Is Abortion Really Murder?

(Updated 5/27/99)
This article is still fairly new, and is not being made directly available through my web page at this time.  Even though I believe it covers most of the major relevant Bible passages, it does not cover all of the ones that are used by others to discuss the subject.  This is a work in progress, very much as each of us are God's "work in progress."  Also, it is important for the reader to understand that I am NOT trying to say that I believe that there is nothing wrong with abortions, or to take anything away from the glorious work of God though His creation in regards to the process of child birth.   I am trying to show that abortion issue is NOT as clear cut as most Christians have been taught.  Most Christians are not even aware of the fact that even ancient, highly knowledgeable Bible-believing Jews were not sure if abortion was murder.  If it is not a clear fact that abortion is murder, then it would appear clear that Christians ought not be so dogmatic in their harassments and other attacks on those involved in abortion simply because an abortion was involved.  From the  typically negative general reaction of even my regular readers to this article, I have decided to continue not making this article directly available.  Such questioning of abortion with most Christians is too sensitive a subject.  The obvious concern is that if the majority of people already are rather unconcerned about the issue of abortion, that the same people will become even more unconcerned if Christians back off from their rhetoric that it is murder.  Maybe after Jesus returns, more of us might feel safe enough to question such "sacred cow" beliefs that we popularly hold today.

I know that I am walking on dangerous ground with Christians and Catholics by even daring to ask such a question found in the title of this article.  Most conservative, Bible-believing Christians such as myself have been inundated with the passionate rhetoric along with related verses that supposedly teach that God views abortion as murder. Before anyone jumps all over me for being "evil," "liberal," "carnal," "ignorant," etc., let me say that I have been aware of nearly all the pro and con arguments for many years on the subject. Also, I want to encourage my fellow Christians to prayerfully consider the possibility that something could be wrong with their own understanding about what abortion is, after comparing it with God's point of view, found in the Bible.

After all the emotional dust settles in the heated debates regarding abortion, there is really only one remaining line of argument used by Christians who TRY to use the Bible to prove that it teaches that abortion is murder (I will deal with the other apparent arguments later):

Premise #1: Verses that teach that God either "knew" a person "from the womb" or verses that teach that God "forms" a person in the womb means that a fetus is a human being.

Premise #2: Killing a human being (apart from capital punishment and war) is murder.

Conclusion: Since a fetus is a human being, taking the life of a fetus is murder.

Let's closely study the two premises.  Premise #2 is clear enough from the Bible to accept as an accurate statement. Premise #1 has a lot of holes in both parts of it.  Does God "knowing" a person automatically mean that the person already exists?  Let's look at the most popular passage used to try and support this, Psm 139. I will start at the beginning of the chapter to show you the context that is usually missed or ignored.  I will also interject comments within parenthesis:

Ps 139:1-16 - O LORD, Thou hast searched me and known {me.} Thou dost know when I sit down and when I rise up;
Thou dost understand my thought from afar. Thou dost scrutinize my path and my lying down, and art intimately acquainted with all my ways (God has complete knowledge of each of us). Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O LORD, Thou dost know it all. Thou hast enclosed me behind and before, and laid Thy hand upon me. {Such} knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is {too} high, I cannot attain to it (this defines the subject of the Psalm, which is not only God's knowledge of us as we are now, but before what we do and what we are become reality). Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there (this teaches God's omnipresence). If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Thy hand will lead me, and Thy right hand will lay hold of me (teaches God's omnipotence for helping us). If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night," Even the darkness is not dark to Thee, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike {to Thee.} (the last section taught both God's omniscience and omnipotence) For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, {and} skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth (this last part is the part typically used to "prove" that the fetus is fully human in the womb).  Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance (we miss praising God for this part, since many tend to emphasize what we CAN see regarding fetal development, the real emphasis of this last part has to do with God FOREKNOWING what he was planning and in the process of forming); and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained {for me} when as yet there was not one of them.

Notice that the last part of the passage clearly pointed out that the emphasis of the passage is not only on what is going on in the womb, but that it is part of a bigger plan that includes the future. Also, notice that while in the womb NO DAY WAS WRITTEN OR ORDAINED IN GOD'S "BOOK" BEFORE BIRTH!.

If we are consistent with the popular interpretation (not mine) of the passage above, and apply it to similar passages, one is forced to define human "life" starting a whole lot earlier than anyone is talking about, even before conception.  Consider this passage:

Gen 25:22-23 - But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I {this way?} So she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb; and two peoples shall be separated from your body; and one people shall be stronger than the other; and the older shall serve the younger."

