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Christian Response to Moral Issues

ABORTION

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16, ESV).

The United States Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand Jan. 22, 1973, throughout all nine months of pregnancy and in all 50 states. Without a doubt, Roe vs. Wade has led to the greatest moral evil of our time – the murder of these precious unborn babies in the womb.

Proponents of “choice” have tried to make this issue about “women’s rights,” “freedom of choice” and “reproductive rights.” But clearly, the murder of an innocent child is far more than a health issue or a civil right. The pro-abortion camp tries to soften the harshness of abortion with more politically correct terms such as “removing the products of conception” or “ending a pregnancy.” But no amount of spin can outweigh the fact that abortion ends the life of a baby growing inside its mother’s womb.

Since 1973, an estimated 45 million babies have been aborted – nearly 1.5 million innocent lives ended every year. That’s one every 20 seconds. Although we often hear abortion must be legalized for cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother, the reality is that social reasons and convenience account for 93 percent of all abortions.

Everyone knows someone who has had an abortion. Techniques such as suction aspiration, D & E, salt poisoning, RU 486/Mifeprex, prostaglandins and partial-birth abortion are all too common in our society. In fact, at the current rate, 1 in 3 American women will have had an abortion by the time she reaches 45 years of age. And 1 in 6 abortions are performed on a woman who calls herself a “born-again” Christian.


The Christian Response

Every believer can effectively defend the pro-life position with biblical, scientific and philosophical evidence.

The Bible does not expressly use the word “abortion.” But Scripture clearly teaches against murder, which is the taking of innocent life. And Jeremiah 1:5 makes it clear that life begins at conception: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (ESV).

Ultrasound and sonogram technology now affords us a window to the womb through technology that was not available in 1973. Ultrasound machines produce a clear image of an unborn child in the womb as early as eight weeks after conception. These tools are crisis pregnancy centers’ most valuable, life-affirming tools to defend the unborn. Statistics indicate that 90 percent of women with an unplanned pregnancy will decide not to abort if they can see the baby via ultrasound and hear its heartbeat.

When defending the sanctity of life, it’s important to determine “what” it is. If the woman is pregnant with a baby, there is no other justifiable argument for abortion – because a baby is a human being that is entitled to all the rights and privileges we enjoy here in America.

  • It’s not a baby/person; it’s just a blob of tissue. On day 1, at fertilization, all human chromosomes are present and life begins. By day 22, the heart begins to beat. At the end of the third week, the child’s backbone, spinal column and nervous system are formed. By week 5, eyes, legs and hands begin to develop. By week 6 – when most women just realize they are pregnant – brain waves are detectable. Clearly, a baby is not just a blob of tissue, but a creation of God with great potential.
     
  • It’s my body/a woman’s choice. As we have already determined, this is a baby inside of the womb and this child is entitled to a choice as well. Killing a baby is never a choice for anyone, regardless of the unwanted circumstances. A woman facing an unplanned pregnancy deserves to be treated with utmost respect and given quality information about the options available to her, so she can make a healthy choice for herself and for her child.
     
  • What will we do with the unwanted children? This argument usually has the connotation that some women cannot afford another child. The point must be made then that killing a child does not end poverty. Ideally this is not a society that can dispose of someone because they become too much of a financial burden.
     
  • If abortion is made illegal, women will die in back-alley abortions. The law cannot be faulted for making it more risky for someone to kill a baby. It doesn’t make sense to abolish crimes to make life safer for criminals. Also, an abortion is a health risk even when performed through an experienced abortion provider. It’s vital that Christians refer women with unplanned pregnancies to pro-life clinics and other facilities that provide facts about the risks involved in obtaining abortions.
     
  • What about a woman who’s been raped or a victim of incest? In the case of rape or incest, there are two victims: the mother and the baby. Studies have shown that when a woman feels as if abortion is her only option and follows through with it, she often later feels as if she was not only a victim in the rape but that she in return victimized her child. Meanwhile, mothers who found support to carry their children to term and then either parent or place the child for adoption, felt they’d turned a big negative into a positive. We need to support both victims in these situations.
     

The best way Christians can help shape the culture regarding the subject of abortion is to express our pro-life view whenever and wherever possible. Seize each moment and persuasively defend life at every opportunity. Support your local crisis pregnancy center or medical clinic that is working with clients every day, encouraging women to keep their babies.

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ABSTINENCE

“Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause” (Isaiah 1:16-17, ESV).

