When does life begin?
Posted: August 30, 2008
1:00 am Eastern
The issue of when life begins is being examined anew after two high-ranking Democrat leaders attempted to define this critical question.
First, earlier this month, during Pastor Rick Warren's presidential forum at Saddleback Valley Community Church in Orange County, Calif., he asked Barrack Obama and John McCain, "At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?"
Sen. Obama, who this week became the Democrat nominee for the White House, answered this way: "You know, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade." Obama went on to say that pro-life and abortion-rights proponents need to find "common ground" on this issue.
Second, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," said "as an ardent, practicing Catholic" and someone who has extensively researched church teachings on this issue, she has found church fathers were unsure when life begins. She further claimed that the Catholic Church has only during the last 50 years begun to insist that life begins at conception.
I appreciate how Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of the Archdiocese of Denver responded. He said, "… [V]arious scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or 'ensouled.' But none diminished the unique evil of abortions as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide. In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong."
The fact is, when we are examining abortion from a spiritual perspective, the ideas of our leaders – both political and religious – don't really matter.
What is, however, of critical importance is what the word of God says on this issue.
Let's look at Psalm 139:13-14, where King David notes how, throughout our lives, God is actively at work in the hearts of His children. David writes: "For You formed my inward parts, You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well" (NKJV).
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In this beautiful passage, we see that the God of the universe intimately knows us and ministers to us even when we are in our mothers' wombs. While the Bible never states "abortion is wrong," from this scriptural extract we see that God has a unique interest in us even before we are born.
If this is true – and I believe with all my heart that it is – abortion should never be an alternative for those who are followers of Jesus Christ.
In Ecclesiastes, a book that chronicles how people who seek the vanities of life are unfulfilled without Christ, we see another wonderful verse (11:5): "As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything. …"
God makes everything – this is a fundamental truth of scripture. But man is a destroyer.
I am pro-life not because I want to have jurisdiction over women's lives. I am pro-life because God's word illustrates that He loves us even when we are in our most feeble beginnings.
In the womb, I believe we represent "the least of these" which Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25:40: "… Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."
You can suggest that religious leaders have different opinions or that the scientific perspective should be considered, but the bottom line for Christians who live by biblical precepts must be that God has called us to protect those who cannot defend themselves, and that includes those who live within their mothers' wombs.