Is the Church ProLife? Not really. There never was a question about Life in the distant past in the Church; abortion was never sanctioned even in ‘dire circumstances’ but in the last 38 or more years, it has become a quagmire of relevancy so that no one is offended.
While at the committee meeting this week, a pastor of a local United Methodist church testified on their stance regarding abortion bemoaning their (lack of) position in NOT banning late term abortion. The pastor said that the UMC is against the death penalty but puts the mother before her own unborn child:
“We oppose the use of late-term abortion known as dilation and extraction (partial-birth abortion) and call for the end of this practice EXCEPT when the physical life of the mother is in danger and no other medical procedure is available, or in the case of severe fetal anomalies incompatible with life……Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion. BUT we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother, for whom devastating damage may result from an unacceptable pregnancy.” UMC.org
That limp-wristed fence-sitting wishy-washy bunch of garbage fueled my search on all (in part today) denominational positions on abortion.
This is coming from the pulpit. Read on.
Assemblies of God: “The legality of abortion in modern cultures is rooted in concepts of individual rights, autonomy, and privacy pushed far beyond scriptural teaching. We therefore expressly deny that this supposed legal “right” automatically confers upon the pregnant woman the moral right to abort her unborn child…..vague threats to the mother’s physical or emotional health must not become an excuse to place the child at risk. Any intervention required must have the intent of saving the mother’s life, not the prior intent of causing death to the child.”
Church of God, Cleveland TN: “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that no individual should ever consid-er abortion as an option EXCEPT in the gravest circumstances, after medical and religious consultation of the most serious nature.”
Evangelical Presbyterian: “The Church must serve as a therapeutic community to those who have experienced physical, emotional, or spiritual wounds from abortion or giving up a child for adoption…..Both individual Christians and the Church should oppose abortion and do everything in their power to provide supportive communities and alternatives to abortion.”
Southern Baptist: “Procreation is a gift from God, a precious trust reserved for marriage. At the moment of conception, a new being enters the universe, a human being, a being created in God’s image. This human being deserves our protection, whatever the circumstances of conception.”
Episcopal Church: As I could not find any Position Papers or the like regarding abortion, I did find this nugget…..“In 1994, the 71st General Convention of the Episcopal Church reaffirmed that all human life is sacred from its inception until death and that all abortion is regarded as having a tragic dimension. “While we acknowledge that in this country it is the legal right of every woman to have a medically safe abortion,” the resolution stated, “as Christians we believe strongly that if this right is exercised, it should be used only in extreme situations. We emphatically oppose abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection, or any reason of mere convenience.”
“The Rev. Katherine Ragsdale, a member of RCRC’s (Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice) Council of Governors, welcomed the gathering with assurances that the religious community is behind them. “You can’t sustain a movement on outrage,” she said. “We are here to support the [abortion] providers, politicians, women and activists, and let them know that we respect them for their work and their commitment.” Ragsdale, an Episcopal priest, added that a punk rock concert was held in Washington April 24 to enlist young people in the movement.” This is just the TIP OF THE ICEBERG.
Evangelical Lutheran: “A developing life in the womb does not have an absolute right to be born, nor does a pregnant woman have an absolute right to terminate a pregnancy. The concern for both the life of the woman and the developing life in her womb expresses a common commitment to life. This requires that we move beyond the usual “pro-life” versus “pro-choice” language in discussing abortion….. Abortion ought to be an option only of last resort. Therefore, as a church we seek to reduce the need to turn to abortion as the answer to unintended pregnancies.”
American Baptist Church: “American Baptists believe that ministry to persons in situations of crisis pregnancy and abortion is a concern that primarily rests within the local churches….. Many of our membership seek legal safeguards to protect unborn life. Many others advocate for and support family planning legislation, including legalized abortion as in the best interest of women in particular and society in general.”
The moral of this story is to trust God not your denomination, not your friends, not your partner/spouse…opinions are a very human way of trying to be God.
What does God say? Humans are the highest form of God’s creative activity, and He is intentional in both their creation and destiny. We are made in His image, not as an afterthought. We are all known by God before the foundation of the world; unborn, preborn, and born.
The excuse of the dire crisis pregnancy is a very loose defense to abort: Can you look into the eyes of God one day and tell Him you trusted your doctor more than He? God alone can determine Life’s beginning and ending. We are entirely too human to decide such a thing; we are not perfect though God is.
Let God be God.