The Continuing Debate – Part 3:
Loving these discussions. I find them challenging and insightful. I never suggested you were legalistic, I suggested you want a more legalistic society. Since the stance of pro-life can only lead to a tightening of legislation and introducing more laws then yes society must by definition be more legalistic. To accuse you of legalism is quite different to accusing you of wanting a more legalistic society.
If we begin with the law that killing is wrong. To kill is to snuff out life and this can happen in many ways. A child unwanted is killed emotionally and as it is likely to be abused it will suffer a thousand deaths. Job thought it merciful to die before being born rather than the degree of suffering he experienced (Job 10:18 - 19). We can kill a person without taking their life, we kill when we treat another person without love. A child bought into this world unwanted will be killed emotionally and mentally. The suffering it will experience in life may make the act of abortion a mercy. Your definition of death differs to mine. We can debate the meaning of "killing" I would like that.
If I use the narrow view of death as to snuff out life completely in a single act then follow the following argument:
Your understanding of killing is to remove life and just from human beings, but thou shalt not kill convicts us all because we need to kill others in order to live. You just assume an anthropocentric view to suggest the necessary killing of animals to live isn't wrong. Romans 3:23 exposes us all as sinners and the taking of life is one of those things that makes us sinners. The necessity of taking life doesn't make it right. We give thanks to God for our food when we eat because we know that God has suffered the loss of life on this planet to provide that food. It hurts God that any of his creation his beautiful creation should be harmed.
We take life for the necessity of food. We judge and take life for the necessity of convenience. None of this is right. Shit happens. Our very existence is based on sin, that is one of the infinite reasons we need a saviour. Abortion isn't justified as if there is nothing wrong with it, it is that sometimes death may be preferable. If there is an afterlife, I see no reason why these unborn innocents won't move straight to heaven. God is merciful.
I guess it comes down to comparing the suffering of the death of the unborn child (horrible) with the suffering of an unwanted child (also horrible). What makes one situation any better than the other? Situational ethics can't be easily dismissed.
One more thing - the statistics of backyard abortions in Poland. Where do I find this so that I can get some neutral research on the topic. Statistics are unfortunately open to manipulation to support alternative points of view. In Poland there are only 250 reported abortions as these are the cases where to not have an abortion could endanger the life of the mother as well as the child. You have no real statistic to prove that another 160 000 babies were not aborted through drugs to induce miscarriage or knitting needles and coat hangers. People do not jump up and say "I have had a backyard abortion" do they? In a catholic society, abortion would be one of the taboos bringing shame on the family. Most backyard abortees wish to remain anonymous.
People are unlikely to tell everyone that they have had one are they! Imagine a census form question - "have you had an illegal backyard abortion this year?" "Well sure I did" says the frightened young lady, "just put me into prison and throw away the key please!" To suggest an accurate statistic is an absurdity when the act is illegal. Why don't you ask how many people ever drink and drive. People are not going to confess to something that has undesirable consequences to confess to. I may have had sympathetic thoughts about so called Palestinian terrorists, should I report that to ASIO to be part of their statistics on terrorism sympathisers? No way!
Why is it that pro choice is seen as a more compassionate view than pro life which is viewed on as bigoted? Perhaps because the view of pro lifers appears to lack understanding and is dismissive of the arguments in favour of pro choice. Pro lifers appear to be condescending and not the type of people able to reason with. Just look at the arguments I have put forward. You seem to find it easy to dismiss them without any consideration of their merits. On the other hand I have at least sympathised with your position and your arguments.
To start with your last paragraph - I have already failed if you think I am condescending and not open to reason. Please forgive me for all the ways I have written which may nave engendered in you this viewpoint. I have by no means easily dismissed your arguments – to begin with I sense you are of the same opinion still – you know the saying ‘A man convicted against his will is of the same opinion still’.
I do appreciate your arguments and am not quickly dismissive of them – I have however studied this topic in depth for 18 years and have some very good research and texts to support me. I do not expect to change your perception but I certainly pray that your own reflection on what we discuss may bring you to a place where the sanctity of human life becomes of vital importance to you, as I believe it is of vital importance to God.
I am a prodigious reader of Christian material, as well as a lover of God’s Word which I inhale daily. My quest to know the Lord more intimately every day and to make Him the Master of my life in every area and every way has led me to believe that the shedding of innocent blood is one of the greatest affronts to God imaginable.
Yes, I am very passionate about this. I believe that once we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Saviour we start on an eternal journey of growing in our relationship with Him and His bride. We all travel down this road at different paces and in very different ways – we all are given different gifts as well as insights and we all daily make choices that either draw us closer to Him or further away from Him.
I never mean to put you down, Daniel in any thing I say. I truly respect your openness to debate, your honesty in stating your convictions and your searching heart. I pray that our discussions are only drawing us both closer our Lord Christ Jesus. If you do not sense that that is the case then let us desist.
