This is the second week in our ‘Christians are wrong about…’ series – see the rest of the series here.

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These are the sermon notes for  ‘Christians are wrong about… Abortion’

– this isn’t the entirety of the topic.. we’re barely scratching the surface here, and the things we cover here will really be looking at what a Biblical response to this statement might be.

– this will be a really topic day for some folk here, and I want to honour that.

 – Like last week, we’re going to make a couple of assumptions about this topic:

     1. God is real, the Bible is His word, and He showed His love for us in the person and work of His son Jesus.

     2. the topic of Abortion is pretty controversial, as we’ll see.. and many objections to a Biblical position come from quite rare, although tragic examples – ie. just under 1% of abortions are performed due to the life of the mother being in jeopardy, pregnancy due to sexual assault – rape or incest…

          – so what we’re going to do from the outset is JUST DEAL WITH THE 99% (I promise we’ll come back for the 1).. but from here ’til we mention it again.. we’re only dealing with the 99% of pregnancies terminated due to: (source

– “having a baby would dramatically change my life” 

– “I can’t afford a baby now” 

– relationship problems

– a desire to avoid single motherhood (48%)

– Nearly four in 10 indicated that they had completed their childbearing,

– one-third said they were not ready to have a child 

(these are legitimate fears! a child DOES change your life!)

 

– more things we need to lay down at the outset – there are 45 million abortions performed every year, at least 100,000 in Australia alone.. if we discover that what is being terminated is a human being.. then this is not just a massive issue facing the world today, it’s perhaps THE issue facing the world today.

     – 30 times bigger killer than HIV deaths

     – 6 times worse than heart disease and stroke

     – 35 times worse than road deaths

     – in fact it still outranks the TOP 10 causes of death worldwide COMBINED by 16.5 million deaths per year. (source)

 

– this is not a political issue!  Don’t think that just because you subscribe to a particular ideological politic, that you have to be pro-abortion

– Also, just because you consider yourself a feminist, that doesn’t mean you necessarily must be pro-abortion – in fact, I’m going to show you today that if you’re a feminist, you must be pro-life.

– and lastly… don’t let the fact that you’ve had an abortion force you into thinking they’re always justified.. or to NOT think about it, just so that you don’t feel guilt over it… instead, come to JESUS, and leave your guilt there.. then you are free to live in your new identity in Jesus, and lovingly advocate for the unborn without hypocrisy.

     – you’ve dealt with you plank.. now help others deal with their specks.

 

 

So.. let’s get started. 

– we can’t start anywhere without starting with the Gospel – I know it doesn’t always feel like this (Both inside and outside the church), but Christians aren’t supposed to look down on anyone.. in fact, when Jesus went about clarifying the law, he said really tough things like ‘you’ve heard it said, don’t murder, but I tell you if you hate your brother you’ve committed murder in your heart’, and ‘you’ve heard it said don’t commit adultery, but if you look upon a woman lustfully, you’ve committed adultery in your heart’ – Jesus is LEVELLING THE PLAYING FIELD! 

     – NO-ONE CAN BOAST!

     – This is the awesome nature of the Gospel… Close your eyes, (not if you’re listening on podcast) and Imagine a perfect person, everything they do is perfect, their relationship with God is perfect..” What do they look like? How do they carry themselves? How does God view this person? He loves them, He is for them, they’ve done everything right, they’ve lived perfectly! They can stand before any person, and even before a righteous God with full boldness knowing you have right standing.

     – I hope you’re picturing Jesus.. He’s the only one to ever truely live this out. Back to the perfect person you’re picturing.. Now go ahead and put your face on that person… Imagine how God thinks of you now, He loves you, He is for you, He sees you and treats you as if you’d done everything right, because of the Gospel – Jesus righteousness imputed to you.

     – you might find it hard to think of yourself like this, knowing your sinful prolivities, but this is how God views you.

     – you might think, “this can’t be right, because of what I’ve done”, or “if you only knew what went through my mind, you’d never say this about me”, but that is the power of the Gospel!  And we need to turn that incredulity into reverential awe of what God has done for us – sacrificing His only son to make us right with Him.

 

 – what’s that got to do with abortion? The field is level, all have sinned, and for everyone who has faith in Jesus, NONE of those sins are counted against you. You need to let that sink in, and live in light of it.

But, to quote Paul, do we go on sinning so that grace may abound all the more? Hell no.

 

What does scripture have to say about the unborn?

Luke 1:41-44 – John referred to as a boy in utero – and he jumps in the womb at the sound of Jesus’ mum.

Jer 20 – wishes he’d died in the womb… Slowing that he’d considered himself alive in there 

Psalm 51 – God knows you from conception and you have moral standing from conception – David says “in sin did my mother conceive me” – at conception, he has a soul, and a standing before God.

Psalm 58:3 – talks about the wicked being that way from before birth “from the womb”  – the soul is there, in the womb.

Ps 139 – knit together

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you fknitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

 

The Bible shows us very clearly… and this list is not exhaustive.. that God values life.  That life starts well before birth… and that because it’s important to God, it should be important to us who love God.

