Apologeet.nlChristian Stance on Abortion
Part 1 — Clarifying the Terms
Talking with my daughter is often an interesting experience. She is almost 17 and her view on the world isn’t much different from that of mine. However, the things that she reads, hears and discuss on the internet are pretty challenging. I kind of thought that the whole issue around abortion wasn’t discussed anymore—people are saturated and just don’t want to hear that debate anymore. I was wrong! The topic is very much alive, and not only among the older generation. Turns out that many teenagers have a hard time getting their heads around this topic.
When I uploaded my last video, the one on Romans, I asked her what she would like me tackle next. Abortion! Was her direct answer. I asked her why, and she said that it was the first thing that came to her mind. When you ask me about the first thing that pops up, it would definitely be something else. Not to say that abortion isn’t important. No, it is one of the most important things we as Christians ought to discuss. It directly touches on our worldview. But I have studied the issue so often, I have discussed it a trillion times, so I guess I am the one who got saturated, maybe even doused off. Shame on me!
Anyway, instead of doing a different topic I decided to comply with her request. I’ll take one this topic first. The problem however, is that there is so much to say about it. My last video was about 30 minutes. Way to big for me to upload it while I am in our village. Good thing we were still in a bigger town. Nonetheless, I do not want to shorten, or hasten this subject, so I think I’ll just have to make it in another series… Sorry about that!
During my theology studies we also had to deal with ethics and how to come to a good understanding of Biblical morality in contemporary times. Most of the examination had to be done through essay writing. Often we could choose between several titles or subjects. I already had a hard time studying the ethical dilemmas of today’s society and dumb as I could be, I choose to write an essay on abortion. Back then my wife and I already had four children of our own and I just couldn’t get my head around this matter. I wrestled, I groused at everybody, I cried, and I protested. On the one hand medics are capable of saving the premature, while somewhere else unborn of the same age are aborted. How do we approach human life in such? Or can it be that this debate is not relevant as the unborn is not human yet? In the end, I shouldn’t say this, it felt like giving birth to a child myself. All in all, I finished the essay and received a high mark.
Okay, here is how I would like to approach this topic. I will mostly follow the lines as used in my paper. You see, some Christians are mute on this topic. This is unfortunate and unnecessary because there are good theological and reasonable arguments to take a firm stand in this debate. We are not going to discuss the issues from a theological standpoint only, but also from a secular, that is not related to religion, perspective. Especially the arguments that appeal to reason are a bit of a challenge. More often than not, this approach is considered to be cold and heartless. This is not strange if you that the world around us is rapidly changing from an intellectual orientated society towards an overly anti-intellectual one. Many prefer emotional arguments to facts (just see what is happening during the covid drama). Anyway, in the end I will try to give some suggestions on how Christians can participate in the debate overall.
Before I start it might be good to clarify some terms. Terminology makes a distinction in development. Often the unborn is referred to as an embryo in its earliest stage of development and when this stage is over the foetal stage begins (normally eight to ten development weeks for the embryonic stage). These terms do not make matters easier though. Emotionally people tend to take a different stance towards ‘something’ which is called an embryo than towards the term ‘baby’ or ‘child’. Still, I will use the terms ’embryo’ and ‘foetus’ because they signify the period of development.
I might use the term ‘sanctity of life’ somewhere down the line. ‘Sanctity of life’ is generally used by those who oppose technologies or practices that they believe break the clear value of human life. It is best understood as the respect that is owed to human life as the gift of God (Acts 17:25). The Bible teaches us that we have the duty to protect and respect human life (e.g. Genesis 9:5). The Bible is clear about the respect and responsibility we as humans have towards each others’ life (Genesis 4:9; Deuteronomy 21:1-9).1 For Christians this means that all human life is sacred and that this does not depend on culture, race, state of consciousness, colour, physical ability/disability etcetera (Acts 17:26).
Good as I said, I’ll have to make the videos a little shorter, which is a bother for those among you who just want to see the whole topic in ones. My apologise for this…
Anyway, in the next episode we will see whether we can talk about the unborn as human-being. I will not just suffice to say ‘yes’… Which would be an easy and fast move. Nope, we will study this question both from the biological and philosophical point of view. The nice thing about that approach is that it will give us three interesting premises to work with.
For now, I leave it at this. I will make a playlist on both Odysee and YouTube, making it easier for you to finding the episodes neatly arranged.
I am curious about your ideas, remarks or initiatives. Let me know in the comment section below. Please consider making an account on Odysee and write your comments there. You’ll find an invitation to Odysee in the description below. When you accept my invitation we both receive some free LBC. But also, it is easier for me to answer on Odysee as I have a hard time opening YouTube and Bitchute.
Do take a look in the description of this video. I always try to add relevant links. Also in that same description you’ll find ways to support me… You don’t have too! But I would appreciate it! Actually, I would like to thank those among you who already supporter me. It is a great help in both my work as missionary and in making these videos. I very much appreciate your trust!!
Okay, like always, thank you for watching.
God bless you, and we’ll see each-other in the next video!
↑ 1. Vere, D. W., ‘Sanctity of Human Life,’ in D. J. Atkinson and D. H. Field (eds.), The New Dictionary of Christian Ethics and Pastoral Theology, Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1995, pp. 757-758.