Abortion: A Biblical Perspective
James R. Aist
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)
Although abortion has important social and political ramifications, to those of us who are born-again Christians, the most basic issues have to do with what God has to say about it. For that information, of course, we turn to the Word of God, the Holy Bible. But, can we find in the Bible the spiritual guidance we seek and get a clear understanding of the moral issues surrounding abortion, as well as God’s opinion of it? Let’s find out.
God Knows When Human Life Begins
Who could possibly answer this question better than the God who created human life, the God of the Bible? What does the Bible have to say about when human life begins?
Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” God knew Jeremiah before He formed him in the womb (i.e., before he was conceived). In the mind of God, Jeremiah existed as a human being even before he was conceived.
Psalm 51:5 – “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Let’s think about that for a moment. Could David have been sinful before he was a human being? Of course not; the curse of original sin applies only to human beings. It follows, then, that if David was sinful from the moment of conception, then he must also have been a human being from the moment of conception.
Luke 1:36 – “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.” Note that, here, the angel of the Lord states that what Elizabeth conceived was already a “son” (i.e., a male human offspring). The implication is that John the Baptist was already a human being at the moment of his conception.
Conclusion: In the mind of God, we exist as human beings even before we are conceived. Moreover, the Bible speaks of the product of human conception as being already “sinful” or a “son”, both of which are distinctively human attributes. Thus, in the Bible, human life is understood to begin at conception, because the God of the Bible says it does.
When Does God’s Plan for Our Life Begin?
Luke 2:21 – “And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.” God’s plan for Jesus was already in place before he was conceived, as the name given by the angel, “Jesus”, means “Savior.”
Jeremiah 1:5 – “…before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” God ordained Jeremiah a prophet before he was born.
Isaiah 49:1 – “Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.” Isaiah received his calling from the Lord before he was born.
Judges 16:17 – “I have been a Nazarite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb.” Samson was dedicated to God as a Nazarite before he was born.
Galatians 1:15 – “… God… set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace…” Paul was set apart, by God, to be an Apostle before he was born.
Conclusion: According to the Bible, God has a plan for our lives before we are born!
Why Does the Bible Condemn Abortion As “Sin”?
First, we must understand that God created us, all of us, in His own image: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them….” (Genesis 1:27). This fact means that we human beings are the pinnacle of God’s creation and are the only living beings that bear the very image of God in themselves.
Second, God said that “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.” (Genesis 9:6). Abortion is undeniably the “shedding of human blood”, and as such it is an act of utter and total disrespect for the image of God himself, a grave offense to the very being of God.
And third, as the shedding of innocent human blood, abortion is the sin of murder and, therefore, a violation of God’s 6th Commandment, “You shall not murder.”
Conclusion: The Bible condemns abortion as sin, because it is murder.
Is It OK to Be “Pro-choice”?
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. – 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
People who are “pro-choice” believe that they are just defending the right of the mother to decide whether her unborn child lives or dies; thus, “pro-choice.” At the same time, they deny that they have any responsibility for the death of the unborn child if the mother decides to abort. This is nonsense. By supporting their so-called “right to choose”, you are, in effect, implying that you believe either choice, life or death, is equally good and moral, and to the extent that you influence them to agree with you, you share in whatever decision they make. Let’s be honest and realistic for a moment: Every time you say, “It’s a woman’s right to choose”, you’re also saying, “It’s OK to murder babies – either male or female – in the womb.” Do you really believe that a woman has a right to murder another woman in the womb? How does it promote “women’s rights” to deny unborn women the most basic human right of all, the right to live? And, what if the choice were up to you? Would you choose to murder your own baby in your womb? If not, then why would you support someone else choosing to do it? The only way you can avoid a shared responsibility in a decision to abort is to take a stand against abortion, i.e., to be “pro-life.” Does the Bible have anything to say about this point? Indeed it does. The Bible has stern rebukes and dire warnings for those who approve of sin or encourage others to sin (Leviticus 19:1; Isaiah 5:20; Malachi 2:17; Matthew 5:19-20; Matthew 18:6; Romans 14:22). Thus, anyone, including born-again Christians, who even approves of or encourages the sin of abortion in any way will, someday, have to answer to God for it. If that’s you, then now is the time to repent!
Conclusion: It is not OK to be “pro-choice”; according to the Bible, it is a sin.