 

Of course there are examples of God’s people NOT valuing life…

Cain killed Abel because he deemed his brother to be a hindrance to his lifestyle – he felt bad when Abel outshone him.

David had Uriah killed to hide an awkward pregnancy & adulterous affair.

 

– there are so many examples throughout history of people killing people to try to cover up a mistake, or to enhance (or protect) their own lifestyle;

          – we look back at ancient people… those who would sacrifice virgins or babies to their gods and idols so that their idols would be appeased, and their lives would be more comfortable.. but WE STILL DO THIS TODAY when we sacrifice tens of thousands of babies every year on the alter of our own comfort. (Statistically speaking, in my lifetime, way more than a billion babies have been killed through abortion)

               – in 100 years our descendants will look back on this time with wonder, saying ‘what barbarians they were’ (hopefully, at least!)

 

where do you draw the line… when is a human a human?

     – conception/heartbeat/viable outside womb?  they’re really the only three lines without being completely arbitrary.

     – 2 researchers who suggested we could kill babies up to the age of 2 to be philosophically consistent.

          – Peter Singer – kill up to the age of self awareness – 2 years 

      – you keep developing in to adulthood!

  – My cousin’s daughter (now 5) was born at 23 weeks.. Younger than a legal abortion.

               – and speaking of viability of pregnancies, I’ve heard many of your stories of people who were told by their doctors they should have an abortion because of a defect in the baby, that did NOT have an abortion, and had perfectly healthy babies. (of course, there is no guarantee of a healthy baby, but the fact that many are speaks to the fact of their humanity in the womb)

                         – Bek & I had a scan when she was 8 weeks pregnant with Harvey, they said that from what they could see it wasn’t a viable pregnancy, there was no heartbeat, and no baby.. we prayed hard.. we’d already been through so many miscarriages.. a later scan proved that Harvey was in fact doing fine! (my mum was told that my younger brother wouldn’t last long post birth due to an abnormality, and her doctor assumed mum would want to have an abortion.. she didn’t, and later gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby)… by no means am I suggesting that you shouldn’t trust your doctor! But what I am saying is that even a legitimate defect or disability shouldn’t be grounds for an automatic abortion!! 

     – in some parts of the world it’s counted as manslaughter if you kill a pregnant woman’s unborn child, but not if she chose to end that very same baby’s life

         – the only difference seems to be the volition/will toward that life.. If it’s wanted, it’s human. If it’s not, it’s a bunch of cells – do you see the covnative dissonance here? 

         – but here’s where I think Christians get it right… Every baby is made in the image of God, and thus has immeasurable intrinsic value… YOU are made in the image of God, and YOU have immeasurable intrinsic value. 

It think that this is why WE DON’T TALK ABOUT ABORTION!!  Because we know that’s a baby being cut to pieces… Etc

 

What can we do about it

– show the love of Jesus

     – if a pregnant teenager comes in here, don’t you DARE look down on her

     – when single mums come into our community, they’re the HEROES who have sacrificed their life so that someone else could live… does that remind you of anyone?!?

– support ‘would be’ mothers long after they give birth (The majority of women and girls who have abortions do so because of a lack of support from partners, parents and friends. 70% of women say they felt they had no alternative to abortion. (source Selena Ewing, Women and Abortion: An Evidence-Based Review,2005; a meta analysis of Australian and international research on why women have abortion, compiled for a Women’s Forum Australia parliamentary submission.) 

     – befriend a single mum.. and support her!

     – befriend the mother of a child with a disability… and support her!!

– men (especially), we need to become relentless/ruthless in weeding out any normalisation of sexual abuse in our lifestyle, jokes, way we treat women, and the way we allow other men to treat women.

– If you’re thinking about having an abortion.. please think about these things we’ve talked about.

     – if you’re getting pressure from your boyfriend to have an abortion… you send him to me… we’ll have a short chat and a strong handshake…

     – if you’re getting pressure from your parents to have an abortion… you send them to me.

     – if you’re in this community and don’t think you can do it alone.. you don’t have to… we promise to help raise that child… financially, relationally, spiritually.. we’ll give him or her a hundred men they can look up to, go to, learn from, etc.

 

lastly, realise that a baby will never ruin your life.. it changes your life, absolutely! It alters the course you were previously headed, no doubt.. but parenthood is the most noble calling.. whether you’re parenting your own biological child, or one you choose to bring into your family – we must never make our children pay the ultimate price for our mistakes. Ephesians 5:11 tells us. “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” 

 

let’s finish again where we started, with the Gospel… if you’ve had an abortion, or you’ve paid for one or influenced someone to have one, there is such great freedom and forgiveness in the Gospel.

  

Bonus Stuff

 

At eight weeks, all major organs are functioning, which means you have a nervous system that’s developed, and you have a brain that receives signals that that hurts! We see the heart is pumping. The liver is making blood cells. The kidneys are clearing fluids, and there’s a fingerprint

 

The reasons some would give you are these. “It’s a matter of freedom; a woman has a right over her own body.” That’s not her body. –> That’s somebody else’s body. That’s not her body.

