The issue of whether abortion is murder hinges on a number of things:
- Is a baby in the womb alive?
- Does God care about babies?
- Does God care if we murder someone?
- Does God care if we murder a baby in the womb?
To address the first question, “Is a baby in the womb alive”, we will look at what God has to say about children in the womb:
Notice that God formed us in the womb.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
“And now the LORD says, he who formed me in the womb to be his servant…”
Indeed, God knows us in the womb – before birth, as He told Jeremiah.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
The Holy Spirit filled John from the womb, indicating unborn children have a relationship with God. God recognized John as a baby, though he was still in the womb, using the same word for a new born child outside the womb.
41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
So yes, the answer to the first question is that a baby in the womb is alive.
Now, we address the second question, “Does God care about babies”.
Children are precious to God. In fact, we are told to become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven, indicating children have a special relationship with God:
2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, UNLESS YOU CHANGE AND BECOME LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
10 “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
In fact, the kingdom of heaven belongs to those like children, indicating children have a special relationship with God:
13 Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
The children, even infants, praise God, again showing children have a special relationship with God:
2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. 16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, ” ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?”
Welcoming children welcomes Jesus, again indicating children have a special relationship with God:
36 He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Causing little children to sin is a horrible thing:
1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. 2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Jesus carries the little ones in His arms, yet again indicating the young have a special relationship with God.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
So yes, children, even infants, are precious to God. Since God used the same term for a baby in the womb as one outside the womb, we can see that even unborn babies are precious to God.
Having addressed whether God knows us in the womb, and whether babies in the womb are considered alive, we will look at the punishment for murder.
First note that God said to not murder.
“You shall not murder.
Then notice the punishment for murder.
16 ” ‘If a man strikes someone with an iron object so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. 17 Or if anyone has a stone in his hand that could kill, and he strikes someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. 18 Or if anyone has a wooden object in his hand that could kill, and he hits someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. 19 The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death. 20 If anyone with malice aforethought shoves another or throws something at him intentionally so that he dies 21 or if in hostility he hits him with his fist so that he dies, that person shall be put to death; he is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.
Even Jesus said murder is wrong.
Mark 7:20-23 (also see Matthew 15:18-20)
20 He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ 21 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’ “
16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life? 17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” the man inquired. Jesus replied, ” ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Now we will look at whether God cares if a baby in the womb is hurt or murdered.
To cause a woman who is pregnant to miscarry by fighting deserved the same punishment as killing someone.
22 ”If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
- Is a baby in the womb alive? – yes.
- Does God care about babies? – yes.
- Does God care if we murder someone? – yes.
- Does God care if we murder a baby in the womb? – yes.
So yes. God cares if babies, inside the womb or outside the womb, are murdered. This is even seen in verse 2:2 of the Didache, dated from 70AD – 190AD but thought by many to be before the end of the first century. It was a catechism taught in the early church (http://www.carm.org/misc/didache.htm). Thus we see abortion is murder of unborn children and God is opposed to it, as He is all sin.
I need to address an issue someone brought up concerning my understanding of the Didache. He said it does not say to not abort children. You need the Greek font to read the text EGREEK.zip (Installation: Unzip, then open the “Control”-panel, then “Fonts”, then “add new Font”; or if you use MacOSX simply double click on it once it is downloaded. If it doesn’t work, I’m sorry its a work in progress). The actual verse reads,
2 ou foneuseiv, ou moiceuseiv, ou paidofqorhseiv, ou porneuseiv, ou kleyeiv, ou mageuseiv, ou farmakeuseiv, ou foneuseiv teknon en fqora oude gennhqen apokteneiv.
Here is an interlinear translation:
|2||Not||you will murder;||not||you will do adultery;||not|
|Not||you will do illicit sex;||not||you will steal;||not||you will do magic;|
|not||you will do sorcery;||not||you will murder||child||in||destruction,|
|neither||begotten||you will kill.|
While teknon is generally used for the term child, there is no age or age range associated with it. It was used by Paul when talking to new believers (babes in the faith) to indicate they were children with whom he was in labor again (Ga 4:19). Strictly speaking, the term brephos is usually used to indicate a child in the womb or an infant. In Lk 18:15, the term brephos is used. This is the same term used in reference to John the Baptist within Elizabeth in Lk 1:41, so it most definitely refers to unborn infants, as well as born infants. However, in Lk 18:16-17, the term paidion is used to refer to the infants being brought. In Lk 18:29, Jesus was speaking of leaving family for him and used the term teknon; this is translated children. This in turn includes any infants of which the person might be a parent. Thus, the term teknon is a general term for child, and can include infants. To my knowledge, in no lexicon does teknon indicate a child of any given age or range of ages, simply child, or son. Thus the term teknon can refer any child of older age, but it can also be used to indicate an infant. That being the case, it would make no sense for the author of the Didache to state “you shall not murder children by destruction, neither will you kill begotten children.” All children are begotten. Thus it is rendered “you shall not murder children by abortion, neither will you kill newly-begotten children.”
Just as when Christ when spoke against all sexual immorality it includes all things mentioned in the law concerning prohibited sex, so too when He spoke of murder did He include murder of unborn children.
We must love the unborn child, just as we do the born child. No one should harm or kill children, whether in the womb or out of it. If you have HAD an abortion, may I suggest you read another article I have written: http://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/10/11/abortion-and-forgiveness.