Today’s entry is an article written by Stephen Wagner and is featured in the HCSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students. With the release of October Baby this weekend, I thought it would be helpful to provide my readers with a solid biblical case for life should they encounter the need or opportunity to share what the Bible says about abortion. I pray this is helpful.
"The Bible doesn’t say anything about abortion, so women have the right to choose.” That’s a favorite argument from politicians who want to keep abortion legal, but is it true that the Bible is silent on abortion? No, it isn’t.
The next time someone tells you otherwise, ask this question to make things clearer: “Do you mean that the Bible doesn’t mention the word ‘abortion,’ or do you instead mean that the Bible doesn’t give us a moral command that applies to the abortion issue?” This is an important distinction to highlight.
After all, it’s true that the Bible doesn’t say, “Don’t have an abortion.” Then again, it also doesn’t say, “Don’t throw your children in dumpsters.” Yet, in Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17; and Matthew 19:18-19, the Bible offers a command that applies to both situations: Do not murder (where “murder” means not to kill innocent humans).
Before we can say with confidence what the Bible says about abortion, then, we must answer a prior question: Is an unborn child human? To paraphrase Greg Koukl, a Christian apologist and radio talk show host, if the unborn is not a human being, then the Bible doesn’t speak to the abortion issue and you don’t need to make an argument to justify it. But if the unborn is a human (and the Bible seems to make this clear in Ps 139), the Bible speaks clearly about abortion and no argument can justify abortion.
Put another way, if the unborn is human, then “Do not murder” is a command that applies equally to murdering an adult or dismembering an unborn human through abortion. You can make a case that the unborn is a human by appealing to the Bible, but since many people don’t believe the Bible is true, I suggest being ready to make your case by using three other types of evidence.
First, use pictures of unborn babies developing in the womb and pictures of the abortion procedure to clarify the realities involved in the abortion debate. Since most people are visual learners, this tactic is critical.
Second, use scientific evidence to show that the unborn are living, whole members of the human species. If the unborn child is growing, how could she not be alive? And if she has human parents, how could she not be human? This living human isn’t a disordered mass of tissue or a functional part of the mother’s body. She’s a whole organism integrating her own functional parts. Biologically, she’s a human.
Third, use philosophical reasoning to show that the biblical command “Do not murder” applies to all human beings. Unborn human beings differ from the rest of us in only four ways: size, level of development, environment, or degree of dependency. Note how newborns, disabled people, and many other already born human beings also differ from able-bodied adults in each of these ways, but we still recognize that they share the same human nature as the rest of us.
These differences are irrelevant to value or qualifications as human, and so we should respect the unborn human being just like we would any other human being.
Posted on March 20, 2012
With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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