Friday, January 27, 2012

Sanctity of Life


Before I start writing this post, I think it's important, like Joe said Sunday, to make sure that I take this "as seriously and sober-mindedly as possible". I mean, it's a really sensitive topic and one that I've dealt with through people I know and care about and one that I'm sure a lot of you who will read this have dealt with in some way as well.

This month marks the 39th anniversary of Roe V. Wade, legalizing abortion in our nation, stating that a constitutional right to privacy exists, thereby protecting a woman's right to have an abortion. President Reagan sanctioned the third Sunday in January as "Sanctity of Human Life Sunday" so Joe Lechner took the opportunity a week and a half ago to recognize and address that subject directly. I felt that it was definitely worth putting it up here.

There are an estimated 42 million abortions worldwide every year, 13 million abortions occur every year in China (the number obviously intensified, given the state-mandated "one child only" policy. In the U.S. there are an estimated 1.3 million abortions every year. It is, in fact, the most common surgery performed on women in America. At the current rate, at least one-third of all American women have had or will have an abortion by age 45, so when talking to someone, there is a strong likelihood that you are talking to someone who has been touched by this issue.

If the pro-choice people are correct, those numbers simply reflect the freedom of basic civil rights to choose; and if the pro life position is correct, then the roughly 3,750 abortions that occur every single day in this country are human casualties, more than all of the lives lost on September 11th.

Those are staggering numbers and accusations, but what it comes down to is one question. What is abortion?

No, let's to hold off on immediately appealing to the Bible for an answer because, like it or not, if you start there in our culture, you are likely to lose listening ears. So let's start by simply appealing to conscience and common sense.

"It is the hallmark of our relativism and subjectivism. We define our own realities, moralities, and sexualities. We redefined marriage, person-hood, and God Himself. In order to match things up to our own personal liking, we even redefine the truth about abortion itself when the stark reality is that it is child killing"-John Ensor
That is the core issue surrounding abortion, isn't it? The identity of the one aborted? For years, the way advocates for abortion have really prevailed upon popular opinion is by having people truly believe that the unborn are something less than a truly human child. The relativism in our culture still has a serious breakdown over this particular point.

Randy Alcorn writes, "Many of the same people who believe unborns are human and abortion is immoral, nonetheless choose to have abortions and defend abortions as legitimate. This proves they do not believe unborns are human beings in the same sense that they believe 3-year-olds are human beings. They don't believe abortion is immoral in the same way killing a 3-year-old is immoral. No one that considers an unborn child a full-fledged person can rationally defend abortions legality, unless they also defend legalizing the killing of other human beings. After all, every argument for abortion that appeals to a mother's inconvenience, stress and financial hardship can be made just as persuasively about her 12 year old, her husband, her parents. In many cases, older children can be just as expensive and place greater demands on their mother as an unborn child, but people immediately recognize those arguments are invalid when it comes to killing older children."
And that is why the acknowledgement of the unborn as just as much of a human being as a 3-year-old is crucial in this discussion. The problem is that unborn children do not appear to be fully human by those who are used to judging humanity by appearances. Last time I checked, early fetuses don't resemble children very much. However, in a purely objective, scientific stance, an unborn child, whether at one week or ten weeks or 40 weeks, is every bit as human as any other older child or adult. Any medical textbook or journal you can find will say so.

Dr. Alfred Bongioanni, professor of obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania, has stated "I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception. I am no more prepared to say that these early stages represent an incomplete human than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty is not a human being."
Jerome Lejeune, professor of genetics at the faculty of medicine in Paris has stated, "After fertilization has taken place, a new human being has come into being. This is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. "
These aren't pro-life men appealing to Christians with religious convictions. These are professors and scientists that are appealing to the very best evidence that science gives us. By 45 days, all the internal organs that the child will have as an adults are present and working, including the heart that would have been formed and working weeks ago, pumping blood throughout it's body. Appearance does not define person-hood, neither does level of development.

A 6-year-old is stronger and more developed than a 1-year-old, but not any less of a person.

Environment, contrary to popular opinion, also does not determine person-hood. A baby outside the mother's womb is no more of a human being than one that is still inside of the womb. Does living inside a house make you less of a person than living outside a house?

The only things making us difference than the unborn are size, development, environment, and level of dependency. None of these makes a difference in levels of humanity.

You can call it terminating a pregnancy, evacuating a uterus, reproductive management, abortion, . You can call it whatever you want, but no matter how you say it, it is taking human life. It is killing our children and our conscience should really be made to feel it.

