Abortion: A Rational Look at an Emotional Issue. By RC Sproul
Introduction, Ken Connor: On January 22, 1972 in the famous case Roe vs. Wade, the court ruled that fetus is not a person.
Abortion related issues examined in this series: What is the role of the church? Does a woman have the right to control her body? Is the fetus a person? Is abortion murder? Is it a political issue for court houses? If the church gets involved does it cross the lines of the separation of church and state?
Lecture 1: What are the issues?
In this session we answer: what are the issues?
Fellow from Scotland says the United States is great, the melting pot of nations. US holds pride in the principle of toleration. After a presidential election campaign, we demonstrate the healing of opposing sides after intense fight. But there are times when the nation is torn apart. E.g. the Civil war. A nation that is divided cannot stand -Lincoln Other examples: Civil rights movement; the bitter struggle over Vietnam war. Now the most decisive issue is Abortion.
The words are becoming more charged. Whatever side you are on, it is necessary that we all realize that this issue is extremely complex. It is not an issue that can be settled by a slogan or a bumper sticker. The issue of abortion is profoundly ethical. Other factors were involved in war between states over slavery and stateís rights. We are talking about a question of life and death significance. It is complex. There is not just one choice.
There is a profound concern for the question of the rights of woman. Feminist movement for women to gain rights under the law in the workplace and other arenas which they were denied. The issue of the abortion has implications for the freedom of self-determination of woman. She is stuck with pregnancy. The mother is concerned in a unique way for the care and development of the child. We cannot ignore and oversimplify. Another right is the right of privacy. We live in a world where many countries are living out the Orwellian horror (tyranny of state in private lives). Many people resent the government getting involved in the private issues of family and pregnancy and birth.
We want to remember the basic roots of our nation. We were conceived as a republic (not a democracy). Democracy is ruled by majority vote. Republic takes democratic elections seriously, but it always puts restraints of foundational constitutional law. The reason for that is to restrain and if possible prevent the tyranny of a majority over a minority. If the majority feel black people are inferior, and pass legislation against them, though the black people are in minority, yet they have the law on their side. Foundational rights are guaranteed to a single individual in the nation. We have a constitution to protect individual rights. The other question is the rights of the Unborn. This is at the heart of the issue. How much right should the law accord to an unborn fetus or child.
Another issue central to the debate is the understanding of the relationship between church and state. People not part of the Christian church, profoundly resent any legal imposition upon them or their families. In the question of abortion the church is mobilized to exercise a voting power block to affect their civil liberties to obtain abortion. The constitution protects legally the right of a person to be Christian, Muslim, atheist, etc. We will explore more closely the volatile issue of relation between church and state. What we have is a massive collision of perceived rights. It requires wisdom of Solomon to sort our what rights have priority over other perceived rights.
Even though the issue of abortion is complex, there is one pivotal issue which determines how we vote: is abortion murder? Is abortion an act which involves the willful destruction of a living human person. Is the fetus alive? Is it alive, and is it human life, and is it the life of a human person? Cancer is not a living person, though it is human and it is life.
I have yet to hear or meet a person who is pro-abortion who is convinced that a fetus is a living human person. A womanís right over her body doesnít extend to kill another living human person. We need to know that nobody is supporting the killing of another living human person. Even if we all agree that the fetus is human, living and a personÖ then we would have to answer the question, when does the baby become a live, human, person? Everybody agrees that at the moment of birth, this is a living person. Pro-lifers say at conception (or fertilization) is when we find life. Some say itís at 1st, 2nd, or 3rd trimester, or at quickening, etc.
