“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 NLT)
By Fr. Chris Lee OFR
Today, there is a lot of debate over the sanctity of life, and when life begins. This topic fuels debates, affects legislation, and causes dissention even among “Christians”. Those who hold the (pro-life) position, believe that life begins in the womb at the moment of conception, and thus the fetus should be respected as a gift from God. Those who hold the (pro-choice) position, do not recognize the fetus as a person until it becomes viable at the moment of birth. There are many things to consider about this debate. As people of faith, let us look to the Word of God, (the Bible) for perspective on this issue.
The Bible teaches that humans are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). This makes humans much more than some random batch of cells just thrown together. As the creation of God, we are a reflection of our Divine Creator, with purpose and meaning. In light of this fact, it seems not only reasonable, but Biblical, that even an unborn fetus be given the opportunity to fulfil his/her potential and purpose.
Scripture clearly teaches that children are a blessing and gift from God. “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” (Psalm 127:3, NLT) As parents, we have the opportunity to cooperate with our Heavenly Father in conception. We are called by God to be guardians and care givers of the gift of life. This would make the purposeful, premeditated elimination of the gift of life repugnant to the Scripture itself.
We must remember that life is not only a gift, but also sacred to God who commands us not to murder. “"You must not murder.” (Exodus 20:13, NLT) We must also remember that God alone is the giver of life, and that God alone has the sovereign right to take life away. In light of Scripture, the premeditated termination of an innocent human being stands again as repugnant to the very Creator who gave that life in the first place.
In Psalm 139, we learn of God’s intimate knowledge of each person, especially those in the womb. God is the giver of life, the skilled craftsman that forms each and every person in the womb at the moment of conception. As the creation of God, we are not our own, we are His. We are to reflect His glory, and honor His gift of life. I pray that each one of us be granted the courage to honor the teaching of Scripture, even when it is in opposition to our culture. May God’s Grace, Peace, and Courage be with you.