Bible Speaks Loudly About Abortion!
Biblical Principles That Abortion Violates And Why We Ought To Do Something
Nelson, President, Nevada LIFE
Host, Voice For Life On Immaculate Heart Radio
Notes to the reader.
No one could get away with a sermon this long!
This comes from an actual sermon I preached to my congregation in the
90’s while still in active ministry. The
pastor of a large Nevada evangelical church told me to flesh it out.
So, I have expanded on my points to make the points more clear.
I’ve added point seven from pastor Steve Bond.
Pastors, let’s get rid of any straw men caricaturizations of what right to
life Christians in your church want you to do.
We don’t want to take over your church.
We don’t want you to preach on it 35 times a year.
But since this is the biggest moral and human rights issue facing our
country, we have the right to some biblical teaching on it.
Is it or is it not for us to have an abortion?
What is abortion in God’s eyes? Is
it or isn’t it something that will affect our relationships with the Lord our
other children, our families and friends? Is
it something that will hurt us in the long run?
What do I do with my pain and feelings from the abortion I had or
influenced some one to have? These
are serious problems and I want to suggest that while crisis pregnancy centers
are appropriate for abortion decisions making and post abortion trauma, they are
no substitute for your authoritative teaching and counseling.
Preaching on abortion will not wreck your church.
The best sermons I’ve heard on abortion are from pastors of large
and growing churches. Sure people
walk out, but the positive response and the help men and women receive from them
far outweigh those who are turned off.
I know many of you have come here today scared because I’m going to be talking
about abortion. President Clinton
has recently revived a common tactic to disarm pro-life Christians from working
to end abortion by saying in so many words, “the Bible does not say abortion
interpretive sleight of hand is very effective.
An evangelical minister in Reno once told me “there was abortion in
Jesus’ day and he said nothing about it.
So abortion is not a Christian problem.”
End of discussion.
Step children of this view say that the church now has no prophetic voice
(an ethical voice to engage, guide and confront society).
The cultural commission of Genesis 1.28-30, Matthew 5:13-16 has no claim
on them. The church’s sole mission is evangelism.
People need a good opinion about the church to foster evangelism and
church growth. Abortion talk hurts
our image. In the words of another
evangelical pastor in Reno, “we have no right to beat people over the head
until the church gets its own act together.”
I’m preaching to you today on this subject because I believe it is the
biggest moral issue in our nation and world today.
I believe that while the word abortion doesn’t appear in the bible
itself, it speaks loudly about it. I
want to give you seven biblical principles which show that abortion is contrary
to scripture. They suggest that it does
matter that we speak up about abortion. They
say that we have a Christian duty to both proclaim as loudly as we can that
every person conceived has an unalienable dignity and that we Christians must be
the first to voice objections to the murder of innocent babies by abortion.
7 Christian Principles That Abortion Violates
God is God In
1992, I asked an abortionist when life begins.
He answered, “it’s a child
when the mother decides it is.” Talk
about playing God! I couldn’t
help the feel an intense hypocrisy, since abortionists and women choosing
abortion say pro-life activists play God. Here’s
the principle. The
Bible tells us that God, and God alone, is God.
He gives life to all (Nehemiah 9.6).
Jesus says he is the giver of life.
To grant a mother the right to determine humanness and personhood exalts
women to deity by granting them the powers of life and death.
This is dangerous because the first step in discrimination is to play
God. You dehumanize those you hate
to justify your actions. You choose
who is and isn’t worthy of life in your society.
Once a person’s humanity is taken away, it makes your oppression more
acceptable to your now seared conscience.
of this undermines everyone’s rights. You
can’t take one person’s natural rights or the right to life without creating
the possibility that one day your own may be taken too.
It just doesn’t happen right away.
Were God not to exist, the most heinous crime against humanity would be
for anyone to claim the right to determine who has humanity.
Since God alone can determine when a life can be justly taken, the woman
procuring an abortion, and the abortionist destroying that child, usurp God’s
authority. They presume an
authority no person dare be allowed to presume.
Pro-life Christians are not playing God.