Two NATIONS, not just two persons are said to be in this single womb, if we interpret this passage the same way as the previous one.  Are millions of fetuses in her womb? Obviously not. One might say that it is obvious that we cannot interpret this passage in such a way, and I would agree. Yet, we if we are consistent, then we should interpret Psalms 139 in the same manner, in that it is referring to what IS BEING formed, not what is ALREADY formed.  Just as God was STARTING to form two nations in this woman's womb in Gen 25, in the same manner, God was STARTING to form a person in a woman's womb. Let's now look at the creation of Adam and Eve:

Gen 2:7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

So, since man came from the dust, and God "saw" Adam before he was made in the dust, then Adam was already a living human being while still only dust on the ground, right?  Wrong.  May I interject that this conclusion would not be a problem to those who believe that we are all "one," and that the earth is our "mother."  In this passage, the word, "man" (haa'aadaam) is where we get the name, "Adam," whose root word is "ground" (haa'daamaah).  Clearly, Adam did NOT become a LIVING SOUL until he received the "breath of life" from God.  At what point do each of us get this "breath?"  Though this does not prove anything in and of itself, it is interesting that doctors determine whether or not a baby was stillborn during the birthing process by putting the baby's lungs in water.  If they float, then the baby was not stillborn, because it took its first "breath."  If they sank, they did not take their first breath, and are then considered stillborn.

How about the creation of Eve:

Gen 2:21-23- So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of Man."

If we once again apply the popular "Christian" doctrines on abortions to this passage, we are forced to conclude that Eve was ALREADY a person while she still was only one of Adam's ribs!  Maybe we should all be protesting in front of hospitals that surgically remove ANY part of a person's body just to be safe, if we are to be logically consistent.

We are clued into when human life begins and ends in the following passages:

Gen 6:17 - "And behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish."

Gen 7:15- So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life.

Isa 2:22 - Stop regarding man, whose breath {of} life is in his nostrils; for why should he be esteemed?

Rev 11:11 - And after the three and a half days the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were beholding them.

Gen 25:8 -
And Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied {with life;} and he was gathered to his people.

Gen 25:17 - And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, one hundred and thirty-seven years; and he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.

Gen 35:29 - And Isaac breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people, an old man of ripe age; and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

Gen 49:33 When Jacob finished charging his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.

Mark 15:37-39- And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"

Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems clear to me that biblically speaking, such a "breath" does not come until a fetus takes its first breath on its own, and the "breath" does not leave until a person "breathes their last," when we more carefully look at the relevant Bible passages regarding the starting and ending of human life.

 (Added 2/20/99)  Up to this point, I have avoided possibly one of the strongest arguments against the idea of abortion being murder.  It has to do with the New Testament analogy between physical life and spiritual life.  Let's start with the following verse:

James 2:26- For just as the body without {the} spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

This verse clearly teaches that one is not a person until they have the "spirit."  "Spirit" is the Greek word "pneuma," which literally means "a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze," and figuratively means "a spirit."  The Bible appears to always make a close connection to "air" and "spirits."  I am not sure if this means that our spirit within us is literally made of the air around us, but it appears so closely related that we cannot separate where the natural "air" begins, and the supernatural human "spirit" begins.  Since are bodies are not considered "alive" until we get our "spirit," exactly when do we get our "spirit?"  Christians who believe that abortion is murder must place this event back to either close to or at physical conception.  Also, they are forced to believe the required "air" regarding the verse in question must be coming through the umbilical cord (oxygen, which only makes up 21% of  the the "air" we breath, plus this "air" is not rushing in and out through the lungs.

It is interesting that the Bible pictures the Holy Spirit as wind, especially in His coming upon believers:

Acts 2:1-4 - And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

In case you did not know, the word "Spirit" in "Holy Spirit" is once again from the word "pneuma," thus we could technically call the third member of the Trinity the "Holy Air," "Holy Breath," or "Holy Breeze."  Now, let's see how the "Holy Breath" is involved with our being "born again:"

John 3:7-8 - "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'  "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

First off, notice how free the wind is going to and fro, and the fact that you can HEAR THE SOUND of it.  Such wind clearly is not present for the fetus, since its only "wind" is the very precisely given  and quiet oxygen through the umbilical cord.

It is clear from John chapter 3 that salvation BEGINS when we are born-again, not conceived-again.  The idea of conception was not completely foreign to people at the time of the writing of the Gospels, so God could have easily used the word for conception to teach us the starting point of our spiritual life, IF it was analogous to where our spiritual life begins:

Luke 1:31- "And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus."

Also, notice that the order of events in the verse.  Jesus is not named until AFTER He is born.  Is this teaching us anything, or am I getting trying to get more out of this than there is?

Before I answer this, and get back to more details regarding what "born-again" means, I want to tell you my observations regarding one of my Christian mentors before she died  a few years ago.  This person spent much of her Christian life somewhat outside of church doors, finding her fellowship and biblical training in unique and deep ways.  This person during the last few years of her life started to regularly attend a particular church, one that I would consider typical but still somewhat biblical, considering how bad churches are these days.  Not too long after she began attending, I noticed a distinct change in her attitude toward the Bible. The changes seemed subtle at first, but grew greater as time went on.  This person once would dogmatically stand upon the Word of God, and had the ability to understand it in deeper and unique ways, better than anyone I ever knew.  Just to let you know, the president of Walk Through the Bible requested and got a personal one-on-one seminar with this person to glean some of her depth and uniqueness.  What changed in this person, was her trust in the DETAILS of Scripture.  I had a number of talks with this person about it.  She did not appear to let herself "lose their faith" in God, but it certainly stunted any deeper growth from studying the Word.  This person began to depend more on extra-biblical writings and experiences to "get closer" to God, so much so that I saw this person becoming less and less effective in mentoring me, or serving God in any other way.  

