“I am pro-life.” If you heard this statement made, you would probably assume this person is against abortion. But why is that? When did this statement come to refer primarily to abortion? If you are “pro-life” shouldn’t that mean that you value the sanctity of ALL life, not just that of an unborn child? And how far does that extend – war, euthanasia, capital punishment and perhaps other issues?
I am not in favor of abortion, but am I truly “pro-life”?
Our nation has a National Sanctity of Human Life Day. George W. Bush notes that “When we seek to advance science and improve our lives, we must always preserve human dignity and remember that human life is a gift from our Creator. We must not sanction the creation of life only to destroy it. America must pursue the tremendous possibilities of medicine and research and at the same time remain an ethical and compassionate society.” Does our society truly value the sanctity of human life? When you consider our practices in war, abortion, capital punishment and euthanasia, it would seem not.
What, if anything, does the Bible about the sanctity of life? I’m not sure these are all directly related, but here are some that come to mind:
- Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
- Deuteronomy 30:19 – This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life…
- Job 10:8-12 – Your hands shaped me and made me… Did you not clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.
- Job 31:15 – Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?
- Psalm 51:5 – Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
- Psalm 95:6 – Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
- Psalm 100:3 – Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
- Psalm 119:73 – Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.
- Psalm 138:8 – The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever — do not abandon the works of your hands.
- Psalm 139:13-16 – For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.
- Isaiah 44:2 – This is what the Lord says — he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you…
- Isaiah 44:24 – This is what the Lord says — your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: “I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself…”
- Isaiah 46:3-4 – Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
- Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
Do these verses point to the sanctity of life? I don’t know. This seems to be a complex issue with more questions than answers.