They are telling women and abortionists they have no right to play God
Humanity is given. It is not
Pastor John Piper, PhD says that the Bible describes the unborn in
personal terms-nothing like the impersonal terms of abortion-choice, contents of
the uterus, products of conception, a blob of tissue, pregnancy mass and the
like. (Renaming, slurring or
reclassifying humans precedes oppression and is necessary to quiet our guilt).
infancy narratives about the birth of Jesus show that his cousin John the
Baptist had a personality in utero. While
still a baby in the womb, he leapt for joy.
The same New Testament Greek word brephos
is used to describe John’s inter-uterine joy (Luke
1.41), the baby Jesus (Luke 2.12, 16)
and the children approaching Jesus during his ministry (Luke
18.15). Piper says that Genesis 25.22
uses the ordinary word in Hebrew for children to describe the fraternal skirmish
in Rebekah’s womb.
This tells us that the preborn child is not becoming
a human. The child is growing in
the humanity he or she already possesses. He
or she is not a potential person, but a person with great potential.
Psalm 139 says God creates us
in the womb. Because God gives
humanity, calling a child a choice
dehumanizes the humanity God has given. To
abort a child destroys the humanity God has given.
Humanity is not earned, it is given.
It is inherent in our being from the moment of conception.
The legalization of abortion on demand is the first time in American
history that we have shrunk the meaning of humanity instead of expanding it.
Our biblical doctrine of the dignity of all humankind caused us to,
although too slowly, humanize slaves, grant women’s suffrage, rights for
minorities, the handicapped and children. This
reversal threatens the humanity and protection of all people groups.
Will the church stay silent while this happens?
Abortion violates the principle of personal responsibility.
The Bible teaches that “the soul that sins shall die” for his or her own sin
(Jeremiah 31.30, Ezekiel 18.17,19
etc.). “The son shall not die for
the sins of his father!” This
means no one can justly compel one to suffer or die for the sins of the other,
especially without his or her consent.
Every society and culture looks for some means of atonement to atone for
its sins. In our sexually depraved society, abortion, which is the cornerstone
of free sex, has become a new sacrament or means of atonement wherein the
abortionist sweeps up the consequences of illicit sex.
is largely used to cover up the sins of the father and mother.
The abortionist functions as the free sex cult’s high priest taking
away our sexual sins. Couples present themselves for forgiveness and absolution.
“Forgive us abortionist. We
have sinned. Please take away our
infirmity.” The abortionist
proceeds to break the body and shed the blood of the unborn child.
“This body has been broken for you.
Your sin is covered. No one
will ever know. Go in peace.”
This travesty of justice is an outrage to Christians.
The Bible teaches that Christ, and Christ alone, has died for the sins of
the parents. Only He can bear the
sins of another. It is self evident
that it is wrong to force an innocent to take away the embarrassment and
hardships of anyone without that one’s consent.
The principle of impartiality.
“But, can’t we have a sanctity of human life for people born, but not for
We Americans believe that justice and equality are two pillars
undergirding our society. Abortion
violates both justice and equality. That’s
why the right to abortion will never be morally accepted.
Women exercising the now constitutional right to abortion are choosing
this right at the expense of the unborn child’s right to life.
say that a babies size or inability to live on “its” own mean the unborn is
not a human with rights and therefore can be trampled on.
This too is partiality. There
is no real difference between a baby in the womb and one outside, except size
and breathing. Since when are size
and the ability to breath determinative characteristics for being a human?
God says “do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great
alike.” (Deuteronomy 1.17 see Lev.
19.15 Psalm 82.2, James 2.1,9, Colossians 3.25, Romans 2.11, Ephesians 6.9, I
gives humanity. Ability,
dependency, strength, size have nothing to do with making one a human (i.e.
“to survive on its own”).
To favor a women in difficulty over the baby is unbiblical because it is
impartial. The baby deserves the
most life saving attention and defense because the child has the worst problem.
Her life, not the mother’s is in jeopardy.
Abortion violates the Golden Rule.
Jesus said, “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
This sums up the law and the prophets.” (Matthew
7.12) The pro-choice ethic is
radical utilitarian individualism. Radical
utilitarian individualism is concerned about me, myself and I.
People, things or events are permissible, tolerable, or even acceptable
if and when they suit, please, or benefit me.
This is antithetical to “the Golden Rule.”