Another basic question is to find the authority to teach us to discern when a fetus becomes a person. First there is a religious source. The word of God convinces Christians. There are many people who honestly do not believe the Bible is the word of God. They want some other source of reason by which they can come to the conclusion that the fetus is a human person: some look to science or natural law for the determination of origin and presence of life. Others look to the law to find where we put the demarcation of when life begins. What is the authority to make the final ethical determination. Even those who say the Bible has authority, disagree that the Bible forbids abortion. Some may say that natural law is vague and fuzzy and difficult to discern. In logic texts we study informal logical fallacies. Argumentum ad populum. A TV poll is not the way to determine ethics. Count that thousands attended the rallies of Hitler. And legal judgments tend to change. So that becomes a problem for those who would rest the case of legal precedent.
When is the fetus a living human being? Iím going to look at biblical, scientific, and legal data on this. Debate is often clouded. More heat than light. There are people who may hold pro-life position for the wrong reason. First, what is your position and second why? Look at this like a jury in a court room. Deliberation, discussion, analysis, then you personally must reach a verdict. This issue is too serious for us to play on the fence forever. Examine where you are at his point, before listening to part two.
Lecture 2: How Sacred is Human Life?
Introduction by Ken Conner, Trial Attorney
Sproul: Sanctity of Human life. Debates often degenerate into rabbit trails (i.e., irrelevant points) which lose site of the central point. We must not become emotionally embroiled in issues irrelevant to the central issue. When we consider the broad question of the sanctity of life, I am not doing this to prove that abortion is murder, or that it is an awful thing. Rather, this is presented to show that the value of life is very important, so we cannot treat the issue lightly as we seek a conclusion. We dare not make a mistake in our analysis of the evidence.
In a labor dispute, we find a divergent views on many things. However, if you ask them "how many of you want to be treated with dignity?" you find agreement. One of the deepest values in our society is self-esteem. Valuing other people.
In considering the value of human life, we will gain insight into our question: Is abortion on demand right?
General perspective on human life. Biblical perspective begins with the creation account which explains that God stamps His personal image on every human person. We are not little Godís but we have the capacity to mirror and reflect God in limited ways. In Genesis 9 we have a law establishing capital punishment. Premeditated murder is punished by capital punishment. It is an ethical imperative for civil governments to execute the murderer. The penalty for murder is also found in Exodus 20-22. Human life is so sacred that an attack on a human being is an attack on God Himself. The dignity we have is not based on our own preference. It is not because we esteem our own kind, but because God creates us and assigns every human being unique dignity. This theme is found not only in Mosesí law, but it is found on every page of the Bible. Jesus in Matthew 5:21-22, says "whoever is angry without cause is in danger of the judgment. Whoever says you fool, is in danger of hellfire." Jesus here expresses the deeper implications of the law against murder. You cannot even be unjustly angry at your brother. You should not even hurt the lives of persons. What the law teaches in its affirmation, you cannot teach by denial. You are called to do everything in your power to promote human life. Love your neighbour. Give mercy to those in need of mercy. Visit the imprisoned. This is all part of the law of the sanctity of human life.
Natural law and science: we think of natural law in two dimensions: first is the law of the nations. Sociologists study the law codes of various cultures. We find that every society enacts laws that protect life. With exceptions that condoned abortion and infanticide, this is the general situation of nations. Kant, says every person is born with a sense of oughtness which binds the conscience, a "categorical imperative" common to people in every situation. Weíre not only talking about a national conscience. This is something that comes out of the wellspring of humanity. Second, science gives us principles of Biology. There is a principle of self-preservation. There is a universal struggle for life and a struggle against death in the biological world. Darwin was looking at the pattern of variation in history. Some species adapt, while others become extinct. Some have said 99% of species every on the earth are now extinct. The very first law given to man was to be fruitful and multiply. The law of reproduction is highest. In the process of human reproduction there is one egg released, 30-60 millions sperm and only one meets the egg, and sometimes the embryo doesnít implant, or it may miscarry.