It was not until recently that I began to understand exactly WHY this person  changed for the worse.  The reason was because she began to accept much of what I call "punch and cookie" teachings and attitudes of modern Christians, and this began to create many apparent "conflicts" between various parts of  the Bible for her, due to what she was being taught and exposed to at her church.  Instead of doing what I did in a similar situation back in the early 1980's, this person refused to think these might be contradictions; she just rationalized that the Bible was not meant to be understood beyond a certain minimal level, and that the "Holy Spirit," along with other experiences, would have to be what takes us into a "meatier" understanding of the Mind of Christ.  

One of the main things that kept me going by faith as a Christian was seeing time and time again that the Bible is not only accurate and precise down to its smallest of details, but that the Bible also is so accurate and precise in all of its usages of symbolism.  Much of the details of my web page depend upon such accuracy and precision.  For those who think accuracy and precision are basically the same things ought to take a few science lab classes.  They are not.  Accuracy has to do with how close you are to centering on the ACTUAL value of something.  Precision has to do with  how DETAILED you can measure a value of something, regardless of how close you are to the actual value of something.  You need BOTH accuracy and precision to determine the TRUE value of something.

Now back to the order of what the angel said would happen regarding Jesus in Luke 1:31: 

1) a conception in the womb
2) a birth
3) a naming of the child.

Mary and Joseph could obviously have named the Child "Jesus" theoretically when it was conceived since they KNEW its name would be Jesus.  Why did they wait?  It has to do with Jewish (and even non-Jewish) custom.  In fact, Jesus was not even named until EIGHT DAYS AFTER He was born:

Luke 2:21 - And when eight days were completed before His circumcision, His name was {then} called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

Why did the Jews wait so long to name the child?  It is a rather well-known fact that children in the ancient world were not even considered people until at least a few years of age.  It appears that Israel was the sole exception since they named their children on the eighth day of their life.  My wife just a few nights ago told me about a sociologist that she studied about during undergraduate school days who believed that a child should not be considered fully human until they were two years of age!  Now, I am not saying that I believe that I agree with this, but it is VERY IMPORTANT to understand the historical context of what the words in the Bible meant to those it was written to.  Obviously, the context of the Bible was written at a time when the human fetus was not considered to "alive" to most people.  Is there any verse that deals directly with the death of the fetus that might help us with our understanding of whether it is fully human or not?  I believe this one is rather telling:

Exodus 21:22-25 - "And {if} men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no {further} injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges {decide.} "Butif there is {any further} injury, then you shall appoint {as a penalty} life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."

First, notice that the only punishment considered in the first part of the verse for causing the miscarriage is PAYING A FINE.  Next, notice that  the words "any further" is NOT in the original text, thus, the last half of the verse is ONLY talking about injury directly to the woman, when there is mention about taking a "life for life."  It seems clear that IF God considered the fetus to be fully human, that He at least in SOME case of such violence would consider meting out a judgment greater than some kind of fine.  Remember, God is not careless in the details of how He speaks.  Keep in mind that this passage is written in legal language (this is part of God's Laws).   He is more precise and accurate than any lawyer who ever walked the earth, so exact wording is critical.  Talk to a lawyer about the meaning of legal documents if you doubt me.

Well, I will try to get back to the strong analogy between physical and spiritual life in regards to being "born-again."  Let's look at some of the related verses:

Eph 2:1-7 - And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air(literally means to breathe unconsciously), of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.  Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive (literally translated "quicken" in KJV) together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly {places}  in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Is God using a completely different analogy here regarding our becoming "born-again?"  Clearly, we do not see a long transition between being "dead" and becoming "alive."  It is a quick event, and occurs in an instant.  According to my Webster's II New Riverside Dictionary, "quicken" means "to make or become more rapid: accelerate. To vitalize. To stimulate: stir."  It is the opinion by many that quite a few parts of the  KJV was more accurate in its translation than more modern translations.  Overall, this does not seem to be the case, but it does appear to be in quite a few cases very revealing about certain detail dues to the fact that it  was written somewhat closer to ancient times.  One example is the where the KJV translators used the words "quicken" and "quick" to describe those that are alive.  They used the same words to refer to being fast also.  Dead is the opposite, in the context, obviously meaning "without movement."  One may argue that a fetus jumps, kicks, and hits while in the womb, but this does not qualify as being "quick."  While on the subject of fetus movement, let's look at this verse sometimes used by those who believe abortion is murder:

Luke 1:39-44 - Now at this time Mary arose and went with haste to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.  And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  And she cried out with a loud voice, and said, "Blessed among women {are} you, and blessed {is} the fruit of your womb! "And how has it {happened} to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  "For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy."

