What advice or alternatives an a Christian give an unbelieving friend who is planning an abortion?
Although it is tempting to sidestep this thorny issue, we are called to reprove the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). The unbelieving friend needs to face the fact that God views elective abortion as murder. This truth, however, can be spoken with love (Ephesians 4:15): “1 understand your predicament, but can’t agree that abortion is the answer. As a Christian, I’ve learned the value of depending on the Bible’s guidance in tough times like this. God regards unborn babies as real human beings (Psalm 139:13-16; Luke 1:39-44), and so He looks at abortion just as He looks at the killing of an adult (Exodus 21:22-23). That is why so many women struggle with guilt after an abortion their conscience agrees with God that abortion is wrong.” It may help to point out that women who had abortions suffer from an increased rate of infertility, tubal pregnancy, miscarriage, and suicide.
Along with presenting God’s truth, we must also make a case for the two alternatives to abortion. First is adoption. It is noble and selfless for a mother to release her child to one of literally thousands of couples waiting to adopt. On the other hand, the unbelieving friend may choose to raise the child herself if she can be assured of help. In addition to steering the mother to a suitable Christian agency, we should also consider adoption or assisting the mother ourselves.
How do we know when the soul begins its existence?
This touches the fundamental truth of our Lord’s incarnation. “That holy thing” (Luke 1:35) is elsewhere translated “the Holy One” (Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34; Acts 3:14). “Shall be born” is literally “being begotten.” In Mary’s virgin womb, the Holy One was begotten. His dependent humanity began from the womb (Psalm 22:10).
Scripture links with the soul our individuality (Genesis 2:7; Mark 8:36), accountability (values, desires, choices: Genesis 17:14; 34:3; Job 23:13; Psalm 11:5: 13:2; 42:2; Ezekiel 18:4), personality (emotions, moods: Job 7:11; 14:22; Psalm 35:9; 42:4-6, 11), and eternality (Genesis 35:18; Revelation 6:9).
Job wished he had given up his spirit before birth and joined the dead (job 3:11-19; 10:18, 19). He speaks of infants (same word as children) dying before they ever saw light (3:16). Job understood what the Spirit teaches about “the babe” (elsewhere translated child) in Elizabeth’s womb (Luke 1:41). A mother carries in her womb a child with its individuality and identity which will continue to exist eternally: a soul.
Who could deny that an individual’s personality has a relationship to his parents? The soul is biologically linked to parents at conception.
What is a scriptural attitude toward abortion?
By inspiration David teaches that life and God’s purpose for life begins at conception (Psalm 139:13,16b). This context also reveals that the formation of the person, perfect or imperfect, and the length of life is determined by God.
In Galatians 1:15 Paul remarks that God determined his birth: “God… separated me from my mother’s womb.”
Is not the Lord Jesus our supreme example? He said to Pilate; “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world” (John 18:37).
In 2 Kings 8:12 we see a weeping prophet expressing the grief of the heart of God because of king Hazael of Damascus. Mentioned amongst the atrocities he would commit is the slaying of “women with child.” While these were Syrians, enemies of Israel, God abhorred the crime of taking the life of mothers and children.
Christians believe the sanctity and divine purpose that gives life to every baby forbids acceptance of aborting a pregnancy. Questions will arise regarding the welfare of mothers. As sensitive as this matter is Genesis 35:16-19 guides believers as to divine purpose.
What responsibility does a believer have toward the assembly if he knows of another assembly believer who has had an abortion?
This question requires a delicate answer. The callous thinking of the unregenerate has colored the views of many believers. Our final court of appeal is the Word of God. What saith the Scriptures?
First, it would advisable to know the background. Did the abortion occur before the believer was saved or in the assembly? If so, it would not be an assembly issue.
Luke 1:41 says “the babe leaped in her (Elizabeth’s) womb.” The word for “babe” also describes a child old enough to be acquainted with Scripture (2 Timothy 3:15). John was a child in his mother’s womb as much as he was after being born. Intervention in the process that would result in birth terminates the life of a child.
A believer, knowing of this evasive moral procedure, should encourage the other believer to make this known to responsible brethren in the assembly. That failing, he must act, not on the basis of hearsay, but conclusive, undeniable evidence (Matthew 18:15-17). The elders are then responsible for any action taken. The sanctity of God’s assembly must be maintained. It is the dwelling place of God, a holy temple (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).