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The Sanctity of Human Life

Pastor Gary Buchman
Emmitsburg Community Bible Church

(1/20) Today has been designated as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. It has now been 40 years since the infamous Roe V. Wade and Doe V. Bolton decisions were made by the Supreme Court and added to the Bill of Rights, without one single vote from congress, giving women the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Killing unborn children became a legal right.

Before I give you a lot of statistics, let me give you two scenarios. You are the Doctor and these people come to you for advice:

The father has syphilis, the mother has tuberculosis. They already had four children. One is blind, one was died, one is a deaf - mute, the fourth has tuberculosis, and she is pregnant again and is seeking your advice. What would you advise?

The second is a young black lady that has been the victim of a rape at knife point, on the streets of Philadelphia. Now she is pregnant and asking you for advice. What would you advise?

Would you have advised abortion in either case or both?

If you would have aborted in the first case, you would killed Ludwig Von Beethoven. If the young black mother would have aborted she would have killed Ethel Waters, a long time singer and actress that traveled with Billy Graham and sang, His Eye is One the Sparrow.

This is a Very Emotional Issue.

This is not an easy sermon to preach. I wept bitterly for my children on three occasions when they miscarried, because that was my grandchild that was lost, and I grieved for my children who loved a child not yet born. Americans legally terminated-killed between 1.2 and 1.6 million children every year since 1973. By the way, abortion rates have come down slightly in the last few years since we now have a morning after pill. But around 55 million children have been denied the right to life. That's more than 4 1/2 times more than were killed in the Holocuast, and more than 40 times more than all the soldiers that died in all of America's wars. We have had 1,250,000 combined combat deaths in all the wars America has fought. We abort in one year more than all the soldiers that died in all our wars. World-wide there is one abortion for every second of every day. That's 115,000 children aborted every day in the world, or 42 million every year. Children and grandchildren thrown in a dumpster or incinerated.

Why? Why do women have abortions? The Alan Guttmacher Institute or AGI, which is the research arm of Planned Parenthood, did a series of studies over the last twenty years and these are their conclusions as of 2012.

  • Less than 1/2 of 1% are for cases of rape or incest; that is .33-.36%
  • 1-1.3% are for the life or health of the mother
  • Less than 1% are for the health of the child
  • More than 97% are done for convenience. That can include such factors as financial problems, the immaturity of the parents, the inconvenience for the parent's lives like school, career, etc., Sex selection of the child, or there are too many children already, etc. For me, this is an emotional issue.

This is a Sensitive Issue.

It affects a lot of people that have had abortions. There is a good chance that some of you may have had one or encouraged someone to have one. There is often, post abortion trauma, especially if you have come to faith in God. If that is you, this is not to condemn you but to offer you hope, grace, forgiveness, and restoration to Jesus Christ. This can be a painful reminder, but let me assure you, God loves you deeply. When we ministered in Carroll County we supported the work of the Alpha Pregnancy Center in Reisterstown, Md. and I applaud them for the compassionate way that they ministered to the women that came to them for help. I can not imagine a ministry that is more heart-breaking, yet as rewarding as volunteering at a Crisis Pregnancy center.

This is a Difficult Issue

Because it is Related to other issues. Abortion rights has opened the door to other actions like infanticide, and euthanasia. Infanticide is the legal killing, either by action or neglect of action towards children born with birth defects. Euthanasia is a word for, "mercy killing," or Dr. assisted suicide for terminal patients. Therefore, the Sanctity of Human Life relates to all human life-no exceptions.

This is a Difficult issue

Because Because without God-Life is Not Sacred. Look for just a few moments at two portions of scripture that Paul wrote. First, Romans 1:28-32, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them."

2 Tim. 3:1-5, "But know this, that in the last days perilous (savage)times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

Both passages include the phrase, 'unloving,' or astergos, that is, without natural affection, or the natural love of family. Parents won't love their children, children won't love their parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Life will lose it's value. The phrases perilous, savage, brutal, murderous, lovers of self, no self control, lace these verses. In a world where God is not considered or is not the absolute authority, man will not become better and more civilized but instead will become more brutal.

