Dr. Tim Hill, General Overseer for the Church of God offers his thoughts regarding the recent action taken in New York concerning abortion.
God help us!
Usually my reflective articles come under the heading “Let’s Talk About It.” However, in considering the heartbreaking matter of abortion and the undeniable value that God and His Holy Word place on human life, I have to ask, “What’s There to Talk About?” Indeed, there is plenty to pray about, and pray we must, but all the talking we do will not change God’s infallible word about the sanctity of human life.
On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court in the infamous Roe v. Wade decision held that a woman has a constitutionally protected right to have an abortion. In subsequent cases before the nation’s highest court, the right to abortion has been further affirmed and defined, specifically in the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In these cases, the U.S. Supreme Court created a protected right that cannot be found in the Constitution. Not only was this act of judicial activism outside the parameters of the court’s authority, it was in direct contradiction to God’s Word and the beliefs of a majority of Americans.
And then just a few days ago on the 46 anniversary of the Roe decision, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced to a cheering crowd that he had signed a law that legalizes abortion basically up until birth. Notably, New York was the first state to legalize early term abortions back in 1970. This updated version of the law, known as the “Reproductive Health Act,” now allows even “non-doctors” to conduct abortions. Further, the new law allows for abortions up until the mother’s due date if the woman’s health is considered to be endangered, or if the fetus is considered “not viable.” Sadly, in “celebration” of the passage of the new law, Governor Cuomo directed the 408-foot spire on One World Trade Center, the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the Kosciuszko Bridge, and the Alfred E. Smith Building in Albany to be lit in pink to “celebrate this achievement and shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.”
Most assuredly, the rest of the nation should “not” follow the New York example. The United States is already headed toward judgment for the immoral actions permitted, and even encouraged, in our society. America must repent of sins already committed and refuse to even consider going down the path taken by New York.
Based on the latest data available, approximately 882,000 abortions took place in the United States in 2017. There were approximately 885,000 abortions in 2016 and 913,000 abortions in 2015. It is reported that since the Roe decision in 1973, an estimated 60 million abortions have been performed in the United States alone. That is 60 million human lives.
According to a 2013 United Nations’ report, only nine countries in the world have a higher abortion rate than the United States.
My goal here is not to participate in a judgmental tirade nor in a vicious verbal spew of religious-sounding rhetoric that exacerbates a problem more than helps it. Instead, I would prefer to magnify and extol the Sanctity of Life and focus on ways the Body of Christ can be a critical and crucial presence in this particular arena of national crises.
An incredible statement concerning the Sanctity of Life is provided by Focus on the Family and contained in what is known as the “Life Ethic.” (See https://www.focusonthefamily.com. )
The Focus on the Family statement, in part, is as follows:
“Human beings are created by God in His image. Therefore every person, from conception to natural death, possesses inherent dignity and immeasurable worth—including preborn children, elderly individuals, those with special needs and others marginalized by society. Christians, then, are called to defend, protect, and value all human life.
In short, human life is sacred and respect for human life should be at the center of all we do. In order to put the “life ethic” into words and practice, it helps to consider where it comes from, what it looks like and how can we incorporate it into our daily lives.
The Bible establishes that human life is sacred in Genesis 1:27: ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.’ (ESV)
To be created in the likeness of God means that each human bears His image and with it, a value beyond our unique characteristics or individual attributes. Nothing else in God’s created order has the distinction of reflecting His image; it’s a privileged status reserved only for humankind.
This is a bit of a mystery as God’s image in us isn’t something tangible we can see, taste or feel; yet it establishes our significance and worth at the highest level. The Bible says we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14). From the miracle of life in the womb to the body’s ability to regenerate cells and tissue for healing, we see God’s amazing fingerprint at work. Humans are breathtaking creatures embodying a touch of the Creator Himself and reflected in the wonder of human life.
Contrary to cultural messages, our value isn’t determined by our ethnicity, race or gender; nor by our age, ability or location. It’s our divine membership in the human family that sets each of us apart as sacred. Men, women and children (including preborn children in the womb) should be respected, regardless of their mental capacity, physical ability, or social position. Some people may not exhibit attributes of God or behave in ways that recognize their own value yet their intrinsic worth remains.
The concept of human dignity comes from the sanctity of human life. Since humans are made in God’s image, we hold a distinctive status that sets us apart. Human dignity is bestowed upon us by God.
All around us should be reminded of the value of all human life by speaking out for ‘those who cannot speak for themselves’ (Proverbs 31:8). Look for opportunities to talk about and live out your belief regarding the truth of the Sanctity of Life. Teach your children and grandchildren to respect all human life and demonstrate that respect in your own word and actions.
Together we can live out and communicate the beauty, wonder and reverence our Creator intended for each person in the human family. We must also communicate the message and overwhelming reality of God’s forgiveness and grace to anyone who calls on the Lord’s name, regardless of their sin.“
I applaud Focus on the Family for this statement exemplifying LIFE. In addition, you can find numerous articles, statements, and position papers regarding abortion and the Sanctity of Life on the Church of God website (www.churchofgod.org).
I encourage you to CHOOSE LIFE!!