When Jesus says we should do this “in everything” he means that the
Golden Rule is what Christian living is all about.
That is what the prophets and the law are trying to say.
In addition to these words, John tells us to provide that which is
lacking to others (I John 3.17).
The apostle Paul says to treat others and their interests above your own.
“Consider others better than yourself (Philippians
2.3-4).” Abortion violates
the golden rule because it suppresses the rights and interests of others to
Abortion violates the command to love by laying down our lives for others.
I Kings 3.16-27 tells the story of
two women who came to King Solomon for justice.
Both women had babies. One
accidentally killed hers in the night when she laid on her child.
She seized the other woman’s child and claimed that the other’s child
was hers. When Solomon proposed
dividing the baby in two parts, one for each, the true mother would not tolerate
it. She loved her child so much
that she was willing to give her away so that her child might live.
She was willing to forgo the joy of motherhood so her baby could live.
Her story mocks abortion. Abortion
takes the life of another for one’s convenience.
Many women will not consider adoption because the idea of their baby
living with someone else is too much for them. Christian love gives one’s life
for another’s. Jesus said, “you
must love one another” (John 13.34).
“Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his
friends. You are my friends if you
do what I command.” (John 15.13-14)
The greatest of all the gifts God has given is this kind of love (I
Corinthians 13.13). Abortion is
intolerable to Jesus because it takes the life of an innocent human.
It is especially egregious because it is for personal gain.
Abortion violates the Christian belief that every person has a unique and
undeniable dignity regardless of one’s physical or financial situations or
Some have tried to appeal to the quality of life ethic in justifying their decision to abort their baby. “We did it out of the love for the child. ‘It’ would not have had a good life.” To say this is love for a child is arrogance. It is playing God. No one can say how one might turn out. No one can take the place of God and say that another’s future is not worth living.
Pastor Steve Bond, in his sermon, Life is Precious,
says this concerning the justification of abortion based upon a babies future
the following. There’s a preacher and wife who are very poor. They already
have fourteen children. Now she finds out she’s pregnant with the fifteenth.
They’re living in tremendous poverty. Considering the economic implications of
another child, would you recommend the woman get an abortion? If you would, you
would have killed John Wesley, one of the greatest evangelists in the history of
Or consider this. The father
is sickly, the mother has tuberculosis. They’ve had four children. The first
is blind, the second is dead, the third is deaf and the fourth has TB, like his
mother. The woman finds out she’s pregnant again. Given the extreme situation,
would you consider recommending an abortion? If you would, you would have killed
Ludwig von Beethoven, one of the greatest composers of all time. Or consider
this. A white man raped a thirteen-year-old black girl and she got pregnant. If
you were her parents, would you consider recommending an abortion? If you would,
you would have killed Ethel Waters, the black gospel singer who ministered to
millions of people around the globe with Billy Graham.
Further, to say we should
abort the child out of love because he become handicapped or grow up in poverty,
or be abused is blasphemous and a condescending insult to the handicapped, the
poor and the abused. This says that
the poor, the handicapped, and the violated are so pitiful and lacking in
dignity, that we ought to kill anyone who might become like them.
Why We Need To Discuss Abortion.
As I prepared to preach about abortion on Sanctity
of Human Life Sunday a woman asked me, “but pastor, why do we have to talk
about this? We’re old people.
None of us are going to have an abortion?”
In my sermon I answered with the following points.
People without knowledge have no power.
Knowledge is power (Hosea
4.6). What you think about the
unborn child affects your conception of justice.
People without knowledge lack the ability to wage a moral discussion and
influence people. Christians must
do their part in communicating the sanctity of human life to a new generation of
people who have no idea about what is right and wrong.
Pastors have the responsibility to give people a worldview by which to
live, to make moral judgments by which they can form and hold values.
Understanding what God says about abortion and the sanctity of life is
Evangelical ministers and parishioners who resist speaking up about the
evil of abortion, need to remember listen to their own words.
We evangelicals have criticized the church for not speaking about the
selective killing of Gypsies, Communists, Poles, Jews, the infirm, the retarded,
the elderly and others during the Holocaust.
Just like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day we say we would never have killed
the prophets or allowed such things to happen.
