The Inspiring Truth Abortionists Overlook
Lawmakers in America want more abortion: looser laws, fewer restrictions, more late-term abortions. People are literally cheering as these laws pass, making abortion easier to get and more common.
Here is an unmistakable reality: These abortion advocates have a casual, even hostile perspective on human life.
Opposing this trend are those who view human life as very special, uniquely worthy of preservation and protection.
These two perspectives could not be more different. Which is your view?
Man’s Place of Honor
Where does the view of the sanctity of human life come from in the first place? We may think the inherent, precious value of human life is self-evident. But as the example of the abortionists teaches us, that is not so.
Most people don’t stop to think about it, but our high assessment of human life comes from the Bible.
This Book reveals that human beings were created by God. Its very first chapter describes God renewing the face of the Earth, creating a beautiful environment that would support life—first the atmospheric and geological conditions, then plant life in spectacular variety, then animal life in the skies and in the seas, then land creatures of every kind, “cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind.” Why did He do all this? For human life! As His crowning physical creation, “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness …. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26-27).
The Bible’s first chapter shows that human beings are unlike any other creation: We are made in God’s image and likeness—after “the God kind.” It further reveals that God gave us dominion over all the other creatures.
Without the Bible and its seen and unseen effect on our history and our society, perhaps most or all of us would view human life as an accident, a product of evolution and completely insignificant.
The rest of the Bible reveals why God made man and what His purpose for us is—and it is a most inspiring truth. God took pains to reveal it to us in order to give us hope, inspiration and motivation to live productive, moral and purposeful lives.
Most people don’t understand the Bible, but flip it open to almost any page, and you will see evidence of the specialness and purpose of human life.
King David wrote, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, and moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:3-4). Out of all His vast creation, why does God care so much about human beings? “For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea …. O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” (verses 5-9). David was awestruck at God’s marvelous creation, and the fact that God crowned human beings with such honor at the head of it all.
In the New Testament, the author of Hebrews had studied David’s psalm. “But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” he wrote (Hebrews 2:6). He quoted the verses about God putting the creatures under human dominion—then expanded on them. Herbert W. Armstrong explained this in his book Mystery of the Ages:
But now the writer of the book of Hebrews is inspired to expand David’s prophecy to add something radically different—something to happen in the world to come!
This revealed knowledge of God’s purpose for mankind—of man’s incredible awesome potential—staggers the imagination. Science knows nothing of it—no religion reveals it, so far as I know—and certainly higher education is in utter ignorance of it.
Nevertheless, it is what God says he has prepared for them that love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
Mr. Armstrong showed that this passage plainly reveals God’s purpose for man. God made human beings to actually help Him govern not just Earth, but the universe! It describes God crowning Jesus Christ “with glory and honour”—and then intending to bring “many sons unto glory” the way He brought His Son Jesus Christ to glory!
The truth about God’s purpose for human beings is awesome and wonderful! Mr. Armstrong wrote an entire book about it, called The Incredible Human Potential, which shows that this inspiring purpose is in the Bible from beginning to end.
God wants us to understand this truth. It gives our lives meaning and direction.
And it gives us crucial perspective on just why it is so important to protect and preserve life.
When we reject this truth, as modern secular society has, then we cannot see anything particularly special about human life. Humanism and other ideologies and religions provide poor substitutes. Left empty-handed, we descend into the type of thinking you see in America today in the abortion culture.
God’s Law Protects Life
Having created us for a wonderful purpose, God is serious about protecting human life. He gave several laws for that purpose, most powerfully the Sixth Commandment: “Thou shalt not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
Throughout history, societies that departed furthest away from godly thinking have come to view murder not as a sin or a crime, but as a valuable tool for getting what they want. In the 20th century alone, governments helmed by Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Hirohito, Pol Pot and Ho Chi Minh took a very cheap view of life, and they killed millions upon millions of people in pursuit of their political aims.
God considers human life so valuable that He commands, “He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death” (Exodus 21:12). Did you know this is the only law that is repeated in all five of the books in the Pentateuch? (see also Genesis 9:6; Leviticus 24:17, 21; Numbers 35:16-18, 31; and Deuteronomy 19:11-13). Many people believe the death penalty is unjust and hypocritical—that it somehow degrades human life. God says it actually shows the supremely high value of human life! It forcibly demonstrates just how precious was the life of that innocent victim by demanding the severest of penalties for the one who took it.
(Now, you cannot understand human life and God’s plan for it without understanding the Bible’s teaching on the afterlife. The Bible reveals that God will resurrect all sinners who have never known Him—including murderers who were executed. Each person will receive the opportunity to repent and live forever—e.g. Revelation 20:11-12. So that execution is not an eternal death sentence.)
God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. But He demanded the death penalty, not only to put a murderer out of his misery (and then reserve him for resurrection) but also so others would hear and fear, to prevent more innocent life being taken. Such a serious command protecting life has a powerful deterrent effect: Fewer people commit murder, meaning fewer murder victims, and fewer executed murderers.
