David Holford

Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

There is nothing in the Bible about abortion. That may surprise some pro-lifers, but it is true.

To be anti-abortion, you have to go through a two-step reasoning process. First, you have to look at what the Bible says about unborn children. For example,  you can read about how God knows them and knits them together in their mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-15) and set them apart for his service (Jeremiah 1:4-5; Galatians 1:15 ).  They can be aware of the world around them and aware of the presence of the Lord (Luke 1:41-44) and even be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:15).   With these and other passages, you can determine that the unborn child, is, in fact, a child – a fully human being.

Second, you then have to see what the Bible says about the sanctity of human life. You start with the prohibition of murder in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:13) and go from there.  After you complete the two-step process, it is then obvious that you must protect unborn human life. Further, you must advocate to others the importance of protecting unborn human life and do everything your power to see that live’s are protected.

Some things in the Bible do not require a two-step process. In these instances, the provisions for what you should and shouldn’t do are simple and explicit.

For example, One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you. (Exodus 12:49)

And, You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18)

And, And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him.  The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself. (Leviticus 19:33-34a)

And, You shall have the same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 24:21)

And, One law and one custom shall be for you and for the stranger who dwells with you. (Numbers 15:16)

And ‘Cursed is the one who perverts the justice due the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ (Deuteronomy 27:19)

And “For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor,  if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt,  then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.” (Jeremiah 7:5-7)

And, It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance,” says the Lord God. (Ezekiel 47:22-23)

And, “Thus says the Lord of hosts:

‘Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother.
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless,
The alien or the poor.
Let none of you plan evil in his heart
Against his brother.’

“But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear.” (Zechariah 7:9-11)

And, Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40; cf. Mark 12:-30-32; Luke 10:27)

This is just a sample. The Scripture is replete with explicit commands concerning the treatment of the stranger and alien, by individuals and by the body politic.

Any Christian who says that Scriptures determine what we believe and how we behave cannot ignore the provisions of Scripture concerning strangers and aliens. Any Christian who can make the two-step process to understand how to feel and act about the life of the unborn cannot be held innocent for refusing the one-step process when it comes to the life of the stranger and alien in our midst.

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