Many Christians believe that the fetus of John the Baptist knew that the fetus of Jesus just walked into the room.  Even IF John was fully human with a human spirit within the fetus at this point, he would NOT have known of the presence of Mary or her Child (especially the Child in her womb) without SUPERNATURAL help through the Holy Spirit.  Note that it is said that ELIZABETH was filled with the Holy Spirit, NOT  the fetus of John.  It is assumed that since the baby is said to have "leaped for joy" in her womb that it was because the baby was consciously aware of Mary and Jesus.  How many fetuses do you think would be capable of being consciously aware of a baby in another person's womb?  I know that a lot of people think that they can communicate with the fetus, and try to do so in a number of ways through talking to it, playing music, reading books, etc.  Could not the explanation for  movement of the fetus be mainly due to the mother's own physical and emotional reaction to various stimuli?  Doesn't it seem logical that various movements of  the fetus could also be reflexive also?  In the case above with Elizabeth, it seems clear that the baby's reaction was NOT due to hearing Mary's voice, but because ELIZABETH heard it.  Therefore, the baby was not physically reacting because of its own knowledge, but  because of the reaction of Elizabeth or because of the Holy Spirit.

Here is verse to show how clear and fine the line is between spiritual life and death for our analogy:

I John 5:11-13 - And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.  These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.

Here are a the other passages specifically referring to spiritual "birth:"

John 1:12-13 - But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, {even} to those who believe in His name, who were (past tense) born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

1 Pet 1:3 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1 Pet 1:23-25 -  for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, {that is,} through the living and abiding word of God.  For, "All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, But the word of the Lord abides forever." And this is the word which was preached to you.

I John 4:7 - Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

I John 5:1 - Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the {child} born of Him.

I John 5:4-5 - For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith.  And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This next one goes through conception though childbirth to teach spiritual principles regarding sin:

James 1:13-15 - Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

Sometimes, Christians (thanks to Satan) think that when they are tempted, they are sinning.  If this was the case, then Jesus would also be a sinner, since He was personally tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11).  Clearly, we are not sinning when we are tempted.  The just quoted verse clearly spells out the process of sinning using the analogy of child birth, where "sin" is the child.  Notice that lust does not immediately produce sin, but it conceives something that eventually becomes when it is "born."  The "birth" of sin does not occur until the sin is committed.  This is clear because death does not occur until after the birth of sin.

One last thing for now. Not that this alone proves or disproves all the biblical arguments, but it is my understanding that the ancient Jew according to the Talmud did not view the fetus as a person as yet, and that they therefore did not view abortion as murder according to the same book. I will have to re-research the Talmudic passages for the specifics, or maybe one of our Jewish Christian readers could help in this matter. I hope that I did not ruin your day when you read this.  I know that many Christians are very emotionally sensitive to this subject, and some may even have buried their stillborns or know someone who had an abortion.  At the very least, I believe that abortion is a very irresponsible form of birth control.  I know that there are other verses that will most likely need to be dealt with, such as John the Baptist in Martha's womb "jumping" due to the Holy Spirit when the pregnant Mary walked in the room.  Well, I will try to get to each and every argument that might not have been dealt with as yet when I have the time.

This is one of a number of subjects that I have yet to talk about to anyone on the Internet regarding what I consider to be "blind spots" in our "modern" Christian understanding of the Bible applied to the our lives, and the world around us.  Even though this topic is not directly related to prophecy topics, I believe that to a large degree, wherever our understanding of the Bible is incorrect in any matter, to a similar or even greater degree is our susceptibility is to coming demonic deceptions because of our misunderstanding, such as with our budgeting of our time and our priorities.

From my own studies on the abortion issue, my current biggest concern, is that belief that human life begins at conception DISTORTS THE GOSPEL.  Why?  Take a look again at all the verses that associate our new life in Christ, especially in regards to being "born again."  Is is possible that more people could be saved, if we do not confuse the Gospel's message of spiritual birth, by distorting what physical birth is.  By not thinking that NEW PHYSICAL life begins at BIRTH, then it will not be clear that NEW SPIRITUAL life begins at spiritual BIRTH also.

I challenge those who disagree with me to be prayerfully open-minded "as unto the Lord" about this and the other subjects I (or other hard-studying Christians) talk about.  I did not develop my understanding of the Bible from putting blinders on and depending upon my pastors to learn what I know.  I had to struggle through many difficult doctrines and Bible passages on my own, even sometimes getting so upset that I rejected God for a while at a time.  If you are not feeling "growing pains" throughout your study of the Word, then you are not growing. No pain, no gain applies to a certain degree to spiritual things also.

Undedited stuff you might want to look at before I get to re-write it and add to main body of this article:

Ps 104:29-30
29 Thou dost hide Thy face, they are dismayed; Thou dost take away their spirit, they expire, and return to their dust.
30 Thou dost send forth Thy Spirit, they are created; and Thou dost renew the face of the ground.
 Why is this issue important to debate instead of simply accepting the supposed
"Christian" traditions surrounding it?
Well, for one reason not mentioned before, those committing abortion by definition
would automatically be MURDERERS WHO DESERVE JUDGMENT! Such
"judgment" has been already meted out by quite a few Christians already, in the form
of harassments, persecution, bombings, and MURDER. Most Christians know (or
should know) that based upon Romans 12, only the ministers of the "sword", aka, the
government, can put a person to death, so the killing of abortionists is probably not
considered OK by them. Yet, the harassments and persecution of abortionists and
those who seek abortion ought not to be taken lightly by us either! Yes, probably in
many cases, SIN was involved in what resulted in the unwanted pregnancies, but the
justification of treating abortion ITSELF as such a major "sin" as murder requires
MUCH MORE BIBLICAL JUSTIFICATION than there is as far as I am
concerned. Instead of going "black and white" (to one extreme or another) on this, we
need to see if there is a more realistic way to define and deal with abortion according
to the Bible. Of course this takes work, and there are very few Christians who are
willing to do such work. It was my hope that those that I invited to my group would
be willing to get past the clichés and "punch and cookie" thinking of their peers, and
courageously head for some cutting edge Christianity like our Lord did for our

Please feel free to go ahead and post all the links and info you like that allegedly
shows "scientifically" that a fetus is fully human before birth, but realize that such
information CANNOT prove that a fetus is a LIVING SOUL. We must go to the
FINAL authority on the subject, the Bible, if we are going to define a fetus as such a
thing, or define abortion as murder.