I want to teach you something or remind you of something that you may have forgotten or didn't know. In 1920, a book was published called, The Release of the Destruction of Life Devoid of Value, by Psychiatrist Alfred Hoche and lawyer, Karl Binding. The book advocated killing off, "Absolutely worthless human beings." It pointed out the economic savings that could be better used to help young married people to set up homes, etc. That book was accepted and it's philosophy embraced in pre-Hitler Germany. It suggested that incurable patients, the criminally insane, and those in nursing homes whose minds were gone, should be painlessly euthanized. Then, the money used to care for criminals and the retarded and insane could be used for other purposes, like building new homes. Combined with Hilter's Mein Kampf, that emphasized ethnic cleansing, a nation was primed to destroy millions of lives deemed void of value. The holocaust began, not with the killing of Jewish people by soldiers, but the euthanizing of the aged, and infirmed by the medical profession. These were Germans, blond hair, blue eyed Germans deemed void of value.

By deciding that we have the right to choose life or death for our babies and infirmed and not consult the absolute authority of a Creator God, no one's life is safe. And while you may not agree and that's okay, as you have the right to be wrong, our TV shows and movies that graphically portray the killing of hundreds and thousands of people, along with the best selling video games that are all about the same, only adds to the devaluing of human life and we wonder how people can kill school children. But I digress.

I. What do we mean by the Sanctity of Human Life?

The Word, Sanctity comes from the word, to sanctify or declare holy, or special, or set apart as special; it is to attribute honor and value to. All Human Life is sacred and extremely valuable to God and should be so for us. It should be cared for, cherished and valued at all costs.

II. Why is Human Life Sacred?

There are at least 7 reasons why Human Life is Sacred.

A. Because It was Created to be special. Look at Genesis 1:26-27, "Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[a] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."

Here we are told that of all that God created, He put special thought and purpose into the creation of Humans. No other creature is said to reflect God's image, just man. No other creature more closely resembles God than man. And even though our sinfulness and rebellion have marred that image, we still reflect God's image. How? I believe it is in our personality. Like God we have a mind to think and decide, and to create, andto know the difference between good and evil. Like God we also have a will that chooses to act and to do good or evil, and not just respond to instincts. And, like God, we have emotions that feel joy, anger, Love, and hate, grief, sadness, regret and pleasure. Only man possesses all three of these; and only man is in God's image.

B. Human Life is Sacred because Every Life is Custom made. That's what the following verses say:

  1. Psalm 139:13-16 Like a tapestry
  2. Isaiah 44:1-2; 24
  3. Job 10:8-12
  4. Jeremiah 1:5

While I may not understand it, I believe that every conception is a sovereign act of Almighty God. Therefore, every abortion is an act against both man and God.

And by the way, its not even a topic to debate as science has repeatedly proven over the last 30 years that a person is human and a viable life from the instant conception occurs. John Stott's book, Issues Facing Christians Today, p. 400.

C. Human Life is Sacred because of the Special Sanctions given. (Gen. 9:5-6), " Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. "Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man."

Here, God is establishing the first human government for the purpose of protecting human life. Unlike with Cain or Tubal-cain, anyone that takes another man's life must forfeit his own, as must any animal that kills a man. Anyone who takes another man's life has no regard for the image of God in man. Human government's primary function is to protect the lives of it's citizen's. When you read Psalm 82, note that the word, 'gods' refers to humans who serve as government leaders or judges and therefore act on behalf of God.

D. Life is Sacred because it is Sanctioned by Special Laws for Man. Do you remember Matthew 22:37-40? Jesus said to him, "‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Next to loving God with all our hearts we are instructed to love the ones created in God's image. That's why the ten commandments deal with loving and honoring God (4) with all our hearts, and loving people as we love ourselves (6). Among these are Do Not Murder, which is the more literal rendering of the word kill used here. These are not just negative commands, as in don't do this, but positive commands, to preserve, honor, & protect life. Look at Lev. 19:9-18; 33-43.