In a prominent medical journal, a pro-choice advocate tells a nurse, "Through public conditioning, the importance of language, customs, and laws, the idea of abortion can be separated from the idea of killing"! That is insane! To separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing is to separate fantasy from reality. And, by the grace of God, scientific advances and modern technology have made it increasingly difficult to argue that the unborn are less than fully human. Religion, the Bible, and Christian conviction aside, the argument that it's not really a baby is less and less valid.

That is why the arguments have experienced an evolution, where the appeal is no longer being made to science. It's no longer asking science "is it human" because more and more science is saying "yes". Arguments have now shifted more toward philosophy. The question has now become, "Is it morally meaningful life?" This is a much more dangerous question because who decides who's life is morally meaningful and who's isn't?

If you want scary, look at the quotes from some of the leaders in academia today. Peter Singer, leader of ethics at Princeton says, " the life of the fetus is of no greater value than the life of a nonhuman animal, at a similar level of rationality, self consciousness, and awareness." In another place, applying this philosophy not only to the unborn, but to infants, "When the death of a disabled infant saves the life of another infant with better prospects of a happy life, the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. The loss of happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. Therefore, if killing the disabled infant as no adverse effect on others, it would, according to the total  view, be right to kill him."

Dr. Charles Hartshorne of the University of Texas echoes Peter Singers ethics when he says, "I have very little sympathy with the idea that infanticide is just another form of murder." Persons who are already functionally persons in the full sense have more important rights even than infants."
Does this guy even listen to what he's saying? This is a philosophy that relates meaningful life with it's usefulness to society! So based on this ethic, it becomes morally permissible to kill the unborn based on it's relative functional usefulness and potential happiness in society, or if it's deemed it's potential happiness might be greater if it was dead! Once morality is defined by it's relative functionality or it's potential to produce happiness, there is nothing that cannot qualify.

We have seen this exact same ethic in history. It was the same ethic that condoned slavery, that Nazis used to determine that Jews' lives were not meaningful, and it's the same ethic that adults are using to murder unborn children. Relativity is a slippery slope, because no one is safe. You are not safe. It could be deemed that your usefulness is zero if your functionality is deemed to be zero or the relative amount of happiness that you produce is zero or less than someone else (typically someone in power).

Science and philosophy will eventually reach their limitations because eventually appeals to the unchanging, authoritative truth of God, as revealed in the words of God, must finally and ultimately be made. God alone, not ethics professors,  deems what is morally meaningful, no matter what anybody else says.Human beings are meaningful because we are created in the image of God.

[Psalm 139]

Human beings come into existence every day, created in the image of God, with souls that will live forever. There should be an awesome reverence that we feel for every human life from it's very beginning. And that reality ought to interpret our science, ethics, and morality; and it must be our ultimate appeal. When it's not, and we turn away from God and His word as our final standard, confusion and blindness reign in moral relativism and subjectivism. And we see it everywhere!

Although it is illegal to harm and abuse an unborn child through drug use, it is perfectly legal to kill that same child through abortion. A person who kills a pregnant woman can be charged and convicted of double homicide in some states. Consider the confusion of this double standard.

Randy Alcorn poses a situation when he writes, "When a woman is scheduled to get an abortion, but on her way to the abortion clinic, her baby is killed in utero, the baby's killer would be prosecuted for murder. But if this murder doesn't occur, an hour later, the doctor will be paid to perform a legal procedure, killing exactly the same child in a way that is probably more gruesome.Or consider this bizarre twist. If the same doctor killed the same child, not in the womb, but only an hour after he or she was born, he could be prosecuted for murder."
Moral confusion creates all kinds of moral inconsistencies. Perhaps the greatest example of this is in the attempting to make abortion primarily a woman's right issue. If you research this, you may be surprised to learn that historically the primary activists against abortion were actually women fighting for women's rights. They saw abortion as "the ultimate exploitation of women". It wasn't until much later, when a new breed of feminists emerged, notably Margaret Sanger, founder of planned parenthood, came along that they started to tie in the abortion debate with women's rights, so that abortion could ride on the coattails of legitimate women's rights issues. They link the two so that the abortion debate could progress, not of it's own merit, but purposefully on the merit of women's rights.

It wasn't until the 60's and 70's, mainly during the height of the sexual revolution that women began to embrace the pro-choice side of the abortion debate as a woman's right. Ironically, it does more to exploit women and encourage males sexual irresponsibility. It's no surprise that most of the people on the pro- life side are males between the ages of 20 and 45. I wonder why.