Now to the beginning of your email: I do not desire a more legalistic society. I would suggest they are many, many insignificant and trivial laws that could be removed from legislation. However, I believe that making it illegal to kill your fellow human beings is a most necessary law if we wish to strive for a ‘free’ society. Incidentally, most of the 15,000+ surgical abortions performed in Queensland every year are illegal – the problem here is that the courts will not enforce the law, yet they will imprison people who peacefully stand outside abortion clinics waving placards – this is not a legalistic society but a highly hypocritical and ignorant one!
You say an unwanted child is killed emotionally and ‘… suffers a thousand deaths’ I am sure you realise this is hyperbole as the Bible says that we all are to ‘… die once and then the judgement’ It is a sad indictment of the ignorance of the pro-abortion movement that they even link this argument to abortion. One of their mantra’s is: “Every child should be a wanted child.”
Firstly, every child is a wanted child – perhaps not by its mother who has found herself with an unwanted pregnancy but by many who can’t have children except though adoption.
Secondly, many children who are at first not wanted are often very much wanted later in the pregnancy and even more so after the birth. Furthermore, many children wanted at birth are NOT wanted at 2:00 am six weeks later.
Being ‘unwanted’ describes not a condition of child, but an attitude of adults. The unwanted child is a real person regardless of some adult’s feelings toward him or her.
Many pro-abortionists argue that if born ‘unwanted children’ will receive more child abuse. Statistics show in fact that abortion has resulted in an increase in child abuse of born children. For example, in the first 10 years after the legalisation of abortion in the USA, child abuse increased by over 500%. This is sadly not at all surprising, as when children are viewed as expendable and unworthy before birth, they will also be viewed in a similar way after birth.
Surely, it is illogical to argue that a child is protected from abuse through abortion since abortion IS child abuse.
Daniel, it is never a mercy to take another human beings choice of life away from them. In the scripture’s I have already highlighted for you, you should see that it is God’s prerogative to choose our day of dying. Yes, our views of death do appear different. My heart has died many times but I am still here and amazingly it has been healed every time! Praise God!
I agree with you that animals and plants as well as humans can be killed but I do disagree with you on the significance of these deaths to God.
I believe there was death in Eden before the fall (this point alone is a challenging debate – many recent creationists would argue that Adam’s sin brought death into the world (Roman’s 5:12), however my understanding of this passage and its context is that death came to mankind because of Adam’s sin not to the plant or animal kingdoms. If the laws of physics were the same, before Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge, as they are today then there was certainly death of plants and bacteria, etc. and yet God said it was ‘good’. It appears from scientific evidence that there were far more species made extinct before Adam & Eve walked on this earth than after. This was all part of God’s plan for this earth and for those He created in His image. Dr. Hugh Ross discusses this in great detail in a number of his books.
Thus we clearly differ here – I do not consider the necessary death (for man) of plants or animals as ‘shit happens’.
More importantly though, I cannot see how the death by abortion of a child is preferable to anything. If a human being were in permanent excruciating pain (and this is not the lot of an unborn child) then I can empathise with them that death would seem preferable because they want the pain to end. But what if the pain after death is worse, if that were possible?
You ask if there is an afterlife. If you don’t believe that there is, then why would you accept the Lord as your saviour? Saviour from what? The apostle Paul said if there is no resurrection from the dead then we (meaning Christians) are to be the most pitied of all men. I truly believe this – either pity me or join me! – If I did not believe in the afterlife, both heaven & hell, I would not be a Christian – if this life was all there was for me you wouldn’t find me near a church or standing up for the unborn, adopting children of alcoholics & drug users, or giving away over 35% of my net income, etc.
But yes, I do believe unborn innocents whose blood is shed through abortion do go straight to be with the Lord where I believe they cry along with all the martyrs “How long, O Lord … until you judge and avenge our blood …’ Rev 6:10.
Regarding my stats on Poland, you make some very good points – as you indicate it is difficult to get accurate or reliable figures so I concede you may be right. The stats came from: J C Wilke “Clear Evidence: If Forbidden, Abortion Will Not Return to the Back Alley” Life Issues Connector April 2000.
There is a website though (http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/ab-poland.html ) that would suggest the number of illegal abortions is nowhere near the 160,000 although it may be around 40,000. (look at stats for 1999 for example). The official overall percentage of known pregnancies ending in abortions is 0.03% vs 57% for Russia and 23% for Australia.
It would seem though that if there were considerable deaths of pregnant women from these illegal abortions something of this horrific tragedy would be made public.
Finally, I do not concede that pro-choice people are seen as more compassionate, except by their fellow pro-abortionists and by those ignorant on this subject (which unfortunately and most tragically, seems to be a majority in Australia, though no longer in the USA! – see Stats. on Prolife Media website).
Investing in eternity.