THE WAY OF DEATH


Here’s an enlightening one from Lee.  Lee and Agent X are well read, and have much insight into the history of the Scriptures.  Take a look at this….  -anita

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With God, there’s always something new under the sun! And we are such fortunate Christians in that, in our age, there are so many resources available to us from which to learn more about God, His Kingdom and His plan for us.

In my reading, I came across a document that I had never seen referenced before: the Didache or The Lord’s Teachings Through the 12 Apostles, written sometime around AD 90-95. I’d like to think I’m fairly well read on the subject of our Christian faith, but this was new to me. As I scanned through it, much of the teaching, as you might expect, is taken right from the pages of Scripture. The Didache begins with the thought that there is “a way of life and a way of death.” It then begins to describe one versus the other in various sub-topics. In the second chapter, I came across these words: “you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is begotten (infanticide).” I found this passage so relevant given some of the debate that is occurring even among some professing Christians.

In an article written by Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., he discusses the anti-abortion movement and its historic context. Mohler quotes from a couple of pro-abortion advocates—including an Afro-American abortion doctor from Mississippi, Dr. Willie Parker,  who has written a book and who claims he is a born again Christian and who states categorically that “He is doing God’s work” by protecting women’s rights. Mohler later quotes NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, a supporter of Dr. Parker, when Kristof states that “…Christianity’s ferocious opposition to abortion is relatively new in historical terms.” Kristof further believes that the Bible “does not explicitly discuss abortion,” and that “there’s no evidence that Christians traditionally believed that life begins at conception.”

The Bible never uses the word “abortion,” that’s true. But verses like Deut 5:17 (do not murder) is an injunction against taking a life, while Ps 139:13 “For You formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” and another about the prophet Jeremiah in Jer 1:4-5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations,” all clearly describe a real person before birth.

And what was the early church’s position? Mohler cites early church fathers such as Clement of Alexandria (women who take abortion drugs “abort at the same time their human feelings”) and Tertullian who taught explicitly against abortion (“For us, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb.”) Many others whose writings oppose abortion include Athenagorus, Jerome, Ambrose, and Augustine. These lead me to question whether Mr. Kristof knows much about church history and, therefore, I question whether he should be making such unsubstantiated and baseless pronouncements.

But, back to Dr. Parker for a moment. Setting aside for a moment the traditional text of the oath penned by Hippocrates that includes the words “I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy,” and subscribed to by all physicians, I thought long about how the doctor could rationalize his positions and actions. I have not read his book but did read a partial summary of it. Dr. Parker appears to be trying to especially help under-privileged minority women who often are without the means to support another child. I commend his passion but disagree mightily with his solution. I can at least intellectually understand his argument here but, as a Christian, I can’t see how he can write God out of the picture by taking a life, an action reserved for God except where He commands otherwise (such as capital punishment by the state). Cannot God overcome every life problem if we seek after Him and desire His help?

The real problem here, it seems to me, is that the abortion alternative fails to believe that God is relevant and that He can take even the most miserable circumstances and create a positive outcome. I know He can. I’ve made some awful choices in life yet God managed to turn them into great positives. But I guess you have to both believe in God and also in His ability to turn bad circumstances into good before you can elect to let that little child live. I feel so badly for women who reach a point of desperation where they believe their only choice is abortion. Likewise, I feel the same way for a doctor who believes he is helping a woman better her life circumstances by taking away the life of another. That’s the way of death.

Lee Pierce

 

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