Pastors and parishioners who do not speak up are near to being silent
accomplices to abortion. Our
silence is a monument being built to the church that was complicity silent only
fifty years ago.
You don’t know whose life you may save.
You do not know what kind of beauty you will keep from being destroyed by
being able to talk with people about abortion.
Just recently I was consulting with a right to life group about my
experiences in Reno. After I was
done, a little four year old girl handed me a picture she had drawn during my
discourse. At the bottom she wrote
an inscription, “Pastor Don, Jesus Loves us all.
Your friend Alicia.” Fern,
a Crisis Pregnancy Center Leader who invited me to speak, leaned over and said
to me “her mother was going to abort her.
But I went over to her house several times...”
At that moment I cringed at the thought that was it not for Fern, I would
never have experienced the beauty of little Alicia.
Her courage and ability to talk about abortion had helped bring Alicia
and all her beauty into the world. Your
ability to talk about abortion will save lives and make the world more beautiful
When we infringe on the sanctity of human life, we erode the authority and
principles to fight racism, sexism and other discriminations.
Martin Luther King said that justice denied anywhere threatens justice
everywhere. So it also is that when
humanity is denied anywhere it threatens humanity everywhere.
Your unalienable rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness
depends on the extension to and protection of that right to every living human
being. Members of a society cannot
think for long that their human rights can be unalienable if that society is
willing to trample on the right to exist of anyone, no matter how weak, pitiful
and useless that society may make those groups appear.
Of course there are some who will say ending oppression is no comparison
to eternal life. That’s not what
the church is about. Salvation of
one’s soul is far greater. It’s
better to know Christ and be oppressed than to not know him and be free.
But no one will take the messengers of salvation seriously if he or she
is not outrage or at least concerned about the evils afflicting the hearer.
Abortion causes secondary pains.
Many women have no idea what abortion is because no one will tell them.
And despite the objections and invective of the abortion lobby, who would
stand to lose revenues, we know substantial harm comes to women and many times,
families, husbands boy friends and a whole matrix of relationships connected to
and surrounding each abortion. Many
of those are long term. When we are
silent about abortion we rob young women of information that will spare them
life long guilt and other social, relational, spiritual and even physical
problems. Churches counsel about
the pains of divorce, adultery, fornication, drug and alcohol abuse.
Why not abortion?
Some Common Objections To Involvement On Abortion.
Isn’t this forcing my morality upon others?
“Morality is private. Isn’t it
wrong for me to try to force my opinions on others?”
laws have a moral basis. Name one
that doesn’t. What law or
regulation is not based on some person’s or group of person’s conception of
right and wrong? Since all law is
legislated morality, why should abortion be an exception?
Are you prepared to say that Wilberforce, Lincoln, Frederick Douglas and
the abolitionists had no right to force their opinions about slavery on our
republic? Are you prepared to say
that Susan B. Anthony and those who fought for women’s suffrage were wrong?
Then you should not say fighting for the right for every baby to live and
be free of the threat of having his or her life extinguished is wrong.
This is a greater fight because the unborn child cannot speak for
herself! And since this is a
democratic republic, there is no reason for you to keep your opinion on this
matter to yourself.
If you are a Christian, you live for God’s approval, not the approval
of humans. Proverbs says “rescue
those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs
the heart perceive it? Does not he
who guards your life know it? Will
he not repay each person according to what he has done?’” (Proverbs
24.11-12) We have a Christian
obligation to defend the rights of the unborn whether or not anyone approves of
it. We have a judge to face when we
don’t. He will definitely know we
did not defend those rights.
The Bible says all government is ordained by God.
We must obey and stay out of politics.
Many Christians wring their hands about causes and are standing on the abortion
sidelines with a private morality. Many
of them believe Romans 13 says we cannot protest the government because it is
ordained and sanctioned by God.
Here are a couple things to remember.
Just because a government may be ordained by God, doesn’t mean that
everything it does is willed by God or approved of by God.
It’s hard to believe that God would ordain things he clearly says are
wrong and contrary to his prescription.