Isn't it interesting that the abortion issue is the MAIN unifying point between
Christians and Catholics? I suspect that it would be just as hard for a Christian to
change their view on abortion as it would be for a Catholic to change their belief in the
perpetual virginity of Mary, or how hard it was for me to change from being a
"pre-tribber" to a "post-tribber."

Please don't misunderstand me. I too am grossed out by abortion, and find myself at
times thinking that there is something "wrong" with it. I am not trying to say that
abortion is not wrong. As the topic question states, I am trying to find out if it is
MURDER. As wonderful as feelings are, they do not act as proof for anything. AT
BEST, feelings are only a POSSIBLE indicator of other things (as I learned while
getting my MA in Counseling Psy).

If we decided right from wrong by how we FELT about certain things, then we would
be in big trouble in many other areas of the Bible. If Christians really got around to
carefully read the Bible themselves more often, they would grossed out to find that
God commanded the Jews to brutally kill EVERY man, woman, and CHILD they
found in certain places. Also, they would be grossed out by Christ's very brutal death
on the Cross, and His return where He is wearing that "gross" robe dipped in blood.
The blood won't get on there by accident.
The Bible is not rated "G," yet most punch and cookie pastors softened up their
sermons for too long now that we are offended even by God's Own Word.

May God our Father through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ give us His Spirit,
wisdom, and patience to work through this very important and sensitive issue to many
Christians and non-Christians.

Now for abortion: Mother is going to die, yes abortion is called for. Woman
wants to look good in bikini and screw around this summer no time to be
pregnant. If this isn't murder than I don't know what would be. It once again gets
back to what abortion is. In your example, you added one, maybe two sins,
extra-marital sex and pride. These two sins do not automatically make abortion
wrong. A better example for clarity is where you have a women contemplating
abortion of a fetus due to rape or incest, so as to remove association with more clearly
defined sins in the argument. Regarding the conscience being a good guide to live by,
the conscience can be dulled or in many ways oversensitized. Sin will dull and even
sear one's conscience. Legalism (among other things such as fear) can OVERsensitize
one's conscience. Christians seem to have more trouble with the oversensitize
concept, but the Bible speaks on this also: Rom 14:22-23 - The faith which you
have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not
condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he
eats, because {his eating is} not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is
sin. Applying the above verse, IF you THINK abortion is wrong, then it is a SIN if
you do it. Period. Also, you CANNOT have a conscience for OTHER people, just
yourself. Therefore, this "conscience" argument does not prove whether or not
abortion is murder. I probably will not have much time in the future to continue
dialoging on this topic as I have these past two days, so please be patient until I get
more time.

I better change the scenario for argument in my last message to a married women who
conceived a baby though marital sex. Otherwise, the argument will get too far
sidetracked by irrelevant issues.

Your point regarding Lev 17:11,17 was very good, and really got me thinking. If we
could completely equate "life of the flesh" (nepesh habaasaar) to a "living soul"
(lanepesh chayaah), then your point would appear to be fairly solid. Yet, we must
ask, since "the life of the flesh is in the blood," exactly WHEN does this "life" (nepesh)
enter the "flesh?" Notice that the verse did NOT say, "the life of the flesh IS the
blood," which would be something quite different, and would appear to be more
supportive of the "living soul" starting before birth. It said that "the life of the flesh is
IN the blood." It is something that is IN the blood that makes the flesh "alive" in at
least the Biblical sense. Since the root word of nepesh means "breath" (nephash) it is
clear that the emphasis is once again on breathing. Also, nepesh has also been directly
translated as "breath," so we could translate the passage to say "the breath of the flesh
is in the blood."

Well, we are now back to the "narrow" thinking again that breathing is one of the
required signs of a "living soul," since a fetus does not breath until it is born. Yes, it
gets oxygen, but not by breathing its own air.

Also, if the Leviticus passage truly did teach that a "living soul" begins before birth,
then we run into a big problem with why God does not start counting our days in His
"book" BEFORE we are born.

Thank you for your very good argument from Scripture.

By the way, how about that passage that talks about two men fighting, and one strikes
a pregnant women in such a way that the woman loses her baby...

Reader: I have carefully come to a "nonreligious" conclusion to this matter in the
attempt to save as many lives as possible.

Me: You cannot "scientifically" prove a fetus is a living soul. One must find such
proof in the Bible. Your statement is very similar to statements made by atheists
against the Bible.