Legal (governmental) law: some ideas are self-evident. Our government has taken a stand that there are self-evident truths so we understand we all have rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Life is first, liberty is second, the pursuit of happiness is subordinate. Everybody on all sides of this issue agrees that there is a special value to human life. To prove that life is sacred doesnít prove the issue of abortion, but it says something very important about the burden of proof. When weíre talking about something which may or may not be living persons, we cannot take chances. We know we are at minimum talking about something which has the basic potential of human life. The burden of proof is on the one who says it is not human. We cannot enter a war without examining the issues. We must be certain that weíre fighting a just cause before we take a life. Likewise, before hiring a surgeon to take a knife and destroy a human embryo we need to be absolutely certain that this embryo is not a human person. Next weíll examine the origin of human life.
Lecture 3: The Origin of Life
Ken Conner: When does human life begin? At birth, some point during pregnancy, or at conception (fertilization)?
Sproul: Core issue of abortion controversy. Those who are advocates who support abortion on demand, support the position with the conviction that life does NOT begin at conception.
Weíll try to determine the point of origin of human life from the point of Bible, then science and natural law, then from legal/societal perspective.
Multitudes of Christians are convinced life begins at conception. Iím not convinced with compelling certainty, that life begins conception. Most theologians have concluded that the implicit teaching of the bible is that life begins at conception. There is not such explicit teaching in the Bible that says human life starts at conception, or that abortion on demand is murder. But I am convinced that in all probability and with the overwhelming implications point to the fact that life begins at conception. There is a continuity between prenatal and postnatal life. We were all at one time fetuses. Whatís disputed is whether you were a living human person at that point in your development. I donít want to claim more than I can justly. Matthew 5:21-22 gives clear condemnation of hatred and murder. Not only does god condemn the actual destruction of human life, but the broader implication is that God forbids the potential destruction of human life. we know the Bible forbids the potential destruction of human life. What about the actual destruction of potential life? Probably wrong also. Psalm 139 is often quoted: 13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my motherís womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. David appears to be saying God had a personal relationship with him before he was born. There are children in the Bible who were sanctified and known of God before birth, while still in motherís womb. The Hebrew for living born child is the same Hebrew word for the fetus. Same is true for the Greek New Testament. Same word for postnatal and prenatal human being. In both testaments unborn children are called children. You could say the Bible says theyíre children before born, but this is not the same as saying theyíre children at conception. But there is a great deal of probability on the side of the humanity of the child.
In Luke Elizabeth is pregnant with John the Baptist. When Mary approached, the Baby in Elizabethís womb leaped in his motherís womb. John the Baptist. While both are still in the womb,, there is recognition of Jesus by John in a supernatural world.
In Exodus 21:22-25 there is a law of accidentally causing a miscarriage. Depending on the result, a fine may be exacted for a small harm to the mother child. If the baby is harmed, eye for eye and tooth for tooth is exacted form the person responsible. At the very least the unborn child was protected in law.
In the history of the church, Didache (the teaching) is one of the earliest catechetical instructional books. There is no ambiguity in the Didache. It says "you shall not commit murder by abortion." This was the view of Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Edwards. Even in a time when less authority has been given to scripture, like Barth, all have taken a very strong stance on this issue saying that abortion is a form of murder. Now weíll look at natural law. Is there something we can discern from natural law? When we look at nature, we need to discern clear lines of demarcation. On of the most clear lines is birth. Once the umbilical cord is cut, he is no longer dependent on his mother. His is now clearly alive. Some wonít grant that heís human at this time, but most would concede that the child is human person at this time. But usually the issue is whether it is appropriate or not to kill unborn fetuses. The next clearest line is conception, or implantation, or quickening (heart starts beating) or when brain waves are perceptible. The most obvious point when the processs of production of a child begins is at conception. A recent development is that we understand in modern science that the entire genetic code of the baby is established at conception. Within 18 to 25 days after conception there is a discernible heart beat. Even is it doesnít immediately mean itís human, we know that the beating heart is significant vital sign among humans. At 8 weeks fetus has finger prints and brain waves. Between 12 and 13 weeks fetus sucks thumb and recoils from pain. One person describes the fetus as a undifferentiated mass of protoplasm. This is an intemperate statement and not biologically correct. It is already genetically differentiated. Another said an aborted baby is domestic sewage. This is intemperate and a gross disregard for human life. In a few days it has a heart beat and brain waves. All these are signs indicative of human life.