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s there has been a staggering increase in the number of teen pregnancies, unwanted pregnancies, abortions and at-risk sexual behavior to the point that we now have an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

“Safe” sex education taught teens to put a condom on a banana, and our young people bought the lie that condoms would prevent an unwanted pregnancy and STDs. Planned Parenthood facilities now have drive-through windows in some cities to make it easier for teens to pick up their condoms. But something’s not working! Current statistics indicate that 800,000 teenage girls will become pregnant every year. One out of every five girls today becomes pregnant before her 18th birthday.

Twenty years ago, there were two primary forms of what was then called venereal diseases – syphilis and gonorrhea. Today, there are more than 25 significant and different sexually transmitted diseases. Every year, more than 15 million Americans contract a new STD infection – and 3 million of them are teenagers. This means that every day, 8,219 teens contract a new STD. That’s 342 every hour or one every 10 seconds.

By the time teens are 18 years old, 20 percent will have contracted an STD. Teens are being sold the lie that condoms can protect from all forms of STDs and that oral sex is “safe” sex. This misinformation has given teens a false sense of security when it comes to their sexuality. Multiple partners and more frequency of sexual activity have caused the STD epidemic to reach staggering proportions.

There are two different kinds of STDs – bacterial and viral. Bacterial STDs can be cured, but the damage done prior to treatment is not reversible. Viral STDs are incurable. Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STD, infecting between three to four million people in the United States each year. Untreated in women, chlamydia can lead to PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), which can cause infertility. The most common viral STD is HPV, or Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). An estimated 20 million people in the United States are infected with HPV, with more than 5.5 million new infections occurring each year. HPV is scary because it can lead to cervical cancer, which kills more than 5,000 women in the United States every year.

Indeed, the messages our teenagers have received from liberal, pro-abortion advocates have caused an increase in disease, death and trouble for our children.


The Christian Response

The Bible has one clear message when it comes to sexuality: save sex for marriage. The only guaranteed way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy or an STD is to practice abstinence. Abstinence, as defined by the writers of the “Choosing the Best Life” abstinence-only curriculum, is “an informed decision where an ABC formula is applied: Abstinence is the Best preparation for the future (marriage) by Choosing not to engage in these at-risk sexual behaviors. These behaviors include any activity that brings you in contact with another person’s genital body fluids including: vaginal intercourse, oral sex, anal sex and mutual masturbation.”

Following the guidelines of this definition will lead to positive, healthy outcomes for our children, and will start them down the right path for a successful, fulfilling married life.

Teaching children that their bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit from a young age is key to personal responsibility. Waiting for sex until marriage is a commitment to purity – to being holy vessels God can work through. Children should be taught that they should be holy and consecrated – set apart for a divine purpose – at an early age.

Too many of our children have made unwise, unhealthy choices that prevent them from fulfilling God’s plan and purpose for their lives. Satan wants to destroy our children’s innocence, purpose and testimony. Proper parental supervision and information on Biblical sexuality at the appropriate time is key. The primary teacher of this material must be the parent, followed by reinforcements within the church. Church youth groups must talk about abstinence.

The truth is that the majority of teens (52 percent) are not having sex! A national survey by the Kaiser Foundation found that 75 percent of teens say it is “cool” to be a virgin, and more than half of those surveyed have been in situations where they could have had sex, but chose not to. Many children are realizing the risks of being sexually active and the benefits of abstaining.

It’s important for parents to teach children that “safe” sex is not safe! Condoms have been held up as the answer to the sexual crisis among our teenagers. But this kind of all-inclusive sex education doesn’t teach values, and trivializes human sexuality the way God intended. While a condom is one means of birth control, it is not disease control. Condoms have a failure rate with teenagers of at least 20 percent. Would you take a one in five chance that your airplane doesn’t arrive at its destination?

Abstinence-only education centers on relationships, life skills, respect for self, respect for others, refusal skills, self-control, avoidance of pregnancy and unwanted diseases. It gives a healthy view of marriage as something to be cherished and important enough to save oneself for.

During the administration of President George W. Bush, record amounts of money have been granted for abstinence-only education in the public and private school systems. But for every dollar spent on abstinence-only education, $12 is being spent on “safe” sex education. When this subject is debated in the floors of Congress, let your legislators know that you support an abstinence message. Contact your local school district to see what is being taught in your children’s sex education classes. Parents have every right to view the videos and read the textbooks before they permit their child to participate in a sex education program. Challenge the school district to present an “abstinence-only” message and not “abstinence-plus.”

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