An Appeal for the Rights of the Unborn
If you want to make me cry, then remind me of the accidental traffic death of my daughter, Liesel, when she was only 20 years old. Or, remind me of the accidental drowning deaths of twin toddlers in Knoxville a few days ago. But, if you really want me to weep and mourn deeply, then remind me of the intentional deaths of tens of millions of innocent, helpless, unborn babies, murdered in their mother’s womb, in America since Roe v. Wade. The United States will have no claim wha…tsoever to any moral high ground concerning anything, unless and until we, as a nation, rise up against this, the most despicable of man’s inhumanity to man, and legally declare it to be what it is: murder of the worst kind. And that’s why we need more and more pro-life justices, judges, governors, legislators, presidents and God-fearing voters to lead the charge against abortion. America, bless God and stand against this national tragedy!
According to the God of the Bible, human life begins at conception. God has a plan for our lives before we are even conceived, and abortion thwarts the plan of God. We are made in the image of God, and He condemns abortion as sin because it is murder, an act of utter and total disrespect for the image of God himself and a grave offense to the very being of God. And, it is a sin to be “pro-choice”, because a pro-choice position, in effect, approves of and encourages the sin of abortion, even though it is the mother who makes the decision.
You might also want to read this article by John MacArthur (click HERE)
(For more articles on ABORTION, click HERE)
Thanks for visiting my website, John, and for your comments here. You raise some interesting points, and I’m glad to share my thoughts about them. Firstly, to enter into the abortion discussion in a meaningful way, I believe that one must formulate an opinion about when human life begins, and the only objective answer that biology can suggest is conception. All other suggestions are arbitrary and/or a matter of convenience. Even a fully developed, newborn baby is still dependent on an adult human being for its early survival. Secondly, I believe that assuming that all unborn babies who die will be saved is a very big assumption indeed. God knows that all of these would sin if given the opportunity and which of them, if given an opportunity, would hear and believe the Gospel and be saved; so, the basis of His judgment of those individuals may be, in effect, exactly the same as the rest of us. Thirdly, God knows also which of the successful conceptions would result in successful live births, and He may very well put a human spirit in only those zygotes. And, fourthly, miscarriages do not enter into the abortion debate, because they are not, technically, abortions, having nothing to do with human volition. Finally, since we know by definition that human life cannot exist before conception, the “safe” position is to assume that the human spirit is added at conception, and let God sort out the other details. At least that way, we can know that we are not murdering anyone in the womb. Thanks for helping me clarify my own thinking on these matters.
Hi Jim, Let me say that I find a trash can full of heads, arms and legs of babies abhorrent and should be stopped. I have some problem though with the idea that the human soul is present at the moment of conception. An estimated half of human conceptions are spontaneously terminated. On the farm when a cow came in heat and was put with the bull you could mark on the calendar with considerable certainty when the calf would arrive. With human married couples there is an only an 80% chance of a pregnancy in the first year. For some reason many human conceptions end in abnormal chromosome complements which can’t survive.
The theological result of arguing that the soul is present so early is that most of the persons who will be in heaven were never born – assuming of course that all unborn babies who die will be saved. What happens when cells at the two cell embryo stage separate and form identical twins? Do they each get half a soul or do they share one soul or does it grow back? Also the human sperm enters an oocyte which is still in the process of meiosis II. Just curious what you think about these issues.
Thank you for your comment, C. I’m glad to know that you also believe that abortion is murder. May I assume, then, that you would agree with me that a mother should not be allowed to “choose” to murder her post-partum baby, and that such murder should be illegal? If that is so, then why should a mother be allowed to murder her unborn baby, and why should it be legal to do so? And why would it not, therefore, be a sin to, in effect, approve and encourage either kind of murder by taking a “pro-choice” stand? We have to keep in mind that the Bible has stern rebukes and dire warnings for those who approve of sin or encourage others to sin (Leviticus 19:1; Isaiah 5:20; Malachi 2:17; Matthew 5:19-20; Matthew 18:6; Romans 14:22). Yes, indeed, God allowed Adam and Eve to sin, and look where that got us.
I question the conclusion that being “pro-choice” is a sin. Don’t get me wrong I agree abortion is murder as God would see it but pro-choice is exactly the option God gave to Adam and Eve in the beginning – eat the fruit or don’t.
Choose to follow or don’t and sin and here we are now in the history of mankind.
God gave us the right to choose anything and everything daily. I choose to do my best to follow him – I am not forced too. He told us what he considers acceptable and what will happen if we don’t do it but he doesn’t make us.