My Response to the Albany, NY Pro-Death Dictum


cropped-robgoodgravatar.jpgby Rob Lundberg

[Listen to The Real Issue podcast on this same subject]

I don’t want this post to be reactionary. My goal is the put forth my response to the atrocity that happened on Tuesday night in Albany, NY. The atrocity that happened was an edict put forth by the New York State Legislature called the “Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act” (CCCA), that presented a series of “measures that would codify abortion protections and expanding reproductive health rights for women and their health care providers.”[1]

What kind of response do I want to put forth? Let me put forth a question to you as a believer.[2] The question is as follows, “If you are an evangelical believer, why are you pro-life, and why are you against abortion?”  Do you just give your “pro-choice” interrogator Scripture? Do you really understand the nerve of the question where, due to the ideological tectonic shifts in our culture, you need to understand there is a particular starting point you need to start at before Scripture can even be brought in.[3]

So in this post, I want to give a response to this question, and in turn to what happened in Albany last (Tuesday) night.  My approach is going to come first from the scientific reality of life, the biblical responses to why we are for life and not death, and the moral ramifications of this issue at large.

state-capitol-150x150
Graphic from AlbanyUpdate.com

Understanding the Nerve of the Question.

I mentioned earlier that there has been a tectonic shift in our culture that forces our hand as evangelical Christians in an evangelism encounter. The question, “If you are an evangelical believer, why are you pro-life, and why are you against abortion?”  has an underlying nerve that can be summarized in one word, RIGHTS.  Rights is what this is issue is all about.

You don’t have to look to far when you see reproductive rights rallies where you see the posters, and the placards declaring that those who are pro-abortion and pro-choice advocates telling the government to stay out of certain parts of a woman’s anatomy; that that the woman has a right to what does with her own body.  Can you see that they are wanting their rights, that they believe that no one is championing?

What do you call someone who seeks to take away the rights of another individual? Dictator! Tyrant!  Oppressor!  Let me ask another question. When do you hear in the hymns that we sing in church, “Oh most tyrannical God, most Wonderful Dictator, we praise You and fall before you and submit ourselves before your oppressive tyranny.”

Of course we do not sing these lyrics. So why do we give those who fear that we are trying to take away their rights that impression.  We have to turn the conversation away from rights to the matter of life.  This is where we get to the first point.

The Scientific Reality: What Says Science About Life?

Allow me to open this part with a moral question: “Is it morally wrong to harm an innocent human life?” Of course we all know the answer to this question, of course it is morally wrong.  Depending on where you reside on the belief line, there would be varying reasons why it is morally wrong, but we are not going to argue that here. 

But what if science can show that which is in womb is a life system. Think of this for a moment. When a male and female, whether human, fish, animal or fowl, and there is conception, that which is conceived has half of the DNA of the male, and half of the DNA of the female. With the DNA of both parents, there is a new DNA combination. 

But what are the characteristics that make us a life? Most biology books give about five to seven characteristics.  Let me just list seven of them. Some textbooks have less but these are found as the common ones. 

1. Response to environment;
2. Growth and change;
3. The ability to reproduce in the future;
4. The possession of having a metabolism and the ability to breathe; 
5. The maintaining of homeostasis which is the tendency toward having a relatively;        stable equilibrium and maintained by physiological processes;
6. Being made of cells, the ability to pass on the traits to future offspring; and
7. Possesses the common DNA from both parents.

So if these are characteristics for LIFE the can we say from science, and what is in the womb of the mother has these listed characteristics, what is it that we can scientifically conclude? From science we can see that that which has these characteristics.  And if these are the characteristics of a human from the DNA of the parents, it is a human  __________. (I’ll give you a hint, the word that goes in the blank is a four letter word that begins with “L” and rhymes with wife.)  Let me move to what the Bible has to say while you mull this over.  

A Biblical Response:  What Does God Say About Life?

This is the point where many Christians want to start. Let me say that I believe the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, and is sufficient in authority for what it teaches. So what does it say, about how God views life. Let me just touch on some of the high points.

God is the Giver of life and we reflect His image The beginning of life has to have a starting point, and the starting point of all of life is from the One who gave the first life to the first man, Adam. Genesis 2:7 tells us, Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”  So we have life coming from God.  We also are fearfully and wonderfully made, knit together in our mother’s womb.[4] David wrote,

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

So if God is the Giver of life, He also loves us to give us life.  If He  loves His creation, He would want us to know Him and for us to reflect His glory. Part of that is seen in the fact that He created us in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26,27).[5]  Carrying this though further we see . . .

God considers life sacred starting in the blood of His created human being.

