By Mike Wade
Published April 1, 2008
What do the scriptures teach about abortion?
The following letter was submitted in the Spring of 1991, as a response to contributing editor Mike Wade’s series on pro-life activism:
Dear Mike Wade:
I hate to blow your heroic, “persecuted” pro-life Christian bit here, but if your “pro-life” efforts are being opposed by people, it is only because those efforts are fear-motivated, and work against women, the Jews, the Bible, millions of pro-choice Christians and the Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom (see the 1st amendment).
For example, Jewish tradition considers the fetus a person (a nephesh, i.e., “a breathing creature,” translated as “soul” in Genesis 2:7, “life for life” in Exodus 21:23 and “man” in Lev. 24:17 – #5315 in the Hebrew dictionary in Strong’s Concordance) only at birth.
Just check your Bible. The Bible’s definition of “living” is breathing (Ps. 150:6, Ez. 37:10, 1 Kings 17 and similar passages. Try looking up breathing and breath in your Strong’s Concordance). The Bible’s definition of a human being is nephesh. It is translated 30 times as person in the King James Version, and also as “life,” “man” and “soul.”
Why, in Ex. 21:22-25, is only a fine paid for a miscarriage, and execution (life for life; nephesh for nephesh) required if the woman dies? It is because the unborn has not yet received the “breath of life” (through its nostrils – see Genesis 2:7). So biblically, (I’m not talking science here) it is not “alive.” Therefore, abortion is not murder. Ask a rabbi or two, or three. Contact a few pro-choice Christians and look at the evidence. Kick the fear habit.
Just to confirm this, see page 139 of Operation Rescue. Randall Terry cuts off verses 23, 24 & 25 of Exodus 21, takes the passage out of the context of nephesh and “breathing,” adds the idea of “accidental” (see Deuteronomy 25:11 on that idea), and tries to use Jewish scripture against the predominantly pro-choice Jews.
See George Grant’s book Grand Illusions page 193 – Exodus 21 is buried under a lot of irrelevant passages, or see Grant’s Third Time Around – no relevant material here. No attempt here to convince you of anything, just to give you the information that many cover up, so you can make an “informed decision.” There are always people around who will use your good intentions for their purposes. – Good luck on this.
1492 Ribbet Ave.
A response from Mike Wade:
I thank Mr. Frogg for responding and providing this topic for discussion. He seems to have done considerable research on the subject, and I regret that his thoughts are not better organized so as to show full exegesis.
I’m afraid it takes more than ownership of a Strong’s Concordance to arrive at logical conclusions about the Bible. As Mr. Frogg points out, God requires a penalty for the accidental death of an unborn baby boy or girl. How might God then feel about the intentional death of an unborn baby boy or girl? How might He feel about those who quote this scripture to PROMOTE such intentional killing?
Exodus 21 is in complete agreement with the rest of the Old Testament Law regarding the distinction between accidental manslaughter and intentional murder. Those who killed as the result of an accident were allowed to flee to another city (Deut. 19:5). To spell this out as clearly as possible, the penalty afforded in Exodus 21:22 was to be determined by the recklessness with which the killers were guilty. Two men struggling with each other could quite possibly strike a woman who interfered to such a degree that she miscarried. To strike her so hard that she died would take much more, and is very correctly described as manslaughter.
That Mr. Frogg tries to invoke Deut. 25:11 as an argument for his position either testifies of his faulty logic or further exemplifies his hit and run tactics of using an idea in his own defense long enough to hide behind but running to another idea before the logical conclusions of tat idea can be used to disprove his original thesis.
As to the matter of breath, the Bible refers to spirits in a number of different metaphors such as fire, water, oil, and yes, breath. The key to understanding these metaphors is a sincere effort to respect context. The Old Testament clearly states that “the life is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11). This is no metaphor. Moses did not indicate that the breath of an animal be offered as a sacrifice and, for the Christian, the physical reality of Christ’s shed blood on the cross is an essential tenet.
In Genesis, man is the only creature into which God “breathed” life. The imagery here is that of God taking one of his creatures and making man more than an animal: “and he became a living soul.” We can’t take “breath” to mean biological life anymore than we can fire or oil. Hearts can be said to “burn” and no one takes it to mean a Maalox moment God “breathed” life into Adam that he later lost as a result of sin.
The Messiah Jesus Christ provided this spiritual life to be born anew within us as a result of sin. Jesus provided this spiritual life to be born anew within us, wonderfully portrayed in John 20: 22: “He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”
The reader has chided me for having some sort of problem with fear. If this were true, as a former supporter of abortion-as-a-means-of-birth-control, I can tell you that I would not now be radically pro-life. It takes virtually no courage to agree with militant feminists. When, I trust, the reader has discovered the person who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, he will then be able to quote Psalm 139 with the same enthusiasm with which he has written of Exodus 21. I don’t fear man, but I do fear God. It is the beginning of wisdom.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Pro-life Articles
Your comments are welcome!
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)