Should Christians Be Pro-Life? Genesis 9:1-17
Redeemer Church Sunday School: Genesis Class
Sunday, February 15, 2009
God’s Pro-Life Statement
Crucial Question: Should Christians Be Pro-Life or Pro-Choice?
Read Genesis 9:1-17
Introduction: This morning I had hoped to maybe hurry on through the remaining details of vss.1-17 and perhaps even finish ch.9 and the story of Noah’s drunkenness, but, once again, while studying this text I have come upon just so much that needs to be brought out that I think we really should go deeper. We have discussed the covenant that God made with Noah and the animals and the whole earth for the last couple of weeks, but this morning we need to look at some of the details that we just touched on previously.
In our calendar in the past month we have remembered the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in our Right to Life Sunday and brother Dale brought a couple of outstanding sermons on adoption. It is very refreshing and encouraging to be in a local body of Believers that not only has a pro-life theology but is pro-life in practice. Dale is on the board of directors for one of the pregnancy help centers. Another elder, Mike, has an adopted child, others in the church are in the process of adoption, the Driggers are foster parents, several families in the church-maybe most- are having more than 2 children, and many of us are active politically in communicating the pro-life message. This church, because of its faithfulness to the Lord and to His Word, is going directly against the grain of our society in regards to issues about life.
In our text this morning we find a very pro-life message that we need to examine. While certainly the main teaching from this text is about God’s covenant with Noah, included is a very strong statement by God, and some laws from God to Noah, that are explicitly pro-life. The Crucial Question for us from this text then, is: Should Christians be Pro-Life or Pro-Choice? And this text as well as my crucial question involves related issues as well. The text talks about our being fruitful and multiplying, it speaks about our relations to the animals and it speaks about murder and the death penalty. We will examine what the text actually says and see how it relates to other texts in the Bible. We will look at some broader issues that are related in the Scriptures and then we will also seek to examine our society in light of the Bible and finally, try to apply the Word to our lives.
I. Be Fruitful and Multiply and Fill the Earth 9:2, 7
A. Re-enforces Original Command/Blessing of 1:28
B. Points Forward to Abraham and Israel 15:1-6; 22:15-18; 46:26f; Ex.1:1-7
1. In the next covenantal passage Abraham is promised more descendents than he can count. 15:1-6; 22:15-18.
2. The covenant family in 46:26f is represented by the number 70 signifying completeness.
3. The covenantal nation, Israel, has fulfilled the mandate of being fruitful and multiplying Ex.1:1-7.
C. The Fruitfulness in the New Covenant in Jeremiah 33:14-22; John 4:35; Lk. 10:1-2; Matt.9:37; Matt.28:19-20; Acts 1:8; Rev.7:9-12
D. Biblical View of Children- Psalm 127; Mark 10:13-16; Gen. 1:27; 5:1; 9:6; Psalm 139:13-16; Jer. 1:4-10
Additionally we see stories that focus on the joy of having a child and the pain of being childless. QQ: name some of the famous children of the Bible? How does the Incarnation affect our understanding of the sanctity of human life in the womb? Name some of the famous barren women of the Bible?
E. Biblical View on Abortion-
1. We are created by God and therefore belong to God.
2. We bear the image of God and have value and worth because He has given us his image. This is different than the animals.
3. God allows us to kill animals for food, but forbids the murder of other humans and issues a death penalty for murder.
4. Lev.18:21 forbids child sacrifice even though practiced by the majority of the culture around Israel. Lev. 20:1-5 demands the death penalty for those practicing child sacrifice. In 1Kings 11:1-8 Solomon allowed his many foreign wives to lead him to build idols altars to their false gods, including Molech. 2Kings 16:1-4 King Ahaz of Judah practices child sacrifice. 2Kings 17:6-18 lists the reasons God is sending Israel into exile and slavery. Matt.2:13-18 shows Herod’s attitude towards children- he kills them without remorse if it will protect his power and wealth. Application: is it possible God is doing the same to Amerika? Ex.21:22-25 shows that there was a severe penalty for injuring or killing a fetus. Psalm 51:5 shows that David considered the unborn to be person even though a sinner. Early Christian literature including the Didache and Letter of Barnabas both forbid abortion and infanticide, practiced widely in the Roman Empire. Christians were known for rescuing the babies exposed by the Romans. While the NT does not directly address the topic, Dr. Luke includes much about the birth of Christ and includes the fact that the baby John inside of Elizabeth, leaped for joy when the pregnant Mary got near to Elizabeth.
