Friday, March 02, 2012

Views on Abortion in Church History

In stark contrast to the views on fetal development and the worth of the human child in utero that are voiced by the modern mad scientists that you'll read about in a couple of the other Vital Signs Blog posts here today, I thought I'd recall for you the convictions of just a few leaders of the Christian Church throughout history.

John Calvin, for instance, wrote, "The fetus carried in the mother's womb is already a man; and it is quite unnatural that a life be destroyed of one who has not yet seen its enjoyment.

For it seems more unworthy that a man be killed in his home rather than in his field because for each man his home is his safest refuge. How much more abominable ought it to be considered to kill a fetus in the womb who has not yet been brought into the light."

Going back much, much earlier (c 125 AD) is this exhortation from the Epistle of Barnabas, "Thou shall not destroy thy conceptions before they are brought forth; nor kill them after they are born. Thou shall love thy neighbor more than thy own life. Thou shall not murder a child by abortion."

Want more? Here's a 10 minute presentation created by Vital Signs Ministries that, I think, will open your eyes.