Sunday, January 27, 2019

Pastor Rich Nathan on why he opposes abortion

Pastor Nathan lists 10 points, but I’m just showing #3.

The Christian church throughout history has been pro-life.

The Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights argues that the Bible does not forbid abortion. It is absolutely true that there are no explicit verses in the Bible opposing abortion. The reason is because during the biblical era, Jews believed that abortion was unthinkable. They regarded abortion as a form of murder and laws against murder were considered to be sufficient to cover abortion.

In the early church, Christians felt that they needed to take a stand because they were in an entirely different cultural situation. In the Greco-Roman world, both abortion and infanticide were widely practiced. The church unanimously and strongly opposed abortion from its earliest days:

• The Didache (likely written in the first century) says, “Do not murder a child by abortion nor kill it at birth.”
• The second century Epistle of Barnabas says, “You shall not slay a child by abortion.”
• Athenagoras, a second century Greek apologist, wrote, “We say that women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder… [for we] regard the very fetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God’s care.”
• In the early third century the African church father Tertullian wrote, “It does not matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to birth. In both instances, the destruction is murder.”
• In the fourth century, Basil of Caesarea, wrote, “A woman who deliberately destroys a fetus is answerable for murder.”
• In the same century, John Chrysostom, the most esteemed church father in Eastern Orthodoxy said, “Why do you abuse the gift of God… and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder?”
• Jerome called abortion, “The murder of an unborn child.”
There’s an unbroken chain of witness from the earliest days of the Christian church to the 20th century voicing strong countercultural opposition to abortion.

If you are interested in reading more of the church’s history of opposition to abortion check out: Third Time Around: A History of the Pro-Life Movement from the First Century to the Present by George Grant.

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