The New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo crossed a sacred line in their passing of a dictatorial edict to be able to terminate the life of a human being in utero up to the time of birth. God considers the blood sacred.

Life is in the blood (Genesis 4:10).  When Cain killed Abel we read God’s asking Cain, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.”  We also read over in Genesis 9:6, that the shedding of blood of another human being warrants the penalty of the same for the one killing a human being.  Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man[6].

And then at Sinai, with the giving of the Ten Commandments, we read the command in the literal, “No murder.“(Exodus 20:13).  This passage does not have to with war, or the death penalty.  It has does have to do with one human being deeming that the life of another human being needs to be erased or ended.

What did these little men in high places, with one foot in Paradise and another in the grave determine? They made legal the killing of a human being  in utero (scientifically proven and biblically supported) a legal “right” to be executed by the mother (and possibly affirmed by the father).  But let me just say this. . . what is legal does not mean that it is lawful.

There are ramifications that one has to consider.  These are where the rubber meets the road.

The Moral Ramifications of “Games of Chance and Circumstance.”

You know that the consequence of actions, is a law that everyone faces. I see the abortion issue as one of those games of chance and circumstance. You see if the mother (and father) opting to terminate the life of another human being in utero, do they really realize what they are doing.  Which brings me to a multi-layered question, starting with the question that I posited in the Scientific Reality section of this post, “Is it morally wrong to harm an innocent human life?” Because the answer to this question is a resounding yes on both sides of the life issue, let’s move to the question.

Q1: “So if you agree with me that it is morally wrong to harm an innocent human life, at the time of the termination of a pregnancy (now no matter how far into term), is that which is in the womb a human life?”  This question offers three options for an answer from the pro-choice/pro-abortion advocate.

A1: If you say “Yes” then why are we destroying life? You just told me that it is morally wrong to harm an innocent human life.

A2: If you say “No” then let’s review the seven characteristics to see where they are wrong and use good science to what it is that is in the wombReally this comes out as scientific impossibility. Because of those seven characteristics, that which is in the womb is not just like a set of tonsils or a blob of flesh.

A3: If you say “I don’t know,” then how many decisions does one make in their lives with the same level of uncertainty? This is the agnostic position (I don’t know) and unlivable in its outcomes.

There is much more that I could get into with some of the complex issues, which I have wrangled with but are minutiae issues. By these issues I mean that there are DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) orders and POA (Powers of Attorney) paperwork that could be involved, and tougher decision making, rather than decisions of convenience have to be made. At the same time, these extreme cases are not the norm, and do not happen enough to  warrant attention in this post.[7]

Conclusion

I have had countless conversations using this approach, and the Lord has used it to change many minds about the ramifications of the human life in the womb.  Some might argue that there are certain instances where abortion is the only option, like rape, incest or the life of the mother.

With today’s medical technology, some say that rape cases are only 1% and life of  the mother only 3%. The doctor that delivered my daughter in Albany Medical Center, at 2 lbs 3.5 oz at 28 weeks and 3 days gestation shares in a Live Action video that the best option in those scenarios is to deliver the baby. That way both the mom and Lord willing the baby survive.  Why? Because it is a matter of life and death for both the mother and the baby. And the survival rate is very high.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss what you have read, please email me at realissueapologetics@yahoo.com.  I will be more than happy to discuss with you the rationale behind my argument in this post.

Notes

[1] “Cuomo signs Reproductive Health Act after Legislature” vote, https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/New-York-lawmakers-to-vote-on-abortion-rights-13551825.php

[2] If you are reading this and are not a believer, let me say thank you for coming to my blog. My hope for you is that you will read my argument and see if it makes sense to you. If you have any questions, let me invite you to dialogue with me on this subject.

[3] Now I know after saying this, that there will be those who want to say that I don’t trust the Bible to be the final answer. Really I do, but I don’t irresponsibly sow the Word of God, when the soil is not fertile for it. Evangelism and pre-evangelism is very comparable to gardening, and the heart and mind of fallen man is the soil.

[4] Let me invite you to read what King David wrote in the whole of Psalm 139, but particularly in Psalm 139:13-16 and see the beauty of God’s love and intervention in the creation of a life in the womb.

[5] The image of God in man is not referring to physical characteristics because God is spirit. The image of God has to do with the soul-ish characteristics in man, i.e., the ability to love and have emotions, because God is love and even is grieved when we violate His moral law. Having the ability to create, is a reflection of His nature in  that God is the Creator of all that we see in the creation. We could go on in this subject, but these are just a couple of examples of the image of God in man.

[6] Genesis 9:6.

[7] If you would like to discuss those via correspondence email me at realissueapologetics@yahoo.com

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