In the law God gave Israel, even the punishment for manslaughter, accidental killing, was severe: The killer had to completely uproot himself and flee to a city of refuge, remaining there until the high priest died (Numbers 35). This too engendered deep respect for life of fellowman.
God’s law even commands that an animal which kills a human being is to be killed (Exodus 21:28-32). Many other ancient codes of law address the matter of an animal injuring or killing a human being—but only in God’s law was the animal subject to the death penalty and its flesh rendered unfit for human consumption. In Babylon, for example, the uppermost concern was to protect the property of the wealthy and powerful. In God’s law, the sanctity of a human life, formed in the image and likeness of God, was paramount.
Most relevant to recent events, God even gave a law to protect the life of an unborn child in the womb.
In Exodus 21:22-23, the New King James Version reads, “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows [meaning, no injury came to the fetus], he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.” The perpetrator had only to pay damages for whatever inconvenience or hardship might have come on the parents. “But,” it continues, “if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life.” In other words, if his actions caused the unborn child to die, he was sentenced to death!
In the eyes of God’s law, human life is sacred. And the life of an unborn child is equal to that of an adult.
This was the penalty for accidentally killing a fetus. How do you suppose God views the doctors who perform abortions, or counseling services that pressure pregnant women into killing their babies, or judges who decide it is “legal,” or politicians, lobbyists and activists who encourage such laws and debate the merits of intentionally leaving a newborn to die on a hospital table?
The Danger of Human Reasoning
This message about the supreme value of human life is consistent throughout the Bible. It is when we ignore that revelation from our Creator that we get ourselves into trouble—when we begin to justify acts of brutality toward other human beings, even killing.
Abortion advocates always use noble-sounding language like “freedom” and “choice” and “health care” and “equality” and “women’s rights” and “women’s health.” (They wouldn’t get very far proclaiming the virtues of “fornication,” “poisoning” and “dismemberment.”) However, the closer you look into the actual reality of abortion, the more shocking and grotesque it is. Once people remove God from the picture, once they discard absolutes and begin traveling down that road in their thinking, they end up justifying actions that are more and more horrific.
When human beings reject God’s revelation and begin reasoning their way through questions of life and death, they subject themselves to the evil influence of the enemy of human beings. Rationalization for all kinds of destructive behavior increases, even killing.
One specific point regards when a human life begins. It is at conception, by biblical reckoning. But the fact is, this is also the only scientifically viable view. The question cannot be satisfactorily, definitively answered any other way. After conception, there is no stage of a child’s development, no moment of maturation, that suddenly makes him or her become a human being. He or she is a human being at conception.
In his February 2005 Trumpet article “Is Abortion Really Murder?” Fred Dattolo wrote this:
In 1981, the U.S. Congress convened hearings in an effort to determine when a human life begins. … Dr. Jerome Lejeune, world-renowned geneticist, said that “each individual has a very neat beginning: the moment of its conception.” Dr. Watson A. Bowes Jr., from the University of Colorado Medical School, testified, “The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter—the beginning is conception.” Dr. Alfred Bongiovanni from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School added: “I am no more prepared to say these early stages [in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty … is not a human being. This is human life at every stage albeit incomplete until late adolescence.” The chairman of the Department of Medical Genetics at the Mayo Clinic, Prof. Hymie Gordon, confirmed, “By all criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”
The biologists and geneticists are the ones who ought to know. Of the dozens who testified, there was overwhelming agreement that conception marks the beginning of a human life.
The only reason why there would be any disagreement over this point is that people want to go on with their lives without an unwanted, unborn child. This necessitates finding a way to justify killing him or her before (or, perhaps, just after) he or she is born. So suddenly everything becomes very fuzzy in their minds.
If you are open to the biblical truths on this subject, read “Is Abortion Really Murder?” Besides physical proofs, it also gives some compelling spiritual proofs. Coming to realize what the Creator of human beings is doing with physical and spiritual conception and birth will stun you.
When you understand what God seeks to accomplish through human beings, it becomes obvious why human life is so precious to Him—and why abortion is such a terrible travesty.
God is a God of life! He created life, He created human beings, and He protects human beings from other human beings. God loves human beings and wants the best for us. This is a beautiful truth that abortion advocates do not recognize. When we believe God’s truth and revelation, when we accept His guidance, when we follow His laws, we are blessed for it. Our lives become infused with purpose and hope. Our thinking becomes cleaner and brighter and more positive. A society that respects His creation and His laws also respects life, in all its forms.
God tells us, in Deuteronomy 30:19, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” God wants us to live! He gives us His truth and His law that we and our children may live!
And He tells us plainly—He pleads with us: Do not choose death. Don’t go your own way. Don’t reason your way through this. Follow me. Obey me. Learn to think as I think. Learn to view human life as I do. Learn my wonderful purpose—for you and for your children. And choose life!