terminate the pregnancy. The Bible teaches us that human beings are created in God’s image, and He has created each one according to His divine purpose – it is not up to other people to decide who may live and who must die. God shows no partiality, including the weak, the disadvantaged – and the unborn. He is still their Creator. To terminate an unborn life because it is not “perfect” is to assume God’s role, and who has been given such authority?
“Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?” Job 31:15.
“Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What are you begetting?’ Or to the woman, ‘What have you brought forth?’ Thus says the Lord, The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: ‘Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons; And concerning the work of My hands, you command Me. I have made the earth, and created man on it.’” Isaiah 45:10-12
A decision made together with God
Some situations are not clear-cut at all, and not all abortions are carried out for “selfish” reasons. Here it is completely necessary to have a personal connection with God. This means being fully tuned to God’s will and directions, even if they go against one's own will and reasoning – and based on that, be responsible for one’s own decision. All that is done must be done by faith – faith in and obedience to the Almighty God, the giver and taker of life, the righteous Judge, who has an unfathomable love and care for each individual and a divine purpose for each life – for the mother, the unborn child and any others involved. Any decision made together with God is a matter between those concerned and God, and here other people cannot pass judgment.
So what is a Christian view on abortion? Christianity is based on faith in the Almighty God, and in His creating power, both in natural and in spiritual things. The Bible, being the Word of God, is the basis for how we conduct our lives. Our trust is in God, the Almighty Creator, who knows all things – also the lives of those yet unborn. We, His creation, are called to live before Him in reverence and awe, with full, unwavering faith in His boundless love, goodness and wisdom. Any decision made with God brings rest and peace. We believe that many lives would have been spared if God had been sought before these decisions were made.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.