Admittedly, to make "secular arguments" to those with no spiritual discernment will
not "prove" that a human fetus is a "living soul." But an unbeliever will not even admit
to the reality of a "soul" in many cases. The point is to convince (or remind) them of
the TRUTH that that which is in the womb is LIVING and, without interruption, will
GROW to be a CHILD and THEN an ADULT ("potential life," if you must). Very
few believe the old lies about the human fetus being a "only mass of cells" akin to a
tumor. In her heart (even in it's unregenerate state) the woman knows that she is "with
child". As for my statement being similar to an atheist speaking against the Bible, I
don't see your point. I can and must see "both sides," but the atheist is quite
"Biblically" a fool. Twice in Psalms we read "The FOOL has said in his heart, [there
is] no God."

Reader: Those of us in the "movement" learned long ago that unbelievers will not listen
to "scriptural" arguments on this or any other matter. Atheists, feminists, and
homosexuals, however, have come over to the pro-life side based on the scientific
certainties of "life."

Me: What did Jesus say in regard to required "proof" to support spiritual facts and
realities? Re-read what He said about the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man made
the same complaint that his brothers needed MORE than the Bible to believe. Jesus in
effect said that even a supernatural sign (resurrection in this case) would not be
enough if they already rejected the Word. We as Christians are not in the position to
enforce judgment of sin OUTSIDE of the church. At best, we can use our rights to try
and change the laws regarding such things.

I could not agree with you more. There is no way that I can or should "enforce
judgment" on cases of sin. Though I have been charged with trying to "force my
views" on others -- an impossibility, for sure -- I have never been charged with
"enforcing God's Law" by any stretch of the imagination. I once was accused with
"harassing clients" by my very standing on the sidewalk with a sign declaring the truth.
There are those in sidewalk counseling (I did a little of that, actually directing
interested clients to a nearby Crisis Pregnancy Center) that are being deprived of their
basic First Amendment Rights through RICO (Racketeering!!) laws. You may have
heard of the Freedom of Access Laws and "bubble zones" designed to keep the
"fanatics" away from those going into the clinics. If anything, these ridiculous laws
have brought out the "wackos" in the fringe out of mere frustration.

How about King Solomon and the divide the baby w/ a sword?  This wisdom was said to be from God.  If the "pro-life" movement of today was back then, would not Solomon have been criticized by them rather than praised and respected?

Consider the following symbolism in light of the birth process as being what leads us to salvation:
Matt 7:13,14 "Narrow and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

John 3:3 "born again" lit means "born from above."

It seems that we as Christians ought to start learning how to think deeper regarding issues such as this, since Biblical ethics is not going to get any easier, especially in light of things such as the soon coming possible realities of "human" cloning, genetic engineering (already here to a large degree), and if true as in the days of Noah, cross-breeding between demonic entities (ex: "aliens" with humans ).

I have been accused of being rather harsh in regards to your sharing or your personal experience in regards to pregnancy.  In no way do I want to sound as if I disrespecting the close relationships that you felt with your unborn children as God was forming them within you.  What an amazing miracle they are, plus the love their is from the mother for them.

I respect your opinion, and do not want to ignore it.  Nevertheless, there are valid alternative explanations to what appears to be the unborn babies ability to "hear" and sense other things in the room.  Granted, there are no nerves running through the umbilical cord, but hormones, such as adrenaline, do run through it.  The mother's emotional response is very quick to inject a dose of such hormones into the bloodstream which takes barely a few seconds to reach the baby.  Such hormones in my opinion could explain sudden movements that match to external stimuli.

I hope that my fellow readers do not take my getting into the "nuts and bolts" of the arguments here as being somehow inhuman or insensitive.  It is hard for all of us to recognize fully or thoughts or intentions through this medium of communication, so let's all try to give each other the benefit of the doubt.

The "biblical perspective" that our host is presenting is enlightening, but incomplete. I
thank him for his stirring us to think, but the direction of the argument is disturbing. It
seems that in seeking to "establish" from the start that "the Spirit" (=Breath) enters at
Birth he has capitulated to the "other side" in allowing "Abortion at any time, for any

There is an historical argument, in fact, for the "tripartite" nature of man vs the
"bipartite" nature. That is to say, that man is "body, soul, and spirit" (three parts) and
not just "body and soul" (with Soul = Spirit). I don't have the pros and cons, but I
know that the arguments go WAY BACK. While I agree that some things are not
"black and white" here, I want to avoid the extreme of turning our back on such an
important issue.

This is analogous to the CHRISTIAN Fight against SLAVERY. While the Bible does
not CONDEMN SLAVERY (It in fact, provides RULES for treatment of
SLAVES). In Britain, William Wilberforce's life long crusade was based on his
BIBLICALLY BASED conviction against the practice. Can any of us actually
CONDONE the practice NOW. Christians in our country did condone the practice,
though it was Christians that lead the battle against it. Likewise, a minority of the
believers, almost totally outside of the "mainline church," are fighting against an evil
that until the middle of this century was universally considered DEPLORABLE. The
abolitionists in Britain fought a nonviolent campaign, and abolished slavery there.
Here, the practice was so CONDONED by the CHURCH that it took a bloody civil
war to stop it. Let's not allow that to happen over Abortion.

