Abortion is one of the greatest tragedies of our time. The most dangerous place in the world today for a child is not in some third-world slum or war zone but inside a mother’s womb! When a woman says she has a right to do what she wants with her own body, we must ask: Where did you get that right? All rights of humanity are rooted in the rights bestowed by the Creator, according to the Bible, the only objective source of authority.
God is against abortion, the Church has always been against it, and we must also be against it in our generation. Consider the following biblical principles of life.
(1) God is the Creator who alone has the sovereign right to give and take away the lives of His creatures (cf. Acts 17:28; Dan. 5:23; Job 1:21; Eccl. 3:2, 11). To take a life is to strike a blow against God’s sovereignty.
(2) The giving of a child (Gen. 25:21; Ruth 4:13) or the refusal to allow a child to be conceived (Gen. 16:2; 1 Sam. 1:5) is God’s sovereign prerogative. He personally creates every life, “Behold, all souls are mine…” (Ezekiel 18:4). No baby is a mistake, it is a product of divine purpose.
(3) Every child is made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27), which means that every human has the capability of rational thought, personality, and moral responsibility. Therefore, each child has great theological significance. To take the life of another human being is to violate that unique image.
(4) The unborn child is not a “thing” but a person. The Bible never refers to the unborn child as a “foetus” or an “embryo” but a person. To be pregnant is to be “with child,” not with that which might become a child. The reality of personhood is never measured in the Bible by age, stage of development, or mental, physical, or social skills. In Luke 1:41 we read of the unborn “babe” (John) being involved in spiritual worship. Spirit-filled worship by the babe in the womb is a function of personality. Interestingly, the word translated “babe” is the Greek word brephos, which is used in Luke 18:15 and 1 Peter 2:2, for a living baby that has been born. The Scriptures regard the unborn in the same light as the newborn!
Furthermore, modern science has affirmed many of these theological principles. The unborn child is not a mere appendage to the mother in the womb. From the moment of conception, he has his own unique set of genes, his own circulatory system, and his own blood type.
(5) Life begins in the womb from conception. God cares for the child in the womb (Psa. 139:13-16). The Psalmist also described the person in the womb, as not something that might become David, but someone who was David! (See also Job 10:8-12; Isa. 49:1-5; Jer. 1:4-5; Luke 1:40-44; Gal. 1:15). God elected Jacob over his twin Esau while in the womb (Romans 9:11) and the Holy Spirit records the conflict of these two persons in the womb before birth (Gen. 25:22).
(6) The taking of the life of a human by another human is clearly limited in Scripture to very specific circumstances e.g. warfare, capital punishment, self-defence, etc. Abortion is not a justified ground in Scripture for taking human life. Biblical theologians recognise that abortion is murder i.e. unjustified killing of human life. This is a transgression of the sixth commandment, “thou shalt not kill” (Exod. 20:13). The penal code for killing the unborn child in the womb in ancient Israel reflects God’s view of the sin of abortion (Exod. 21:22-23).
(7) The devil has a murderous spirit and murderous agenda, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning…” (John 8:44). The killing of children has always been part of pagan religions, but it has never been part of biblical Christianity in the OT or the NT era. God has always had a special love and care for children (cf. Matt. 18:10; 19:14).
Abortion is the immoral killing of the defenceless and the innocent in the womb. It must be condemned. It is designed to take life and not merely prevent life from occurring. God hates the shedding of innocent blood (Prov. 6:16), and the rights of a baby start in the womb.
This article was originally written by Dr. Paul Ferguson for “The Pastor’s Study,” a magazine for pastors in rural East Africa. You can support this work among rural pastors by visiting our website at The Krapf Project