The silent scream was a video camera shot of a baby reacting to the knife and clamps which crushed itís skull and cut off its limbs. The book "window on the Womb" tried to give us a vision inside the womb. Now we have the technology to see the process of the abortion visually, and yet they do not think itís a human being . The response of the fetus is to contort its face in pain, and recoil from the implements that damage it. Itís just the same as the reaction of a 2 year old child going thru similar pain.
What is in the womb from conception exhibits all the characteristics of human life. At conception the natural development of a human being begins. Whatís the difference between the fertilized egg, and a separate egg and sperm? Obvious difference is that only the fertilized egg is an actual human. Separate egg and sperm will never become human.
The court does not address abortion issue directly. It is agnostic at best. The court tried to distinguish the point of viability. This is the point when the child could survive. But abortionists have gotten around this so abortions are carried on all the way into the 3rd trimester. On the point of viability has moved back closer to conception since Roe vs. Wade. Justice Sandra Connor OíDae says of Roe vs. Wade "the court held that although the Sate had an interest in protecting potential life, but that could not become compelling until the fetus becomes viable." Yes the state has interest to protect the rights of a potential baby, but this doesnít become compelling until viability. Potential life is no less potential in the first week than it is at first trimester or afterwards. It is no less arbitrary before or after viability. If the state is responsible to protect potential human life, it is potential from the moment of conception until birth. To put the legal definition at the point of viability is an exercise in despair. The effect of Roe Vs. Wade is to offer little protection of the unborn child before birth.
Lecture 4: What is the Stateís Responsibility and the Churchís?
America did not begin at the first continental congress. American history didnít begin with the writing of the constitution or the declaration of independence. In the 17th century settlers came to the colonies to escape intense religious persecution. What provoked people to leave their native lands, their homes and possessions and come to this country. These werenít merely intramural wars between dissident groups, but the chief proponents of persecution were the European governments. What Western society learned from the bloody persecutions of the 16th and 17th centuries, is that when a government holds a particular religion then all the powers of the states may be used to squelch opponent religions. So when the founders of the constitution formed America, they determined to avoid these problems, by 1) all religions will have the right of free expression (first amendment of the constitution) 2) and explicitly establishing the dominance of state religion. Whatever you believe, and whatever the particulars of your worship, youíre welcome to practice freely under the protection of the state. In order to guarantee the exercise of free religion, and the attempts of one religion to establish power over all others. So laws were developed to prevent a state church. Thus we have the concept of the separation of church and state. As a student of theology, and important distinction is that between a distinction and a separation. The distinction between soul and body is valid, but much different than separation between soul and body (death). We must conceive of the state and church as distinct institutions. Each has ideology, agenda, responsibility and calling. It is not the task of the church to create a standing army. It is the task of the church to worship, preach, pray, administer the sacraments. It is not the responsibility of the state to do these things. When we understand the boundary of authorities between each of these then we can understand their proper relationship. But now we have a modern interpretation of church and state which says thereís a conflict between church and state. People are in conflict with the church and also the state. Both institutions have their roles. The role of government is belonging to the government. We are to bend over backwards to be submissive to the civil government. we have the flags of the church and the state. There is a law which governs the displaying flags. Flags of the united States should be the super-ordinate position, and the Christian flag is in the subordinate to the church. In civil matters the church should obey and submit to the civil government. The church should not commit treason against God by obeying the church. But God says, if you are to obey me, you are also to obey the rulers who are over you. In the original concept of division of labour between church and state, we understand that the church and state are ordained, created, instituted and regulated by God. Therefore both are accountable to god. State is not autonomous, it is not a law unto itself. It is under god, therefore accountable to its authority. Not a distinction between divine and secular, but rather a distinction between. Now it is not separation of chruch and state, but separation of State and God. It is a false concept that the state can be autonomous, ruling apart from God. It is a rival to God. people are saying vociferous against abortion.