Second, if we take the position that all government decrees are God’s
will, then we have a problem. The
Supreme Court that made abortion a choice and stripped the unborn child of her
rights. It is the same Court that
denied Dred Scott his humanity and said that he was another’s personal
property. It refused him the right
to self-determination. The court
also gave us the separate but equal doctrine and the Korematsu decision which
interned American Japanese. If
Romans 13 means governmental decrees are God’s will, then God is open to the
charge of being the creator of unjust governments and being the sanctifier of
the horrible injustices that have been committed by our Court and government.
really argues scripture against scripture, or at least misses the full teaching
of scripture. Romans 13 must be
compared with Revelation 13. In
this case the apostle John calls the Roman government, which is persecuting the
righteous, the beast. The
government there is not ordained by God. It
remove this apparent contradiction in the Bible, we only need to say that only
good laws and good governments are ordained by God and bear his stamp of
approval. It is no sin to petition
a government about heinous, unjust laws. Even
if we were to say that evil governments were ordained by God, it is no sin to
petition a government about heinous, unjust laws.
governments and laws are always changing. Don’t
discount the truth that God uses Christians to advocate justice to change
governments and their laws and policies. The
slave trade in the British Empire was not ended by evangelism and the changing
of hearts to Christ and the church. It
wasn’t as if, one day after successful evangelism, that there was no more need
for the slave trade. It came to an
end because of persistent advocacy by Christians like Wilberforce at the behest
of the great evangelist John Wesley.
it is self evident that our society is in a great need of the insights of
The right to life cause is not worth the effort because right to life people
don’t care about children after they are born.
Many of our most dedicated Christian leaders who give their lives for the poor
criticize us right to life advocates. They
think we do nothing for the poor after they are born, or for the poor at all.
This overlooks the thousands of crisis pregnancy centers run mostly by
volunteers. Even where this charge
might be true, it should be remembered that in medical and civil emergencies,
treatment and resources are first allocated to those with the greatest needs.
The preborn child in the womb facing abortion has the greatest need.
The child faces immediate death. That
is why we are moved to put so many of our resources into waging the battle to
save their lives.
This objection also absurd for another reason.
It says that the unwillingness of certain Christians to care for another
person gives a mother the right to kill her child. This too would be a good
argument for infanticide and euthanasia. Few
things more foolish could ever be said.
Unfortunately, people who say this usually don’t realize that they are
saying that people who are born are more worthwhile than people preborn.
Biblical Call To Action
In conclusion, let me say why I think we should make abortion part of our
church preaching and teaching programs and routines and public witness?
1996 a fire erupted on the hillside of Reno.
Incredibly, it spread to 3000 acres in less than two hours and then to
6000. It shut down Interstate
80 and threatened to come into the city and destroy many homes.
Fire fighters from across the western states rushed to the fire lines and
stopped it from coming down into the city.
My friends, America is on fire. The
raging fires of abortion threaten our civilization and our civility.
If we cannot convince people that killing innocent preborn children, we
will never be able to convince this new generation that has come of age under
the quality of life-choice ethic, that any killing is wrong.
And having been saddled with an enormous national debt how will they
treat you in your old age?
Unless we defeat abortion rights and its mind set-especially the quality
of life and choice ethic is wrong, we will never be able to stop infanticide and
euthanasia. If a child in the womb
can be killed because we think she will not have an acceptable quality of life,
then there is nothing to prevent us from killing others that society thinks are
burdened with a poor quality of life. If
a child in the womb can be killed because he may adversely affect a mother’s
emotional, economic and educational development, there is no argument to prevent
society from killing those who are too burdensome to society, or whose beliefs
are contrary to the perceived well being of society.
The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has already granted a
surrogate to give consent to assisted suicide to a mentally incompetent person.
Assisted suicide has become euthanasia.
Oregon has legalized physician assisted suicide. Some societies have
treated religious faith as a mental illness.
Given our current culture, don’t think it can’t happen here.
People propagating these sort of societies are teaching in our
Now is the time for you and the church to rush to the fire lines and do
something about the fire descending upon our nation.
If we don’t, we will be irrelevant on the deepest moral crisis that has
ever plagued our nation. How can
that kind of faith be taken seriously by anyone?
It is imperative that we proclaim the dignity and worth of each human
being and proclaim as rationally and as forcefully as we can that every human
being who is conceived has a dignity that no one may assault.
The future of our nation and the integrity of our faith depends on it.