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ABORTION; AGAINST GENESIS

ABORTION; AGAINST GENESIS

Abortion has become a timely issue; it is in the forefront of politics and religious debates. Many people, from both sides of the debate try to derive some Biblical position on the subject of abortion. There is little in the Bible which speaks directly to the subject. Although, there is a writing, called the Didache (meaning “teaching”), that is dated to the Apostolic Church, c. 70 AD, that condemns abortion and infanticide. Many scholars agree that there is little on the subject for several reasons; infant mortality was high and terminating pregnancies was not a practical matter, children were a sign of blessing from God, such practices were viewed as abominable by the Biblical peoples, and it was seen as going against the commandment of “do not kill”.
This does not mean that the bible should be factored out of the discussion. Genesis 2:7 gives us a teaching that strongly condemns abortion. The steps to becoming a living person are clearly described. It is significant to note that the Bible views the human being as an animated body. Many philosophical models, following Plato, see the human being as an entrapped soul.
Genesis 2:7 begins with “adam”, the representative of humankind formed out of “red mud”- the root meaning of “adam”. To the physical form is added the “ruach”, the Divine Spirit of the Lord. From this combination, physical form and Divine Breath or Spirit, comes a “living nephesh” or a full “person”. There is no mention of any delay or emergent personhood, as some factions of the debate would argue. According to the Bible, personhood is the immediate result of the mix of physical and spiritual elements. This means that a human being has the quality of “personhood” from conception, which science is stating happens shortly after copulation. Personhood is the individual manifestation of the quality of life and the source of a human being’s dignity. Dignity is the intrinsic worth and inestimable value that every human life contains. Although each of us share commonality of physical form and the same Divine Spirit of life, we are all precious in our unique personalities. Each of us has our own individual worth; that begins at conception.
Therefore, those that would advocate for abortion neglect two things in their stance. First, they ignore the scientific research that shows how our personality and physical traits are encoded, in the genome, shortly after copulation. Second, they do not accept the undefined spark of life that is needed to create a person. Science cannot approximate, or even define, life as of yet. This spark goes beyond the parameters of the physical form and must be seen as originating in the infinite, or God. Genesis 2:7 argues strongly for both of these aspects.
Abortions, particularly those not performed for medically compelling reasons, are actions which are against this foundational teaching of life in Genesis. To deny personhood from the beginning of life, as many abortion advocates now do, is to deny the value of life and the life-giving power of God.

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