The most outspoken group against abortion was the Roman catholic Church. Most people were offended by the unwarranted intrusion by the RC Church. They felt there was a fear of intrusion or manipulation. Now there is a intensity of debate. There is some understanding of what happens in nations when wars break out. Some people believe that the church may never speak out on political issues? What about ethical issues? All the way back to Old Testament Israel, and until the present, we understand that the Church is not to use the sword, but it is free to speak on ethical issues. The new Testament stresses that Christians are to be models of civil obedience. They are to honour the government. We are not to be rebellious anarchists. Until the state commands the church to do something that God forbids. Christians were ordered by the state for example to stop preaching, at this point the apostles obeyed God. Whenever we face a clear conflict,, the only right thing is to obey God. This doesnít mean we can disobey the civil magistrate willy nilly. If they impose a burdensome tax, or laws we disagree with we are to obey them. Unless we are disobeying God in order to submit to the civil government. Various religions all have perspectives on the role and boundaries of Government. Romans 13 is the classical teaching on the role of government. "let every soul be subject to the higher powers for there is no power but God and the powers that be are ordained by God." Paul says I want every one of you to be subject to the Roman government. There is not authority but that which is derived from God himself. This would be difficult for Christians in Rome under one of the most corrupt governments imaginable. Even the Roman government is ordained of God. Whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God. Ruler is a terror to evil. The governor is called to be a minister of God. Minister of civil justice. He serves in the institution called the state. Both in natural law and on the base of theological principles, so there are two reasons for the existence of state government. First is to defend, maintain, protect and promote human life. It is to protect the property of the people. Secondly, it is to establish and promote justice. When the state fails to maintain and promote human life, when the state loses a passionate concern for justice. Then every Christian has the duty to speak and vote to promote justice. No Christian has the right to promote their personal agenda by civil government. But we should promote Godís agenda for government. You often hear "You canít legislate morality." Originally people protested passing laws that restricts the morality of people. This doesnít mean people will not find ways to break laws. You can pass laws to give moral direction, but this doesnít change behaviour. Your canít legislate morality means you shouldnít let government pass laws that touch moral issues. Government should not pass laws that regulate moral behaviour says the ACLU. What else do we legislate other than morality. Whether or not you steal from your neighbour, or drink and drive, or commit homicide are all moral issues. Matters of regulating ecology are ethical issue. If you says the government shouldnít legislate in matters which have moral import, then the government can have no jurisdiction other than to determine the state flag. My convictions on abortion have been influenced by my religious and theological perspectives. Does this mean we have no right to vote on the abortion issue? It is the role of the church to be the church. It is the duty of the state to be the state. To promote justice and to promote and protect life wherever life is found.
Lecture 5: What about those who demand their rights?
How do we respond that a womanís right to privacy outweighs the childís right for life?
In the beginning of this series, we said the debate over abortion has increased. The nation is torn apart. On the signs we have slogans. We donít have time for carefully reasoned arguments. We have little phrases on signs. There are very clever bumper stickers. Succinctly capture a fertile idea. Sometimes we have to deal with abbreviated slogans. One that defends abortion which is very familiar to us is the statement that "every woman has a right to her own body." On this premise they conclude, therefore nobody else can tell her what to do about the baby developing within her body. Men do not carry babies from conception to birth. (some people are very distressed about this) This slogan is a universal affirmative. Is ascribed to every person in the class of persons. There are three things that are a problem. First is the word "right". There is a fallacy called equivocation, where the meaning of a word changes. How the word "right" is understood changes. There are different ways that we understand the word "right." We must distinguish between legal rights or state rights, and moral rights and wrongs. Government may give legal right to do something that is morally wrong. We have people stating that the rules which govern abortion should change. Other women say we have a legal right to our own bodies, based on Roe vs. Wade. The only way that this would be valid, is if we thought that any law that is in effect should always remain in effect. People arenít arguing in a vicious circle. Second, we might view that, something more profound is being argues is that every woman has a right morally and ethically to her own body. We should have the legal right because we have the moral right. The argument is consistent. It is valid. But the premise is wrong, that woman have a moral right to their own body with respect to abortion. Woman donít have the right to kill the baby in the womb. Where does that moral right come from? What is the ethical foundation for the claim that you have a moral right? Does natural law reveal an unalienable right to abortion? Someone may be saying that God supports the womanís right to her own body. But as a theologian RC Sproul says that if he knows anything about the character of the God of the Bible, then He hates abortion. Otherwise youíre deceiving yourself about the moral law of God.