My point is, we must CONDEMN ABORTION and seek PEACEFUL
CHRISTIAN means to END IT IN OUR TIME. The Christian way is not violent,
this much is sure -- and we MUST CONDEMN VIOLENCE in those who might be
so inclined.

Reader: I would also like to take issue with a comment from your web page which states that there is no ordaining of days prior to birth. Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that god appointed Jeremiah a prophet to the nations before he was born. In addition, I have not as yet heard any mention of cesarean section and how it is possible to take a fetus from the womb several weeks before full term.

My article does not directly address the Jeremiah verse, but it certainly does address the false notion that we come into existence as soon as God has foreknown us.  If this was the case, we all have been existence as long as God has, which is clearly heresy.

Even in a cesarean section, the baby still needs to take its first breath.  I was a cesarean section baby, and according to my mother, there was some "trouble" getting me to take my first breath, all the while I appeared very motionless.  Needless to say, I did take that very important first breath when I became a "living soul."

Getting past most Christian's bias regarding abortion is most likely as difficult as any transition shift within our own faith.  It is VERY PAINFUL to let go of strong beliefs, true or false.  I have gone through such a transition regarding many aspects of my faith.  Looking back, it was worth the effort and mustering of courage to do so.  I most likely would not have made a web page as I have had if I did not make questions about the "emperors clothes."  The future will hold many great surprises, and if we cannot keep from going "black and white" on more common issues, how are we going to be able to handle the coming future shocks?

Reader: Abortion is immoral. What if Mary Aborted Jesus to protect herself form the shame
of pregnancy and not being married.

That is why Mary is to be remembered for what she did.  She was a willing vessel to let the Holy Spirit conceive within her
womb, and produce our Savior, Jesus Christ:

Luke 1:31  "And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.

Luke 1:38 And Mary said, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word." And the angel
departed from her.

Me: It certainly appears clear that Mary would have been wrong to choose to not have Jesus as a child, since it was clearly
God's plan for her to be involved in.  It would therefore be "immoral" for her to not accept the will of God in her life, but even if
she of all people rejected being the mother of Jesus, such an "immoral" act cannot automatically be equated to murder.
Abortion may be wrong and "immoral," but we are yet to see valid Biblical evidence of it being murder.

Jesus would not be here to save the world from hell.  John the Baptist Jumped in Elizabeth's womb when Jesus was in
his presence. How many of the millions of Children that were aborted in the last 40 years could have changed the world now.
What could they have contributed to this immoral planet. We will never know. Which one of those children could have
discovered a cure for aids or cancer, or could have been a great leader or servant, or could have saved millions of dollars by
having the guts to tell people in command about the y2k bug.  Life is precious and abortion wastes that individuals existence to
be something to someone or some people. I believe abortion is murder.

All life that God created is precious.   I would say that a human fetus is much more "precious" than any other kind of fetus,
but that does not prove that abortion of a human fetus is murder.  All the things that could have been done by those who have
been aborted could have been great.  They could also have done great evil, so such a point is not very logical, and it certainly
does not prove that abortion is murder.  Dolphins, dogs, and other animals have been known to have actually do "great things"
such as saving human lives, but this does not prove that killing dolphins, dogs, or other animals is murder.

More to come, guys. Here is a hint: "SOUL," not "SPIRIT."

"soul" (nephesh) means "breathing creature."  As in Gen 35:18, which in the context clearly refers to "spirit." "Spirit"
(ruwach) means "wind" or "breath, " which both refers to God's "Spirit" (Gen 1:2), evil "spirits" (Jdges 9:23), and the human
"spirit" (Psm 104:29).  The ancient Jews considered nephesh to be a combination of "spirit" and "flesh and bone."  "Spirit" is
what makes the "flesh and bone" a living thing.  What surprises me is that no one as yet has made any comments showing that
ALL breathing animals meet such a criteria.  Maybe because if you could prove that anything that is "nephesh" if it is killed
would be considered "murdered."

We see that it is GOD WHO decides these things!! We are not authorized TO
DESTROY LIFE OR TO PREVENT IT. The historical Christian "Catholic"
approach to "birth control" is not very far off. Some of us might object (with some
validity) but if one takes a consistent view then abortion would be working against
God on this point.

As I tried to point out before, just because something is "alive" does not automatically prove that it is murder if it is killed.
One cannot automatically make such an assumption without therefore assuming that the killing of ANY animal is murder also.
Whether we like it or not, deciding whether or not abortion is "murder" MUST be above and beyond simply arguing that the
human fetus is "life."  Henry, we ARE authorized to take life or prevent it in many cases, just not when it comes to one that is
fully "human."

We may argue when the "soul" and/or "spirit" enters the "living thing" within the womb, but we cannot stop it from taking
its natural course. Most Protestant Christians go with "science" here and measure this course from conception since that is when
the biologically separate entity begins. Before conception, the sperm and the egg are "part of" the parents, but not

So far, apart from references to God's foreknowledge and predestination, and John the Baptist's fetus jumping due to
Elizabeth's hormones (and maybe the Holy Spirit), we have not as yet seen other apparent Biblical argument that even comes
close to suggesting that the "spirit" of a human enters a human within the womb.  Great potential worth is also not proof that abortion is murder.  Clearly, ALL THINGS GOD CREATED HAVE WORTH TO HIM.  Hopefully, I do not have to provide verses for such a point.  Potential worth does not prove that a fetus has a human spirit before birth.