5. Babies inside the womb are a distinct life with a unique genetic code. The fetus/foetus (Latin for baby) is necessarily human and is, while dependent upon the mother and inside the mother’s body, a separate human life with intrinsic value because it is created in the image of God by God.
F. Today’s View of Children and Abortion-
About 50 million abortions in America since the SCOTUS Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. We are averaging somewhere around 1.3 million abortions per year, but in the last several years it has dropped significantly.
One day after the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Pres. Obama signed an executive order, overturning Pres. Bush’s executive order, to allow for funding of overseas abortions.
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, from San Francisco and a mother of 5 and grandmother of 6 wanted to include hundreds of millions of dollars in the stimulus bill to fund contraception and birth control projects because children are considered an economic drain on the states.
4. There is some talk after this single, unmarried, California woman had the octuplets by invitro fertilization to limit by law the number of children people can have. This is seriously discussed in Europe and actually practiced in China for many years. In China they have a forced abortion policy if you don’t abide by the one child policy and many times if a couple finds out they are having a girl baby, they abort the girl in favor of trying for a boy.
Russia has more abortions than births and is facing a demographic disaster.
6. The homosexual movement is inherently anti child despite the efforts of some to adopt children. A gay guy that I have known since college, and his long term partner, have two children by adoption. But the gay lifestyle is inherently sterile and childless.
7. The consumer culture we live in is inherently anti child. The Me-First generation frequently chooses to remain childless out of convenience, while other couples who desperately want children are unable to conceive and the laws and economics of adoption make it very difficult to adopt.
8. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and is the fastest growing ethnic group in Europe due to both immigration and birth rate. By 2050 the political balance in Europe will be decisively altered. But the birthrate in the “Christian West” is significantly lower than the Muslim birthrate.
G. How Do We Fulfill the Biblical Mandate Given Adam and Noah to “Be Fruitful and Multiply”?
1. Marry in the Lord, and raise our children in the admonition of the Lord. 2Cor.6:14 do not be unequally yoked and teach your children well Deut. 6:4-9; Prov.22:6.
2. Have as many children as the Lord leads and you can care for. Generally speaking it is a good thing for Christians to have more children. This is a highly personalized and individual thing. The Lord and circumstances can lead some godly Christian couples to have no children or to have a dozen.
3. Carry out the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 and bring spiritual children into the Kingdom for the glory of the King, Jesus.
4. Consider adoption.
5. Get involved in the political realm. There are many Reformed theologians and pastors and bloggers who are coming out against getting involved in the political realm. I would say that we are called of God to bring salt and light into every area of our world and we are not to surrender any realm, any idea to the evil one.
H. What About Those Pastors, Churches and Denominations, and Individual Christians Who Are Pro-Choice?
Individual Christians are prone to being led astray and being imprecise in their thinking and can be wrong on this issue, yet still possibly be genuinely saved. They should be lovingly and respectfully confronted with the biblical, historical and scientific evidence that shows abortion to be sinful and that God is pro-life. Pastors who teach the Pro-choice line should be considered heretics and Churches or Denominations that hold a Pro-Choice position are apostate and all true Believers should flee the city of destruction. I might add a personal note here, I paid a price for being pro-life in a church that was not pro-life. The lay leadership in the church I pastored for 15 years was not pro-life and my steady preaching on the subject was a constant irritant to them and was one of many contributing factors to my dismissal. The lay leadership did not want to hear anything “controversial” nor hear any sermon about “issues”. Abortion was especially difficult because one of the women leaders had an abortion due to the child testing positive for a fatal disease that two of her other 3 children had.
Conclusion: God is the author of life and is Pro-life. There is no way from Scripture that anyone can support the Pro-Abortion position and those churches and pastors who due are apostate. Being pro-life is much more than taking a political position and screaming slogans or driving with a bumper sticker or wearing a T-shirt; it should mean having children responsibly, adopting, sharing the gospel and making disciples, staying informed and voting pro-life. It is theology, philosophy, science, politics, evangelism and love. Therefore Go, make disciples, be fruitful and multiply!