Case in Point


This blog site will feature essays, columns and musings that deal with the intersection of Christianity and journalism and the American Songbook.

“Evangelical Protestants Urge Fundamental Biblical Values” (article: Arlington Herald)

Arlington Herald
January 20, 1977

Protestant Christianity is divided into at least two distinct religions. One of the religions is aligned to the traditional theological doctrines (fundamentals) as they-are taught in an infallible and supernaturally-revealed Bible; which is God’s very word. The-other religion has adapted-its theology to the surrounding culture and has discarded the historic and Biblical moorings of Christian teaching.

The two “religions” in Protestantism are as far apart as true Christianity and atheism. This split in Protestantism is not new, but rather dates from at least the Enlightenment in the 18th Century when rationalism crept into the Church. Today, most mainline Protestant denominations are heavily influenced by rationalistic, anti-supernatural theology. At the same time many smaller denominations, as well as a host of independent congregations, are super naturalistic in their theology. This latter group is generally known as “evangelical” (“evangel” Greek for “gospel”), and it is this group, which is most committed to the Bible as being the authoritative guide for faith and practice. With the Bible as its standard, it is not surprising that this evangelical segment of the Protestant church is almost universally opposed to abortion on demand and in, favor of some constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The Biblical teaching that is so persuasive to evangelicals is quite lengthy, but I will attempt to give a brief survey of the main points of the Scriptural teaching. While the Bible does not condemn abortion forthrightly in a single verse or passage (except perhaps Ex. 21:22-25), it does give us clear guidance in this issue. God tells us that every human being is created in his image and is therefore a bearer of this sacred reflection (Gen. 1:26-27). Because every man and woman is a divine image-bearer, every man and, woman is of great value in and of themselves (without having to prove anything) and therefore their lives are to be protected (Gen. 9:6, see also Gen. 4:14, 15). Indeed, the Sixth Commandment (Ex. 20:13) prohibits the killing of an innocent person. Thus the Bible clearly teaches that all human life is sacred and highly valued by God.

Accordingly, all Bible believers are pressed to be defenders of the fundamental principle of the sanctity of human life.

As to when human life- begins there is also clear Biblical teaching. The following Old Testament passages teach that human life begins in the womb: Gen. 25:21-24; 2 Kings 19:3; Job 10:8-12; Ps. 51:5; Ps. 139:13-16; Is. 49:1-2; Jer. 1:5., as well as many other Old Testament passages.

In the New Testament we have verses such as Rom. 9:11-13, 20-21 and Gal. 1:15 teaching the same thing. But perhaps the most powerful portion of Scripture teaching intra-uterine life is the account of the incarnation (Luke 1 and Matt. 1). In this account John the Baptist is said to leap for joy at the news of the conception of the Messiah when John is only a 24 week old unborn boy (Luke 1:36, 41). Even more importantly, Jesus is called “Holy Offspring” and Elizabeth’s “Lord” when he is only a zygote (Luke 1:26-45)!

This would be enough to prove that there is life in the womb, but add to this the teaching of Heb. 2:14, 17 and Phil. 2:6-8 that we have Jesus being made like us in all respects except sin. Consequently, if Jesus were fully human (and fully divine) while only a fertilized egg, then we too must be fully human while only a fertilized egg!

One final point is to be made from the Scriptures concerning abortion. God clearly indicates his anger and judgment on those who perform and participate in this killing. In this regard see three pertinent passages: Deut. 27:25; Ps. 10:8-11 and Ps. 106: 37-38.

Having said all this about the Bible and abortion, what then is the Christian Action Council? The C.A.C. is a group of prominent evangelical Christians who believe that Christians have the obligation to speak to society and its civil lawmakers about matters of public policy. Among the Council members are Mrs. Billy Graham, Mrs. Francis Schaeffer, Dr. Harold Lindsell (Editor of Christianity Today), Dr. Harold 0. J. Brown, C. Everett Koop, M.D., and Dr. Gordon Clark.

We are committed to seeing that Congress gives an attentive ear to fundamental Biblical values (such as the sanctity of life) as it legislates social policy. At the same time we are educating and mobilizing other evangelical Christians to be witnesses in like manner. We publish brochures, a newsletter and an Evangelical Bioethical Digest. We have a Speakers’ Bureau and other aids in the cause of awakening the Bible-believing segment of Protestantism to the dangers of remaining silent and inactive in a pluralistic society that is now dominated by a secularist mentality.

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