As I said before, let's get beyond our modern pop-Christian obsession of automatically labeling abortion murder, and move
onto trying to figure out what it really is IN GOD'S EYES, NOT OURS.  I have already spent far too much time addressing
your postings today, and I need to jet out of here.

Regarding the abortion issue, I do not want to sound as if I am condoning the
major disregard of obeying God and His laws, or trying to encourage people to have
abortions.  Us Christians have a VERY selective way of choosing which commandments
we will take seriously, and which ones that we will not.  For example, the very
few Christians take notice of the VERY clear words of Jesus in the following

Matt 19:9 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and
marries another woman commits adultery."

I rarely hear any pastor ever deal with that passage, especially when the Old
Testament was SO VERY CLEAR in regards to the penalty for such sin:

Lev 20:10 'If {there is} a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

Regarding the definition of "murder," it is important to note that the Old Testament uses I believe 8 or 9 different Hebrew words with rather different meanings that are all translated into our English word "kill."  Here are a few of the ones mainly used:

"Harag"- "to smite with deadly intent." When God says He will "kill," as in Exod 22:24, He uses this most commonly used Hebrew word translated "kill."  It is used quite differently than the Hebrew word that refers to murder.  "Harag" is a very generic word for "kill," but one that does not include murder, but includes commanded killing through warfare, and is sometimes used along with the next Hebrew word, which is much more specific.

When God commanded the Jews to take a life due to a certain sin, He used the word "muwth" -"to die (literally or figuratively); causatively, to kill."

"Shachat" - "to slaughter (in sacrifice or massacre), is specifically used for killing animal sacrifices.

The particular word which specifically refers to murder, which is used in the 10 commandments regarding "thou shalt not kill"
is "ratsach" - "to murder, to slay, assassinate"

It is interesting to note that if there were not differences in the various usages of the word translated "kill" in the Bible, then we would certainly have the contradiction of God commanding or even doing something that He supposedly claims is sin.

I am sorry that I did not give the longer more exhaustive definitions of the Hebrew words to more completely show everyone how limited our English language is in regards to "kill."

On another note regarding the abortion issue: I do not want to sound as if I am condoning the major disregard of any of God's laws, sound as if I am trying to encourage people to have
abortions.  Contrary to what some still seem to think, I am not in support of most abortions, especially in light of the sinful circumstances they are directly related to.  Nevertheless, we Christians have a VERY selective way of choosing which commandments we will take seriously, and which ones that we will not.

For example, VERY FEW Christians take notice of the VERY clear words of Jesus in the following

Matt 19:9 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."

I rarely hear any pastor ever deal with that passage, especially when the Old Testament was SO VERY CLEAR in regards to the penalty for such sin:

Lev 20:10 'If {there is} a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

We MUST begin to put our emotions in check with the Word of God.  God's Laws were written a very concise LEGAL fashion that modern believers do not recognize.  It takes clear and wise thinking to fully discern the Laws and its applications.
Forget how the legal system works today.  In the past, there was no such thing as jurors who would decide guilt or innocence mainly based upon emotions or lack of knowledge of the law.  There were HIGHLY TRAINED judges who sought the truth in each case.  Let us try to get back as much as we can to trying to be discerning as our spiritual forefathers.  I do not know how many times I have to say it, but abortion is not said to be murder in the Bible.  I am not quite certain what it is, but I can hardly wait until our group can finally get to what appears to be the more important issues regarding the subject.

Reader: "Could it be so obvious that the bible is not more specific about abortion, and whether or not it is murder, because such a barbaric practice would have been unthinkable to Gods' people."

If this was true, then we would not have had so much debate among the ancient rabbis before, during, and after Jesus' first coming.  Abortion was not an open and shut case to God's people then, and it certainly should not be now, especially when most of us are not even getting close to any depth in looking at this subject.

Reader: "The question is not "When does the "spirit" enter the child, but whether the developing "fetus" is considered a "child.""

Your statement is sneaky in that it attempts to use circular reasoning to exclude the spirit entering the child as what changes a fetus into a child.

Reader: "This shouldn't be "up to the mother" as it is today. The Bible is rather clear on this point."

Please show me where this is "rather clear on this point."  Your next sentence does not command the mother to not have an abortion:

"Note, for instance, that Jacob and Esau are called "CHILDREN striving" in their mothers womb. The Hebrew there is BENEYIM

Yes, they are called children, AND they are called NATIONS:

Gen 25:22-23 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I {this way?}  So she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb; and two peoples shall be separated from your body; and one people shall be stronger than the other; and the older shall serve the younger."

Clearly, two nations were not fully being formed in her womb.
Therefore, one cannot build much of a case on this verse, since it is again making assumptions that do not fit the context.  Some might try to make a big deal about the "struggle" between the two fetuses, but I would like to know anyone in the medical field who believes fetuses are developed enough to literally fight with another fetus in the womb.  Obviously, God caused a rather uncomfortable gestation period for the mother in order to teach the parents and following generations (even to our day) what would occur IN THE FUTURE.

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