Woman have rights to be protected against the rape, and other violations of their body. We have other rights for our own body. We may feel weíre within custody at the hospital. We do have the right to get out of the hospital. We have the right to determine to some degree how we want to be treated in medical facilities. But it the womanís right to her own body an absolute and unlimited right? or are there other rights and limitations which impose restraints on the rights of our bodies. We know that in Israel, God prohibited self-mutilation of the human body. Other cultures deform and cut their bodies. The moral issues surrounding suicide are interesting. Some states penalize attempts and condemn suicide. Some were begging God to put them to death, but they were not given the right to suicide. The rights of my body are not unlimited. I cannot use my body to harm your body. Restrictions on the rights of our bodies. Is the unborn child technically speaking really a part of the motherís body? Itís obvious isnít it that the unborn child is in the motherís body. We have a woman with a embryo/fetus is growing inside the motherís body. But is it part of the motherís body simply because itís located inside her. Weíve already determined that this baby has its own distinct genetic makeup. Now we use genetic code to solve crimes. We can establish identity genetically which is more sure than fingerprinting. If you take the tissue sample of an unborn child and examine its genetic structure its genetic fingerprint will not match the mother. Whatís growing is not bio-genetically part of the womanís body.
My individual rights are limited, not absolute if they conflict with other human rights. The unborn child cannot medically or biologically be considered part of the womanís body, besides that itís located inside.
When talking of abortion on demand (for convenience) 20 fewer than 25% of people could consider abortion to be right. How could public opinion change so radically in this period of time. Many people take their queue from the government to known whatís right. But advocates for abortion promoted their view setting forth the middle ground of choice.
People have been able to sit on the fence under the title "pro-choice" this is like saying, I wonít murder anybody, but Iíll defend your choice to murder someone. A vote for pro-choice is legally a vote for pro-abortion. Youíve voted to legalize abortion. Youíve participated in the process. The swing vote in the whole issue is the vote in the middle called pro-choice.
Finally thereís a right of privacy. We donít want to be seized without warrant. As a person involved in public ministry, the more Iím recognized, my personal experience of privacy has diminished. Iíve lost my privacy. You feel like youíre losing your humanity. Iím concerned about this right, but it is not absolute. We have laws which would allow for audits and searches under a warrant. I donít have the right to steal or murder if I do it privately. People have a fear that the government will invade our bedrooms and privacy. But to protect human life against unjust destruction, other than to save persons. Thatís what the discussion is about. I donít have the right by my personal privacy to kill any living human person.
Lecture 6: What will the churchesí response be, and what will your response be.
The world desires nothing so much as a silent church." William Barkley
Dr. RC Sproul
Weíve tried to look at this abortion issue from moral biblical perspective, then examining natural law, and legal issues.
We are emotional, not dispassionate minds or intellects. There is a link between rational mind and feelings. Iíve reached a verdict. Iím convinced that abortion involves the destruction of a living human person. It is kind of murder as it involves a killing human persons. I cannot look at this dispassionately. I must answer quickly in some cases on TV. In my judgment abortion is a monstrous evil. Abortion is evil. There are degrees of evil. There are crimes that have greater and lesser severity, but the issue of abortion is the most profoundly evil crime. It is not going too far to call this the new holocaust. We have sanctioned the deliberate destruction in America of far more millions than Hitler. Those who were killed by Hitler at least had some years of life. But we are denying life itself to those even before they are born. I have strong feelings about this. Feelings range from rage, to disappointment, to confusion.