Look at Exodus 21:22-25, "If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." The NASB has it wrong, it uses the word miscarries; implying that the harm is to the mother, but the word says and means to give birth. And the sense of the verse is that if any harm comes to either the mother or child, it requires life for life, etc. just the taking of any human life in a criminal way.

1John 4:20-21 even tells us that you can not love God if you do not love people. Listen. " If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. Jesus even said that if we even slander another person, God views it the same as murder (Matt. 5:22-ff). James 3:9-10 tells us why. "With it (our tongue) we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

E. The Sanctity of Human life is reflected in the sacrifice God made for every person. (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2), "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." "And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world." Jesus once asked the question, "What will a man give in exchange for his soul?" To Him, the answer was, that He was willing to experience hell in your place to redeem your soul. Every soul is redeemable. God wants to adopt everyone who would respond to His love.

F. The Sanctity of Human Life is reflected in the special care and concern God has for each life. Matthew. 10:29-31, "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." Dear Ethel Waters, who was carried to term even though her mother was impregnated by a rape, sang, "I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free, for His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me." Jesus, our Lord, came as the great physician to heal the broken hearted and to set the captives free, to love the unloved and the sinners, and the outcast because He cares so much for every human life. This is why Peter tells us to dump all our cares on Him because He cares for us-all of us.

G. The Sanctity of Human Life is Reflected in the Special Instructions for us to care each other. For the sake of time, I will only refer to a few.

James 1:27 says, "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."

Isaiah 58:6-7, "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;

When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Matthew 25:33-40, makes it clear that caring for human life is the same as caring for Him. "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop in their work, Whatever Happened to the Human Race, said this,

"Will future generations look back and remember that even if the 20th century did end with a great surge of inhumanity , at least there was one group who stood consistently, whatever the price, for the value of the individual, thus passing on some hope to future generations? or are we Christians going to be merely swept along with the trends, our own moral values becoming increasingly befuddled, or our own apathy reflecting the apathy of the world around us, our own inactivity sharing the inertia of the masses around us, or our own leadership soft.

If we ache with compassion for humanity today in our own country and across the world, we must do all we can to help people see the truth of Christianity and accept Christ as Savior.

" And we must stand against the loss of humaness in all its forms. It is God's life-changing power that is able to touch every individual, who then has the responsibility to touch the world around him with the absolutes found in the Bible."

III. What Do We Do?

  • Repent - We need to change our minds about the value of human life and our involvement. Some may need to repent and receive the grace of God because you have had or encouraged someone to have an abortion. Grace and forgiveness is available to anyone who will confess their sins and receive God's gift of forgiveness and grace
  • Educate - Educate yourself, your children and your grandchildren. Take nothing for granted. Use this sermon or turn to Focus on the Family, or Family Life Today, or Care Net for information.
  • Vote - One of the most important factors in voting ought to be the issue of the Sanctity of Life
  • Pray - You need to pray for our Country, our leaders, and the people you know that don't know Jesus and have or will turn to abortion as a birth control method. Pray for the people of planned parenthood and the women's center's that focus on abortion.
  • Get Involved - By this I mean support or volunteer any ministry that cares for people, especially think about a Crisis Pregnancy center, a nursing home, an after school program. Be a foster parent. Young People, when you think about a career think about a career that will help people, care for people, teach people, and not just about money. Spend your life caring about-what God cares about.- The Sanctity of Human Life
  • Adopt - Consider adoption. It didn't really hit me until we adopted, that I am a child of God not because of what I've done, but because He chose to adopt me. Adoption is dear and near to the heart of God. What child could have a life if you would consider adoption, or what child could be changed if he or she had foster or adopted grand parents?

Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Gary Buchman