“Oh women shouldn’t be victimised by men.”–> You’re not a victim if you lie down with a man.

“Well, the child may have some genetic defect or some issue.”–> We all are defective; it’s only a question of degree.

“We have to do some eugenic abortions to eliminate birth-defective children, because of cost, trouble.”

“Women need total reproductive freedom,” one writer says, “Women must have abortion as a backup to contraceptive failure.”–> Killing a human isn’t a backup.

 

The number of abortions performed worldwide has remained stable in recent years, with 41.6 million having been performed in 2003 and 43.8 million having been performed in 2008. The abortion rate worldwide was 28 per 1000 women, though it was 24 per 1000 women for developed countries and 29 per 1000 women for developing countries. The same 2012 study indicated that in 2008, the estimated abortion percentage of known pregnancies was at 21% worldwide, with 26% in developed countries and 20% in developing countries (source Sedgh, G.; Singh, S.; Shah, I. H.; Åhman, E.; Henshaw, S. K.; Bankole, A. (2012). “Induced abortion: Incidence and trends worldwide from 1995 to 2008” (PDF). The Lancet 379 (9816): 625–632. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61786-8PMID 22264435.)

 

– Less than 1% of abortions are performed on women who are the victims of rape. One extensive study of women who conceived as a result of sexual assault showed nearly all the women regretted their decision to abort. Those who continued their pregnancies were glad they did. (Source Selena Ewing, Women and Abortion: An Evidence-Based Review ,2005; a meta analysis of Australian and international research on why women have abortion, compiled for a Women’s Forum Australia parliamentary submission. See also www.afterabortion.org; citing David Reardon’s book, Victims and Victors, 2000)

 

South Australia (SA) – The number of aborted babies delivered alive and left to die were as follows: in 2000 – 7 babies; 2001 – 14; 2002 – 7; 2003 – 3; 2004 – 13; 2005 – 5; 2006 – 3; 2007 – 5.   (source SA Health Department)

 

One comprehensive study of  400  international studies into the psychological risks associated with abortion concluded that 20-30% of women who had an abortion suffered from serious, prolonged, negative consequences.(source Dr Priscilla Coleman, Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995-2009. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 2011)

 

What about women’s rights?  

    – The vast majority of aborted babies in the world are female.. In 2010, an Australian couple made national news when they chose to abort twin boys conceived through IVF “because they wanted a girl“. 

 

What about pro-choice?

    – Yes, I’m pro-choice!! Let’s let the baby grow til he or she is old enough to choose for themselves whether they want to live or not!

 

– doesn’t abortion prevent neglect and abuse of an unwanted child?  Rates of childhood abuse and neglect have risen dramatically in the past decade, despite increasing abortion rates.  There were a record 35,895 children in out-of-home-care in 2009-10, and reports of abuse have increased from 103,302 instances in 1998-99 to 286,437 reports in 09-10. (source Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Child Protection Australia annual reports.)

 

What about preventing deaths from backyard abortions 

     – The Australian Bureau of Statistics data on maternal deaths from abortion fell significantly from a rate of about 100 deaths every year in the 1930s, to one death in 1969, the year before the first legal abortion clinic opened in Australia. The decrease in maternal deaths from abortion coincided with the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s.

 

– What about preventing a child being born with disabilities? (around 3.5% of abortions)

     –  We see again and again that people with disabilities can and do live full and productive lives. 

Those with disabilities report lower rates of depression and suicide than able-bodied Australians.

Australian Nick Vujicic, 29,  was born with no arms and legs as a result of a rare condition known as tetra-amelia syndrome. He overcame childhood depression to become an international motivational speaker, author and husband. 

 

As a society, we are hypocritical and contradictory in our attitude to those with disabilities. Few Australians would consider killing a small child or adolescent who develops a life-threatening illness or disability, but many have no hesitation in recommending we abort an unborn baby with a disability. 

Appropriately, Governments and charities raise and spend huge amounts of money on highlighting what people with disabilities can do and achieve, from the Special and Paralympics, through to creating meaningful training and employment opportunities.

The length of one’s life does not determine its value or quality.

Also, Abortions due to “imperfections” have no logical end, leading to designer babies.

 

– What about rape?

     – In the book, Victims and Victors (Acorn Books, Brunswick 2000), women who have conceived through rape or incest share their stories. The book quotes a 1992 US survey of 192 women who conceived as a result of sexual assault. More than 80% of women who had an abortion regretted their decision, while non of the women who continued their pregnancy regretted their decision.

One writes in the intoduction: “Having lived through rape and raised a child ‘conceived in rape’, I feel personally assaulted and insulted every time that I hear that abortion should be legal for rape and incest. I feel we are being used to further the abortion issue, even though we’ve never been allowed to tell our side of the story,” Kathleen DeZeeuw.

 

Rape is never the fault of the child. The guilty should be punished, not the innocent

 

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