When a child, RC had a disease including pneumonia and measles. The Doctor stayed up all night to preserve RCís life. So RC developed a high regard for doctors. Now RC struggles with his own feeling about the medical profession. What happened to the devotion to healing. Until a few years ago, every licensed physicians took a hypocratic oath in which Doctors which vowed to protect life and not to perform abortions.
If you have come to the point in your persuasion to agree that abortion is wrong, that it is the killing of human beings, if you really believe abortion is murder, that it is the killing of a living human being then we need to rise up and protest regularly the outright destruction of human life. the unborn child is not the only victim. There is at least one other victim. The mother of the child who is murdered. Any woman who contemplates abortion, who goes thru the moral struggle, at the deepest recesses of her heart and soul, that woman knows it is not right. But that woman is being encouraged by here friends, by the press, and her physician that she can get rid of the invading tissue which is not really the problem. For you money you will kill you baby. We dare not ignore the fact abortion has become a one billion dollar industry!! The practitioners have a very powerful thing going on here. Abortion for money is equivalent to Murder Incorporated. Even pastors support women in choosing an abortion. People will say heís trying to lay a guilt trip on us. Yes, I do want you to feel guilty. I want you to feel guilty enough to change that kind of behaviour. I canít personally impose guilt, but I canít make you guilty if youíre not guilty. Thereís a profound difference between subjective feelings and objective reality. Killing humans and not feeling guilty doesnít make you not guilty. Real guilt is not determined by feelings but by real estates of affairs. If you have killed where God forbids you from killing, then you are guilty. It doesnít matter how you feel. I often talk to people who are not Christians about the truth of Christianity. Weíve tried to look at the philosophical arguments. The straight out question I ask people is "what do you do about your guilt?" We have all broken the laws of God, and thatís a serious matter. One of the most common methods of dealing with guilt is rationalization and self-justification. Denial is the most common way to deal with guilt. No matter how hard we scrub our hands it doesnít make them clean. The first murder on this planet involved the cold blooded slaying by Cain of his brother Abel. Cain tried to cover it up. God said to him, your brotherís blood cries out to me from the ground. We canít cover it. Denial wonít work. Itís too real. I see women who come to themselves and their consciences are awakened, as the Prodigal son who realized the folly of his sin. Iíve seen these women who went through the experience of abortion and they feel that theyíve been betrayed and deceived. Theyíre paralyzed by guilt. They are wondering if thereís any hope for their lives. Abortion is not only wrong, itís not only evil, itís not only evil. Itís a monstrous evil. Iím not going to tell people whoíve had an abortion that itís not that important. Itís a very serious crime against God and another human being. But thereís nothing that canít be forgiven by God. I donít want to leave you wondering, well what can I do about my own guilt. I had a desperate need to start over. I had a desperate need to start over. Isaiah 1:18 the prophet says "Come let us reason together, Ö though your sins be scarlet, they shall be white as snow." The God of the Bible is not indifferent to evil, He hates it passionately. God is not only a God of passion, but he is a God of compassion. He does hear the cries of those crying out in a state of guilt. He stands ready to heal your soul by asking for forgiveness. There is not more comforting words than to hear God say, "My son, my daughter, your are forgiven." God demands that we confess our evil to Him. We must come to Jesus and acknowledge our trust in the Son to cover our sin. We must acknowledge our guilt to God, humble ourselves, and pray God please forgive me.
"If we confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 If you still feel guilty, read it again. How many times do you have to read this promise until you believe what God said? Though your sins be as scarlet they can be purged with hyssop. Though your sins be scarlet they will be white as snow. Once your sins are forgiven you can speak and write and protest until your land is clean and healed. Until weíre convinced in every sector of human society of the absolute sanctity of human life.