April 13, 2008 Q & A



What is your stand on abortion?


The Orthodox Presbyterian Church takes a firm stand against abortion. Our reasons rest upon what the Bible teaches as to the sacredness of human life. And we hold the Bible to be the inspired, infallible Word of God.

1. In Genesis 1:26 & 27 we are told that God created mankind in His image. In Genesis 9:6 God says, "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God He made man." That image distinguished man from animal creation. Once truly human, that image of God establishes the product of conception to be endless in its continuous, conscious existence.

2. The Bible teaches the fall of our first parents in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3). The "death" threatened is more than the cessation of bodily life. It is not only separation of soul and body, but eternal separation from the goodness of God, with divine wrath on those who die under the curse of Adam's fall as well as that which is due to actual transgressions. (See Romans 3:1-19; Mark 9:42-44; Jude (verses) 12 & 13; Revelation 20:13-15.)

3. The Bible teaches that God sent His incarnate Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to save hell-deserving sinners (John 3:16; 6:14; Acts 4:12). It further teaches that children are born sinners and need to be taught their need of salvation through Christ (Psalm 51:5; Mark 10:13-15; Matthew 18:6 & 7).

4. Finally, the Bible teaches that unborn children are human beings, beginning with conception (Luke 1:35), in which the Virgin Mary was told that when Christ was conceived in her, he was already "the Son of God." And in verses 41-44, when Mary met Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist, Elizabeth's child leaped in her womb at the presence of Mary bearing the Christ Child.

Consequently, the Sixth Commandment (Exodus 20:13) forbids the wanton taking of human life. If the unborn child is a human being (and medical evidence underscores the biblical teaching that it is), then abortion is forbidden. One other aspect of the difference between animal and human life is that, at creation, God gave man dominion over the sub-human creatures (Genesis 1:26), but God retains dominion over His image-bearers, so that the killing of animals is not forbidden, but the killing of man is (with the exception of murderers, who may be executed by civil authorities under God's delegated authority to them as His ministers or appointed agents).

I have given you more that you asked. But what one believes is not important till you learn why he believes it. This I've tried to do.

For further information, see the Report of the Committee to Study the Matter of Abortion presented to the thirty-eighth General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (1971) and the Statement on Abortion adopted by the thirty-ninth General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (1972).



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