Not only does abortion hurt the unborn, but studies show that abortion leads to increased risk of breast and cervical cancer, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide. I'm not sure that it's a coincidence that 56% of females suicides occur in China. It is the leading cause of death among rural women of China. It is the only nation in the world in which more women than men kill themselves.

The more and more this is becoming a philosophical and spiritual issue, the more and more we should become convinced of the satanic nature of this. I don't say it lightly and I mean it in all seriousness. Consider abortion from Satan's perspective for a minute.

Revelation 12:12 tells us: Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."
Satan knows that his time is short. It is only a matter of time, but it is a matter of time specifically linked to scripture, the fulfillment of the great commission. When that is fulfilled, the end will come, but not until. So Satan is a huge fan of abortion, because it takes aim at the great commission by eliminating as many people as possible who might otherwise receive and spread the gospel.

"For as wicked as abortion is itself, for the enemy of our souls, it is primarily a means to a greater end. The delay of the spread of the gospel. Abortion may very well be Satan's chief weapon against world evangelism today. Knowing that Christ won an inevitable victory at the cross, Satan is driven by a single terrifying reality. The culmination of his own fatal bruising approaches. God is sovereign over time, to Him it is a trivial matter, but Satan is bound to time and obsessed with it. All that he does, all his schemes and devices are calculated to buy more of it because he knows his time is short."~John Ensor
Today there are more tools and ways to spread the gospel everywhere on the globe than ever before. But it takes people to make the great commission happen. So from Satan's perspective, every child that comes to birth may grow to be one more Christ's follower. Why would he not using the mass child killing of abortion to delay that process? He used it to target Moses in Egypt and again in Jerusalem to target Jesus.

42 million children are wiped out every year before their first breath. That's a plan rightly called satanic.

Roe V. Wade acknowledged the fetus as a living person while inside the womb. This means that, legally, unborn children fall under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment to the United States constitution legally protecting them from being murdered. For Roe V. Wade to have passed, courts should have had to create a new amendment and courts were never meant to have that power. The Declaration of Independence says that all men are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable right that among these is LIFE.

Roe V. Wade, and therefore abortion, is illegal and unconstitutional.

The question is: What can we do?

ONE – Read and be informed. Know the facts and know the issues so that you can speak intelligently to people about this. It’s going to require more than a handful of Bible verses in order to win people over. Suggested resource: Why Pro-Life? by Randy Alcorn

TWO -Support and be involved in the Pro-Life ministries

THIRD – Give to Pro-life ministries. Most pregnancy resource centers are non-profits and are significantly dependent on the charitable giving of others to operate and provide services. Pray and consider making it part of your yearly charitable giving to support places like pregnancy resource centers.

FOURTH – Volunteer at Pregnancy Resource Centers or other Pro-Life ministries. If you don’t know what to do, there’s a great new ministry and website called http://www.cities4life.org/ that provides opportunities and information about how you can actively be involved in helping and serving and volunteering and ministering to women considering abortions.

FIFTH – Consider being on the front lines at abortion clinics appealing to and praying for women to choose life. These places, these women, and their babies are mission fields for the gospel in dire need of courageous and compassionate missionaries. Would you consider joining the mission field on the front lines. Again, http://www.cities4life.org/ is a good place to start to get more information.

[Don't just be on the front lines for the women going into the abortion clinic. Be there for them when they come back out, regardless of their decision. They need someone more coming out than they do going in a lot of the time.]
SIXTH – Be active in the political process. Meet, write, and call your representatives. Draft, circulate, and sign petitions for pro-life ballot measures. Vote.

SEVENTH – Adoption. It’s estimated that for every child that’s adopted in this country, 30 others are aborted.

LASTLY – (though even more could be added to this list) – Pray. Ultimately, our hope is in our Sovereign God for whom nothing is too hard and with whom nothing is impossible. Here are a few categories to help you in praying for this issue:
  • Pray that mothers would choose life and babies would be saved
  • Pray that the men involved would be courageous and responsible
  • Pray for those in the abortion business to be awakened to the evil of abortion
  • Pray for the closing of abortion clinics
  • Pray for the survival and success of ministries and centers seeking to help women choose life.
  • Pray for legislation and public officials that stand for life
  • Pray for the end of legalized abortion in this country and around the world
  • Pray for more Christian missionaries on the front lines of this mission field
  • Pray that the Gospel would triumph in the hearts and lives of these mothers, their babies, their families, and those in the abortion business.

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